Several weeks ago, the doctor confirmed the most amazing news – mom is expecting a little angel. Whether this news was met with excitement, surprise, or something less positive, the fact is – it’s happening and there’s no turning back. As mom may have noticed, a lot has happened to her throughout the pregnancy. If mom is one of the many women who experience morning (aka all-day) sickness, then she's probably very glad that she's now in the second trimester, as many women report to experience much less nausea at this stage.
Pregnancy at this stage is interesting because although mom is no longer at the beginning of her pregnancy, there are still quite a number of weeks to go. With around 100 days to go, mom knows that there is loads to sort out – the nursery, maternity leave paperwork, that shower that she's been looking forward to, that name that she and her partner can’t seem to agree on… Even though there are still a number of weeks to go, it is clear that slowly but surely, the numbers are running out and that soon, mom and dad will be welcoming that little bundle of joy. Scroll down below as we take moms through all they can expect from now until birth.
Many women slide through the first trimester of their pregnancy without having much of a belly to show. If this is your first pregnancy, chances are, you began showing later. BabyCenter explains that “if you’re a first-time mum, you could begin developing a baby bump any time between 12 and 16 weeks. But if this isn’t your first baby, you may start showing sooner. This is because the muscles in your uterus and belly may already have been stretched from your last pregnancy”. Whether you’re a first-time mum or you’ve done this before, right now, you are definitely showing and there is no hiding it. You’re clothing is also likely to be very tight now and this is the stage where many women start considering maternity wear for extra comfort as you’ll grow more and more during the next few weeks.
Ah yes, that lovely waddle will soon be your signature. You’ve seen some of your girlfriends do it. You may have also noticed your sister or close cousin pull this move when they were pregnant and now dear, it is your turn. If you’re not sure what we’re talking about – the waddle is that penguin-like walk that almost every pregnant woman seems to instinctively start developing. Try as you might, it is an almost impossible task to stop yourself. Studies have shown that a pregnant woman’s center of mass is further forward than normal, which explains this funny walk.
It is truly incredible to feel your baby moving inside you. You may be having a stressful day and not be in a very good mood but as soon as they move around, you can’t help but stop and smile as you are instantly reminded of the life that is inside you. If you’ve been pregnant before, you most likely started feeling your baby moving as early as 13 weeks but for a first-time parent, it may take a while to feel the movements, even as long as 25 weeks. No matter how long it took to finally feel it, one thing is for sure now – they are kicking, punching, rolling around and you feel it all.
Braxton Hicks are sometimes uncomfortable. Some women have reported that they feel something like mild menstrual cramps so understandably, they are certainly not the most “fun” part of your pregnancy journey. They are intermittent uterine contractions and can take any pregnant woman by surprise. It is always safer to report any pain that makes you uncomfortable to your doctor as we never want to take any chances, but as soon as your doctor confirms that they are indeed, just Braxton Hicks, relax as it is all good. When you get closer and closer to your due date, you’re more likely to experience them more often as your cervix begins to “ripen”.
This is a bit of a tricky one. Pregnant women are encouraged to sleep and get plenty of rest before the baby arrives but as you have noticed by now, it is easier said than done. That growing baby bump has certainly made things interesting for you. If you naturally sleep facing up, you can’t really do that anymore as it’s not safe for the baby. If you naturally sleep on your belly, you understandably won’t feel comfortable doing so anymore. The only option you have is to sleep on your sides. Studies have shown that sleeping on your left side is better as this is the position that will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that flows to your placenta and baby.
We are living in a world where everywhere you look, we are constantly bombarded with all sorts of diets and weight loss plans that promise to give us the body of our dreams. Even though it is certainly important to eat nutritiously balanced meals while pregnant, no one will judge a pregnant woman who gives in to her cravings. Working Mother explains that “the foods pregnant women crave depends on cultural influences. For example, common food cravings for American women are dairy and sweets, such as chocolates. But, in other countries, chocolate might not even make the top five.” Cravings are natural during pregnancy so all we can say to that is – indulge yourself, mama!
Have you noticed something about your mental abilities lately? Are you forgetting things more often? Are you taking a little longer at work or at home to figure out simple challenges that before, would take you very little time to figure out? Well, you might be experiencing pregnancy brain. Many women report experiencing pregnancy brain and unfortunately, it sometimes lingers on postpartum. The great news is that pregnancy doesn’t change your brain so you’re just as smart as you used to be. You’re just experiencing a surge of hormones and are most likely not sleeping as well as you used to, which affects how mentally sharp you feel.
We started the article off by highlighting how you can’t really hide your pregnancy anymore. That growing belly bump is out and thriving. Because of this, some clothes in your closet may not fit anymore and if they do, they are certainly way more snug than they were before. The frustrating thing about this phase of your pregnancy is that your belly is just going to keep on getting bigger and it becomes quite tricky to shop for clothing that will fit you perfectly. This is why leggings are one of the best items to have in your closet. They stretch and are super comfortable and are one of the best clothing items to invest in, especially at this stage.
This is a bit of a tricky one. While we certainly feel that knowledge is power, when you’re pregnant and experiencing all sorts of hormones, it is very easy to freak out about every little thing that you read on the internet. One minute you’re just googling why you’re craving certain foods and soon, you find yourself on a page that talks about your little one and the dangers of eating too much of that chocolate you’ve been eating for the past few days. Now you’re freaking out. Our best advise here is to try to focus on positive stories on the internet. When it comes to health concerns, those questions should be addressed to your doctor as there are certainly a number of unqualified “doctors” on the net that will unnecessarily freak you out.
