With the first trimester out of the way, most woman start feeling much better, especially when the worst of the symptoms like nausea and tiredness ease. However, with many of the early symptoms gone, women now start having to come to terms with their changing bodies. It’s in the second trimester that the abdomen starts expanding as the baby grows. Perhaps what’s most exciting about this period is that before this trimester ends you will feel your baby move for the first time.
The second trimester is not without its own challenges though, and these include:
- General aches and pains – especially in the back, abdomen, groin or thigh
- Stretch marks on your abdomen, breasts, thighs and buttocks
- Darkening of skin around the nipples
- Pigmentation sometimes appears on the cheeks, forehead, nose or upper lip and this is often called the ‘mask of pregnancy.’ In most women this pigmentation fades a few months after giving birth.
- A visible line which runs from the belly button to the pubic hairline. As with the facial pigmentation, this line usually fades a few months after giving birth.
- Numb, tingling hands
- An itchy abdomen, palms and soles of the feet
- Swollen ankles, fingers and face
If you experience an itchy abdomen, palms and soles of the feet and it’s accompanied by a loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, or fatigue then it’s important that you contact your doctor as soon as possible as these combined symptoms could indicate a liver problem. Likewise, if you have significant or sudden swelling of the ankles, fingers and face, or if you suddenly gain a lot of weight you should also see your doctor as soon as possible as these symptoms could indicate preeclampsia.
Find out more about the third trimester – week 29 – 4.