Once you’ve made it through your first trimester,a lot of you will ease into the pleasant growth during the second one. It is believed to be the best trimesters in terms of comfort.
Your morning sickness usually will reduce slowly as you also feel an increase in appetite. You will be able to see your belly grow over the weeks and months and probably feel your baby kick as well.
How long will your second trimester last?
Second trimester of the pregnancy starts from the 13th week of the pregnancy and lasts till the end of the 27th week. It is the 4th, 5th and 6th month of your pregnancy.
Changes to your body:
In the second trimester, the physical changes in your body become very visible and apparent. Here’s a list of what you might want to prepare yourself for:
Swelling and body aches:
- About mid way through your pregnancy, you will start to experience mild swelling in the feet and ankles. This might last until the delivery of the baby.
- Along with your feet, your back and hip area are increasingly at pressure. This might cause them to ache as your baby grows in size.
- During your second trimester, your uterus grows largely in size to support your baby. This can cause some cramps and pain in the region.
- There might be several reasons why you might suffer from leg cramps during your second trimester such as your body might have a shortage of magnesium and calcium, an increased pressure on the nerves and blood vessels on your legs.
Belly growth and itch:
- The size of your belly will grow along with your baby. This can cause the skin to stretch which can cause itching as well as stretch marks. You can keep your belly moisturized with products such as a belly balm, Vitamin E oil to reduce the itchiness.
- Your body will produce a high amount of estrogen and progesterone during this period. These hormones affect your mucous membranes. So, you might feel that your nasal passage is congested. It might also result in nosebleeds and mild headaches.
- For the same reason as nose congestions, your gums might also swell or bleed. It is common for pregnant women to experience loose teeth. However, you might want to contact your doctor if you have these symptoms.
- It is normal to notice sticky vaginal discharge that is colorless and odorless.
- You might feel your uterine muscles tightening after some physical activity, generally during the late afternoons and evenings. These contractions are termed Braxton-Hicks contractions which some might even confuse as “false labor”.
- Over the months, your breasts will grow to increase in size. However, they might not feel as they used to in the first trimester. It is best if you wear a bra with wide straps that will provide you support and comfort.
- You’ve probably heard of the term “pregnancy glow”. The pregnancy hormones can change the pigmentation of your skin and also make it look more flushed. Note that your skin is highly sensitive during this time so it is important to use SPF when you are out in the sun.
- Since your calorie intake will be increasing and your baby will also be growing, it is normal to gain upto a pound in the second trimester of your pregnancy.
Second Trimester: Growth of your baby
In the three months of the second trimester you will literally feel the baby grow in your belly as you feel it move and turn side to side inside you. By the end of the second trimester your baby will grow to weigh up to about 2 pounds or 820 grams. In this growth process, these will be the changes in your baby:
4th Month (13 to 17 weeks approx.)
- Your baby starts to produce urine.
- By the end of this month, your baby’s sex will become apparent.
- The baby can move its eyes slowly.
- The skin starts to grow thicker.
5th Month (18 to 22 weeks approx.)
- Halfway into your pregnancy.
- Your baby has fully formed ears and can now hear sounds including you.
- The digestive system is working.
- In girl babies, the uterus and vaginal canal starts to form.
- Your baby can suck thumb.
6th Month ( 23 to 27 weeks approx.)
- The hair and eyebrows on the baby become visible.
- Fingerprints, footprints form.
- You might also feel your baby getting hiccups.
- It can hear sounds and recognize familiar voices.
- Their eyelids start to open.
During this stage, your baby starts to grow fat and its nervous system is continuing to develop.
Second Trimester Checklist:
Once you make it through your first trimester, the next three months will seem comparatively easier. Your focus should be on taking care of yourself, your mind and body. Here’s a list of things you might not want to miss:
- Continue routine checkups to monitor the growth of your baby and ensure that everything is on track.
- You might want to schedule an ultrasound to check the development of your baby. If you want, you can also check the sex of the baby by the 22nd week.
- Blood tests to ensure balance in your blood sugar, blood pressure and glucose levels.
- Check with your OB/GYN to schedule for any immunization in the future.
- Along with your physical health, make sure to keep in touch with your emotions. Spend time taking care of your mental health and separate space for some me-time.
- Make sure you have a pregnancy friendly workout routine which includes some kegels to strengthen your pelvic muscles.
- Your body needs more nutrients to support the growth of the baby. To help that, it is recommended that you increase your calorie intake by about 350 kcal.
- You might want to start buying new maternity clothes that are comfortable.
- Towards the end of the second trimester, it might be the right time to learn about childbirth and enroll yourself in any classes that might help.
- Hot tubs and sauna.
- Unpasteurized or undercooked food and dairy.
- Alcohol, smoking and drugs.
- The Second Trimester: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-second-trimester
- 2nd trimester pregnancy: What to expect: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20047732
- Second trimester: https://www.pregnancybirthbaby.org.au/second-trimester
- Changes in Your Body During Pregnancy: Second Trimester: https://familydoctor.org/changes-in-your-body-during-pregnancy-second-trimester/
- Pregnancy: Second Trimester: https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/16092-pregnancy-second-trimester
- Second Trimester of Pregnancy: https://www.webmd.com/baby/guide/second-trimester-of-pregnancy
- The Second Trimester of Pregnancy: https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/second-trimester
- Pregnancy week by week: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/fetal-development/art-20046151