You’re now well into your pregnancy. You’ve seen your baby wriggling around on screen at your first scan, you may be developing a more defined bump, you’ve probably made the announcement to friends and families and perhaps had the discussion at work too – it’s all starting to feel a bit more real!
The second trimester is often known as the best part of pregnancy. Some of the more unpleasant symptoms that you experienced during the first trimester may have started to alleviate, and you’re not yet at the point where your bump’s so big that every movement is an effort. You might find your energy has returned a little, you’re feeling less queasy, and you’re beginning to develop that pregnancy ‘glow’ that people refer to.
Then, there’s the really special part: at some point during the second trimester you’ll start to experience some strange fluttering sensations – this is the first time you’ve felt your baby move! It’s an incredible experience and the beginnings of a really special bond between you and your baby. As the weeks progress and baby grows (from about 8cms long at 14 weeks to around 36cms at 26 weeks) these feelings will change from gentle flutters to unmistakeable kicks which your partner may well be able to feel through your bump too. It’s reassuring to know that your baby’s moving inside you and you may find yourself (or others!) constantly feeling your bump for those somersaults and kicks. It’s not unusual for people to ask to ‘have a feel’ but if you’re not comfortable with it don’t be afraid to say ‘no’ – it’s your belly, after all!
At around 20 weeks you will have another scan, and at this point if you wish you can find out whether you’re having a boy or girl. This isn’t an easy decision; some people look forward to a surprise announcement at the birth, while others like to be prepared – choosing names, buying clothes and decorating the nursery for a specific gender in advance. It’s entirely up to you, and you may find that you and your partner have different opinions, so be sure to discuss it beforehand to make sure you both know what you want to do before you get to the hospital to avoid an embarrassing ‘heated discussion’ between you while the sonographer stands there feeling awkward! If you do find out the baby’s sex, you might choose to keep it a secret or tell family and friends – or have a bit of fun keeping them guessing…
There are some really fun and imaginative ways to make the announcement – with some people even hosting ‘gender reveal’ parties! You could bake a cake that’s pink or blue inside then ask someone close to you (maybe the grandparents-to-be) to cut the first slice, you could take bets and donate the money to a baby charity, or have photos taken wearing pink or blue … you’re bound to have fun coming up with your own ideas, but however you do it be sure to take photos of the announcement for your baby’s memory book.
If you have other children, this might be the time you choose to tell them that they’re going to have a new brother or sister. It’s likely to come as a bit of a surprise to them and different children will respond in different ways to the news. Try to make them feel special and emphasise what an important role they will have, being the new baby’s brother or sister (but avoid making it sound like a daunting task!). You could even buy them a little gift from the new baby as an ‘introduction’, helping them to see the new baby as something good and exciting, and starting the sibling bond in a positive way.
It’s important to take some time to rest during your second trimester – you may be feeling more energised than you were for the first 12 weeks, but your body’s still working extra hard and you’ve still got a long way to go. With the baby taking up more room inside you, you might not be getting a full night’s sleep because of the need to wee constantly, but unfortunately things are going to get more uncomfortable later on… If you’re struggling to sleep, some people find that putting a pillow between your knees and lying on your side helps to alleviate pressure, making you feel a bit more comfortable. Look after yourself – you’re halfway there!
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