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The second month of pregnancy is marked by a bundle of physical, emotional and developmental changes. You start experiencing signs and symptoms of early pregnancy and your body begins to grow in all aspects, and so does the baby in your womb. This usually marks the first month when you miss your period and evidently enter pregnancy.

Since the second month is critical for the growth and development of the foetus, it is important that you take utmost care.

This article will share normal signs and symptoms of pregnancy that are expected in the second month. It will also discuss the physical changes including the weight gain which is expected to be normal during this period and the growth and development to be expected in the infant. Further, it will share important diet and exercise tips, some dos and don’ts along with vaccination and diagnostic tests.

  1. 2 months pregnant signs and symptoms
  2. Baby at 2 months pregnant
  3. 2-month pregnancy diet
  4. Exercises during second month of pregnancy
  5. Tests during the second month of pregnancy
  6. Vaccination during the second month
  7. Dos and don’ts for the second month of pregnancy

In the second month, you start experiencing signs and symptoms of early pregnancy like morning sickness, which is marked by a feeling of nausea. Quite contrary to the term, you can experience it at any time of the day. Other signs and symptoms of pregnancy are:

  • Mood changes
  • Frequent urination
  • Food cravings and aversions from certain types of foods
  • Fatigue
  • Increased feeling of sleepiness
  • Tenderness of breasts and nipples
  • Heightened sense of smell
  • Worry, anxiety and fear related to pregnancy and the growing baby
  • Slight weight gain
  • Increase in the breast size
  • Increase in the pigmentation of the nipples, making them look darker
  • Gastrointestinal disturbances like constipation, bloating or gas
  • Stomach upset
  • Heartburn

You must understand that these signs and symptoms are normal during pregnancy and usually not a matter of concern. However, if your morning sickness hits you quite hard, you may like to see a doctor. Increased gastrointestinal disturbances or fatigue are also matters of concern.

Other than this, it is important to choose the right size of innerwear to support your growing breasts during this period. This will help in maintaining its shape and will avoid sagging in the later stages.

You now know about the physical changes you experience during pregnancy and its signs and symptoms, but, why do you experience these changes? This is because the embryo inside your womb is growing and developing to form a baby. It is slowly beginning to implant itself with your uterine wall and is reaching out to gain blood supply from your body through the development of a yolk sac in the fifth week, which later progresses to form the placenta in the same month. The embryo divides into three layers during the second month, which progresses to form different organs. Let’s have a view of your baby’s development at second month:

  • At the beginning of the second month, the embryo is just about 2 mm long, but it begins to slowly differentiate and grows up to a length of about 10 mm by the end of the second month.
  • While you are struggling with morning sickness and emotional turmoil, your baby is slowly differentiating and its brain is starting to develop (from the neural tube), its heartbeat is beginning to form and it has a blood supply of its own, though, it relies on the nutrition provided by you. These vessels slowly coagulate to develop the umbilical cord, which is responsible for its nourishment.
  • The embryo starts to take its shape, that is, it begins to curve within the uterus, and also develops a small head and a tail. The head slowly begins to increase in size and develops faster than the rest of the body, giving the appearance of a large forehead.
  • The limbs of the embryo also begin to develop (first visible as small buds or mass of tissue), and so does its eyes and the ears. As the embryo derives more and more nutrition, it keeps on growing in size and so, the length of the limbs also increases.

By almost the end of the second month, the embryo developing in your womb is termed as a foetus, which also means an offspring. This means that it is already developing to form a baby. Excited, aren’t you? Let’s explore the best environment and diet essential for the baby.

It is important to take care of your diet during pregnancy to meet the growing demands of the body and to avoid nutritional deficiency. Since only mild weight gain of 1 to 2 kilograms is expected during the first trimester (first three months of pregnancy), a major increase in the calorie intake is not recommended. You can continue to have the normal daily calories, that is 1800 or 2000, which you were taking pre-pregnancy. This does not mean you can ignore your diet and continue eating the same way. Following is a guide to help you eat during the second month of pregnancy.

Have a balanced diet

This is the most important recommendation to be made during pregnancy. Including the right proportion of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, minerals and vitamins is the best thing you can do to avoid nutritional deficiencies and fatigue.

(Read more: Vitamins and minerals you need during pregnancy)

It is best to include a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, but, it is important to wash them thoroughly before consumption to prevent the risk of infections.

A plant-based diet is safer during pregnancy, but, you can also enjoy non-vegetarian foods like chicken, well-cooked meat and certain fish varieties like salmon and trout. What not to eat among these foods will be discussed in the sections below.

Folic acid during pregnancy

Folic acid or vitamin B9 is quintessential during pregnancy to prevent embryonic defects, particularly those associated with the neural tube (which forms the brain and spinal cord).

It is advisable to take folic acid supplements to avoid this, but, that requires a physician’s consultation, who will most likely prescribe a 400 mcg supplement. Dietary intake of folic acid can be ensured by eating more leafy greens, citrus fruits (oranges and lemons) and legumes and sprouts in your diet.

Increase fibre in your diet

If you are constantly suffering from digestive issues like constipation during the second month of pregnancy, it is advisable to increase the intake of fibre-rich foods like whole grains, dry fruits, nuts and cereals.

Fibres have time and again proved to be beneficial in the prevention of constipation. Just make sure to drink more water.

(Read more: Constipation during pregnancy causes)

Drink more water

Regardless of the fibre intake, simply drink more water. More than the usual 8 glasses you did. This will help in keeping you energised and it will also aid in better digestion. Also, it reduces the risk of preterm labour.

