So, it’s the last month of your second trimester; and your last trimester is about to begin. As your due date inches close, there are many things that go down in the 6th month! What are they? Well, read our post and learn about the different changes that your baby and the body go through when you are six months pregnant.
6 Months Pregnant Symptoms:
With morning sickness and other symptoms taking a backseat, you perhaps imagine a relaxed pregnancy, don’t you? To be honest, you will put your feet up- although not to relax! Here’s why:
Somewhere around the 6th month, you’ll observe that your feet, ankles, and hands appear swollen. Technically called edema; it occurs because the body retains fluid within the tissues to nourish you and your baby. Along with the increase in pressure on the pelvis, edema leads to swollen ankles and hands. A little swelling is normal and a common symptom associated with pregnancy. Sometimes, you may notice swelling in the face or around the eyes- ideally, there’s nothing to worry. But, in rare circumstances, swelling (especially when accompanied by other symptoms like high protein levels in the urine and high blood pressure) is a sign of preeclampsia. It is a serious condition that can lead to blood pressure spikes. To avoid edema, remember to keep your feet up when you sit down. Avoid standing for long periods and wearing tight clothes including socks and stockings. Doctors also advise patients to sleep on their side to help the kidneys eliminate waste efficiently.
[ Read: Tips To Reduce Swelling During Pregnancy ]
Constipation is an annoying symptom that some women experience through their pregnancy. Depending on the stage of your pregnancy, there are several reasons why it occurs. For one, hormonal changes cause muscles around the bowels to relax, thereby slowing down digestion. As your pregnancy progresses, the growing uterus puts pressure on the bowel and cause indigestion. The prenatal vitamin pills also tighten stools leaving you feeling bloated and gassy. It is a common symptom, but you don’t have to resign yourself to live with the problem- lest it leads to hemorrhoids. Simple steps like drinking warm water regularly, eating plenty of fiber-rich food, drinking plenty of fluids and regular exercising, help to ease indigestion and heartburn (another common symptom). Curd and other food rich in probiotics bacteria also help. And when none of these home remedies work, speak to your doctor she may prescribe stool softeners and laxatives.
- Increased Appetite:
Although the baby’s organs are now developed, they need to mature. The body has to supply enough nutrients to help the process. That’s probably why pregnant women experience an increase in appetite at around the second trimester. The month too isn’t any different. You may find yourself perpetually hungry and craving for food. While there’s nothing you can do to control your urge to eat, make sure that you eat healthily. Junk food is filling but provides little nutrition to you and the baby. Instead, indulge in foods like cheese and whole grain muffins- they’re satisfying as well as healthy. And before you reach out for food when hungry, try drinking water- you may interpret thirst for hunger. Rather than eating three square meals, consider eating six small meals throughout the day.
As your pregnancy progresses, snoring becomes a common symptom. Your pregnancy hormones are again to blame – they cause the mucous membranes to swell. Weight gain also induces snoring, as the tissues around the head and neck swell. While there’s nothing to worry, sometimes, snoring can be an indicator of gestational diabetes, which doctors can detect during the monthly blood and urine tests. Try sticking a nasal strip while going to bed or sleeping on the side to allow better air circulation. Keeping your head in an elevated position also helps.
A backache is one symptom that’s likely to stay with you until delivery and is one of the most common symptoms of pregnancy. The pregnancy hormone relaxin loosens muscles around the pelvic area and lower abdomen to prepare the body for delivery. The baby’s weight and the growing uterus push your stomach forward and cause your lower back to curve. Make sure that you maintain proper posture while sitting and put your feet up whenever possible. Women with a habit of crossing their legs also experience a backache during pregnancy because the pelvic area is under great strain. An unusual weight gain also leads to a backache; and so does wearing stilettos.
[ Read: Exercises For Back Pain During Pregnancy ]
By now, the bump begins to show. You’ve also gained considerable weight. The uterus usually rises by an inch or so above the belly. It also pushes the abdomen causing your belly button to pop out. It continues to remain like this until a few weeks after delivery, after which it goes back to its original position. The growing uterus also put tremendous pressure on the blood cells leaving you faint and dizzy at times.
With every month, there are new symptoms to handle- and not all of them are pleasant! Some of the common concerns 6 month pregnancy include:
Insomnia or sleeplessness often affects women during their third trimester, but for some it starts from the latter half of the second trimester itself. There are many factors that contribute to the problem. For one, frequent visits to the bathroom disturb your sleep. And if this wasn’t enough, the baby kicks up a storm within your tummy leaving you restless. Hormonal changes and heartburn also make it difficult for you to catch a good night’s sleep. Besides, it can never be comfortable to sleep with a football attached to the tummy. But handling insomnia is easier than you think if you remember a few key things. For instance, eat your dinner at least two hours before bedtime and don’t forget to eat slowly. It not only keeps the dreaded heartburn at bay but also helps you sleep better. Avoid caffeine and fizzy drinks as they keep you awake. Follow a bedtime ritual by reading a book, listening to some soothing music, or taking a warm bath. A comfortable bed and the right room temperature also induce sleep.
