In the Second Trimester many women say that they feel great! Morning sickness has passed and they have more energy again. They are feeling more in control of their emotions and are loving the fact that they look pregnant!
At approximately 20 weeks you should begin to feel movement from your baby, starting as small flutters eventually growing to hefty kicks. Women who have had babies before may feel movement before 20 weeks. Letting your care provider know when you first feel movement can be helpful in confirming that your due date is correct.
Around 20 weeks is also a good time to get an ultrasound to check for anomalies. The baby is large enough to see organs well but not so big that it is difficult for the ultrasound technician to find everything they are looking for. This U/S can be very reassuring that all is well and that the placenta is in a good location and not blocking the birth canal. FYI – if the placenta is found to be low lying, then they will want to recheck it later in the pregnancy and usually it will have moved out of the way as the uterus grows.
The second trimester is a good time to get back to exercising and eating well, if you felt too sick in the first trimester and those things went by the wayside! Along with exercise; going to a chiropractor, acupuncturist, sacral-cranial therapist, or other body worker can help you feel better and help your baby get in an optimal position for birth.
“As a midwife, I love it when my clients are going to a chiropractor or other body worker because most of the time this helps them have an easier birth,” Deborah Flowers, CPM.
By the end of the second trimester possible complications such as high blood pressure and gestational diabetes will likely have either arisen or be deemed to not be a problem. There is likely still time to address these issues through improved diet and other lifestyle changes in time to insure a low risk delivery.
Your care provider will continue to see you once a month and:
- Monitor weight gain – Not too much, not too little…Just right!
- Determine the size of the baby – This tracks healthy fetal development.
- Check the baby’s heart rate – Another important indicator of healthy development.
- Discuss whether various tests are advisable or necessary, from amniocentesis to ultrasounds.
- Ask if you have felt the baby move.
- Hematocrit and hemoglobin – Monitors your iron level, anemia is common in pregnancy and is easily prevented with diet and supplements.
- Between 24 and 28 weeks you may be checked for Gestational Diabetes
- Excessive Protein levels can be a sign of infection/UTI.
- If accompanied with high blood pressure, protein can also be an indicator of pre-eclampsia.