What To Expect During The Second Trimester

Week 13

This is the onset of the second trimester, and your baby is now at 7.5cm in length and 25 grams in weight, which is actually the size of a peach.

The skeletal part of your baby’s body begins to develop starting with the collar (clavicle) and thigh (femur) bones. Also, your baby starts to turn its head, swallow and hiccup.

The baby can also kick their legs. The baby’s stomach and vocal cord start to develop at the 13th week. In addition, your baby starts to take his first breath.

The blood from the umbilical cord supplies the oxygen, and with a closer look it will seem as though your baby is breathing under water.

For you, you should be back to your normal self with minimal episodes of morning sickness, and the good news is that your chances of having a miscarriage is now a low probability.

Also, you should notice a little more expansion of your waistline and bust.

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Week 14

Your baby is becoming bigger and stronger at this stage. The arms are fully grown in proportion to the rest of the body while the legs are still undergoing growth.

The baby’s length is 8cm (about half a banana) while the current weight should be around 42 grams. The baby has hair and the eyebrows are formed before the end of this week.

One surprising development process that occurs at this stage is the development of your baby’s fingerprints. The baby will also start sucking their thumb.

Also, your baby will start making use of their facial muscles to make expressions like squinting, frowning and grimacing.

You may suffer occasional forgetfulness as a result of the pregnancy hormones in your body.

Also, nose bleeding is to be expected at this stage and you will experience a huge craving for food.

Week 15

Remember that I mentioned earlier that the baby’s head was a third of its entire body. The good news is that by this fifteenth week, your baby’s head must have grown into proportion with the rest of the body.

The baby is 11.5cm (about the size of an orange) long, and his ears are fully developed at this stage to hear sounds.

The baby will also grow some fine downy hair referred to as lanugo meant to keep the baby warm until they are able to develop a layer of subcutaneous fat to keep them warm after birth.

The baby’s sucking, swallowing and gasping skills have also advanced and will probably have developed their taste buds. The baby can also hear your voice by now so you should try to sing to them or talk to them often.

Although your baby’s eyelids should still be closed at the moment, he can recognize lights.

For instance, if you put a flashlight directly on your belly, you will feel some movements; that is your baby moving away from the light.

You will notice a dark line from your navel and down your abdomen and your baby bump starts getting noticeable.

Week 16

Your baby is probably the size of an avocado. At this stage, your baby’s joints and limbs should be fully developed. Their backbone is also a lot stronger and they have probably mastered the art of sucking the thumb.

Also, your baby’s nervous system starts to connect with other muscles that will help your baby’s movements. I talked about your baby developing skin much earlier. The skin at this stage is so transparent that you can clearly see the tiny veins underneath the skin.

Their facial muscles are also a lot more developed, so their expressions are a lot more visible although the baby doesn’t yet know how to control them. The baby will also develop the ability to grab and play with the umbilical cord.

Your libido increases considerably. You will find yourself feeling the urge to have sex more often than usual.

You can have as much sex as you want at this period without harming your baby. All you need to do is to find a comfortable sex position since your bump might get in the way.

Week 17

Your baby weighs around 150g in this week, and his or her facial features are fully developed. You may start feeling some firm movements in your womb.

Your baby’s brain begins to regulate the heartbeat to 140 to 150 beats per minute, which is still twice your own heartbeat. Meanwhile, your baby’s fingerprints become more pronounced at this stage.

You will start feeling more energetic and less tired than you have in the past weeks. Now is the time to make use of that energy.

Get the baby’s room ready, take a workout class for pregnant mothers or join a walking group. Get out there and put that energy to good use!

Getting more physically active now will help greatly later on, trust me!

Week 18

Your baby at this stage has grown to 14cm, and weighs almost 200g.

The eggs start developing (in a female child), while the nerves begin to build up a protective covering referred to as myelin to enable the nervous system to develop and function properly upon birth.