- Body Ache:
As the pregnancy progresses, you may observe that your body aches and leaves you tired and fatigued. Technically called round ligament pain, it occurs due to your growing uterus. As it continues to expand, the ligaments that run from the pelvic area to the abdomen are stretched and under tremendous pressure. It causes dull aches around the lower abdomen. The pain may last anywhere from a few minutes to up to a few hours. Ideally, there’s nothing to worry, but contact the doctor if body ache is followed fever or frequent contractions.
- Varicose Veins:
We’ve known by now that the body has to push extra blood to the uterus to supply enough nutrients to the growing baby. Some of the unwanted side effects of it include varicose veins- the slightly swollen purplish veins that appear on the lower half of the body. The veins that have to push back the extra blood back to the heart, bulge- causing varicose veins. They’re also hereditary; so if your mom had them, chances are, you will too! If you’re prone to the problem, there’s little you can do, but a few tips can help prevent them. For example, remember to put your feet up whenever possible and avoid sitting with your legs crossed. Regular exercising also contributes to avoiding varicose veins. Don’t forget to wear comfortable clothes (especially underwear) and shoes. Gaining too much weight too soon also adds to the problem.
- Tingling Sensation In The Hands And Legs:
Increased blood flow puts pressure on the hands and feet leaving you with a tingling sensation. It is true for women who have a desk job or those who spend long hours at the computer. Stretch your hands frequently to relieve yourself of the pain. Avoid sleeping on your hand and remember to shake them regularly.
The Baby During 6th Month Of Pregnancy:
How is the development of baby at 6 months? The baby continues to grow rapidly this month- not just gaining weight, but also length. His skin turns pinkish because of the blood vessels that form under the skin. The lungs to continue to mature though there’s a lot of time before he’s ready to breathe. He’ll be very active and respond to sound. If you’d like to know how your baby responds to your (or your partner’s) voice, this is the time. The baby also continues to develop the vernix caseosa- this is a little waxy coat that protects its skin from shriveling while floating amidst the amniotic fluid. By the end of this month, your baby’s finger and toe nails are developed and even visible through an ultrasound.
[ Read: 6th Month Pregnancy Care ]
As long as you eat a balanced meal and avoid junk food, things should be okay on the diet front. The fetus needs folic acid, iron and calcium to grow into a healthy baby. While folic acid helps your body produce the extra blood required to supply nutrients, iron contributes to preventing anemia and carry oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body (and to the baby). Calcium makes your baby’s bone strong. Folic acid and iron can be sought from green leafy vegetables and calcium from dairy products. Fresh fruits and nuts supply the extra doses of vitamins and minerals needed for the body (1).
[ Read: 6th Month Pregnancy Diet ]
On Your Mind:
Planning about the baby’s impending arrival may keep your mind occupied this month. That is if you have some energy left after the pain and discomfort causing symptoms. You may also have begun to maintain a registry for the things you need for the baby. With all the fancy gizmos and gadgets around now, you may be tempted to buy a few things you don’t need. For instance, the pee-pee tee pee- why spend $10 on a set of clothes that are to be placed on a baby’s wee wee while changing diapers!? You might also consider undertaking a short tour before delivery- traveling is considered safe during the second trimester.
Tips For Dads-To-Be:
There’s no doubt that pregnancy is overwhelming for you, but spare a thought for your partner as well. He has the same fears and doubts that you have the baby. In fact, unlike you, he does not share his concerns with anyone, because of the ‘men-are-not-supposed-to-complain’ taboo. But you can prepare him for labor and parenthood by telling exactly how he can help. Let him know about the specific kind of assistance that you’d like during labor. This’ll help him take tough medical decisions. Telling him what to do to make you feel special may sound strange (he’s supposed to know that is what you may think), but unfortunately, men are good at ‘following’ instructions- that’s just hardwired into them!
To Do List:
Choosing a name for your baby may keep you busy during sixth month of pregnancy. Are you looking to honor a relative (dad, mom, grandparents) by naming your child after them? Or, are you looking for a fancy and never-thought-of name? Before you think of an unconventional name, consider its implications for your child- you don’t want him to be the butt of everyone’s joke because of his name. There are also other practical considerations like planning about cord blood banking or opening a securing the child’s future.
At The Doctor’s Office:
Besides the usual blood test, you’ll also be tested for gestational diabetes. You’ll be asked to gulp down a can of glucose water, and then blood will be drawn exactly after an hour. If the tests show high levels of sugar, the doctor may call you for a second round of test. This includes four different drawings before diagnosing you for gestational diabetes.
The experiences we mention above are based on some general experiences during the 6 months pregnancy. Every pregnancy is different! So, tell us how was it for you? Share your stories with us here, leave a comment below! Fellow moms would love to hear from you.
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