Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
The second trimester of your pregnancy lasts from week 13 to 28, or months 4, 5, and 6. Its the middle phase of pregnancy, when you may start to see your baby bump and feel your baby move for the first time.
As you enter your second trimester of pregnancy, the morning sickness and fatigue you may have felt during the last 3 months should fade.
The second trimester is, for many women, the easiest 3 months of pregnancy. Take the time now, while you’re feeling better and your energy is up, to start planning for your baby’s arrival.
During the second trimester, your baby is growing quickly. Between your 18th and 22nd week of pregnancy you’ll have an ultrasound so your doctor can see how your baby is progressing. You also can learn the sex of your baby, unless you’d rather be surprised. And if youre having twins, you might find that out during this trimester.
Although you should be feeling better now, big changes are still taking place inside your body. Here’s what you can expect.
The Second Trimester: Changes To Your Body
The second trimester is the most physically enjoyable for most women. Morning sickness usually lessens by this time, and the extreme tiredness and breast tenderness usually ease up. These changes can be attributed to a decrease in levels of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone and an adjustment to the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
The following is a list of changes and symptoms that may happen during the second trimester:
The Second Trimester: Fetal Development
Now that all the major organs and systems have formed in the fetus, the following six months will be spent growing. The weight of your fetus will multiply more than seven times over the next few months, as the fetus becomes a baby that can survive outside of the uterus.
The fetus kicks, moves and can turn from side to side.
The eyes have been gradually moving to the front of the face, and the ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head. The fetus can hear your voice.
A creamy white substance begins to appear on the fetus and helps to protect the thin fetal skin. Vernix is gradually absorbed by the skin, but some may be seen on babies even after birth.
The fetus is developing reflexes, like swallowing and sucking.
The fetus can respond to certain stimuli.
The placenta is fully developed.
The brain will undergo its most important period of growth from the fifth month on.
Fingernails have grown on the tips of the fingers and toes, and the fingers and toes are fully separated.
The fetus goes through cycles of sleep and wakefulness.
Skin is wrinkly and red, covered with soft, downy hair .
Hair is growing on the head of the fetus.
Fat begins to accumulate in the fetus.
Eyelids are beginning to open, and the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible.
Fingerprints and toeprints have formed.
Rapid growth is continuing in fetal size and weight.
The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy.
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Choices And Decisions In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
You have the right to say no to any test or scan that’s offered. It is always your choice and the team looking after you will respect your decision.
If you haven’t already thought about it, its a good time to start thinking about where and how you would like to have your baby. From home birth to hospital birth, you may have to make a decision. If this all seems a little scary, don’t worry. Your midwife will be there to support you and tell you what your choices are. You’ll go from beginner to expert in just a few weeks!
You may want to consider whether to ask if youre having a boy or a girl when you have your scans. This is a very personal decision some parents are excited to find out and others prefer to be surprised at the birth. Keep in mind, though, that a scan doesnt always show the sex of the baby and sometimes what you are told could turn out to be wrong!
If you are still smoking even if its just the odd cigarette check out your local stop smoking options. If you stop smoking before the 15th week of pregnancy, the health risks for your baby go down. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for the health of your baby.
What To Expect In Your Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Health Check Certified By: Dr. Andrea Eisenberg, MD
During the second trimester, all the unseen work you did in the first trimester will start to show itself in substantial changes on the outside of your body. By the end of the third month , your baby bump may start to grow as your unborn child packs on the pounds, doubling weight over the next 4-weeks so by the end of the second trimester your fetus will weigh approximately 2-pounds.
During this time, the baby is also growing ears, eyes, capillaries for blood flow, fingerprints, and will start to suck and yawn, which is truly adorable on an ultrasound! Mom can also expect some pleasant happenings along with a few more uncomfortable occurrences during her second trimester of pregnancy
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Second And Third Trimesters
The second trimester is from week 13 to the end of week 26 and one of the safest and the best time during the entire phase. The discomfort that an expecting mother experiences during the first trimester will ease in the second though certain other discomforts surface. It is during the second trimester that the mother will start feeling the babys first movements. Things must have started settling down and now you are more comfortable.
The third trimester is from week 27 to the end of the pregnancy. During this phase, a woman may experience more aches, pain and swelling as she carries around her baby. A pregnant woman may also begin to become anxious about her delivery.
