If you suffered from morning sickness it usually subsides at some point during the second trimester. Hurray!!!
Did you know that...
While you’re pregnant you actually dream differently? Especially during the last trimester. Dreams may be more vivid, intense, erotic or even bizarre. This is totally normal. So don’t freak out…and be sure to enjoy the erotic ones! Many pregnant women recall more of their dreams because they wake up more frequently. You’ll spend more time in REM sleep that encourages dreaming and waking up easier. Your body rests but your mind doesn’t.
Let’s talk about sex
In most cases during the 1st trimester women will find their energy and sexual desire lower than usual. But don’t fret. Your energy and sexual desire will rebound during the 2nd trimester. Only to find them declining again during the 3rd trimester.
Something else you may notice…a change in your sexual organs. Your boobs get fuller…which your significant other will enjoy. But they also get more sensitive. Your labia, clitoris and everything else down there will become fuller and more sensitive due to increased blood flow. This can lead to sexual arousal for one woman and pain for another. Some couples find pregnancy a highly erotic time in their marriage. While other couples find a downturn in desire or satisfaction. This is all normal. It’s important to have open communication with your partner. Let him know what feels good or doesn’t and remember intimacy is not only about sex. You will need more affection more than ever! I recommend this book, Hot Mamas: The Ultimate Guide to Staying Sexy Throughout Your Pregnancy and the Months Beyond
Is sex safe? Yes and it is good for you and your partner!! The baby is protected by the amniotic fluid in the womb and by the mucus plug, which seals your cervix and helps guard against infection. So for all of you fathers out there worrying about hitting the baby’s head or poking his eye (yes, I have heard this one)…get a grip.
According to AmericanPregancy.org sex should be avoided if:
- You have a history of premature birth or labor.
- You have a history of miscarriage.
- Your water has broken.
- You experience unexplained vaginal bleeding or discharge.
- You have placenta previa or a very low-lying placenta.
- You have an incompetent cervix or your cervix has dilated.
- You or your partner has a sexually transmitted disease.
Again don’t forget to ask questions!!! If you forgot what to ask, re-read weeks 8 – 13.
- Make an appointment around week 14 if you are having a 2nd trimester screening. The test assesses whether the baby is at increased risk of Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, abdominal wall defect, and neural tube defects. It is a blood test and must be done between 15 – 20 weeks.
Screening tests only tell a woman what her chances are of having a baby with a certain chromosomal or neural tube defects. They do NOT TELL HER FOR SURE. If you are to get an abnormal result it is recommended that you get a diagnostic test.
- False negative – the baby has a defect but the test doesn’t catch it.
- False positive – the baby is fine but the test says there is a problem.
Screening Tests look for Down Syndrome, Trisomy 18, neural tube defects (anencephaly and spina bifida), abdominal wall defects (gastroschisis and omphalocele), and Smith-Lemli-Opitz syndrome (SLOS)
Make an appointment if you are having an amniocentesis. This test requires a needle to pass through the mom’s abdomen and a small sample of amniotic fluid is taken and sent to the lab. The amniocentesis is preformed between 15 weeks to 20 weeks. The DNA from the baby is examined to look for chromosomal defects. There is a slight chance of miscarriage. (.2-.3%) PMID 18055749
Do you want to know the sex of your baby? This is the time. Most healthcare providers do a detailed ultrasound around weeks 16 - 20; this is when the sex of your little one will be determined!
For more info on prenatal testing - California Dept. of Public Health.
Appointment tips. Things that need to get done!
- Sign up for my week to week pregnancy guide plus learn how your baby is growing week to week.
- Start researching what type of childbirth class you would like to attend. I highly recommend learning about childbirth whether you are planning on a drug free-natural birth or a medicated birth. It is super important to be educated so you can make informed decisions. Plus it makes the childbirth experience less scary. I can't tell you how many times I have heard mamas say, "I wish I had known". One thing you should know is that there are different types of childbirth classes with different philosophies. Some examples would be: Birthing From With In, Lamaze, Bradley, Hypnobirthing, Cappa, ICEA and others. Classes fill up quickly so sign up quickly. I offer a childbirth education class mixing several of these philosophies into one.
Here is a list of my favorite childbirth books.
- Start researching pediatricians.
- Consider signing up for a prenatal yoga class.
- Consider starting a college fund for your baby.
- Consider signing up for an infant CPR class. The American Red Cross also has infant CPR classes.
