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What should I expect during the second trimester?

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Phew! You made to the second trimester! :) See, it wasn't that bad, was it? ;)

You're 1/3 of the way there, in just 6 short months, you'll be delivering your beautiful baby. 

Up till now, you have probably experienced quite a bit, both physically and emotionally. Well, things should become a little easier, at least for the next few months. Here's what you can expect...

Your breasts will continue to grow due to the additional fat accumulating and in preparation for making milk. If you experienced tenderness, it may subside a bit. Remember, don't forget to get a supportive bra, it will be a huge help!

Your stomach will become noticeably bigger, and expect to gain 3-4 pounds a month until delivery. As your uterus becomes heavier and expands to make room for the baby, so will your abdomen. If you find yourself gaining significantly less or more weight, see your doctor.

Get ready for the Braxton Hicks contractions! This is your uterus preparing for the big day, as it needs to work out in order to become strong. They're generally rather weak, and you may not even notice most of them. If they cause pain or become regular, see your doctor immediately. 

You may notice the pigment of your skin change colors. Some women notice dark patches on their face. You may also get a linea nigra, which is a dark line down your abdomen. This is normal, and they will most likely fade away after delivery. Try to stay out of the if possible, or use good sunblock, as sun will make the blemishes worse.

Unfortunately you're going to get stretch marks. Usually they are pink, red or purple streaks along your abdomen, breasts, buttocks or thighs. They may even become itchy. Find some good natural moisturizers to help lessen the itch. Most stretch mark will fade, so don't be concerned. 

When pregnant, circulation increases. This means more blood flows through your body's mucous membranes, which can cause the lining of your nose and airway to swell. This results in snoring, congestion and nosebleeds. Your gums may even become more sensitive. Try using a soft bristle toothbrush, as to not irritate your gums.

Leg cramps are common, and usually hit you at night. Hot showers and stretches before bed will definitely help!

White vaginal discharge is normal. This acidic discharge helps keep your vagina clean and free of bacteria. If it becomes strong smelling, green or yellow, contract your doctor as it may be an infection. Pain, itching and soreness are not normal either.

Bladder and kidney infections may arise. If this happens, contact your doctor for medication, and you'll be prescribed medication which is safe while pregnant. Never leave it untreated, as infections increase the risk of pregnancy complications. 

Hang in there, and you'll be your third and final trimester in no time!

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