OB ABCs

Week 15

week_15Now that you’ve made it to your second trimester, your “baby bump” should really start to show.

To make room for your growing baby, your uterus and abdomen will begin expanding. Your pants may be getting tight, and you may prefer clothing with elastic waists to pants with buttons and zippers.

My Aching…

As your uterus grows upward in the pelvis, your internal organs are pushed out of their usual places. Added tension also is being placed on your surrounding muscles and ligaments. This rapid growth leaves many women with occasional aches and pains during the second trimester.

For the next four weeks, you also may experience discomfort in your lower abdomen, particularly at the end of the day. Most often, this is related to the stretching of ligaments and muscles around your growing uterus, which isn’t harmful to you or your baby. If your abdominal pain is persistent or worsens, speak with your physician.

Pressure from your uterus on the veins returning blood from your legs may cause leg cramps, particularly at night. This same pressure may cause your navel to start protruding.

Honey, I Feel Like I’m In Labor

Braxton Hicks contractions are a tightening of your uterine muscles. One of the ways your uterus prepares for labor, Braxton Hicks contractions cause your belly to feel tight and hard. These contractions may be uncomfortable, but typically subside within a few minutes and should not come back regularly.

TIPS

  • For many first-time expectant mothers, your uterus used to be the size of a pear, about 2 ounces. By birth, your uterus weighs about 2 to 2.5 pounds and is the size of a watermelon.
  • During your second trimester, you will begin to gain weight more rapidly. In fact you may add about four pounds a month for the rest of your pregnancy.