For most parents the first time they hear the heartbeat of their fetus (baby) is a moment they'll never forget. It is very exciting and a big relief to hear a healthy heart beat. By now hopefully you have heard your baby’s heartbeat. This is the time that many parents begin to tell all their friends, co-workers, and family members they are expecting. Reality is here! The good news is that many pregnant women say the 2nd trimester is the “golden period” of pregnancy.
The past 12 weeks...
You and your partner have probably gone through a range of emotions, excited to bummed, confident to fearful, happy to angry, overwhelmed with all the new information about pregnancy or joyful. Or perhaps you've been taking it all in stride. Just know that it's very normal to feel different and sometimes conflicting emotions during this miraculous journey called pregnancy. The truth is that both of you will have different emotions throughout pregnancy, childbirth and even after the baby arrives. Sometimes parents are surprised by unexpected feelings and can feel guilty for feeling a certain way. It is not unusual to have conflicting feelings. You can be happy and scared at the same time. If feelings become overwhelming or troubling, it is important to see a therapist.
Your brain has been going through all kinds of changes. Good ones! This transformation of the brain starts at conception and will literally change the way you think, feel and what you find important. These changes happen throughout your pregnancy, including during childbirth. Not since puberty has your brain gone through such transformation. These changes that happen in your brain are the most profound and permanent of a woman's life.
Lets not forget about your hormones that are at an all time high. For example, progesterone spikes from ten to a hundred times its normal level during the first two to four months of pregnancy which has a sedating effect similar to the drug Valium. This is why you were so tired during the first trimester.
No wonder you're going through so many different emotions!
How you may feel emotionally and what can help:
Becoming concerned about what it means to be a mother and what kind of mom you will be:
You and your partner are going through a big transition and probably secretly feeling the same thing. It’s normal to wonder if you are ready to be a parent or if you will be a good parent. You can write yourself a letter and tell yourself 5 reasons why you think you will be a good mother. You can also write a letter to your partner and share with him 5 reasons why you think he will be a good parent.
Continuing forgetfulness and mood swings:
This is normal due to the extra hormones running through your body. But make sure you are eating well, getting enough sleep and doing things that help you de-stress.
It may help to write down a list of things to do to help you stay more organized and less forgetful.
If you are having mood swings, ask yourself what you really need—sleep? Alone time? Help with chores? etc.
Or you may need a little extra reassurance that your partner will be there for you and the baby and that he still loves you:
Planning a special outing or date night.
Write a letter to your partner and give him 5 – 10 reasons why you appreciate him.
Share with your partner that you need a little more loving and that you need some reassurance.
Treat your partner how you would like to be treated.
Ask your partner what makes him feel special and do it. Your partner may need you to reassure him as well.
Increased interest in babies and parenting:
Talk about your ideas about parenting and how you would like to raise your child with your partner. You maybe surprised that your views may be different but what is important is to come to a mutual respect for one another’s views and ideas. Find a common ground and start from there. Your parenting will evolve as your baby and child get older. It comes down to figuring out what will work in your household for both of you.
You may feel a little bummed that your clothes don’t fit you:
This is a no brainer! Never ask your partner if you look fat… Look in the mirror and notice how amazing it is that your body knows what it needs to do (transform itself) in order to house your growing baby. It is not forever!
Less worried about miscarriage:
Because you can feel the baby’s movements, but if you don’t feel the baby move for a while, you may will feel worried. Remember that your baby sleeps too. Your doctor will eventually talk to you about kick counts around the 3rd trimester.
You will become more bonded and connected with the baby:
Read, talk and sing to your baby. Your baby can hear you and will recognize your voice when he/she is born. They will get very quiet and listen then. It is really amazing to watch, so that is something to look forward to.
Overwhelmed by all the advice coming your way:
Ask yourself what advice made you feel comforted and felt helpful. What advice made you feel uncomfortable and why? Remember not all advice is helpful. Nor are all the birth stories women will want to share with you. Here is a blog I wrote on this topic.
Moodiness may decrease:
Oh yeah!! You are probably feeling a lot better this trimester so take advantage of it. However you are highly intuitive during pregnancy. One way to tap into your deepest needs is to journal and write about what you’re feeling and ask yourself what you need.
Go on a baby-moon (vacation before baby arrives).
Go out on a really nice date with your partner. Do this a once a week or more.
Do something you and your partner love to do together, go have fun!!!!
Go and have lunch with your girlfriends.
Do whatever it is that brings you joy.
More day-dreaming and dreaming at night:
Your brain is literally changing into a mommy brain. What does that mean? Your brain is getting ready for the arrival of your baby, literally. Studies show that there is a small but significant amount of growth in a number of brain regions, including the hypothalamus, prefrontal cortex and amygdala, all to make you a better mom.
You may have more vivid or more sexual dreams. Enjoy them!
How do you feel emotionally right now? What do you need?
- _____________________________ - (fill in the blank)
Here is a great tea recipe to calm your nerves:
Calming Tea Recipe By Aviva Jill Romm, M.D.
1 tsp. chamomile flowers (limit to 1 cup during the 1st trimester)
1 tsp. lemon balm
½ tsp. of lavender flowers
Steep in cup bowling water (covered) for 10-15 minutes and drink warm with honey. Enjoy!
Please keep in mind...
There's a lot to think of when going through pregnancy, childbirth and infancy but there is also much joy that this time of life brings. You are participating in one of life’s greatest MIRACLES. You are AMAZING and PERFECT! Just take it one day at a time and BREATHE!
Your parenting career begins when the baby is still in the womb. If Mom feels loved, supported and safe, so does the baby!!!
The basis of good parenting is laid down during pregnancy, infancy and early childhood. Good and healthy lives are built on sound foundations. Remember that a healthy diet is key to not only your child’s well-being, but to yours as well. If you want more information on how to eat better, check out my prenatal nutrition class.
You will probably find some great tips in the following blogs!
If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.
William Sears, M.D. & Martha Sears R.N. The Pregnancy Book. Little Brown Co. New York, NY, 1997.
Chopra D., M.D., Simon, D., M.D., and Abrams, V., C.C.E., I.B.C.L.C. A holistic Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth, Magical Beginnings, Enchanted Lives. Published by Three Rivers Press NY 2005
Roman, A., M.D., The Natural Pregnancy Book, Published by Celestial Arts, Berkley Ca. 2003
Nicholas, F., and Humenic, S., Childbirth Education, Practice, Research and Theory 2nd Edition. 2000
Simpkin, P.T., Whalley, R.N, B.S.N., Keppler, R.N.,M.N, Pregnancy Childbirth and the Newborn,
Published by Meadowbrook Press, New York, 2001
CAPPA Childbirth Education Course