182017Oct
PREGNANCY CARE TIPS: SIGNS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER

PREGNANCY CARE TIPS: SIGNS AND WHAT TO EXPECT IN THE SECOND TRIMESTER

For many women, the most comfortable of all three is the second trimester. On attaining this milestone, you will experience some welcoming changes. Most early pregnancy symptoms will ease up or even disappear. You’ll likely feel less nauseous and energy levels will begin to pick up. Although your breasts will still be bigger they will feel a whole lot less tender. Most amazing of all: By the end of this trimester, the bulge in your lower abdomen will be looking more like the beginnings of a pregnant belly.

Postural changes 

Women experience a progressive increase in the anterior convex shape of the lumbar spine (lordosis) during pregnancy. This change helps in stabilizing the body’s centre of gravity as the uterus enlarges. Late in pregnancy, aching, weakness, and numbness of the arms may occur secondary to the compensatory anterior positioning of the neck and hunching of the shoulders in positional response to lordosis. In pregnancy, relaxin (a hormone produced by the ovary, secreted by the temporary endocrine structure in the female ovaries known as corpus luteum, the placenta, and part of the decidual lining of the uterus) causes remodeling of the connective tissues leading to joint laxity which in combination with the shifting of the center of gravity can contributes to unsteady gait later in pregnancy.

Changes in the pelvic contour

The pelvis continues to grow until about 3 years after menarche. This is why younger women have a greater risk for obstructed labor due to the relative size discrepancy between the fetal head and the maternal pelvis. Generally, there is a loosening of the pelvic ligaments during pregnancy leading to enlargement of the pelvis.

Fetal movement

Most pregnant women begin to feel fetal movement before 20 weeks’ gestation. In a first pregnancy, this can occur around 18 weeks’ gestation, and in following pregnancies it can occur as early as 15-16 weeks’ gestation. Early fetal movement is felt most commonly when the woman is sitting or lying quietly and concentrating on her body. It is usually described as a tickle or feathery feeling below the umbilical area. The point at which a woman feels the baby movement is termed quickening. Placental location can impact on the timing of quickening, an anterior placenta can “cushion” against fetal movement and delay maternal detection of fetal movements. As the fetus grows larger, the fetal movement feelings become stronger, regular, and easier to detect.