With your first trimester of pregnancy behind you, you can breathe a sigh of relief in knowing that the worst seems to be over. But don’t get too comfortable! There are still plenty of things to look forward to and be prepared for in your second trimester pregnancy. Here are ten things you should expect during this important time in your pregnancy journey, including the possible effects on your energy levels, physical appearance, and more!

1) Braxton Hicks Contractions

Second trimester means feeling a lot more movement from your little one. At some point, you may feel what feels like practice contractions that are called Braxton Hicks contractions. These can start as early as 12 weeks, but tend to happen most often after 18 weeks of pregnancy. They’re completely normal, and they don’t necessarily mean labor is on its way; they simply prepare your body for all of the muscle contractions it will need to go through during delivery!

2) Insomnia

The average pregnant woman suffers from insomnia. We have a hard time sleeping because we don’t realize just how much our bodies are changing and moving. This isn’t always an issue for most of us, but you might find yourself unable to get comfortable or unable to fall asleep. If you’re having trouble falling asleep during second trimester pregnancy, try getting into a routine of laying down at the same time every night and taking it easy during your afternoon break.

3) Weight Gain

You might find that your weight gain increases during second trimester pregnancy. The average recommended weight gain for second trimester is 28-40 pounds, but these guidelines are just that—guidelines.

4) Shortness of Breath

After First trimester It’s common during second trimester pregnancy to experience shortness of breath. What many moms don’t realize is that it’s a direct result of an increase in progesterone, which relaxes blood vessels around your lungs. It may seem counterintuitive, but keeping active and exercising can actually help with shortness of breath; staying fit increases your lung capacity and helps keep you breathing easily as you sleep at night.

5) Varicose Veins

Whether you’re an expectant mother, or have been through pregnancy before, varicose veins are something you may already be familiar with. They can show up as soon as nine weeks into your pregnancy and tend to get worse over time, so it’s best to start preventing them early.

6) Nausea and Vomiting

Morning sickness often makes an appearance during early pregnancy, and it can be exacerbated by certain smells. During your second trimester, though, morning sickness should subside as you become more accustomed to being pregnant. You may still experience some nausea here and there—after all, every pregnancy is different—but it shouldn’t be a constant issue. If you do continue to feel sick after 20 weeks or so of gestation, talk with your doctor about treatments for morning sickness during second trimester pregnancy.

7) Changes to Cravings and Aversions

You might not have been able to tolerate certain smells or foods during your first trimester, but your senses might be back on their A-game now. Smells and flavors can become much more intense when you’re pregnant and many women find themselves turned off by some of their favorite foods. Cravings will likely continue into second trimester pregnancy, but they could take a variety of forms—perhaps you’ll still want pickles with peanut butter, but you may also feel like something salty or meaty.

8) Constipation or Diarrhea

It’s common for morning sickness to completely disappear after about 12 weeks. However, a few women experience severe diarrhea or constipation during their second trimester of pregnancy. Morning sickness is also likely to return toward the end of your second trimester, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be as bad as it was before. So if you are experiencing some nausea and vomiting again, take comfort in knowing that these symptoms are considered normal during a woman’s second trimester of pregnancy.

9) Feeling Baby Move Around

Some women can feel their baby moving around as early as 16 weeks, although it’s more common to feel her wiggling around between 18 and 20 weeks. This is called quickening, and you may start noticing it soon. You might even think your baby is dancing or boxing with another member of his or her family inside your belly. What you’re feeling are usually little hops, but sometimes they can be strong kicks that feel like a punch.

10) Indigestion

During your second trimester, indigestion is bound to happen. This is due to hormonal changes in your body and an expanding uterus. If you’re having trouble relieving it with typical over-the-counter remedies, speak with your doctor about a prescription.

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