The 9 most frequently asked questions during the second trimester of pregnancy

The 9 most frequently asked questions during the second trimester of pregnancy

During your pregnancy, the doubts that arise during the process change. Let’s answer the most frequently asked questions:

When will I notice my pregnant belly?

If this is your first pregnancy, you may have the feeling that it is difficult for your belly to show. This is very common. The uterus, which will multiply its size at the end of pregnancy by 500 (500!), is growing slowly. To give you an idea, in week 12 of pregnancy, your uterus has not yet emerged above the hip, and in week 20, it is usually at the navel level. You probably won’t notice your body taking on the more typical pregnancy shape until you are 5 months. However, all bodies are different, and whether you notice more or less bump is not relevant to your health.

I have a feeling of tightness above my groin. Is this normal?

At this time, your uterus is growing, and the ligaments that support it may be tighter. It may help to stretch your abdominal and pelvic muscles, such as the psoas. The psoas iliacus is one of the main muscles involved, and working it can ease this sensation. A midwife or a specialized physiotherapist can help you find the ideal exercises for this time in pregnancy.

If the pain is persistent or increases, make sure you go to your healthcare center for assessment.

What can I do to prevent stretch marks?

Stretch marks are small scars due to skin stretching. Unfortunately, they have a strong genetic component, so little can be done to prevent them. 

The use of creams or body oils can give a feeling of improvement, but there is little or no evidence of their effectiveness.

But it is advisable not to expose skin with stretch marks to the sun, as the sun makes the scars thicker and more visible. 

What about skin discoloring?

During pregnancy, spots can appear on the skin of the face. This is called chloasma gravidarum and usually occurs after sun exposure. It is due to pregnancy hormones.

If you do not want them to appear, it is recommended to always use a high-factor sunscreen, both on sunny and cloudy days.

What is checked-up in the 2nd-trimester scan?

The second-trimester ultrasound scan, which is performed between the 20th and 22nd week of gestation, is the one that gives more information on how the baby is doing. It is called an anatomy scan (or morphological ultrasound scan), and its objective is to see that the development of the fetus is adequate. All the main organs (heart, brain, intestine, kidney,…) and the most important skeletal structures are seen. The baby’s genitalia can also be seen.

What is the sugar test, the so-called O’Sullivan test, in the second-trimester check-up?

Gestational diabetes is a condition that affects 10% of pregnant women. It is characterized by difficulties in maintaining normal blood sugar levels. For this reason, it is often recommended to do what is called screening for gestational diabetes during pregnancy. The O’Sullivan test serves as such a screening. It consists of taking a syrup containing 50 g of glucose, and one hour later, a blood test is performed to determine the glucose value. If this value is not in range, it is advisable to conduct another test that will be diagnostic. The O’Sullivan test is not the only test that can be performed to determine whether or not gestational diabetes is present. Other options, such as the glycemic profile, may also be available. 

Your midwife can inform you about this test and the different options available. 

When should I start looking for information about giving birth? Should I join an antenatal group or class?

Having information about how childbirth develops, about the professionals who attend, and the options of centers or places to give birth will allow you to make more informed decisions.

A very good option is to go to the pregnancy monitoring centers that correspond to you to get information about your area.

When will I start feeling my baby move?

One of the most exciting things during pregnancy is to notice the movements and kicks of the baby you are expecting. 

Usually, in the first pregnancy, fetal movements begin to be noticed around 20-22 weeks of pregnancy. They are difficult to distinguish at first but gradually become more and more distinct. In subsequent pregnancies, the movements are usually noticed earlier, around 17 weeks of pregnancy.

Once they begin to be noticed, the movements will be signs of the baby’s health. If the baby moves, it is a sign that the baby is doing well. 

When should I go to the hospital’s emergency room?

During the second trimester, there are some warning signs to be aware of:

  • if you have bleeding from your vagina
  • if you have contractions in a row
  • if you notice clear or greenish fluid coming out of your vagina
  • if you have a strong urge to pee and itchy urination
  • if you have felt your baby moving and then it stopped moving.

As your pregnancy progresses, different questions will arise. You know that LactApp has a lot of information on the subject. In LactApp Plus, you can find video courses about pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum, and breastfeeding that will help you to make informed decisions.

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