The second month of pregnancy is from week five to week eight. You will feel almost the same as your previous month. However, the second month is also the time for your first prenatal visit and routine medical check-up.
A lot is happening inside the body right now, with the cells coming together to form an embryo. Your body and mind undergo a transformation, and in every sense, you will feel pregnant.
In this post, MomJunction explains the bodily changes, the baby’s growth as well as the precautions and tips to follow in the second month of pregnancy.
What Symptoms Do You Experience In The Second Month Of Pregnancy?
You will experience almost all the symptoms of the first month, plus a few more that make the pregnancy more pronounced.
- Morning sickness: Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy (NVP) is common in the first trimester. You may feel nauseated in the morning as well as other times during the day. Morning sickness begins around the first week and subsides during the second or third month (1).
- Increasing urge to pee: Your trips to the loo increase as your body produces human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG), a hormone that triggers urination. An increase in fluid intake to meet the needs of the body also causes frequent urination (2).
- Mood swings: You will experience mood swings as the pregnancy hormones start taking control. You will be happy and ecstatic one moment and could become lethargic and irritable the next. These mood changes could also make family and professional responsibilities more stressful and gruesome (3).
- Food cravings/aversions: Hormonal changes along with nutritional deficiencies will lead to food cravings or aversions (2). The foods you loved once may become repulsive, and those you never liked may become your favorite. As long as they are not harmful to you or the baby, you can indulge in all kinds of foods.
- Constipation: Hormonal and physical changes affect the movement of food in the digestive system. The progesterone hormone possesses muscle relaxing properties, which will slow down the digestion process. Also, aversions to foods will affect your food habits that will lead to constipation (4).
- Heartburn: The growing baby exerts pressure towards the stomach causing heartburn and acid reflux.
- Headache and dizziness: Changes in hormone levels and blood pressure during pregnancy will lead to headaches and lightheadedness.
Some women also develop excess salivation, a metallic taste in the mouth, varicose veins, edema, and a heightened sense of smell during this period.
[ Read: 5 Weeks Pregnant ]
Bodily Changes During The Second Month Of Pregnancy
- Breasts change and become sore and tender to touch. As the hormones increase the fat stores in the body, breasts also increase in size as they prepare for lactation. The nipples and areolas become darker.
- You will notice slight white vaginal secretions that are thicker than usual. They might smell unusual or weird, but these changes are normal.
- Your skin changes and you may develop acne due to the increasing hormonal levels. Some women may have clear skin towards the end of this month, giving them the pregnancy glow.
- Elevated hormonal levels and increase in blood volume bloat your veins making them visible. They appear either red or blue and twisted, a condition called varicose veins.
- You will experience swelling in the arms and legs due to the increased blood supply.
- Fatigue is an early sign of pregnancy and is due to the increased levels of the progesterone hormone that affects blood pressure and blood sugar levels.
- As the baby is growing, the uterus begins to make more space for the baby. This causes tension and pain in the uterus, leaving it sore.
While you experience these changes, your baby continues to develop and grow in your womb.
Baby’s Development In The Second Month Of Pregnancy
- The fetus looks like a curved tube with the head at one end and buttocks on the other end
- Eyes, external ears, eyelids, and upper lip begin to form
- Heart and liver develop
- Fingers and toes develop but are webbed
- Genitals start developing but are not distinguishable
- Arms bend near the elbows
- The nervous system, lungs, stomach, and pancreas develop considerably
- Spine and kidneys begin to form
- First muscles that allow fetal movement take shape
- Sensory organs that include ears, optic nerve, tongue, and nose tip continue to develop
- The heart has two chambers
[ Read: 6th Week Of Pregnancy ]
How Does A Baby Look In The Second Month?
By the second month, your baby is the size of a blueberry and mostly looks a miniature human infant. The fetus weighs about one ounce (less than 28g) and measures one inch (3cm) in length (8).
What Do You Need To Know In Your Second Month Of Pregnancy?
Here are a few pointers you need to keep in mind during the 2nd month of pregnancy (9):
- Make a simple to-do list so of the precautions and measures to consider.
- Relax, and take ample rest, since it is crucial for both you and the baby.
- Drink lots of water to stay hydrated.
- Start taking folic acid and vitamin medications as prescribed by the gynecologist. They are essential for your baby’s growth.
- Maintain a healthy diet as approved by your doctor or nutritionist, as this will help you both during and post delivery to reduce extra weight.
- Wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly, and peel them if required, to avoid accidental consumption of pesticides.
- Eat small quantities throughout the day as it helps you digest food quickly and aids in feeding your growing baby properly.
- As your breasts show symptoms of heaviness, begin using supportive bras to prevent sagging later.
- Walk at least 20 minutes every day and keep yourself active.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol consumption.
