More often than not, the second trimester of pregnancy is characterised by lessening of morning sickness and many of the other unpleasant effects of pregnancy on your body. Some suggest, it is because the body has started to adjust to the pregnancy better. Irrespective of this opinion, the changes in pregnancy do not stop with the second trimester. In fact, there are a lot of changes that happen in your body specifically between 13th to 27th week of pregnancy, the second trimester.
Skin Changes During Pregnancy
There are a lot of skin related changes that happen, some everywhere and others, in specific areas only. Here are the skin problems that pregnant women most commonly suffer during this trimester:
As the pregnancy progresses, your belly grows bigger and you start “showing”. When the skin over your abdomen stretches too fast and the fibres inside a tear, stretch marks start to appear. Your stretch marks may be slightly red, bluish or even silver looking. The red or bluish appearance of the marks at the beginning is due to the showing of blood vessels from the affected skin. Stretch marks are known to largely fade away after childbirth.
Skin pigmentation is not uncommon during the second trimester. The darkening generally happens on the face, on the stomach, around the nipples, inner thighs, armpits and some other areas. This darkening is especially assisted by exposure to sunlight.
After reading the things above, you must wonder if the pregnancy glow is real? It is actually the result of increased blood flow in the vessels. Your face, in particular, seems healthier due to this increased volume of blood in the second trimester.
Moles and Skin Tags
New moles can often be seen during this time. Similarly, skin tags may also appear under your arms and on the breasts. It is a soft growth of skin, stalk-like, that disappear on their own. Although both moles and skin tags are usually not cancerous, it is better to consult your doctor about them as soon as possible.
Breast Changes During Pregnancy
While the soreness that you experienced in the first trimester will reduce, your breasts will continue to grow larger than the original size. This expansion happens to accommodate the soon to be active milk glands. Additional fat deposits will also happen in preparation for breastfeeding you’ll be doing once the baby is born.
The area around your nipple darkens, along with developing some bumps as well. These bumps are glands that secrete an oily substance that prevent drying of the nipples. Later on in the pregnancy, some of you may also experience the yellowish colostrum leaking from your nipples.
Body Changes During Pregnancy
There are many other small and big bodily changes that you can witness in the second trimester. Listed below are the body changes that you can most expect to happen in these weeks:
Pregnancy hormones affect different parts of the body differently. You will notice that your vision might not be as accurate as it was before or your eyes feel drier. These are some of the temporary side-effects of hormones in the second trimester. But symptoms other than these can also be a sign for other problems. Be sure to get your eyesight checked if you experience reduced vision.
Gums become more sensitive, prone to swelling and easily bleeding due to pregnancy hormones. Furthermore, inflammation, decay and gingivitis are more common in pregnancy. In fact, there are tender nodules that develop in your gum during pregnancy, called “pregnancy tumours”. But none of these are permanently harmful and usually subside after pregnancy. In the meantime, you can ask your doctor for ways to reduce gum discomfort during pregnancy.
Since there is weight gain and a shift in your centre of gravity during pregnancy, leg cramps occur a lot during this time. This starts in the second trimester as most overt changes happen in this time. The growing baby also puts pressure on the nerves and blood vessels going to your legs, causing some aches. While the above cramps and aches are temporary, Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT) can be a serious problem with blood clots forming in your veins.
Ankles and wrists
You will notice that your joints, ankles and wrists especially, are swollen and puffy during the second trimester. This happens because the blood circulation to these areas is reduced and the water retention of your body increases during pregnancy. Soaking them in lukewarm Epsom salt baths is a simple pregnancy hack that helps a lot.
Most of the changes mentioned above are either limited to the second trimester or subside by the end of your pregnancy. You can bear the discomfort like many other mothers-to-be around you and in no time, you wouldn’t suffer anymore. Other than the regular appointments with your gynecologist, these troubles usually don’t warrant too much concern. Although you should mention these in the regular check-ups, it is when your symptoms seem highly unusual and cause much more pain than normal, that you should be concerned. Keep a close eye on your health during this time and stay strong for your baby!