What's Happening To Your Body - Second Trimester

By this point in your development, you are hopefully feeling less nauseated and more energetic.

Your breasts are producing a milk-like substance called colostrum, which is basically breast milk in-the-making. Colostrum can function like a natural "lotion" which prevents cracking, so if you notice small amounts on your nipples you may gently rub it-in or wash it away with warm water. (Never use soap on your nipples, as it can cause dry and/or cracked skin.) Always be sure to dry your nipples thoroughly after washing.

The increased hormonal activity in this trimester, combined with increased fluid in your circulatory system and pressure on your veins from your growing uterus may cause hemorrhoids and/or varicose veins.

Weight Gain During Pregnancy

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends an average weight gain of 25 to 30 pounds during pregnancy. But the amount of weight you should gain depends on your weight before you became pregnant and your height.

According to ACOG:

  • If you were underweight before becoming pregnant, you should gain between 28 and 40 pounds.
  • If you were overweight before becoming pregnant, you should gain between 15 and 25 pounds.

Check with your doctor to find out how much weight gain during pregnancy is healthy for you. You should gain weight gradually during your pregnancy, with most of the weight gained in the last trimester.

Doctors suggest women gain weight at the following rate:

  • 2 to 4 pounds during the first trimester
  • 3 to 4 pounds per month for the second and third trimesters

Recent research shows that women who gain more than the recommended amount during pregnancy and who fail to lose this weight within six months after giving birth are at much higher risk of being obese nearly 10 years later. Total weight gained during pregnancy includes six to eight pounds for the weight of the baby. The remaining weight consists of fluid, larger breasts, larger uterus, amniotic fluid, and the placenta. Make sure to visit your doctor throughout your pregnancy so he or she can check on your weight gain.

Losing Weight After Pregnancy

If you gain too much weight during pregnancy it can be hard to lose weight after you have your baby. During pregnancy, fat deposits can increase by more than 33 percent. Most women who gain the recommended amount of weight lose the extra weight in the birth process and in the weeks and months after birth. Breastfeeding also can help you lose extra weight by burning extra calories. Breastfeeding burns at least 500 calories each day. Find out more about what you should eat and avoid while breastfeeding.