When To See Your Doctor
Continue to visit your doctor for ongoing prenatal appointments. Usually, these occur about once a month. Ask your doctor questions about the process and tell them about any concerns you have. Contact them if you have unusual changes or symptoms, especially if you have vaginal bleeding, leakage of clear fluid, burning with urination, leg swelling, or abdominal pains.
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What To Expect On Your Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Welcome to your Second Trimester!
I hope youre feeling much better now. The shock of this life changing situation have probably subside and you are more in control of your emotions and may have gone into parenting mindset.
The second trimester which is often refer to as the honeymoon period of pregnancy is the more relaxed time. Its also when your babys development takes the big leap.
On this post, we will discuss the following:
- Ultimate Second Trimester Checklist
- Healthy Foods to Eat When Pregnant
- What Not To Eat While Pregnant
- The Dos and Donts of Baby Naming
How Should I Sleep During The Second Trimester
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What To Really Expect In The Second Trimester Part 2 Pregnancy Series
So You Survived the First Trimester of Pregnancy! Give Yourself a big pat on the back because the hardest part is over and you made it.
Things are typically a lot easier from here on out until right up to the end.
Because of this, The second trimester of pregnancy is often called the honeymoon period because many of the negative symptoms reside and emotions become stabilized. Still, there are many changes happening within your body, and you can expect to notice quite a few of them, even if you feel overall better and more energetic.
Here are some of the Major changes that you may notice happening during the second trimester.
What Is The Second Trimester
Trimesters are a helpful way to think about pregnancy because the changes that happen to you and your baby fall into 3 broad categories of early, middle and late pregnancy, as reflected in the first, second and third trimesters.
The second trimester represents the middle part of your pregnancy, from weeks 13 to 26. For many women, one of the best things about this trimester is that nausea might begin to settle.
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The Changes The Fetus Undergoes During The Second Trimester
The organs of the baby fully developed in the second trimester and they start to hear and swallow too! There is a growth of small hair that is noticed as well as the baby begins to move around. They develop their walking and sleeping cycles that will be noticed by the pregnant woman.
According to the American Pregnancy Association, the baby grows up to 14 inches in length by the end of the second trimester and weighs a little over two pounds.
Second Trimester Prenatal Visits
During the second and third trimester prenatal visits, your healthcare provider may check the following, depending on your current medical condition and the health of the fetus:
- Any current symptoms or discomforts
- Mother’s weight
- Mother’s blood pressure
- Urine test – to detect albumin which may indicate preeclampsia or toxemia and sugar
- Growth, size, and development of the fetus
- Size of the uterus – after approximately 12 weeks of gestation, the uterus can be felt through the abdominal wall
- Height of the fundus
- Fetal heartbeat
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What Should I Learn About During The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy
Out with many unpleasant symptoms, in with some new changes to your body. In Motherlys Preparing for Your Second Trimester Class, Pediatric Nurse and Certified Doula Diana Spalding covers what to know about changes to your body and upcoming doctors appointments.
Between weeks 24 and 28, your health care provider will likely request you get a Gestational Diabetes test. In Motherlys Preparing for Your Second Trimester Class, Diana comprehensively explains what to know about the screening and Gestational Diabetes.
As your body changes through pregnancy, there can be some new questions and concerns about intimacy. Although every person and every couples experiences will vary during pregnancy, this can be a very sensuous time. In Motherlys Sex + Relationships During Pregnancy Class, you will get insight and support for your love life.
As you look toward the home stretch, its time to start thinking about your birth plan. Part of that is considering common possibilities, such as a cesarean birth. In Motherlys Cesearan Births Class, Diana Spalding is joined by Ob-Gyn and Reproductive Endocrinologist Dr. Aimee Evyazzadeh to discuss c-sections.
What Is Happening To Your Body
As your baby starts to grow, youll start noticing some changes in your own body, too. Your breasts will continue to grow because of enlarging milk glands and deposits of fat, which means your body is getting ready to produce milk for your baby. As your belly grows, your doctor will measure your belly from your pubic bone to the top of your belly to measure your babys growth. This growth will cause some skin changes, including stretch marks and dry, itchy skin.Other symptoms you may experience during your second trimester may include:
- Body aches
- Darker skin on your face
- Dizziness or lightheadedness from lower blood pressure
- Growing breasts and belly
- Leg cramps
- Swelling hands or ankles
Creams and lotions can help with your skin symptoms, and light exercises such as walking can help to alleviate leg cramps.Youll start to feel your baby move during the second trimester, and youll hear his or her heartbeat for the first time around week 16! During your second trimester, youll have the option to undergo genetic testing to test your child for genetic or chromosomal conditions.
