The 3 Trimesters! From The Womb Into Your Arms (Part II)

Your body and mind will be much more relaxed and at peace for the next couple of weeks. As you embrace your new role, the second trimester will be THE absolute best among the three that will see you up and about.
  1. Face, hands, feet and so much more to see. Even if you cannot tell the difference who cares. You might spend hours looking at the Ultrasound image but rest assured, those tiny parts are meant to look exactly the way they do even if you can't figure them out. Remember: gender determination is legal in some countries so alert your doctor if you don't want the gender to be revealed.
  2. Antenatal classes, yoga classes, any classes that spell "pregnancy preparation" and more will form a large part of your thoughts in the coming weeks. It's good to confirm what exercise you can begin with. Look for to-be-moms in groups that you belong to and get as much detail about the classes you might be interested in. Remember: these classes are mostly available in bigger cities, charge fees per head, (even if you cannot attend) and might not cover everything you need to know. Check reviews and stay informed so you don't end up disappointed.
  3. Maternity leave is another important plan that you'll be keeping a track of. If you haven't informed your employer, you might want to think about how you'll break the news and if you'll want other colleagues to know. Remember: to talk to your HR department and download the latest maternity policy pertaining to your company. You might also want to check if you will be allowed any additional leave with (or without pay), annual leave etc.
  4. Tests, tests, needles and more in the coming weeks will be common as your pregnancy advances. Glucose monitoring (called the Glucose Tolerance Test- GTT) to check for gestational diabetes, Multiple Marker Screening to check for chromosome abnormalities, cholesterol, Rh factor, Group B Strep Test (to check vaginal infections), are some of the tests that will require a blood sample. The Glucose test involves drinking a sugar solution before the blood sample is collected. Remember: to get detailed instructions if you need to be fasting for any of the tests.
  5. The first kick will be the most anticipated moment and everything online will point to this happening from the 18th to 20th week onward. A light fluttering and something almost similar to gas might leave you wondering if that was indeed a kick. Changing positions from back to side, drinking cold water or eating something sweet might sometimes get an immediate response from the baby. Remember: this is just the beginning and those gentle air bubbles will soon be replaced with swirls, kicks and pushes. 
  6. Your new found energy and appetite will yield some results in the second trimester as you begin to show a small cute tummy that holds the most precious gift. Remember: pregnancy bumps are different and while some women may have very obvious bumps, you might be worried about the shape and if yours is too small or big. Your doctor will take necessary measurements to ease your mind.
  • Pregnancy announcements are a new "cool" way to share the good news with family and friends. There are several ideas available online but whatever medium you choose, ensure that you are the first to break the news to close family (parents, siblings etc.) 
  • Baby names will be the focus now as you pour over books, browse through Websites or just morph the husband and your name to form the cutest combination. Whatever name you decide on, double check spelling, meaning and make sure you save a note (on the phone) so your husband will have the right name while preparing the birth certificate.
  • Invest in a good maternity pillow especially if you have trouble sleeping or simply prop a couple of pillows under your feet to relieve the swelling in your feet. Now is a good time to indulge in some much needed beauty therapy in the form of a pedicure, manicure or haircut (and yes, they are all perfectly safe).
  • If you love shopping, you might feel it's time to head out for some much needed retail therapy. A word of advice, try not to splurge on maternity wear as tempting as it may look. Focus on one or two pieces that you can mix and match. Baby stores will tempt you with discounts and offers so make a list of absolute essentials and stay focused on purchasing only those items on the list.
  • If you want to plan a quick getaway, the second trimester is the perfect time but only after a proper assessment and "go ahead" from your doctor. Remember: to carry a letter from your doctor, other important reports, prenatal vitamins and a local doctors contact.