When you are pregnant, your body goes through many necessary changes over a nine month period so that the needs of your growing baby can be fulfilled. These changes include increased blood volume, increased respiratory rate, weight gain and hormonal changes. In response to all these physiological changes, many symptoms are experienced by pregnant women. The intensity of these symptoms can be quite varied and not all symptoms are experienced by every woman, making pregnancy a different experience for everyone.
Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. This division is based on different phases of pregnancy, starting from the development of the fetus to the growth of a full-term baby.
- The 1st trimester is from week 1 to the end of week 12
- The 2nd trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26
- The 3rd trimester is from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy
The symptoms of all three trimesters differ. While the symptoms at the start of pregnancy are well known, this article is going to discuss the symptoms associated with the 2nd trimester of pregnancy.
1 Appearance of stretch marks
In the second trimester, a baby grows more rapidly and in turn, the size of a woman’s baby ‘bump’ will noticeably increase. To allow for this growth, the skin on your belly has to stretch. As this can often occur quickly, it can lead to tearing of the elastic fibers present in the skin, causing white streaks to appear on the skin’s surface.
These white streaks are known as stretch marks and unfortunately are almost impossible to avoid. However, stretch marks naturally fade after delivery. Stretch marks are more likely to develop during a first pregnancy.
2 Changes in food preference
From the very start of pregnancy women start experiencing a change in their food preferences. This goes well in to the second trimester as well. You may develop an aversion to some foods that used to be your favorite, and a love for the foods that you never liked. These changes are associated with the hormonal changes going on in your body.
Your cravings can also reflect the deficiency of certain nutrients in your body, for example, iron deficiency which can lead to anemia.
More symptoms on next page…