It’s exciting to feel your baby move—a little person is growing inside you! Every mom and baby are different, so you may feel kicking sooner or later than your friends did.
When your baby is “kicking,” it means he or she is moving around in the womb. Some women describe the kicking sensation as flutters, tumbling movements or twitches. It may be easiest to feel your baby’s movements when you are seated or lying still.
Most moms start to feel their baby’s first movements between 16 and 22 weeks. These movements are known as “quickening.” If it’s your first pregnancy, you may not feel baby until the latter end of the spectrum, which is completely normal. If you’ve been pregnant before, you may feel flutters as soon as 13 weeks.
At first, you may not feel your baby kick very often, but by the third trimester, expect plenty of activity. Studies show third-trimester babies move nearly 30 times an hour!
Talk to your OB/GYN if you have any questions about baby’s movements.
Your 20-week ultrasound occurs halfway through your pregnancy and is a wonderful time to see a glimpse of baby before he or she is born!
The mid-pregnancy ultrasound is an anatomy examination that allows your OB/GYN to see if baby is healthy or if there are any health concerns. Your doctor will look at baby’s brain, heart, spinal cord and other organs, as well as measure overall growth.
If your doctor has any concerns, he or she may recommend further testing or talk to you about treatment options. Don’t worry, though—birth defects are rare and most babies are perfectly healthy. If something isn’t right, your doctor will help you address it.
During this exam, you usually will be able to determine your baby’s sex. If your doctor suspects twins or triplets, this ultrasound can show whether you are having multiples.
Your OB/GYN also can look at your amniotic fluid, placenta and uterus to help you plan for a healthy birth.
Get excited—the mid-pregnancy ultrasound is a fun sneak preview of your little one!
Whether you’ve started your baby registry or have just gotten a rundown from friends, you have probably noticed that there are a LOT of baby items out there. What is truly essential and what can you skip to save precious time, space and money? Here are some thoughts.
Okay to skip
Here’s what you need to do to prep for a healthy, happy second trimester:
Exercise has huge health benefits when you are pregnant, offering relief from some pregnancy-related discomfort and preparing your body for an easier labor. The key is modifying your workouts to fit your needs right now. Your doctor is a wonderful resource in helping you determine which exercises are right for you.
Exercising during pregnancy benefits you by …
Ideally, you should exercise in some way for 30 minutes most days of the week.
If you regularly lifted weights or ran long distances before becoming pregnant, you may be able to keep up those activities throughout pregnancy. If you are new to exercise, it’s important to start slowly and be mindful that not all exercises are right for moms-to-be.
Always get clearance from your doctor before you begin an exercise regimen. The following workouts are generally safe for most normal, low-risk pregnancies:
Avoid these activities:
If you decide to reveal your baby’s sex, choosing a creative way to make the announcement can make for a memorable event. Here are a few fun ideas:
No matter if or how you make the announcement, the most important part is celebrating in the way that feels right to you.
That dark line, or linea nigra, is another thing we can thank those wonderful pregnancy hormones for. The linea nigra usually appears around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy. Other skin changes you may notice during pregnancy include the darkening or enlarging of existing moles and freckles.
You also may notice the skin around your nipples becoming darker. Some lucky women develop discoloration on the face as well, commonly known as pregnancy mask. In the vast majority of cases, these skin discolorations are temporary and will eventually resolve within a few months of delivery.
Last month, we talked about when you can expect to feel your baby moving. Most moms-to-be start to feel their baby move around 16 to 25 weeks, though it can take longer for people to feel baby’s kicks from the outside. Your partner, family and friends may be able to feel your little one’s movements at the 20- to 24-week mark.
If you are overweight or have an anterior (front-facing) placenta, it may take longer for others to feel the baby move.
Remember, every mom is different!
Pregnancy can be a wild ride. Here are some unusual changes you may experience:
While these pregnancy side effects are generally normal, be sure to mention them to your OB/GYN so you’re on the same page about what your body is experiencing.
As you might have experienced, pregnancy hormones can cause rollercoaster emotions. This is completely normal! Your hormones are helping you grow a healthy baby, but they also can result in unexplained or unwarranted …
The best way to handle mood swings is to …
If you’re feeling blue for more than two weeks or are crying often, talk to your OB/GYN.
Pregnancy can be a beautiful experience, but an uptick in hormones—particularly progesterone—and pressure from your growing uterus can cause some uncomfortable side effects. The following tips can help you ease bloating, gas and indigestion:
Talk to your doctor ASAP if you have severe nausea or vomiting, or bloody stools.
The decision of when to stop working before delivering baby is different for every woman. Some women work right up until they go into labor, while others take a few weeks off to rest before giving birth.
The right choice for you depends on …
Talk to your OB/GYN if you have any concerns about how your job affects your pregnancy.