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Once the bone-weary fatigue and queasiness of the early weeks of pregnancy have abated, many expectant moms find the second trimester to be much easier in comparison. Even so, you’ll continue to undergo significant physical changes, many of which are more noticeable from the outside. Although you may be feeling much better, it’s important to monitor your body to make sure everything is progressing as it should be.
As the second trimester draws to a close, you’ll be experiencing some of the most exciting aspects of pregnancy, including fetal movement and a real, honest-to-goodness baby bulge.
Below are some of the most common physical manifestations as you approach the mid-point:
• Muscle aches and pains: Most women notice these primarily in their abdomen, thighs, groin, and back. This discomfort is a completely normal effect of your body stretching and expanding to accommodate your growing baby. These symptoms can be remedied with moderate exercise, pregnancy yoga, and daily stretching.
• Shortness of breath: You may notice that you become winded more easier after physical activity, such as climbing stairs or walking long distances.
• Changes in complexion: Many expectant moms find that their skin changes in appearance, for the better or the worse, during the second trimester. The luckier ones experience an improvement in their complexion, taking on what’s commonly known as the “pregnancy glow,” while others may be stricken with acne or splotchiness.
• Itching: This is usually due to tautness of the skin as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby. If you experience intense itching in tandem with vomiting, nausea, or loss of appetite, contact your obstetrician or midwife to rule out a potentially dangerous condition.
• Stretch marks: Some women begin to notice stretch marks in the abdomen area as their bellies expand. You can treat and prevent these by applying “belly balm” or other lotions designed to counteract stretch marks.
• Weight gain: Although every woman -- and every pregnancy -- is unique, average weight gain during the second trimester is one pound per week.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|