(Read more: How much water to drink in a day)

Include more iron in your diet

Iron consumption is very important during pregnancy to ensure sufficient blood formation, which is the only source of nutrition for the foetus. This will also avoid iron deficiency anaemia and foetal malformations. While increasing the consumption of iron from plant sources like green leafy vegetables and nuts, it is essential that you also increase the consumption of vitamin C to facilitate the absorption of iron.

(Read more: Iron deficiency causes)

Foods to avoid

Now you know, what to eat during the second month of pregnancy, but are there any foods you should avoid? Definitely.

You must avoid the consumption of raw, uncooked and cold processes meats, like pepperoni, salami, chorizo, minced meat and sausages. Uncooked meat is a host of parasites, which can cause a serious infection called toxoplasmosis. For similar reasons, you must consume only pasteurised milk and avoid drinking milk before boiling sufficiently.

Other than this, the consumption of seafood and sushi must also be limited since these are also eaten in the raw form. You must limit the consumption of liver meat and tuna during the second month. Certain types of cheese, particularly soft cheese and raw or partially cooked eggs must also be avoided.

You are advised to not take any supplements unless prescribed so by your doctor. Multi-vitamin and fish oil supplements must be particularly avoided.

Concerning beverages, it is advisable to reduce your caffeine consumption since it is associated with low birth weight. Consumption of green tea and herbal tea must also be kept minimum since they have not been thoroughly researched. In fact, an unprescribed dose of any ayurvedic or herbal products must be completely refrained from during the second month of pregnancy.

Eat more often

To keep morning sickness during the second month at bay, you must increase the frequency of your meals, that is, you should eat more often. Divide three larger meals into small 5 to 6 small meals to be eaten throughout the day. This will surely help in the avoidance of nausea.

(Read more: Foods to eat and avoid during pregnancy)

Exercising is completely safe during the second month of pregnancy. In fact, women are more and more encouraged to exercise often since it poses no risk to the infant. Because significant weight gain has not occurred during the second month, you can opt for a number of exercises like cycling, jogging, swimming, yoga and any other form of exercises you like. However, you must start with low-intensity exercises like walking for half an hour, the duration of which can be gradually increased. There are specific pregnancy exercises that can also be opted for during the second month. Visit an expert or enrol with a pregnancy group to master them.

Following are some of the benefits of exercising during the second month:

  • Avoids excessive weight gain- Since food cravings are common during the second month, there is a chance that you eat extra and gain excess weight, which is unnecessary at such an early stage and will be harder to lose post-pregnancy. Exercising ensures its avoidance.
  • Helps in reducing stress and anxiety, which is very common during the second month owing to the hormonal changes and worries related to pregnancy.
  • Avoidance of gestational diabetes and gestational hypertension due to weight management.
  • Controlling the frequent urge of micturition can be a problem, especially when you are out of your home, are at work or just spending a day shopping. This concern can be managed with the help of pelvic floor exercises, which must be performed under the guidance of a trained expert.

If you experience any symptoms like dizziness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat or even pain and discomfort, you must discontinue any form of physical activity and must immediately consult with your physician.

(Read more: Exercises during pregnancy)

Since major foetal developments occur during the second month, you can go for diagnostic tests and ultrasounds to keep track. These will be prescribed and performed by your physician or gynaecologist. They will also help in determining your due date and will facilitate early detection of any foetal abnormalities.

Screening tests for transmissible diseases, which can be transferred from the mother to the foetus like HIV-AIDS, hepatitis, etc is important during the second month, so that, they can be detected at an early stage and can be avoided in the child.

(Read more: Check up during pregnancy)

It is important to get vaccinated before pregnancy to avoid the risk in the infant. If you have not been vaccinated, make sure to get vaccinated at the earliest to avoid foetal defects. Vaccinations that can safely be given in the second month include flu (influenza) shot, whooping cough vaccine. There are certain complications like pain, swelling or fever, which may follow vaccination, so you must consult with your doctor.

There are certain things that must be kept in mind during the second month of pregnancy:

Dos

  • Eat a balanced diet
  • Follow a pregnancy diet chart
  • Eat frequent meals and have more water
  • Wash fruits and vegetables before eating
  • Exercise each day
  • Have sex
  • Go out
  • Go to work
  • Meditate
  • Buy the right size of innerwear
  • Have medications and supplements prescribed by your doctor on time
  • Share the news with your friends and family and talk to them about any issues 
  • Get screened for any infections
  • Get vaccinated if prescribed
  • Weekly visits to your family doctor or gynaecologist

Don’ts

  • Smoking (this causes birth defects)
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Following a strict diet or calorie restriction
  • Eating raw eggs and cold processed meats
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Being stressed or anxious
  • Not taking prescribed medications on time
  • Taking vitamin supplements or any other supplements or medications without a prescription
  • Consuming herbal products
  • Employing home remedies
  • Skipping doctor’s appointments

References

  1. Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human; National Health Service [Internet]. UK; What are some common signs of pregnancy?
  2. Office on Women's Health [Internet] U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Stages of pregnancy.
  3. Planned Parenthood Federation of America. What happens in the second month of pregnancy?. [Internet]
  4. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Pregnancy - week by week
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; You and your baby at 5 weeks pregnant.
  6. Ministry of Health. Proper Nutrition during Pregnancy. State of Israel [Internet]
  7. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; The Pregnancy Book.
  8. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Foods to avoid in pregnancy.
  9. Better health channel. Department of Health and Human Services [internet]. State government of Victoria; Pregnancy and exercise
  10. Sally K. Hinman et al. Exercise in Pregnancy A Clinical Review. Sports Health. 2015 Nov; 7(6): 527–531. PMID: 26502446
  11. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; During Pregnancy
  12. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; Pregnant Women & Influenza (Flu)
  13. Office of Infectious Disease. Vaccines for Pregnant Women. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [Internet]
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