Second Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

Second Trimester

Increased Vaginal Discharge


All mucous membranes, including those in the vagina, produce more fluid in response to the increased estrogen of pregnancy. As long as the discharge is whitish and creamy in texture, you're probably fine. However, if the discharge has an unpleasant odor or is pinkish, or if you are experiencing vaginal itching or burning during urination, your doctor will need to make sure you don't have a vaginal infection. Also call your doctor if there is a sudden increase in discharge, regardless of its color or texture.

RH Disease


Rh disease is a possibility only when a mothers blood is Rh-negative, the father is Rh-positive and their baby is Rh-positive. Under those circumstances, if a pregnant woman's circulating blood is exposed to fetal blood cells such as during a medical procedure, an abdominal trauma or, most likely, during delivery her immune system may respond by producing antibodies to destroy the Rh-positive cells. Without treatment, this could put a developing baby at risk for serious anemia and other complications.

Using Paint Primer


From the description of the precautions you took--wearing gloves and painting in a well-ventilated room--your baby is likely to be just fine. Although no studies specifically confirm this, experts believe that a pregnant woman's limited exposure to household or hobbyist paint (particularly acrylic paint--which, along with tempera or watercolor, is recommended over oil-based paint) shouldn't be a problem. My greater concern relative to paint is twofold:

Level-3 Ultrasounds


The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends that all pregnant women be offered a diagnostic, or level-3, ultrasound, and I heartily agree. This is the gold standard not only for confirming the age of your fetus, but also for evaluating its health--whether or not you want to know its gender. The optimum timing for a diagnostic ultrasound is 20 weeks, at which time the size and anatomy of the fetus can be well-visualized.

Lacking in Libido


Many women experience changes in their sex drive during pregnancy--increased and decreased libidos are both common. That said, take a look at any circumstances, past or present, that may be putting a damper on your desire. For instance, have you experienced any vaginal bleeding or been at risk for preterm labor? Did intercourse during your last pregnancy initiate contractions? Or how about the fact that this time around, you are the mother of a young child and are likely exhausted?



Experiencing a food craving during pregnancy often indicates that a woman is deficient in an essential nutrient. The classic "pickles and ice cream" craving is likely the result of a need for additional calcium, and perhaps a secondary need to satisfy the salty and sour taste buds. The nutrient most women lack is iron, and your craving for spinach--an iron-rich vegetable--certainly fits the bill. The cream in creamed spinach also may be soothing to a queasy stomach. As long as your craving is not an unhealthy one, pretty much any food is OK in moderation.



Pilates is a wonderful activity that you can continue throughout pregnancy with some modification. It offers gentle muscle strengthening while improving balance, which can be a real benefit as your body's shape and size evolves.

Morning Cramps


Yes. You are describing round-ligament pain, which commonly begins around the fourth or fifth month of pregnancy as ligaments stretch to support your increasingly heavy uterus. Many women report a sharp or crampy pain on either side of the abdomen midway between the hip and the bellybutton when getting out of bed, standing up from a seated position or just at random times. The pain usually subsides in a matter of minutes and is nothing to worry about.

Nonexistent Libido


One of the most common reasons for decreased interest in sex on the part of either a pregnant woman or father-to-be is fear that intercourse will hurt the baby. I'm always happy to reassure my patients that with rare exceptions, a couple can enjoy sex throughout pregnancy. Natural lubrication should not be a problem, and orgasms are perfectly safe.

Hormones can affect your sex drive, too. Pregnancy triggers constant high levels of estrogen and progesterone, both of which suppress the production of testosterone, a vital hormone where libido is concerned.

Preventing Constipation


Two factors contribute to constipation in pregnancy. The first is the body's increased production of progesterone, which relaxes not only the smooth muscle of the uterine wall but also of the intestinal wall and stomach, thereby making digestion sluggish. The second is the body's tendency to become underhydrated as it adjusts to an increasing blood volume. To help prevent constipation, drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Also exercise daily and eat more vegetables and dried fruits.