The Second Trimester: Physical and Emotional Changes

Your Feelings
Use this information to understand yourself -- and to foster open communication with your partner.

Now that the danger of miscarriage is largely over and the pregnancy feels "real," discomforts may be easier to put up with.

Awareness of the fetus creates a private, intimate relationship with the growing life inside. Fetal movement, the bulging tummy and hearing the heartbeat make the pregnancy seem real. Your enlarging abdomen proclaims the pregnancy to the world.

Weight gain, which shows the growth of the pregnancy, generates varying reactions. Some women are upset by the rising needle on the scale. Others view pregnancy as an opportunity to indulge (reasonably) in enjoyable foods. You can feel good about striving to eat a balanced diet, which takes good care of both mother and baby.

You may feel burdened by physical symptoms that add to the psychological weight of adjusting to imminent parenthood. Some expectant moms may be frustrated when symptoms make it difficult to handle home or work responsibilities as usual.

Those very concerned with physical appearance may have difficulty accepting things such as skin blemishes. Some women are embarrassed by constipation. Try to focus on a sense of wellness.

Serious financial and other planning for the baby's care often begins when the physical reality of the pregnancy hits home. Physical discomfort (or its lack) may influence the woman's plans for returning to work.

Exercise can offset feelings of awkwardness. It promotes strength, control and appreciation of the pregnant body. (Seek professional evaluation before beginning an exercise program.)

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