Congrats — you’ve made it to the second trimester! By now, you’ve probably spent hours poring over books and blogs, learning all about pregnancy symptoms and first trimester aches and pains. And you probably fast-forwarded to the third trimester spoilers; you’re practically an expert on what happens when you lose your mucus plug and how to tell the difference between your water breaking and a “baby just kicked me in the bladder” moment. With all of that first- and third-trimester research under your belt, you may have neglected to learn much about what’s in the middle, during the (relatively) low-key second trimester. Here’s the lowdown on that in-between time.
1. Morning sickness may or may not disappear. For many women, the second trimester offers some relief from morning sickness, due to a change in hormone levels. If you’ve been not-so-patiently waiting for the queasiness to calm, this is likely the time when it will happen. But this isn’t the case all of the time, especially if you’re suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum.
2. A dark line starts growing on your belly. It’s called the linea nigra, and it’s perfectly normal. A brownish or deep pink line may show up right in the middle of your bump in a vertical pattern. While there isn’t conclusive evidence as to why this actually happens, it’s thought that changing hormones may stimulate melanocytes. Don’t stress — the line should start fading after you give birth.
3. Body aches become more noticeable. That teeny tiny little baby you had growing inside you during your first trimester didn’t put tremendous pressure on your body. As your little one grows, the added weight and movement can cause your back, abdomen, and groin to ache.
4. You need more calories. Well, you’re kind of getting these in anyway. Without that pesky morning sickness, you’re ready to indulge, but an all-out binge-fest isn’t the best idea. During the second trimester, women who start pregnancy at an average weight (meaning that they’re not under- or overweight) should add an extra 340 calories per day, according to the CDC.
5. That belly bump starts moving. You might have been wondering if that gurgling you feel is the baby, or just gas. Now’s the time when you’ll really feel your baby move. The second trimester may start off with butterflies in your belly, but it will progress into stronger movements.
6. It’s time for a wardrobe change. Those skinny jeans that still kinda-sorta fit during trimester one just aren’t cutting it now. At some point during your second trimester, you’ll probably have to trade your regular clothes for maternity versions. Say goodbye to your pre-pregnancy-wear and hello to super-comfy elastic waistbands and cute flowy dresses.
7. You’ll find out the baby’s sex. Unless you have a complication, it’s likely that you won’t have your first ultrasound until somewhere between 16 and 20 weeks. During this time, your doctor can share the boy or girl news with you — if you want to know.
8. Some pretty rad developments are happening. That little tadpole-like creature that your doc swears is a baby is starting to make some major changes during the second trimester. Somewhere near 18 weeks into your pregnancy, your baby may start hearing. She’s also growing toenails, can suck her thumb, and has a protective coating (the vernix caseosa) growing on her. Amazing!
What’s your favorite part of the second trimester? Share your pick and tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photo via Getty)