Growing Time: 2nd Trimester
13-28 weeks: Time to focus on you.
Your morning sickness should be easing and your energy levels improving, your baby bump is taking shape but you are not too big and uncomfortable yet. You have probably told your family and friends, you may have even felt your baby move…it’s real, it’s exciting.
Now is the time for you to focus on yourself, eating well, sleeping well, spending time with your partner.
HOW I CAN HELP YOU
My goal is to guide you safely through the next few months, identifying and addressing any areas of concern and discussing any issues you or your partner may have. Each of your visits I will examine you, performing a blood pressure, abdominal examination and assess your babys heart beat.
At your 14 week visit
We will discuss the results of your investigations including your screening for chromosomal abnormality’s and plan any follow up that may be required.
I will provide you with an ultrasound request for your 18-20 week morphology ultrasound. This is a detailed look at how your baby is forming as well as where your placenta is located. You may also be able to find out your baby’s gender if you wish.
You will have a maternity admission pack for your chosen hospital. These forms need to be returned to our office or the hospital by your 20-week visit.
You will also be given details regarding antenatal classes, make sure you book early to avoid missing out.
At your 20 week visit
We will discuss the results of your morphology scan and decided if any further assessment is required as a result.
I will ask about baby movements, check your abdomen to estimate how baby is growing and do a fetal heart as well as checking your blood pressure.
At this time your hospital admission forms need to be submitted.
At your 24 week visit
In addition to your routine examination I’ll give you a form to test for anaemia, diabetes and if you are a negative blood group antibodies in your blood. If you are considered at high risk for diabetes and had an early glucose tolerance test which was normal, you will still require a repeat test to ensure no abnormality has developed. These blood tests should be done between 24-28 weeks. Other investigations may be necessary based on your individual situation.
At your 28 week visit
In additional to your routine examination we will discuss the results of your blood tests.
If you are found to have gestational diabetic I will explain the implications of this on you, your pregnancy and your fetus. I will discuss further monitoring that will be required and management strategies to ensure your best outcome.
If you are found to be anaemic, depending on the cause further recommendations will be made .
If you are a negative blood group you will have anti-D prophylaxis at this visit.
SO MANY QUESTIONS…
My body is changing, is this normal?
As your baby grows inside of you, your body will need to continually change and adapt to accommodate them. This may lead to a variety of problems including:
- Back pain
- Separation of public bone with difficulty walking
- Swollen and sore breasts with nipple changes
- Needing to go to the toilet more often
- Skin changes, discoloration, itching
- Leg cramps
- Swollen ankles, feet and fingers
- Carpal tunnel
Although these may be very normal they can cause great discomfort and as a result distress.
Talk to me and we can discuss strategies to assist with the changes occurring.
What isn’t normal?
At this stage of your pregnancy, vaginal bleeding, regular painful contractions, severe constant pain, leaking fluid or decreased foetal movements are not normal. If you experience any of the above or are worried for another reason, ensure you contact my rooms or the hospital where you are booked as soon as possible.
When do I need to start sleeping on my side?
You should try and lie on your side from about 24-28 weeks. Your growing baby is making your uterus heavy, which is placing pressure on one of your major blood vessels (called vena cava), which lies on the right side of your body. This acts to reduce the blood flow to your heart and other parts of your body as well as your baby. If you lie on your back for an extended period you may feel dizzy or breathless. This can be helped by lying on your side, particularly your left side.
When should I leave work?
- This is very personal and depends on the work you do and how you are feeling. Most women will work up until 36 weeks but some will feel very well and want to continue longer, while others may feel the need to finish sooner.
- Pregnancy is not a sickness but if you have a pregnancy related illness or injury you can take sick leave at any time.
- For more information about your rights at work click here.
Can I travel by plane?
- For domestic travel, most airlines will allow you to travel up to and even beyond 36 weeks, for international travel there are however, more restrictions. Policies will vary with each individual airline so you must specifically enquire before booking your flights. Don’t forget to consider how far along you will be on your retrun trip.
- You should also consider what the health system is like in the place you are travelling to and ensure you have appropriate travel insurance that covers for pregnancy as well as birth or neonatal care.
- It’s also important to consider the potential risks of any countries you are travelling to, particularly infectious risk.
What precautions must I take?
Being pregnant your blood is more likely to clot, this is exacerbated by being less mobile during prolonged periods of travel.
Try and reduce your risk by:
- Keeping your circulation flowing by walking or moving around as much as possible.
- Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.
- Wear compression stockings.
Can we have sex?
- As long as there are no problems with the placenta or your cervix, you can have sex as often as you like.
- Don’t feel worried if you don’t feel like it. Hormone fluctuations, fatigue and nausea may dampen things initially then weight gain, back pain and anxieties may make you loose your drive all together.
- On the other hand some women experience an intensity of emotions including enhanced sex drive and orgasm.
Are there times when sex should be avoided?
There are times when you need to be cautions and avoid intercourse:
- If you have a history of preterm labour or premature birth.
- If you have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
- If your are leaking fluid.
- If your cervix begins to open prematurely.
- If your placenta partially or completely covers your cervical opening.
Talk to me and I can advise you about your specific situation.
WHAT TO DO NOW
Your focus now should be on staying healthy and happy and while you feel well with good energy levels try and prepare for the arrival of your bundle of joy.
Here are some things to remember to do.
- Continue to look after yourself by eating a balanced diet, full of fresh fruit and vegetables, drinking 1-2L of water per day, performing regular low impact exercise such as swimming, yoga, Pilates or walking at least three times a week and ensuring you get enough sleep while you can
- Ensure you wear well designed and properly fitted maternity bras without underwire which allow ease of access during breast feeding
- Enjoy plenty of baby free time with your partner and other family members
WHAT TO BRING
Any questions you or your partner may have.