- Start researching about baby furniture. Check out 7 Easy Tips on How to Create an Eco Friendly Nursery and Top 10 Reasons To Buy Organic Cotton Clothing, Bedding, And Toys For Your Baby
- Consider breastfeeding. The Benefits of Breastfeeding, for Mom and Baby- Do You know them?
- Buy a new maternity bra.
- Most healthcare providers recommend you avoid lying on your back around your 2nd trimester because the weight of your fetus (baby) can place too much weight on the venous cava. It is the main vein that carries blood back to the heart from your lower body region. If squashed, it can interfere with optimum circulation and circulation is a pregnancy's best friend! You will want to begin sleeping on your left side. But you can switch from side to side. Just know that the left side allows for maximum blood flow (less pressure on the vena cava) and could reduce swelling in the legs.
- If you are starting to buy things for the baby or organizing your registry, please read The Best Newborn Essentials Guide- Preparing For Baby.
What is new and exciting?
Between weeks 16 – 22 you may begin to feel little fluttery feelings in your belly. The fluttery feelings will get stronger and feel more like kicks. Eventually you will actually see your baby move!! I never get tired of seeing this. It’s so cool.
Ultra wellness tips for weeks 14 - 22 (choose a few that seem appealing to you):
- Continue to journal, take baths by candle light, play relaxing music, take walks. In other words…take care of yourself.
- Hold hands with your partner.
- Do things that bring you joy!!!
- Get a pregnancy massage.
- Practice doing your kegel exercises. It will be helpful for you to learn how to strengthen and relax those muscles in your pelvic floor.
- Practice breathing slowly and calmly everyday! I like to call it “breathing to your baby”. This will be very helpful during labor and when the baby arrives.
In order to do this you can lie down, sit in a chair, or do it standing.
Focus on your breath.
Place your hand on your belly and then inhale. Think of breathing all the way down to your baby. Become aware of how your belly pushes or raises your hand out. When you exhale, your hand should go back to where it started.
Practice that a few times ‘til you get the hang of it. It’s not easy for everyone; most people have made it a habit to breathe shallowly.
Once you are comfortable breathing this way, add this:
- Breathe in while mentally counting - 2, 3, 4
- Hold your breath for the count- 2, 3, 4
- Breathe out - 2, 3, 4
- Wait before taking the next breath 2, 3 ,4
- Repeat pattern.
This patterned breathing takes you out of the "flight or flight" response during times of stress. Which we could all use!!! The less stress for you, the better. Breathing should be like a dance, with nice flowing rhythm.
Eventually you can play music that makes you feel relaxed and peaceful! I really love and respond to spa-like music. Some of my favorite artists are:
- The Very Best by Enya,
- Angel Love For Children by Aeoliah,
- Angels of Healing by Aeoliah,
- Healing Waters by Dean Evenson,
- Liquid Mind lll - Balance, IV - Unity, IX - Lullaby, VI - Spirit all by Liquid Mind
- Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and drinking 2 - 3 quarts of water a day. This is super important because your baby is made from what you eat!! Literally! So be mindful of what you put into your mouth and body. Check out my blog ‘12 Tips to Eating Well During Pregnancy’. If you want to learn more about prenatal power foods and what will make you and your baby thrive, 12 Days To A Healthy Pregnancy, Healthy Baby & Beyond - Prenatal Nutrition 101 class.
- Wondering what you should be avoiding? Check out my blogs:
- Attention Moms! Top 12 Things To Avoid While Pregnant.
- Attention Moms! The Yucky Seven NON-FOOD Items Pregnant Women and Kids Should Avoid
- Attention Moms! 8 Environmental Things Children and Pregnant Women Should Avoid
Don't forget to check out Tips for Weeks 23 - 28: Your Expanding Belly and Pesky Problems
Question: What do you do to allievate stress? What makes you feel more relaxed and peaceful? Don't worry, there are no right or wrong answers. I have learned different relaxation tools over the years from many of my clients and I would love to learn from you as well. Please leave a comment in the comment box and I am looking forward to hearing from you.
ACOG- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Genetic Disorders. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq094.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130725T2000207875
ACOG- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: Routine Tests During Pregnancy. http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq133.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130725T2009383022
Sears M.D., W., Sears, R.N., M. The Pregnancy Book. 1st Edition. Published by Little Brown and Co. NYC 1997
DASC talk by Dr. Deborah Gleisner, ND, LM, CPM – Prenatal Testing