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Symptoms from A to Z Second Trimester

During your second trimester the symptoms you’ve been feeling will get better (and hopefully, easier).

Some of the symptoms you might be feeling during this trimester are listed below (alphabetically).
-Acne, or pimples, happens because of hormonal changes, and clears up after you give birth. Use a gentle cleanser that doesn’t irritate your skin and use moisturiser regularly.
-Bleeding gums are another irritating symptom caused by hormone changes. Your gums are more sensitive in pregnancy, so be gentle when brushing your teeth and brush regularly. There is some evidence that oral bacteria can affect pregnancy so make sure to see a dentist at least once during pregnancy.
-Carpal tunnel syndrome is something we don’t associate with pregnancy, but feeling “pins and needles” or burning in your hands, pain in your wrist, cramping or stiffness in your hands and weakness in your thumb are common and disappear after birth. You may also find that you tend to drop things more often due to CTS. Wearing a special plastic splint can help.
-Constipation or not being able to poo, is yet another problem caused by pregnancy hormones. Your digestive system generally slows down in pregnancy, and you need to help things along by drinking lots of liquids (water and soups are great choices), eating lots of high-fibre foods like leafy greens and salads, exercising and most importantly - going to the toilet as soon as you feel the need to poo.
-Eye changes happen in pregnancy, strangely enough. Hormones that make you retain fluid during pregnancy can change the shape of your eyeballs slightly and causes you to have trouble seeing things that are far away. Hormones can also cause your eyes to feel dry and more sensitive to light. All these things resolve after birth.
-Feeling faint and dizzy are also common in pregnancy, because of changes in your blood volume and because of the weight of your uterus on major blood vessels. You can avoid dizziness by keeping cool,
getting up slowly if you’ve been sitting or lying down (or have been in a hot bath), eating regularly and avoiding having low-blood sugar and avoiding standing in one position for a long period of time without moving.
-Food aversions or not wanting to eat certain foods is another gift from pregnancy hormones. You may even have a metallic taste in your mouth that can make you never want to have coffee or tea again.
-Gassiness and bloating or farting and feeling fat are normal. You can reduce these symptoms by helping move your digestive system (liquids, green leafy vegetables and salad are great), eating slowly and avoiding gassy foods like cabbage, beans, fried and greasy foods, carbonated drinks.
-Groin pain (round ligament pain) is a sharp or jabbing feeling on one or both sides of your pelvis or lower belly that lasts for a few seconds. It can also feel like a dull ache if your muscles are overworked. It happens most often when you make sudden movements (like when you turn
over in bed at night, sneeze, cough, laugh or stand up too quickly). As your uterus grows the round ligament (the ligament that supports your pelvis) stretches and becomes easier to strain - especially with sudden movements. It’s especially common from week 14-20, when your uterus rests mostly on the ligament, but gets better as your uterus becomes large enough to rest on your pelvic bones, too (that’s when pelvic bone pains can begin - groan). The best way to help ease round ligament pain is to support your lower belly with your arm when you’re laughing, coughing or sneezing or turning in bed and standing more slowly. Yoga and pelvic exercises can also help.
-Headaches can make pregnancy difficult for many women. You can help these by eating regularly and avoiding low-blood sugar levels, drinking often, putting ice on your forehead if you feel a headache coming on, getting a foot massage (the big toe is the acupressure point for your head and can help). Don’t take any over-the-counter pain relief medication without talking to your midwife or doctor first. If you have a severe headache and your vision blurs, contact your midwife or doctor right away.
-Haemorrhoids, or pain, bleeding, itchiness in your anus when you poo or between poos are common, especially in later pregnancy. You can ease them by avoiding straining when pooping, avoiding sitting on hard surfaces, keeping the area around your anus clean unscented, undyed toilet paper and wash gently after each bowel movement), or using witch-hazel pads to ease irritation. If they are severe, talk to your midwife or doctor about medicated creams you can try.
-Your libido can increase or decrease as pregnancy progresses. You may find that when aroused, you become instantly lubricated - this is due to the hormones of pregnancy and is normal.
-Pubic bone pain happens as pregnancy progresses because your ligaments soften to make room for a growing baby and to be more flexible for birth. This can cause pain for some women, especially in
the areas where the pubic bones meet (where the ligaments are). This eases slowly after you give birth, as the ligaments tighten again.
-Thirstiness happens because you need more fluids in your body – your kidneys are working for two, your blood volume is increased, and you are constantly replenishing amniotic fluid. Drinking water also keeps your urine flowing, which can reduce your chances of urinary tract infections. Keep yourself hydrated with water, caffeine-free teas and soups, and drink whenever you are thirsty.
-Yeast infections and urinary tract infections are more common during pregnancy because your vaginal secretions are less acidic and make it easier for bacteria and yeast to grow. If you are not drinking enough water, you are also retaining urine which can also increases your chances for these infections. If your vaginal discharge becomes thick, yellow, smelly, or if your vulva is feeling itchy you might have a yeast infection. If you feel burning when you pee, it might be a urinary-tract infection. Both are a good reason to call your midwife or doctor. To help avoid these, keep your vulva clean and dry as much as you can, after urinating wipe from front to back, wear cotton underwear and avoid nylons, tight pants, irritating soaps and creams. Reducing your intake of sugar and starchy foods while increasing the good bacteria you consume in yoghurts and fermented foods can help your body
fight off future infections.