by Jennifer Shakeel
Welcome to Your Second Trimester!
As hard as it may be to believe you are now entering the most exciting phase of pregnancy, at least as far as I am concerned. Of course I enjoy being pregnant until the end of the seventh month and then after that I am tired of being pregnant and want the baby. While a pregnancy is suppose to be 40 weeks long, many last about 35 at the longest.
Anyway, during the second trimester of pregnancy it is time to take a look at what you have to expect. Week by Week things are certainly changing. We are going to go month by month again and let you know about the magic that is happening inside of you and then end with what you are feeling. Hopefully the morning sickness has subsided for you, and that you are getting that burst of energy they say you are suppose to get in the second trimester.
Month Four of Pregnancy
Where is baby at during month four of your pregnancy? Right now the placenta that spent the first trimester growing has now taken over hormone production of the vital hormones that are needed for you to sustain being pregnant. Baby is also producing his or her own bile and insulin. As gross as it may sound your baby is even urinating now every 45 minutes or so. The urine goes into the amniotic fluid.
The heart is getting a good work out now as well, pumping about 25 quarts of blood each and every day. By the time baby is born your baby’s heart will be pumping 300 quarts a day! The tiny little teeth your baby has are all formed now and they are even beginning to have a scalp hair pattern. Even if you aren’t feeling it yet, baby is very active right now.
Right about now you baby weighs about 3 ounces and is the size of a small Subway sandwich. It is possible to see the sex of the baby during an ultrasound right now, however that ultrasound isn’t going to be as reliable as if you wait a few more months. With my first pregnancy they told me the entire time I was having a boy, including by ultrasound. Thankfully we didn’t go out and by anything, because we were all surprised during the delivery when the doctor said, “Oh here he… she comes!” Beautiful and precious, I was ready to do it again. I wouldn’t trade here for the world!
Month Five of Pregnancy
It is possible for you to feel baby move now. Don’t worry if you don’t just yet, it doesn’t mean that there is anything wrong. Typically it is mom’s who have had a baby before or first time mom’s that are very thin that will notice the early movements. You should be able to detect the sleep wake cycles of your baby.
Growth wise there are not any new organ structures forming at this stage of your pregnancy. Finger and toe pads are forming, and finger prints are developing. While last month the baby teeth buds were all there, this month the permanent teeth buds are forming this month. If you are having a girl, her ovaries are starting to develop primitive eggs.
Incidentally, did you know that females are born with the amount of eggs they are going to have for the rest of their life. Which is what causes concerns in women who get pregnant later in life. Males however produce new sperm every three months. I have to tell you honestly, that as a nurse I didn’t know that until this pregnancy, when my age is a bit of a concern. Talking with my nurse friends they didn’t know that either. So I thank the genetic counselor for giving me that bit of knowledge.
If you were to get an ultrasound this month the gender of your baby is going to be more apparent though still not completely accurate. Baby is now covered with lanugo, which is really just very fine hair and he or she will begin to develop vernix which is a lotion like substance that is going to cover their skin. Baby weighs about 10 ounces right now and is 9.8 inches in length.
Month Six of Pregnancy
Here is it! The month you have been waiting for! Those funny feelings in your belly are your baby! It is important that now you are feeling baby move that if movement stops for an extended period of time, like a day, you call your doctor.
As far as growth goes, eye brows are forming and the lanugo that started last month is darkening in color. I said that baby is moving, he or she is also practicing breathing. You might be noticing some contractions, these are what they call “practice” contractions and they aren’t going to hurt you or baby. Baby might not be head down just yet because he or she is still small enough to move all over the place… and trust me… you are going to feel baby move all around!
You are more likely to notice baby’s movements when you are trying to rest. Consider this practice for mother hood. Baby is usually still when you are up and moving around because your movements are rocking him or her to sleep. Once you stop they figure that it is play time and they are flexing those arms and legs and doing their own little baby dance.
Brown fat is also being deposited in baby now. This is a good thing because it will help baby regulate their body temperature at birth. The brown fat will continue to be deposited the rest of the pregnancy and will stop at birth. He or she weighs a little over 1 pound now and is almost a foot long, so almost the size of a one liter bottle of soda.
If baby was to be born now, he or she does have a chance at survival. How big of a chance is dictated by a number of factors.
What About You?
Well there is no doubt that you are putting on weight, which is a good thing. It is also a natural thing. Depending on which pregnancy this is for you and how obsessed you are with your weight will dictate on how hard this weight gain is for you. With my first I couldn’t wait to look pregnant, I gained 55 pounds with that one. My second I was sick the whole time, only gained 20 pounds. With this one I knew the moment I was pregnant, and my body made it evident. I couldn’t fit in my clothes at all, from the get go. I haven’t gained a lot of weight with this one so far, but I am also obsessed with my weight this time. So I keep telling myself that it is all natural, and fine and I can work it all off afterwards.
You should be paying attention to your diet, and if you have any concerns, be sure to consult with your health care provider. The more pregnant you get the more iron your body needs. Don’t worry about supplements, just get a lot of leafy green veggies. Your circulation is also going through some changes. The need to stand and move more often is going to be increased and this will continue from here on out. If you are going from laying down to getting up make sure that you take it slow, it is more likely the more pregnant you get to develop orthostatic blood pressure problems. So when you pop up out of bed without sitting first, you may notice that you are a little light headed. Take it easy.
In the next article we are going to cover the third trimester! My favorite trimester because it means that I am closer to having the little bundle of joy in my arms instead of in my belly!
In the meantime, if you are looking for additional information, be sure to check out the Mayo Clinic Pregnancy Center for some great information: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/pregnancy/PR99999
Jennifer Shakeel is a writer and former nurse with over 12 years medical experience. As a mother of two incredible children with one on the way, I am here to share with you what I have learned about parenting. One of my children has ADD, our journey of learning to come to terms with the diagnosis and figuring out what works best for us has been a challenge and a joy. Our son was diagnosed about two and half years ago, and we have had our ups and downs, joys and sorrows. If I can just offer you one day of hope or one idea that may work to help you and your family then I know that my purpose has been fulfilled. I also want to share with you the joys and changes that take place during pregnancy. Together we can laugh and cry and rejoice in the fact that we are moms!