Second Trimester

More Second Trimester Changes in Your Body

Stretch Marks and Other Skin Changes
You might have heard stories from family members or friends about the dreaded stretch marks from pregnancy. Stretch marks are red, pink, or purple streaks in the skin, usually over the thighs, buttocks, abdomen, and breasts. They are scars caused by the stretching of the skin, and usually appear in the second half of pregnancy. Only about half of all pregnant women get stretch marks. They can start out as pink, reddish brown, or dark brown streaks, depending on your skin color. While creams and lotions can keep your skin well moisturized, they do not prevent stretch marks from forming. Most stretch marks fade after delivery to very light lines.
 
Besides stretch marks, you might notice other skin changes in the second trimester of your pregnancy. You might notice that your nipples are darker than before becoming pregnant, or that you have a dark line on your skin that runs down your abdomen from your belly button to your pubic hairline, called the linea nigra.
 
During the second trimester, you also might have blotchy-brown pigmentations on your forehead, nose, or cheeks. These skin changes are called melasma or chloasma. They are more common in darker-skinned women. These skin changes are caused by pregnancy hormones, and most of them will fade or disappear after delivery.
 
Tingling and Itching
Tingling and numbness of the fingers and a feeling of swelling in the hands are common during pregnancy. These symptoms are due to swelling of tissues in the narrow passages in your wrists, and they should disappear after you deliver your baby. It also is common to feel itchy as your pregnancy progresses. Pregnancy hormones and your stretching skin, especially over your abdomen, probably are to blame for most of your discomfort. About 20 percent of all pregnant women have some kind of itching. Many pregnant women also get red and itchy palms and soles of their feet.
 
Only in rare cases do pregnant women develop a condition called cholestasis of pregnancy, which is itching along with:
 
  • Nausea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue.

 

This condition is a sign of a serious liver problem. In general, itching most often goes away after delivery. In the meantime, you can relieve itching with moisturizers. You can also use only gentle soaps, and avoid hot showers or baths that can dry your skin. Try not to get overheated, since heat rash can make the itching worse.

 
Pregnancy and Pain

Pregnancy Info

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