Second trimester pregnancy: Your emotions

Pregnancy is a psychological journey as well as a biological one. During the second trimester, you might feel less tired and more up to the challenge of preparing a home for your baby. Strike while the iron is hot! Check into childbirth classes. Find a health care provider for your baby. Read about breast-feeding.

If you plan to continue working after the baby is born, get familiar with your employer's maternity leave policy and investigate child care options. In some areas, you can't start too soon looking for child care.

As your pregnancy progresses, changes in your body's shape and function might affect your emotions. Some women feel a heightened sexuality during pregnancy. Others feel unattractive — especially as their bellies grow. If you're struggling with your body image, share your concerns with your partner. Express love and affection in ways that help you feel most comfortable.

While anticipation mounts, you might worry about labor, delivery or impending motherhood. Remember that you can't plan or control everything about your pregnancy. Instead, learn as much as you can. Focus on making healthy lifestyle choices that will give your baby the best start.

Appointments with your health care provider

During the second trimester, your prenatal appointments will focus on your baby's growth, confirming your due date and detecting any problems with your health.

Your health care provider will begin by checking your weight and blood pressure. He or she might measure the size of your uterus by checking your fundal height — the distance from the top of the uterus (fundus) to your pubic bone. Pelvic exams are often unnecessary during the second trimester, unless something unusual needs to be explored.

At this stage, the highlight of your prenatal visits might be listening to your baby's heartbeat with a special device called a Doppler. Your health care provider might suggest an ultrasound or other screening tests this trimester. You might also find out your baby's sex — if you choose.

Be sure to mention any signs or symptoms that concern you, even if they seem silly or unimportant. Talking to your health care provider is likely to put your mind at ease.

Dec. 04, 2012 See more In-depth