This may be the trimester when the changes to your body will become starker and more obvious. In a short period of time your tummy will grown in size to that of a football. You will have to buy prenatal clothing and learn to sleep with this uncomfortable weight on you. But remember: it is only temporary. Share your emotional state and enthusiasm with others. This way you will get more enjoyment out of the process.
Your tummy is big enough that your trousers start not to fit. Don't insist on using your usual clothes. Buy new comfortable clothes to your liking. Current prenatal clothing comes in a wide variety of styles. All you have to do is choose the clothes you like best and enjoy wearing them during your pregnancy. The rubber bands and adjustable buttons will make them feel comfortable. Apart from design, make sure you check that they fit well and choose clothing made out of natural fibres.
Inside you, your placenta will start producing a great quantity of hormones that can make you feel disoriented, clumsy, or forgetful. If you feel this way or are unable to concentrate, do not get stressed up. Take it easy, as all this is perfectly normal!
Your womb will have grown in size: You will be able to touch the superior area between the pubis and the belly button. At night avoid sleeping on your back, as the womb may exert pressure on your vena cava and make your legs swell, or cause varicose veins or dizziness. Which is the best way to sleep? With no doubt sideways. Another piece of advice: Don't exercise whilst lying on your back.
You may also start feeling what is known as postural hypotension, which is the sudden fall of blood pressure due to a change in position. Because of a general fall in blood pressure caused by pregnancy, the cardiovascular system is unable to react as quickly as before and this may cause spells of dizziness. If you feel dizzy, switch position. Sit down, on the floor if necessary, and lift your feet up in the air.
Other symptoms that may appear: Nose congestion and bleeding gums when brushing your teeth, which is caused by the increase in volume of blood, which is 40 to 50% above the levels you had before becoming pregnant, and this will make your heart work harder, although this will not cause you any real problems.
Your waist will have lost some of its original form and your weight will have increased between 2 and 5 kilos, but don't worry, as everything will return to normal after pregnancy. All these changes are only temporary. Most of the increase is due to the foetus, the placenta and the amniotic fluid, as well as the increase in blood volume in your body.
By now you will have noticed more changes: Your breasts will have continued to change due to the pregnancy hormones, your veins will be now more visible because of an increase in blood circulation, and the glands that will later produce milk will grow and begin the necessary maturation for breastfeeding. For this reason their size grows considerably, which might mean having to buy bras that are one or two sizes above your usual size. So if you are going to buy new clothes, remember that they should be ready for these changes breastfeeding-related changes.
Your womb is located just below your belly button and inside there is a baby that is beginning to move. Would you like to feel him more intensely? Then lie down after eating, choose if possible sweet food, and relax. After a while you will start to feel butterflies inside. If you have been pregnant before, you will notice this immediately. If this is your first time, it might be more difficult to perceive, but you will eventually notice the feeling.
The womb is now at the height of your belly button and your profile is undeniably that of a pregnant woman. The high production of placental hormones will make your skin's melanoma produce more pigment: This is why you now have a fibrous structure called linea alba that runs down the middle of your abdomen, and also why your nipples have become darker and you have dark patches on your face (also known as chloasma), especially if you are not protecting yourself adequately from the sun. Don't worry, as everything will go away after the birth of your baby.
Your skin may also become dry, so try to keep it moisturized by using creams that are suitable for pregnant women. To combat the swelling of your feet towards the end of the day, especially in warm weather, you can also try the following: Put your feet up in the air repeatedly during the day, walk as much as possible and don't stay for long periods of time in one same position. In bed you can use a cushion or a folded blanket at your feet so that you can help with the return journey of the circulating blood.
At the midpoint of your pregnancy you will clearly feel your baby move inside you, especially after eating. Don't worry if hours go by without feeling him. Bear in mind that your baby spends the same amount of time sleeping as awake. Do you want to feel him again? Then lie down and relax, ideally after a meal, and enjoy his acrobatics. This is a good time to start to prepare and organise things for when the final day arrives. It is best if you do this together with your partner and with the help of family and friends.
Your tummy and your overall weight will have increased due to the fact that your womb has reached a height above your belly button. You might now be 5 to 7.5kg over your usual weight. Bear in mind that to feel well during pregnancy you should not be more than 12kg / 1.8 stones overweight. Despite all this, you will feel agile and you won't tire as easily as you did during the first quarter.
Maybe the largest discomfort will be constipation. To alleviate it you can turn to food and infusions made from fruit (especially cherry, tamarind, and kiwi), or food with a high content in soluble fibre that will help you regulate bowel transit.
Do you have an insatiable appetite? Try to control your impulses and follow a healthy and varied diet based on fruit, vegetables, salads, beans, and blue fish. Try avoiding sweet food and fried food, although you need not prohibit any food type. And cheer up! You are sure to feel your baby's little kicks!
The weight of your tummy may make you bend it backwards and push your tummy outwards, which is a typical position for pregnant women, as the centre of gravity becomes displaced towards the front. By bending backward you regain balance, but it may cause backaches. To alleviate this, use flat-soled shoes and place your knees above your thighs when sitting down.
This is a transition week where, despite feeling agile, you will feel heavier day by day. This week will also see your libido affected, as you will start to see yourself very different and might miss your previous physical appearance. Remember that this state is temporary. Soon your baby will be born and you will be able to recover your figure. Also, many men find pregnant women especially attractive, and also the increase in placental hormones might make your libido increase. So it is less of a problem than it looks like. Maintaining sexual relations during pregnancy is not harmful to your baby or to you, so enjoy them if you feel like it.
Your womb will have grown by now to a few centimetres above your belly button, which will increase your tummy's volume and pull your skin. This may produce itchiness and dryness. You can combat this by using a good moisturising cream which you can spread all over all your body, especially on the areas of the tummy and breasts.
Since your intestines progressively have less space available and cannot function as usual, as well as heavy digestion you might also suffer from constipation. Your stomach will also be pressurised and this might make its contents climb up the esophagus, with the consequence of heartburn (gastroesophageal reflux). Seek advice from your doctor on how to alleviate these symptoms.
Do you need a rest? It is possible that you may feel more discomforts and an increased heaviness. Your tummy is by now quite big, almost as big as a football, and you might find it difficult to move and find a comfortable position. Added to this are symptoms such as heavy digestion, heartburn, and backaches, which make sleep difficult. At the same time you are very close to delivery and the thought might make you feel anguished. Don't worry and try to relax. Take a warm bath, drink a hot cup of milk, a tisane made from lime tea and lemon balm, read a book, or listen to relaxing music. They will aid you in getting a good night's sleep.
Are you feeling a tightening of the muscles that is similar to contractions? It is probably a case of Braxton Hicks contractions. Don't worry, they are not painful, or at the most they will be similar to minor period cramps. They can be considered test contractions that appear irregularly and help prepare the womb and the pelvis for labour. Only make sure you are not getting more than five an hour and that they are not regular, such as one every five to seven minutes. If you think they might be real contractions, then call your specialist, as they might be an indication that you are getting ready for preterm labour.
Wave goodbye to the second trimester! When this week ends, you can finally wave goodbye to the second quarter. With a larger tummy you will feel heavier and probably clumsier, and your backaches may increase, as well as the swelling of your legs. You might also find some difficulty in breathing. All this is due to the fact that the size of your tummy is larger and pushes against organs and veins. You will get used to it but, above all, you must keep in mind that the date of delivery is closer. In case of doubt or excessive discomfort contact your doctor. And you can start preparing things for the arrival of your baby.