Give yourself a pat on the back because you are now in the second trimester of pregnancy. You may have noticed that your waist has gone on holiday and that your breasts are expanding at an alarming rate. Why not go and treat yourself with a shopping trip for some new maternity lingerie?

The further your pregnancy progresses, the more you have a chance of developing iron or vitamin deficiencies. Now is the time to look carefully at your diet and see if anything is missing. You may feel you want to supplement your diet with vitamins and if so, make sure to choose ones specifically aimed at pregnancy because they offer vitamins at a more moderate dose and will include some all-important folic acid.

Itchy skin is a common side effect of pregnancy and this can be easily treated with moisturizers such as cocoa butter. It is a good idea to drink lots of water to stay hydrated and watch your caffeine intake. You may also find brown patches appearing on your skin if it’s exposed to sunlight. This is called melasma or pregnancy mask and is nothing to worry about. It is associated with an excess of the female hormones progesterone and estrogen. After the birth it should disappear naturally as your hormones return to normal.

Your baby is now ‘breathing’ amniotic fluid and its heart is beating much faster than your own. Tiny kidneys are now starting to make urine and the first few strands of downy hair are beginning to appear. Your baby is sleeping on average around 20 hours a day and is becoming aware of sounds outside the womb. This is the perfect time to play them your favourite tunes and start talking to them. They love the sound of your voice! Your baby will now be approximately 15 cm in length and will weigh around 9 oz.