|My Kinda' Living >
Parenting > Pregnancy
Second Trimester Worries: Do's and Don'ts
The worries that had you pacing the floor
during your first trimester are now ancient history. Does this
mean you can finally put the worry beads away? Probably not. Here
are just a few of the worries that you may find yourself battling
during the second trimester of pregnancy.
1. I'm 16 weeks pregnant and I haven't felt
the baby move yet. Should I be worried? While you can expect to
feel your baby's movements at some point during the second
trimester, you shouldn't necessarily assume that Junior will be
doing somersaults by week 16. More often than not, the first
flutters aren't felt until sometimes between the 18th and 22nd weeks
of pregnancy. Slimmer moms and moms who've been pregnant before may
detect fetal movement a little sooner than this, however, and the
location of the placenta can also affect how much movement you feel.
(If it's at the front of your uterus, it will tend to cushion your
baby's movements – something that could make it hard for you to
notice Junior's intrauterine gymnastic performances!)
2. I keep having dreams about giving birth to
a severely deformed baby. Is this “mother's intuition” at work?
It's not unusual to experience disturbing dreams during pregnancy.
Sleep researchers pin much of the blame on pregnancy hormones, which
can affect your sleep patterns. Fortunately, these dreams don't
necessarily indicate that there's a problem with your baby's health.
You're no more at risk of giving birth to a baby with health
problems than someone who dreams of picture-perfect Gerber babies.
3. I'm just starting my second trimester and
I've already gained 10 lbs. At this rate, I'm going to be huge!
While a “typical” pregnant woman tends to gain somewhere between
three and five pounds during her first trimester, it's not unusual
to gain a little less or – in your case – a little more. Rather than
getting overly hung up on the number on the scale, focus on eating
reasonable quantities of healthy foods and aim for a more gradual
weight gain during the remainder of your pregnancy.
4. Last night when I rolled over in bed, I
felt this ripping sensation in my lower abdomen. Is this normal?
The sensation you're describing is round ligament pain – pain that
results from the sudden stretching of the round ligaments (the two
large ligaments that attach your uterus to your pelvis). It tends to
be at its worst between the 14th and 20th weeks of pregnancy, when
your uterus is heavy but not yet large enough to rest any of its
weight on the pelvic bones (something that typically happens during
the second half of the second trimester). Round ligament pain can be
alarming (and painful!), but it's nothing to worry about.
5. Sometimes when I'm out for a walk, I feel
my abdomen tighten and harden. Should I be concerned? What
you're experiencing are mild contractions triggered by physical
activity. They can be worrying and uncomfortable, but generally
there isn't any cause for concern. That said, it's a good idea to
familiarize yourself with the signs of premature labour so that
you'll be able to distinguish between normal abdominal tightening
and pre-term labour contractions. When in doubt, err on the side of
caution. It's much smarter to show up at labour and delivery with a
“false alarm” then to end up giving birth to a baby who may not yet
be ready to adjust to life outside the womb.
6. I just failed the one-hour glucose
screening test. Does this mean I have gestational diabetes? The
one-hour glucose screening test merely indicates that you're at
increased risk of having gestational diabetes. It doesn't state
definitively that you do or you don't. Your odds of failing this
test and actually having this condition are just 15 per cent. The
only way to find out for sure if you have developed gestational
diabetes, of course, is to go for the follow-up tests.
7. I'm 15 weeks pregnant. Suddenly, I don't
feel pregnant anymore. Could something have gone wrong? The
early second trimester is a bit of a no-woman's-land when it comes
to pregnancy symptoms. The first trimester fatigue and nausea have
probably begun to subside, and you're unlikely to be experiencing a
lot of fetal movement at this stage. Get in touch with your doctor
or midwife to talk about your concerns. Something as simple as
hearing your baby's heartbeat can help to reassure you that
everything's proceeding according to plan.
8. I can't believe how “hormonal” I've been
acting. I feel like I've completely lost my mind! There's no
denying it. The “cocktail” of pregnancy hormones that you're
describing can leave you feeling weepy one moment and euphorically
happy the next. Fortunately, the effects aren't permanent. You'll
get your marbles back at some point after the delivery!
9. I'm worried about how my having a baby will
affect my relationship with my partner. Having a baby may bring
the two of you closer together or – if there are already some
serious problems in your relationship – it could very well drive you
apart. The best way to deal with this particular problem is to
tackle it head-on. Talk to your partner about how you're feeling and
resolve to work through any rough spots as they arise. And make a
concerted effort to keep the lines of communication open.
10. I'm not sure whether my partner and I are
on solid enough financial ground to have a baby. Statistics
about the cost of raising children are enough to scare you into
celibacy! Fortunately, having a baby doesn't have to spell financial
ruin. If you force yourself to distinguish between frills and
necessities, make a point of shopping secondhand, and get in the
habit of borrowing as much baby gear as possible from friends rather
than buying everything brand new, you will dramatically reduce your
baby's first year costs.
By the time you come to terms with all these
worries, it will be time to head into the home stretch of pregnancy
– the third trimester.
About the Author:
Ann Douglas is one of North America's leading pregnancy writers.
Her books include
The Unofficial Guide to Having a Baby ,Trying
Again : A Guide to Pregnancy After Miscarriage Stillbirth and Infant
The Mother of All Pregnancy Books: An All-Canadian Guide to
Conception, Birth and Everything In-Between. Ann is frequently
quoted in the media on a range of parenting-related topics, and has
appeared as a guest on a number of television and radio shows.