2nd trimester is the time of stability, during which the baby is already formed and has some weight. The mother’s body becomes more prepared to provide for its future needs.
There are no significant changes in terms of nutrition during this period according to what is known about pregnancy diets. However, several important changes occur at this stage. This article will describe these changes and the mother’s diet during pregnancy in the 2nd trimester.
Calories intake should increase by about 300 kcal
Calories intake should increase by about 300 kcal on a moderate level. This has to do with the baby’s development at this stage which occurs more quickly than before. Protein needs are also raised from 80-90 g to 95g per day. To meet all these demands, the mother has to be more careful about her diet. An increase in fruits and vegetables will benefit the baby the most.
Two main nutrients are iron and calcium
Two main nutrients are iron and calcium. The importance of these two is that they are used for fetal development. Calcium helps with bone growth while iron supplies hemoglobin needed for red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. Iron is very important for the baby, and therefore the mother has to be more attentive to her diet at this stage of pregnancy.
Iron can be found in meat, fish, and poultry which are good sources of protein. However, iron supplements may be necessary if a woman’s diet does not provide enough of it (such as during pregnancy).
Detail of woman body in 2nd trimester
At this stage of pregnancy, the fetus is fully formed. The mother’s body is prepared for breastfeeding and caring for an infant. In the 2nd trimester, the woman will gain about 7-8 kilograms or 15 to 17 pounds due to increasing fat supplies to provide energy reserves to the baby. It takes about 40 weeks for a fetus to fully develop before birth.
Some conditions to be aware of before labor begins
Doctors believe that this period is the safest in terms of complications. However, there are some conditions to be aware of before labor begins, such as anemia or high blood pressure which occur in about 9% of pregnant women. Some interesting changes include:
– Growth in height and weight slows down
– The uterus has grown to its full size (or close to it)
– Due to hormone changes, the mother’s body temperature rises slightly.
– No major changes in vaginal discharge compared to 1st trimester
– Increase in breast size and tenderness is experienced due to hormonal changes which occur during this period.
– Development of the fetus’ sex organs becomes visible on ultrasounds, and sexual characteristics appear.
– The mother’s belly is fully extended and round, and her uterus is much more visible than before.
– A noticeable nervous system has developed, and much of the baby’s reflexes are now active such as sucking or grasping motions.
– Fingernails grow quickly at this stage (and often become brittle)
– Hairs on the head become thicker
– The baby’s body fat increases to about 25%, which is necessary for maintaining body temperature. It will also increase as the baby grows and as pregnancy continues (since it will provide some energy reserves).
– The fetus has a regular heartbeat of 110 beats per minute, and breathing motions are observed.
– The baby’s brain has developed to a point where it can differentiate between noise and sound.