The baby at this period has also been engaged in lots of movements including kicking, tumbling and rolling. Their grip is also developed.

The baby is also able to hold their umbilical cord firmly when playing.

Meanwhile, you tend to add more weight as the days go by. This is a combination of your weight, your baby’s weight, the amniotic fluid, and the placenta.

Week 19

Your baby weighs about 240g and is about 14cm long at this stage. The baby’s weight is more than that of the placenta now.

Your baby’s legs have grown into proportion with the rest of his body while the cartilage continues to harden. The baby’s skin becomes less translucent and the skin pigments, which will determine the color of your baby’s skin, will start to form.

The baby will also start developing the Vernix Caseosa (this is the waxy or cheese-like white substance that coats your baby’s skin when he or she is born) on its body to protect its body from the side effects of his contact with amniotic acid.

The baby will also start developing some hair on its scalp, although the hair at this stage will be white and pigment free since the baby’s hair color is yet to be determined. The baby can hear you well at this time.

You will notice a considerable increase in your bump size. Also heartburn and indigestion will be some ofthe symptoms that may occur during this period.

Week 20

Your baby is entering his fifth month this week. He or she will grow stronger and bigger to 16.5 cm length size; about the size of a banana but growing pretty fast.

Also, at this stage, the part of the brain that controls the senses will start developing to help your baby to taste, see, touch and smell.

Your baby will also start producing something referred to as Meconium, within their bowel. Meconium refers to a harmless mixture of the amniotic fluid, which the baby has swallowed already, coupled with dead skin cells and digestive secretions.

This mixture forms the baby’s first bowel movement just after birth.

Your back may start aching as your bump continues to get bigger. Also, you may experience pain in your pelvis at this stage in your pregnancy as well.

Week 21

This week, your baby has increased in length to make him or her about 27cm long and weighing about 360g. Although your baby continues to add weight, it still lacks fats in its body.

However, they will start adding on some fats that will ultimately give them the chubby ‘baby’ look when you first see them. The eyebrows have also developed and the eyelids can actually blink at this time.

One good point at this stage is that your baby’s taste buds are fully developed to enable them to taste different flavors of the food you eat as they swallow the amniotic fluid.

Also, the vernix caseosa is fully developed right now.

You should be making frequent visits to the antenatal ward by now.

Antenatal classes help you (and your partner) prepare for labor, birth and early parenthood. You might also be interested in breastfeeding workshops as well.

Week 22

The baby is now about the size of a papaya, about 27cm from head to toe and still growing fast. The body will also keep growing its placenta to provide nourishment for the baby.

The baby at this stage gets his nourishment from the placenta instead of the yolk sac, and his or her gums and tooth bud are in place now.

Although your baby’s eyes are fully developed, the eyes have no color because of the absence of the pigment in their iris.

Your baby has now mapped a sleeping and waking up time for themselves and the pancreas is intact now.

Your major problem at this stage will be your swollen feet and ankles as your baby belly becomes bigger.

Week 23

Your baby looks more like a newborn baby but just smaller. It is now 30cm long and weighs 500g, and its body at this stage has started producing fats, so it will start bulking up from this week.

When the baby is very active, you should be able to see him or her moving under your skin. The skin is still translucent such that you can see the bones and organs through the skin.

At this age, the baby won’t jump as much when exposed to loud noises. You can start playing classical music to sooth them.

You will continue to notice a considerable weight gain in your baby, which is also manifested in your own weight gain.

Week 24

Your baby is 1 foot long, and weighs 600g. Medically, it has been proven that a baby born at this stage (that is prematurely) has a high survival rate.

Your baby can detect the sound of your heartbeat and your voice at this stage while his or her eyebrows and hair are fully developed now.

Additionally, the baby’s lungs have grown such that it can now breathe in actual air rather than fluids (thanks to the production of surfactant.

