You are now into the second half of the second trimester. You are more relaxed and are enjoying your pregnancy more. If you are planning any long trips, now is the time to start to make plans for that trip. For the remainder of the second trimester, you will find that your pregnancy is a bit easier than the first trimester but not as hard as the third. To help alleviate the aches you may be feeling from the growth of the baby, you may want to exercise a bit or maybe try yoga. Don’t do anything too stressful. Keep it low impact.
By exercising you are also reducing varicose veins and back aches that become more common in the last trimester. You should be enjoying the pregnancy and keeping the mind healthy as well. By staying upbeat and taking care of yourself, it can actually reduce your chance of postpartum depression. You may not want to think about postpartum now but it is good to know what the signs are, you may be experiencing postpartum if you are fatigued, you are irritable, inability to handle your newborn and your hesitancy to hold your own baby may be signs of postpartum. Talk to your doctor about this condition, you are not alone it happens to thousands of women every day.
You want to stay fit as well; you can continue running and lightweight training. You want to stay away from bike riding, rollerblading and horseback riding. Walking and swimming are highly recommended. Try wearing loose fitting clothes and after sweating during exercise, always take a shower. It will reduce your chance of yeast or urinary tract infections.
At this stage the baby’s blood circulation is doing very well. The baby’s umbilical cord will grow thicker in size and increase in length. The blood will flow through the cord with more power, as the bigger the baby gets the more the blood will circulate. As you go through the second and the third trimester, the baby will grow more and more. The placenta is now almost the same size as the baby. When the doctor takes the measurement from crown to rump, the baby should be 7.2 inches and about 10-1/2 ounces.
In week 21, the baby’s digestive system will continue to develop and grow. The baby’s intestines can now relax and contract. The baby is now practicing swallowing the amniotic fluid; this will help their digestive systems mature. You may also notice that the baby will start hiccuping, it feels a bit strange at first but you will get used to it.
The baby’s eyebrows and eyelids are 100% developed. Fingernails now cover the fingertips. It has been found that newborn babies will suck faster and more intently when you are reading them a story that may have heard while in the womb. They baby may recognize sounds they heard in the womb and act accordingly when they hear it again outside the womb.
It is believed that if you read the baby classic books or spiritual books, it can have an effect on the baby. Classic music and soft sounds may prevent the baby from kicking a lot. They are calming and soothing sounds
Changes With Your Body
At this week in pregnancy, you should be on target for 10 to 15 pounds. You may be a bit over and maybe a bit under. If you have any concerns, speak to your doctor about them. Now you will be able feel your uterus about ½ “ above your belly button and you will be happy to know that others will actually be able to tell that you are pregnant. You may notice that you are getting more leg cramps and pains in your legs. Don’t panic, this is normal. Exercise will definitely help this condition.
You can reduce leg pain at night by sleeping with a pillow right between your knees. There is something called Maternity Belts, this are designed to help prevent edema and pregnancy swelling in your legs. To take some pressure off your legs, try not standing in one place for a long period of time. You may start to feel more legs cramps, because your legs are carrying more weight due to the pregnancy. Try wearing a more comfortable pair of shoes too. By wearing sneakers or flat shows with cushions will be best at this stage of the pregnancy.
What To Expect
If you haven’t noticed by now, your appetite has increased. It is safe to add about 500 or so calories to your eating plan. Try to stay away from fried foods or even processed foods. Eat food like chicken, fruits and vegetables are a good way to add calories. If you need any suggestions, ask your doctor, they will be more than happy to give you a list of what foods are good to eat. If you are still experiencing cravings, it is ok to indulge just keep them in moderation.
If you are noticing swelling in your feet and legs it is normal, it is due to water retention. This is best alleviating by elevating your legs and feet while sitting down. Try not to stand in one place for a long period of time. The more you are relaxed by physically and mentally, the more the baby will be relaxed. The baby can sense stress at this point in pregnancy.
If you experience blurred vision, vaginal bleeding and nausea, contact your doctor right away. If you can’t get a hold of them, then you will want to go to the nearest emergency room.
While the risk of miscarriage has greatly reduced, there are still factors and considerations that have to be taken into. There is no better time to start taking care of yourself better. If you haven’t done so, try eating a more balanced diet and get plenty of sleep. The most important thing is to avoid stress. The baby can now feel exactly what you are feeling.