14 - 28 WEEKS
You’re glowing! Your pregnancy is finally visible so there’s absolutely no doubt that you’re going to be a mother! With nausea most likely a thing of the past, you’re positively blooming right now, as your baby – and your tummy – start to rapidly grow in size.
While you’ve also probably said goodbye to the tiredness of early pregnancy, you’ll need to keep a look out for heartburn, leg cramps and backache – your hormones cause your ligaments and tendons to relax, and you’re possibly arching your back because of your baby’s weight.
And no, that wasn’t a hiccup, or a ‘butterfly’ in your tummy. That really was your baby moving, which you’ll feel- and celebrate- anytime between 17 to 20 weeks. Most importantly, don’t panic when you feel your first ‘tightenings’- your uterus is starting to practice for labour, and what you’re experiencing are nothing more than harmless Braxton Hicks.
You’re on a high. This is the best trimester of them all, health-wise and emotionally. It’s also the trimester of relief. You’ve had all your scans and you know what to expect. Feeling your baby move inside you for the very first time is unforgettable. It’s real. It’s really happening, and it’s yours. You’re feeling proud of yourself, and so very special!
It’s exciting buying new maternity clothes but going public about being pregnant can be quite unnerving too, as the newest member of this exclusive club! There’s a lot of excitement around every mom-to-be, but it can also be a little disconcerting constantly being the centre of attention. So be sure to take time out when you get into sensory overload.
- Get moving. Since you’re no longer feeling so tired, now’s a good time to start exercising if you haven’t done so already. Exercise will keep you fit and healthy throughout your pregnancy and during labour, and will help you bounce back after the birth too. Don’t try doing something new if it’s strenuous- and be sure get the nod from your doctor before starting any form of exercise at this time. Perfect choices include swimming, yoga, walking and Preggi Bellies, which will all do wonders for your mind, body and spirit. If you do regular exercise be sure to tell your trainer about your pregnancy early and avoid horse riding, road cycling or anything where you could hurt yourself.
- Eat for energy. Having your appetite back can have a downside, especially if you’re indulging in things like high fat and high sugar foods. Not only will they pile on unwanted kilograms – and usually not where you want them, like on buttocks and tops of thighs – but they’ll also impact negatively on your sluggish digestive system. Seek professional advice on how to eat correctly to gain the weight you need for a healthy pregnancy, usually about 12,5kg, which will be easy to lose after your baby is born.
- Now’s the time to start putting together a plan of action for after your baby is born, especially when it comes to your job. What are your rights? What’s your maternity package? How much maternity leave are you entitled to? Who’s going to look after your child when you go back to work? Network extensively. Chat to other moms to find out what they did, how they juggled, and how they coped. Getting all the answers to your questions will give you great peace of mind.
- “Enjoy this magic time and spoil yourself. Take a weekend away with your partner and savour every single moment. This, for my husband and me, was very, very special. It was wonderful spending time as ‘the two of us’, before our lives changed forever” Lara, 29