Second Trimester Symptoms (And How To Ease Them)

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By Kim Seidel

Alex McCord, an actress with Bravo TV’s The Real Housewives of NYC, found the second trimester of her two pregnancies fascinating. “Of course, during the first pregnancy everything is new and depending on your outlook, either exciting or scary,” says McCord, mother to two sons, ages 3 and 5, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

“I really loved being pregnant both times around and was fascinated by all the changes.” During her first pregnancy, McCord’s biggest issue was mild to moderate morning sickness that continued in the second trimester. She never allowed herself to get too hungry, which helped to ease her nausea. “Raisins and gingersnaps were the best for combating nausea, and I always tried to have a big breakfast so that I wouldn’t feel sick throughout the morning,” she says. “I craved sausage in the mornings and spinach later in the day.” Cravings do change throughout pregnancy, says Dr. Shelley Binkley, an OB/GYN at Alpine Women’s Care in Glenwood Springs, Colo.

In the second trimester, approximately weeks 14 through 26, “what was once appetizing can invoke thoughts of projectile vomiting,” says Binkley, author of DIY Baby: Your Essential Pregnancy Handbook (iUniverse, 2008). McCord also experienced motion sickness during her second trimester, so she tried to never take taxis. In her second pregnancy, she did not feel sick, except when she was bouncing around in taxis, but at least she could ride in them again. “Everything seemed a bit more accelerated during the second pregnancy, right down to the delivery,” McCord says. McCord began to feel some rib cage expansion in the second trimester, which during her first pregnancy happened in the third trimester. “My belly popped out much sooner than with my first son,” she says.

Handling Symptoms
In the second trimester, your baby is beginning to grow larger and is starting to affect your body in different ways, says Margaret Calzaretta, clinical nurse manager of maternal child health at Meadowlands Hospital Medical Center in Secaucus, N.J. The most common signs and symptoms women may experience include the following:

• Sciatia/backaches
• Sleeplessness
• Heartburn/indigestion
• Swollen feet
• Constipation

Dramatic changes in energy and emotions and shortness of breath also are common.