You’ve reached your second trimester
Congratulations, you are now officially into your second trimester. Many women consider this the “honeymoon” period of pregnancy – many of the difficulties of the first trimester, morning sickness, yuk, should be gone and you can start to really enjoy being pregnant. Just wait for those compliments on your “glow”.
Planning - & lots of it!
Yes, now is the perfect time to start planning – sorting out all the practicalities – from maternity leave and childcare to enlisting support and thinking about life as a parent.
What’s happening this week to you?
• Some women take comfort from the sickness in the early months – it makes them feel pregnant. Often when they lose this feeling they can become distraught or suddenly don’t feel pregnant anymore. You can avoid this by building a relationship with your baby – talk to your bump, sing to your bump, read your favourite book or play your favourite music. It works, trust us- so don’t worry about feeling silly.
• You should be feeling brighter and livelier as the pregnancy hormones are leveling off – if you’re not, you may want to speak to your GP or your midwife, especially if you are still feeling really sick or nauseous.
• Hopefully sleep is sounder, if not try putting a pillow in between your knees and sleep on your side.
• If you are feeling livelier make the most of it with low impact exercises – walking, swimming, etc.
• You may also start to notice veins on your chest and breasts becoming more noticeable – this is just your body preparing for breastfeeding.
• You may also notice that you are more forgetful, this is what some women call pregnancy “fog”.
What’s happening this week to your baby?
• Your baby measures about 8-9 cm and is the size of half a banana.
• They have unique fingerprints.
• Your baby is now able to express itself – the facial muscles are working hard – your baby can even frown, grimace and suck its thumb.
• All the necessary parts for speech are now in place – gullet, windpipe, larynx and vocal cords – although it will be a few more months before you can actually hear your baby.
Start thinking about maternity leave. How long do you want to be off work when the baby is born? Do you even want to return to work? What options do you have for flexible working? What are all the financial implications?
Remember your pregnancy rights and benefits do not legally kick in until your employer has confirmation in writing that you are pregnant – so even if it seems formal or your office is very casual – don’t forget to put it in writing. Your employer is also legally obliged to carry out a “risk assessment” for you if there is any chance that your working conditions might affect your health.