- Do not keep your stomach empty as it promotes the formation of gas and makes you feel nauseated.
- Avoid oily and junk foods as they cause unwanted weight gain.
- Cut down caffeine as it aggravates heartburn, insomnia, and anxiety.
- Do not take any pain killers or antibiotics without consulting your physician.
- Try not to stress yourself out. Enroll yourself in yoga or meditation classes.
- Do not wear tight fitting clothes that restrict breathing space for the body.
- Avoid long-distance travel as it puts unnecessary pressure on the body.
- Avoid hot tub baths as high temperatures will affect fetal development.
- Do not bend or lift heavy weights as they put pressure on the growing baby.
[ Read: 7th Week Of Pregnancy ]
Diet tips for the second month
You should follow a balanced diet with essential nutrients for healthy fetal development. They also help you cope with the many changes happening in your body (10).
- Include the right proportions of carbohydrates, fats, protein, vitamins, and minerals to avoid nutritional deficiencies and fatigue.
- Have lots of fresh fruits and vegetables and wash them before consumption to prevent bacterial and viral infections.
- Include folic acid sources such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, eggs, and pulses to prevent embryonic defects.
- Eat fiber-rich foods such as whole grains, cereals, dry fruits, and nuts to stay away from digestive issues
- Drink enough water – pregnant women need to have at least two to three liters of water every day.
- Foods such as spinach, beetroot, fenugreek, dry fruits, chicken and fish provide the iron that is essential for healthy blood supply.
- Have at least five portions of fruits and vegetables every day.
- Avoid meat spreads, raw or undercooked eggs, soft cheeses, and fish containing mercury.
- Avoid having excess tea or coffee as overindulging in caffeine is harmful.
- Avoid spicy, acidic, and fatty foods as they ease the symptoms of indigestion and heartburn.
What To Expect During Your Visit To The Ob/Gyn?
This will be your first prenatal visit, and your doctor will perform several routine tests (11).
- Primarily, weight and blood pressure are checked for normalcy. Urine and blood samples are collected for general analysis.
- Urine testing checks for the presence of sugars (sign of diabetes) and protein (sign of kidney infections and hypertension).
- Blood test checks for the following:
- Iron and hemoglobin levels to diagnose anemia
- ABO blood grouping and Rh factor
- Infectious diseases such as hepatitis B and HIV
- Immunities such as chicken pox and rubella
- Genetic conditions that include sickle cell anemia or thalassemia
- Complete body check-up to analyze any ENT, dental, thyroid or other problems.
- Vaginal smear examination to diagnose vaginal infections.
- Physical examination for edema and varicose veins.
Discuss any concerns with your doctor and ask questions. Use your first pre-natal check-up to clear as many doubts as you have to become stress-free.
What Are The Common Concerns During The Second Month?
The second month is when the fetus starts to develop, and rapidly too. But it is also a delicate phase of pregnancy when you need to be extra observant for the concerns common at this time.
- Vaginal spotting or bleeding that could be a result of implantation bleeding, intercourse or early miscarriage.
- Varicose veins, which are swollen and visible above the skin. They become worse with successive pregnancies.
- Heartburn and indigestion are common, due to changes in the hormone levels.
- You are likely to contract external infections because of the many changes in the body.
[ Read: 8th Week Of Pregnancy ]
Tips For Dads-to-be
This is a vulnerable time, with mood swings and nausea making you more irritable. Seek your partner’s help to make this time more agreeable for you. Your partner can:
- Help her with the house chores
- Keep track of your eating and sleeping habits
- Stock the pantry with the foods you love to eat around this time
- Research about insurance coverage and other medical details
- Be supportive and make you feel loved to keep your stress levels to a minimum.
You are still at the beginning of your pregnancy and are likely to deal with many more changes ahead. So follow the care and diet instructions to keep yourself and the baby safe. Relax and stay away from anything stressful. Taking the right measures will make the journey happier and healthier.
Do you have any experiences to share? Let us know in the comment section below.
2. Pregnancy: Signs, Symptoms and Health; REGIS
3. Carin Modh et al.; First time pregnant women’s experiences in early pregnancy; Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being (2011)
4. Stages of pregnancy; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2018)
5. Signs and symptoms of pregnancy; National Health Service (NHS) (2019)
6. Pregnancy by Trimester; UCSB SexInfo (2017)
7. Fetal development; MedlinePlus (2019)
8. Normal Growth of a Baby During Pregnancy; RelayHealth and/or its affiliates (2008)
9. Emily Hughes; The Do’s and Don’ts of Pregnancy: A Pregnant Woman’s Guide to Birth a Healthy Baby; Developmental Psychology at Vanderbilt (2013)
10. Prenatal Nutrition; Michigan Medicine, University Of Michigan (2017)
11. Prenatal care in your first trimester; Medline Plus, NIH (2018)
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