WEEKS 14 – 16
have now completed your 1st trimester
and entered in to the 2nd trimester
of your pregnancy.The 1st hurdle has
been overcome and the initial danger period has
been crossed, as the chances of miscarriage are
highest during the 1st trimester.You
may actually be feeling good as all the complaints
of 1st trimester have been significantly
reduced.You are now looking forward to your pregnancy
with great enthusiasm and have every reason to
This is the time
when you will experience a positive change and
may feel the "MID-PREGNANCY BLOOM"As they say
everything good comes for a price – so does pregnancy!Along
with the general good feeling, you might experience
a few discomforts like:
- Increased vaginal
discharge, which is perfectly harmless and needs
no treatment. Only if you have itching/passing
white flakes (like curd) does it indicate that
you have what is commonly called Fungal/Candidal
infection. It is quite easily treated once you
make your physician aware of this problem
- You may start
getting cramps in your legs and the varicosities
may increase some common tips to reduce this
- Avoid long hours
- Avoid restrictive
/ tight waist clothing .
- Reduce / stop
smoking if you are a smoker.
- Avoid constipation.
- Avoid lifting
- Avoid putting
on more than advisable weight during pregnancy
(By not eating for 2 people as according to
the old pregnancy cliché).
- o some lower limb
exercises whenever time permits.
- Take vitamin C
containing foods like oranges, lemon etc.
- As the uterus
enlarges, you may experience backache, which
can be reduced by good posture, sleeping on
your left side, local analgesic cream application
and a hot water bottle.
- Nasal stuffiness:
Nose bleeds and allergies can increase and if
severely discomforting may need medical attention.
- (e)Due to the
increased size of uterus and venous congestion
PILES or HAEMORRHOIDS can increase. Pain/ bleeding
through piles needs medical attention and preventing
- (f)Bleeding from
gums may be seen due to increased blood supply
and softening of the gums. Take care to maintain
a good level of dental hygiene.
Foetus / Your Baby
OF THE FOETUS
is around 4 – 6’’ (10 – 15 cms) in length. The
skeleton is well developed .The hearing system
is well developed and the foetus can hear your
heart beating and your stomach rumbling and thus
feel at home!
The sex of the foetus
can be made out in most cases as a routine ultrasound
(though doing any investigation for sex determination,
except in medically indicated conditions like
sex linked diseases, is illegal in India)
Body and You
The enlarged uterus
can be definitely felt above the level of your
- Your blood volume
and capacity of the heart to function as well
as the kidney function has increased.
- You may notice
the beginning of a dark line in the midline
in your lower abdomen (linea nigra – which disappears
Your sex drive, which
had diminished during the 1st trimester, is on
the increase, and your genitals may appear swollen.Mild
swelling of the ankles and legs may be seen .Your
emotional state may be same as during the first
trimester. Added to that may be the frustration
resulting from your inability to fit into your
regular clothes even though you do not seem obviously
To Your Doctor
the second trimester your visits will be on a
monthly basis.Apart from the examination as before
( ie: wt, BP, pulse, examination of abdomen and
other systems.) Your doctor may also start making
a note of the size of your uterus. Internal examination
is not done unless indicated for some specific
reason. You may be now started on Iron, Folic
acid, Vit. B 12 and Calcium containing medicines.
Weight gain during 2nd trimester (14
– 28weeks ) is around 1 pound /week or 2 kg/months
i.e. total gain of 12 – 24 pounds / 5 –6 kg during
this period.These monthly visits will continue
till you are around 28 weeks pregnant. During
these visits your doctor may also ask you about
any complaints and problems as discussed in the
It is advisable to keep ready the list of doubts
and questions you want to ask before visiting
is a relatively trouble free period. Some of the
problems common to second trimester i.e.: weeks
14 – 28 are:
- Anemia or reduced
hemoglobin level in blood.
