Second Trimester: Possible Return of Nausea and Vomiting

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This trimester involves significant progression in your pregnancy, and the changes taking place with the fetus may start to make the overall experience of the pregnancy seem more real!  You may be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat during your doctor visits, and you may quickly find that your usual comfortable outfits are becoming snug!

Realize that the fetal development is quite extensive in this trimester, and that the fetus is equally experiencing changes!  Whereas a short time ago the fetus was a small cluster of cells, there are now bundles of nerves and muscles, as well as the presence of functioning organs.  For a more detailed listing of some of the expected fetal development during the second trimester, please refer to the following excerpts from the weekly calendar of events:

Week 13:  During this week of your pregnancy, which is approximately 11 weeks after conception, the baby’s intestines are shifting away from the umbilical cord, and moving into the abdominal area.  The baby is also starting to produce urine, which is safely discharged into the surrounding amniotic fluid.  This stage of the pregnancy also entails the initial development of bone matter from existing tissues.  These tissues typically develop around the head, and within the areas that will develop into the arms and legs.  The development of small ribs may also occur at this stage of the pregnancy.

Week 14:  During this week of your pregnancy, which is approximately 12 weeks after conception, the baby’s neck is becoming more clearly defined, and the arms have almost reached the length that will be present at birth.  This week will also entail the formation of the red blood cells that will comprise the baby’s spleen.  There is a distinct possibility that the sex of the baby will become apparent at this stage of the pregnancy, or in the weeks to quickly follow.  By Week 14, the baby may be almost 3 1/2 inches (87 millimeters) long from crown to rump and weigh about 1 1/2 ounces (45 grams).
A majority of women will experience some degree of nausea and vomiting during the first trimester of their pregnancy, which is commonly referred to as “morning sickness.”  A large portion of these women will find that this vomiting and nausea have passed by the start of the second trimester, and that it will not return throughout the remainder of the pregnancy. 

There are times, however, when “morning sickness” returns.  If this occurs, it is important that you try to discover the exact cause of the nausea and vomiting.  While it may simply be an extension of what was experienced during the first trimester or a stomach virus, most experts are of the impression that “morning sickness” results from the changing hormonal levels that occur as a result of pregnancy.  It is believed that the level of hormones in the woman’s body have regulated by the start of the second trimester, so it may be best to have yourself checked by your physician should there be a recurrence of “morning sickness.”

A serious condition known as hyperemesis gravidarum, which sometimes affects pregnant women and exhibits the symptoms of severe nausea and vomiting, has been identified as one possible cause of “morning sickness” during the second trimester of a pregnancy.  The typical treatment for hyperemesis gravidarum is rest, alteration to diet, and sometimes antacids, however, generally anti-nausea medications should be avoided during a pregnancy.  Should you experience such symptoms during the second trimester, or should your nausea and vomiting last for more than 24 hours at any point during this stage of your pregnancy, please contact your health care provider.
If the symptoms of “morning sickness” are neither prolonged nor severe, it is possible to effectively treat them with various natural remedies.  Ginger tea and ginger extract supplements have proven effective.  It may also be wise to avoid exceptionally spicy or fatty foods during a pregnancy, and eating several small meals throughout the day can help avoid becoming excessively hungry or full!  It has also been noted that many pregnant women can experience a heightened sense of smell during a pregnancy.  It may thus be wise to avoid coming in contact with strong or pungent odors whenever possible to help limit the possible resultant nausea and vomiting.


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By Jack Rambadt of Expecting Parents Alliance of America

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