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Do: Eat Healthy Foods
Your healthy diet can help provide you and your growing baby with all of the nutrients you need. During your second trimester of pregnancy, you may notice that your appetite has increased. Resist the urge to “eat for two,” and prioritize getting plenty of healthy fruits, vegetables, and other important food groups. Experts agree that while your caloric need does go up in the second trimester, it only increases by around 340 calories for example, an extra half sandwich and apple.
Some good choices to integrate into your diet include:
- Vegetables: Dark, leafy greens, carrots, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and red bell peppers are high in vitamin A and potassium.
- Fruits: Melons, mangoes, apricots, oranges, bananas, and apples have lots of good fiber, are hydrating, and vitamin C.
- Dairy: Eating low-fat yogurt, drinking reduced-fat milk, and small amounts of cheese products provide calcium, potassium, and vitamins.
- Whole Grains: Many whole grains provide both iron and folic acid in addition to healthy fiber.
- Proteins: Beans, peas, seeds, nuts, low-mercury fish like trout and salmon, lean beef, lamb, pork, and tofu all provide important protein.
Some healthy and satisfying snack choices during the second trimester include:
- Smoothies with yogurt, fruit, and leafy greens.
- Raw nuts including almonds, pecans, walnuts, and cashews.
- Vegetables dipped in hummus.
- Fresh fruit.
Feeling Your Baby Move
You should begin to notice your baby moving in the second trimester. This may feel like fluttering, bubbles popping or like the baby is poking you.
Get to know your baby by encouraging your partner to feel for movements. Think about what your baby may be doing. Is your baby moving his or her arms and legs, or sucking a thumb?
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Will Problems From The First Pregnancy Repeat
Some unpleasant symptoms from your first pregnancy may rear their head again. Women whove had issues like gestational diabetes or preeclampsia should be careful with their second pregnancy as well because they could be more at risk of developing the problem than other women. For instance, those who had gestational diabetes mellitus in their first pregnancy have a 41.3 percent risk of having the problem in their second pregnancy. For everyone else, the risk is just 4.2 percent with their second pregnancy.11
The good news, though, is that you will be better equipped to spot symptoms of a problem, having gone through it before. You can then work with your doctor to get the support you need through your pregnancy.
|Getahun, Darios, Michael J. Fassett, and Steven J. Jacobsen. Gestational diabetes: risk of recurrence in subsequent pregnancies. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology 203, no. 5 : 467-e1.|
Heavy Swollen Legs And Ankles
Your growing baby and womb puts pressure on your body. This can creates extra fluid and slow your blood circulation.
As the day goes on, the lower parts of your body will begin to hold or retain water especially your feet and ankles. This may be worse in hot weather or if you have been standing.
- walk every day and try not to cross your legs
- do some foot exercises
- rest with your feet up when you can
- avoid long periods of standing
- use support stockings
- avoid tight clothing and wear comfortable shoes and socks
- sleep on your left side not on your back
- drink plenty of water – over 2 litres a day
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What’s Happening In My Body
A small baby bump may now be visible as your womb grows upwards and outwards. If you’ve been feeling the urge to pee a lot, then that should stop as the womb shifts away from your bladder. By the way, it shouldn’t hurt when you pee. If it does, then see your doctor, as you could have a urine infection.
Meanwhile, there’s a lot more blood pumping around your pelvic area and some women find that it sends their sex drive through the roof. It could also make you feel more thirsty. So drink more water or have more sex â that’s up to you! Sex during pregnancy is perfectly safe, unless your midwife or doctor has advised you otherwise.
Second Trimester Week 23 Gestational Age
At 21 weeks after conception, your baby can sense motion. For instance, if you dance, your baby can feel it even though he is surrounded by the amniotic fluid and your body. He starts to have rapid eye movements under her closed eyelids, and he can hear better every day, too. His skin is still wrinkled, and almost translucent pink or red colored. The baby is starting to form fingerprints and footprints, and soon her tongue will have taste buds.
You may be able to see him moving under the surface of your abdomen. If your baby is a boy, his testes are descending from his abdomen. If the baby is a girl, she has a uterus and ovaries, including her entire lifetime supply of eggs. Some babies born at this stage may be able to survive with very intensive medical care.
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