- Haemorrhoids /
- Late miscarriage
and incompetent cervix
- Bleeding and Abortion
- Placenta Praevia
and separation of placenta
- Pregnancy induced
- Intrauterine foetal
- Exacerbation of
existing medical and surgical illness
problems of 1st trimester are over
and the discomforts of late pregnancy have not
yet started. This is the right time to make your
plans and a schedule for your pregnancy. You can
make a list of various things like baby names,
baby clothes, and your wardrobe, books to read,
music (supposed to stimulate the growing baby
inside you) etc…
Some important things
to be remembered and followed from are as follows:
Once you have completed
16 weeks you are more or less on safe grounds
for travel. The 2nd trimester is the
best time for planning a vacation if you intend
to take one during your pregnancy. Travelling
by railway / air is by far the best travelling
by bus is better avoided.
Few tips before starting
and during your vacation:
- Inform your doctor
and ask regarding do’s and don’ts.
- Walk often while
on long rail journeys.
- Take snacks and
juices to prevent hunger and ease nausea.
- Eat regular nutritious
- Get adequate rests
and avoid a hectic travel schedule.
- Take your medical
report along with you.
- Most importantly
– keep your plans flexible and in common serve
to make travelling a pleasure.
You can continue
to be on your job till as long as you wish, provided
it is not physically exhausting.
Few tips for working
women are as follows:
- Don’t keep standing
- Take a break every
2 – 3 hours.
- Take a nap if
possible after/ during lunch hour.
- Does calf /leg
- If you work involves
sitting, then maintain a good posture and keep
your leg elevated on a stool/box when possible.
- Listen to your
body and slow down when tired.
- Avoid high temperatures,
crowded and smoke filled areas and chemicals.
- Take adequate
supply of nutritious snacks.
- Empty your bladder
You may have to
give your office adequate notice about your
expected date of delivery and maternity leave.
Your sex drive, which
had waned during the first trimester, is returning
back. And sex may become even better than before.
The genitals are slightly enlarged and more sensitive
there are instances of women achieving orgasm
for the first time during pregnancy and also experiencing
multiple orgasms.Sex by now is much more safe
and fulfilling if practiced with caution and moderation.
A couple may be unduly
worried about hurting the baby. But be assured,
the foetus is well protected. It is suspended
in bag of water (which acts as a shock absorber)
which in turn is covered by the uterus which in
turn is encased safely in your abdomen. Even deep
penetration by the penis will not harm the foetus.Inspite
of this if you cannot get over your apprehension,
you may try different positions and find ones
which are most comfortable.
Some positions that
couples find comfortable are the female on top
position, female in knee chest position and female
lying on her side.Intercourse need not be always
the end point. Fondling, caressing, mutual masturbation
and oral sex can be fun and sometimes more gratifying.Conventionally
sex during 1st 3 months and last 2
months of pregnancy was considered unsafe .This
is no longer so, though it is better to avoid
doing it is certain high risk cases sex has also
been used to induce labor at term (not scientifically
- Some condition
where sex should be avoided are:
- Women with previous
- Women with previous
- In presence of
bleeding per vaginum..
- In presence of
leaking per vaginum.
- Women with incompetent
- Women with placenta
- Woman and men
active and painful genital herpes and other
sexually transmitted diseases.
You should be diligently
following your antenatal exercises.,
These not only help
you feel better but also have many other advantages
- reducing backache
- easing delivery
- Helping in toning
up your genitalia after delivery as delivery
carries laxity of your perineum.
Good music is soothing
to the foetus and also you. You should listen
to good music as frequently as possible. It has
been seen that the foetus is able to recognize
music. Babies exposed to music during their stay
in the uterus, recognize the same music when heard
after birth and associate it with rest period
and may go to sleep on hearing it or become calm
You need to get adequate
rest and sleep to avoid fatigue. You should sleep
7 – 8 hours at night and another 1 – 2 hours of
afternoon siesta, but not immediately after your
meals. It is preferable to sleep on your left
lateral side as this reduces your backache and
increases the blood returning from your lower
limbs as the uterus falls off the blood vessels
in this position.This also increases the blood
supply to your foetus. Keeping a pillow beneath
your legs while sleeping will reduce the swelling
in your legs and elevated position of the head-side
will reduce heartburn.