Second Trimester | Fit Pregnancy

Second Trimester

Your Worry List Is Shorter Than You Think

You may think the healthy pregnancy to-do list is like a potato-chip craving: never-ending. But it's not. Aside from eating well and exercising—two topics that are so important we've covered them elsewhere in this issue—there are only about five things you really need to do to increase your chance of having an enjoyable pregnancy and a healthy baby.

Fret Smart: Trimester 2

Screening tests and birth defects
"We did the triple screen, which yielded funny results, so we worried about heart defects until week 18, when an ultrasound showed that everything was fine."
— Megan Keim, Vancouver, Wash., mother of Patrick, 11 months

All About Kegels

What is a Kegel?

Your pelvic-floor muscles act as a sling for the bladder, uterus and rectum. One of the most important long-term health recommendations for healing and recovering after birth is to do Kegel exercises. Kegels help keep your pelvic-floor muscles strong during pregnancy, help get them back in shape after delivery and possibly prevent urinary incontinence.

Watching The Weeks Go By

Week 4 Four weeks from the start of your last period, a positive test shows you're pregnant.

Week 5 Measured from crown of head to rump, your baby is about 0.4 inch long—the size of a green pea.

Week 8 The baby is about 1 inch long—the size of a large olive. His features are already distinctly human.

Week 10 Your doctor will probably want to see you between eight and 10 weeks for your first appointment. That's when you'll get to view the heartbeat via ultrasound.

Trimester Two

During the "honeymoon trimester," many of the annoyances of the first three months will disappear, and you'll really be able to start enjoying your pregnancy. If you want to go on a "babymoon," the end of this trimester is a good time.

What's on your mind?

Wild Nightlife

Many women experience vivid dreams during pregnancy, and no wonder—they're dealing with huge changes in their physical, emotional and spiritual selves, says Raina Manuel-Paris, Ph.D., author of The Mother-to-Be's Dream Book (Warner Books). Here are some common themes by trimester:

First Trimester: Women tend to dream about their past: childhood experiences, ex-boyfriends and parents. These dreams are a subconscious way of coming to terms with their new identity and letting go of the old.

Baby Space


Make sure nothing appears glossy or new, says Norm Wogan

of Norm Wogan Design in Los Angeles, who recently created

an aviation-themed nursery for the infant son of Extra co-host Dayna Devon. He used such treasures as a World War II-era propeller, faux hot-air balloon (above the crib), old-fashioned airplane seat belts (for curtain tiebacks) and vintage pilot goggles. An artist decorated the nursery with murals:

A Bitter Pill?


Perhaps. While "morning sickness" is most common in the first trimester, it can happen anytime during pregnancy. Prenatal vitamins may intensify your symptoms; if you suspect this is the case, try taking yours before going to bed to allow you to sleep through the discomfort. Using antacids also can be helpful, as can "grazing" on several small, healthy meals throughout the day. Additional vitamin B6 seems to curb nausea for some women; talk to your doctor about taking a supplement.

Too much vitamin A?


Since you've been taking less than 10,000 IU of vitamin A per day--the amount deemed safe for expecting women or those considering pregnancy--you don't need to be concerned. This is especially true if you've been taking vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, as it has not been shown to be harmful to fetal development in any dosage. One form of vitamin A that is of concern is isotretinoin (Accutane, an acne treatment), which is associated with severe birth defects when taken during pregnancy.

Put Out The Fire

It was heartburn that got me in the end. I could take the swelling, the back pain, the constant trips to the bathroom, the itchy skin, the fatigue, the sweating, the sleeplessness, and even the psychological shock of seeing the scale tip 200 pounds.