Pregnancy FAQs 2: Second and Third Trimester of Pregnancy

By: Katie-Anne Gustafsson

Pregnancy is a time for insecurity.  Here are some answers to the common ones in the second and third trimesters of pregnancy.

1. I’m Bleeding, Is This Normal? (second and third trimester pregnancy)

Well, I was told by my midwife that this is normal.  “Most women bleed in pregnancy” she said.  What she didn’t say was that if the bleeding was a kind of “brown” color then it was ‘usually’ safe.  If it was red, then there was more cause for concern.  Even red blood can be ok, especially if your baby is mobile and kicking your insides for all he’s worth, but it should always be checked out.  Whether it’s normal or not, when you’re pregnant and start to bleed, it’s terrifying and you need reassurances that everything is ok.  If you have a little brown spotting once or twice in the course of one day, I’d ignore it.  If it continues into a second day, I’d recommend you get in touch with someone about it.  Probably it’s nothing, but you’re pregnant and you don’t need the extra stress that this discovery will put on you.  Until you get your appointment, put your feet up and rest.  Once you’ve been checked out and told everything is fine, you can resume your normal life.

2. When Will I Feel the Baby Move?

This varies from mother to mother, and from pregnancy to pregnancy.  There are many who say that they felt the baby move earlier in a subsequent pregnancy than they did on the first.  There are also some who say that well-toned people will feel the baby move earlier than those who are little more out of shape.  Usually you ought to feel the baby move during the middle of the second trimester.  Your first scan may show the baby moving around and that might alert you to how it feels because you can then associate the feelings in your stomach with what’s happening on the screen.  Until then you might have felt as if you had “butterflies” in your tummy, and not realized that it’s your baby shuffling around in there!  If you are in anyway worried about not feeling the baby move, you should speak to your Obst/Gyn, or Midwife, or even the local maternity hospital – whoever is your primary healthcare provider for the pregnancy.  They will be able to offer reassurance based on your particular case.  If you have been feeling the baby move, and then you realize that you haven’t felt it for a day or so, you should contact your pregnancy healthcare provider as soon as possible – Junior may just be taking a break, but it’s better to have it checked out.

3. Morning Sickness is Taking Over My Life – Is this Normal?

Morning Sickness can make a pregnant woman very miserable.  Most moms-to-be experience it at some time, but usually it disappears at the end of Trimester 1.  For some however it becomes a serious problem.  If you find that you are unable to keep any food down, and perhaps are fighting to even keep fluids down, you need to contact your pregnancy healthcare provider.  There are medications that can be given to help women with severe morning sickness. 

It should be noted also that although morning sickness is usually an expected side affect of pregnancy, that doesn’t mean that it is completely harmless.  If it’s severe, you may find yourself hospitalized for dehydration.  Not many women get to this stage, but it’s mentioned here so that you know it could be a possibility and so you don’t accept severe symptoms as “normal” when they are extreme.

4. Can I Have Contractions At 26 Weeks? (third trimester pregnancy)

Early contractions are usually known as Braxton Hicks.  These are a taste of things to come – a rehearsal for the main event!  Your system is getting itself toned up and ready to deliver your baby into the world.  Not all women feel these.  Some women have them for most of the second and third trimesters.  Other women have gentle contractions.  And yet for others these can be very painful. 

If you feel like these are the real thing, or if they are continuous, or regular, or if you are concerned about them in any way, ring up your pregnancy healthcare provider and see what they have to say.  It’s better that you’re checked out and found to be having Braxton Hicks, then going into early labor and ignoring it.  Once you have been diagnosed as having Braxton Hicks, you will know what these feel like and will be more comfortable about them. 

5. I Think I’m in Labor, Should I Phone the Hospital? (third trimester pregnancy)

It’s probably a good idea.  Not because you need to for the baby, but because this is your way of settling your mind that everything’s going to be ok, and at this time you need to be as relaxed as possible!  If your contractions have started, time them first before ringing the hospital so that you can give them some idea of how far along you are.  They will tell you at what point they will expect you to come in.  If you have had had problems during your pregnancy, they may need you to come in before non-complicated pregnancy women would because they might like to monitor how things are – if this happens, you may get sent home again once they are satisfied that things are progressing normally.

Once your waters break, go straight to the hospital.  At this point, timing contractions is not an issue – although it will give you (or your partner) something else to think about!  The baby is on its way and you need to get to your labor room!

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