So the previous item on the list discussed how important it is to filter the things you read on the internet. We had to add this one as well because we know you’ve either probably done it already or have been thinking about doing it. For a first time mom, one of the scariest parts of pregnancy is delivery and now that you’re a few weeks away, you can’t help but think about it more and more. There are loads of labor videos online that will show you EVERTYHING but one thing to remember is that every woman is different and so labor is unique to everyone. If you’re planning on a vaginal birth, don’t be scared. Remind yourself this fact – billions of women have done it before and so can you!
A hospital tour is a very important aspect of pregnancy as it helps you prepare for that big day. You want to know where exactly you’ll be heading when the day arrives so this is something to do with either your partner or the person who will be bringing you to the hospital. Antenatal classes will also help you prepare for birth. Parent 24 highlights the importance of these classes by stating that “you learn about all the childbirth options available to you, and the pros and cons of each. You and your partner will feel more confident knowing what to expect and how to manage it”.
At this stage of your pregnancy, you’ve definitely experienced a few headaches as headaches are very common during pregnancy. If you have strong headaches, we highly advise that you consult with your doctor as this may be an indication of some problems related to high blood pressure. If your headaches are mild though, there are some measures that you can take if you would like to not take medication (which you should double-check with your doctor, of course). Managing stress, eating regularly and also including some sort of physical activity (like walking or other moderate exercises), will help you relieve this pesky problem.
Swelling during pregnancy will catch you by surprise. It is caused by the additional blood and fluid and you will notice it on your feet, ankles, and legs. Moderate swelling is nothing to stress about. If you have it, many advise that putting your feet up whenever sitting and limiting standing for too long, as the best options you have. If your swelling does get a little more serious, you may need to contact your doctor as this might be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia occurs after 20 weeks of pregnancy and if you have it, you may need to deliver sooner than expected. A professional diagnosis is important so if you suspect that you’re swelling is a little more than “normal”, be sure to contact your doctor and get those tests done.
Okay, so the previously mentioned items on the list fall under the “not so nice” part of pregnancy. We’re sorry but hey, it’s part of the journey. This is why we want to add this little sweet one on the list – your baby shower. Your baby shower will be one of the highlights of your pregnancy. Your close family and friends will get together and buy you some of the cutest little items. Some might even say speeches or words of encouragement for this journey that you’re about to go through. There’ll be loads of smiles, laughs, even hugs and maybe even tears.
So you’ve had the baby shower and now it’s time to get your nursery ready for your little one. This is an exciting part of pregnancy. You might get into a little argument with your partner if you guys have “creative differences” when it comes to how the room should be but we know that the most important thing is to make sure that your little one has all they need and you are also comfortable in the room as you’ll be spending a lot of time nursing them, changing them, and putting them to sleep. From the furniture to the carpet, to the bedding…as it all slowly starts coming together, one thing can’t be denied – You’re going to have a baby! This is really happening!
With around 100 days to go, one thing can’t be denied – that baby is coming. You will begin to realize that you can’t really refer to your little one as “he” or “she” any longer. They need a name. Figuring out a name that is perfect for your baby is not an easy task. This is a name they are going to live with for the rest of their lives! It has to be perfect! If you and your partner have been struggling to come up with a name that you both like, this is where Google can truly be your best friend. You can even discover names you’ve never heard of before. One thing is for sure, once you hear the perfect name, you’ll know it.
So you’ve been seeing your doctor quite regularly as they check up on not only your growing baby but you as well. In the next few weeks, those visits are going to be much more frequent because the closer you get to your due date, the more you need to be observed. BabyCenter highlights that “In your third trimester (28 weeks through the end of your pregnancy), you’ll most likely have a checkup every two weeks from 28 to 36 weeks, then switch to once a week visits until you deliver”. If you have any health conditions, you may even see your doctor more. In other words, you better get used to them.
If you’re not a naturally organized person and like to leave everything to the last minute, you might have already realized that you can’t really do that right now. Your baby is on his or her way and there is loads to do. You have to sort out the nursery, you need to sort out your maternity paperwork at work, you need to learn how to install a car seat, antenatal classes are also a must-do, that hospital bag isn’t going to pack itself…the list goes on. Having a To-Do List will help you stay calm (well, as calm as you can be) and will help you stay focused on all that needs to be sorted out before the big day.
A woman’s body is incredible. If you never knew that before, you definitely know it right now. Your body can carry life, nurture it, give it nutrition, keep it safe, help it grow until it is time for the big entrance. That is totally amazing. If you’ve been hard on it before, now is the time to celebrate your body. As women, it almost seems like it comes naturally to many of us to be very judgemental of our bodies – but no matter what shape you’re in, now is the time to truly respect your body and all the strength it has.
Whether you’re a first-time mom or you’ve been down this road before, one thing is for sure – life will never be the same again. You’ll soon be welcoming a new addition to the family who will need so much from you and your partner. This new addition will need your love, time, energy, money…and the list goes on. But this new addition will also give you so much more than you can imagine. They will be a beautiful addition to your family. They will bring smiles and laughter, sometimes headaches, but definitely lots of love. Although life will never be the same again, it will definitely be much fuller than before – full of love.