The little one is doing many antics: turning around, making faces, squinting, frowning, and taking in amniotic fluid to practice swallowing. The intestines are making bowels: a sticky black or dark green tar-like substance, comprised of epithelial cells, bile, mucus, and lanugo will be the first bowel. The liver is making bile. A soft sprout of hair has made its appearance on the head and so have eyebrows. Lanugo, or hair over the body is also appearing. The baby’s movement inside are smoother now, not jerky as they were till a week earlier. But, mum, you won’t be feeling any movement, yet. Welcome to the comfortable second trimester!
तृतीये हस्तपादशिरसां पंचपिण्डका निर्वर्तन्ते अंगप्रत्यंग विभागश्च सुक्ष्मो भवति ॥ (सुश्रुत शारीरस्थान)
Your Baby's Development
Your baby has started looking like a little human now, with earlobes having taken shape and the arms and legs flexing easily. By this week, your baby's palate, or the roof of his mouth, has completely formed. The baby can close her tiny fingers to make a fist now.
All the organs are fully formed and are getting started on their jobs. Even the sense of smell has started to form. The kidneys have started producing urine and are releasing it into the amniotic fluid.The intestines have moved to their final position in the abdomen.The larger bones and the skull are beginning to harden. Little hair follicles are forming under the surface of the skin.
The placenta, which is shaped like a thick, round roti, and means 'flat cake' in Latin is the gateway between mummy and baby. It supplies nutrients, oxygen and hormones, and removes waste products such as carbon dioxide. The interesting fact is that it does not let mum’s blood come in contact with the baby! That is how mum and baby can have different blood groups but not get endangered by each other. How the Universe has planned every little detail!
Your Pregnancy Symptoms
Bleeding and tender gums
Around this time, almost 50% of pregnant women report swollen, red, tender gums that bleed when brushed. This happens because of hormonal changes that make your gums more sensitive to the bacteria in plaque. If left untreated gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) might set in.
iMumz Tip: You can massage with clove oil (dabbed on some cotton) as it has strong germicidal properties. Also, add a spoonful of triphala powder in warm water and gargle with it 3-4 times a day. Eat fruits that are loaded with Vitamin C.
You might notice large, swollen blood vessels on your legs. Since you have extra blood volume in your body that is meant for the baby, this symptom could occur. When the uterus applies pressure to the large vein (the inferior vena cava) that ferries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs it causes these itchy, uncomfortable, and sometimes, painful swellings.
iMumz tip: "Tailadhara" helps to reduce inflammation and reduce stiffness and pain . Dab warm to hot oil on the swollen veins using a cotton ball.
Blocked Nasal Tract
Estrogen and progesterone are increasing the flow of blood in your body. When the mucous membranes get this surge, they tend to swell. Up to 30 percent of pregnant women have pregnancy rhinitis which may get worse as the weeks pass.
iMumz tip: While sleeping, elevate your head either by raising the bed or using an extra pillow. Place a small quantity of ajwain in a clean, heat it and sniff it. You can also apply oil inside nostrils (nasya) to relieve the congestion. Continue doing pranayama to strengthen your breathing techniques.
iMumz Wellness Tip
Is the growing weight giving you a stiff back or upsetting your balance? Try the simple ‘Tadasana’.Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your toes pointing right ahead. Join your hands together close to your heart, with your fingers pointing upwards, like one would do in a namaste. Close your eyes and breathe in and out slowly and steadily. Spend some time focussing on the breathing. Then, extend your hands above your head and arch your back as much as its comfortable to do so.
Your Pregnancy check-ups
- This is the second trimester (14 weeks to 27 weeks), and now, only monthly check-ups are needed unless there is a specific concern you wish to address.
- Your weight will be taken. Make sure to share any eating issue with the doctor. Excessive weight gain will also be marked as a red flag.
- Urine tests will be done. Protein in the urine can be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
- In conjunction with the urine test result, blood pressure will be measured to check for high blood pressure or preeclampsia. If you are suffering from nagging headaches, or your eyesight has been troubling you, please tell the doctor. It could be gestational hypertension.
What should you eat in this week of pregnancy?
Experts advise that in this trimester, instead of counting calories, you should make sure that all food groups are represented. Focus on foods that don’t mess with your blood sugar and cholesterol. Swap ice-cream or brownies with unsweetened dried fruits or jaggery chikkis. Here are some guilt-free suggestions for that sugar-craving:
Date and Nut Laddoos
Dry roast 1/4 cup coarsely chopped almonds and walnuts for few minutes on a tawa and, set them aside. To the same pan, add 3/4 cup dates and heat them till turn soft. Add desiccated coconut to this mixture. Knead or blend the dates in a blender, set the blended dates aside. Mix nicely with the nuts, take small portions and roll them into balls. Store in an air-tight jar and stick a label on it which says, ‘My Guilt-Free Pleasure!’
Take 3/4 cup oatmeal, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped dried apple slices, 1 ripe banana, mashed, 1 tablespoon soy milk, 1 tablespoon powdered jaggery, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup coarsely chopped nuts. Mix them together well (add more milk if too dry). Drop by the spoonful on a baking sheet placed on your oven tray. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Have with your evening beverage without feeling guilty!