If the baby doesn’t produce this substance, it will have some breathing problems) and their face has nicely developed eyebrows, eyelashes and hair, which is still white (lacking pigmentation).

You may experience bleeding in your gums around this time, which is one dental problem that is synonymous with pregnancy

Week 25

The baby at this time is growing fast. He or she gets to the size of 13 ½ inches long and with a weight of about 1 ½ pounds.

The baby also starts plumping up thanks to the buildup of fat deposits under the skin to make them look more like normal.

The baby will probably be hyperactive at this period (with such activities like somersaults, and wriggling). They will also be responsive to certain sounds so singing to them wouldn’t be a bad idea.

Week 26

Your baby has grown to 2lbs and 35.5cm long, and the eyes are finally open.

There is an increase in your baby’s brain activity during this period and the testicles (if it is a boy) are descending to his scrotum (this takes 2-3 months to complete).

You will probably start experiencing some more contractions, which are similar to menstrual cramps coupled with pain as the developing fetus stretches the uterus.

The baby’s circulatory system is well developed while the umbilical cord keeps on thickening as it gets stronger to support the supply of various nutrients to the baby.

Week 27

Your baby’s weight is at 875g now and his eyesight has developed well enough to differentiate between night and day, but that doesn’t mean that your baby will keep to the rule of sleeping in the night.

Also, your baby’s brain is in the final stage of development now. The baby also hiccups often and will probably do that more often when you eat spicy foods.

Your appetite is likely to increase and you will have cravings for food you don’t typically eat as part ofyour normal diet. Like the famous pickles and ice cream combo.

Tips To Survive The Second Trimester

  • Backache

    There is extra pressure on your back from carrying your baby. You can ease it off a bit by always using a chair with back support, sleep on your side with a pillow in between your legs and avoid picking heavy items offthe ground.

  • Nosebleeds

    The mucous membrane in your nose is swollen because of the hormonal changes taking place in your body, which may lead to constant nosebleeds for you. You need to keep your head up and apply gentle pressure to your nose to stop the bleeding.

  • Appearance Of Varicose Veins

    They appear as a result of an increase in circulation of blood in your body to send blood to the growing fetus. The veins will disappear with time after birth.

  • Weight Gain

    After your morning sickness subsides, your appetite returns in full force. You are likely to gain 1 to 3 pounds every week during this time. You have to work on practicing portion control for whatever you eat.

  • ​Nutrition

    Vital organs of the body are beginning to develop. As such, you have to continue with foods high in protein and vegetables. Eat more offiber-filled food to keep you full.

  • ​Exercise

    With the stop in morning sickness and the regaining of your strength, you can start mild workout regimes, yoga, and meditation to keep fit.

  • Braxton Hick’s Contraction

    This is also known as fake contraction, and occurs towards and during the later part of the third trimester. The Braxton hick is a warm up exercise to prepare your uterus for labor.

    There is nothing much you can do about the fake labor but if it becomes so intense, then you may need to visit the hospital. At this time, you can probably sense some metallic taste in your mouth due to toxins accumulation from the lymphatic system.

    Don’t worry; it will improve with time.

  • Colostrum leakage

    Besides having tender breasts, you will probably start producing colostrum (a liquid from the breasts, which is often clear or creamy yellow with the consistency of syrup) from the 14th to the 16th week.

    If you notice some blood here, this is probably due to the rapid growth of blood vessels growing in the ductal system as your body preps for breastfeeding. Use breast pads inside your bra to deal with this.

  • Skin changes

    Your skin, hair, and nails might start having changes like pigmentation, stretch marks, red spider veins, hormonal rashes, dry and oily skin, skin tags etc.

    Worry not because this is completely normal.

  • Swelling and fluid retention

    This is referred to as edema (this starts at around 20 weeks into the pregnancy). You may also notice swellings on your hands, legs, and feet; these often become worse when it is hot.

    Varicose veins are usually linked to causing swelling. You should try to get your blood pressure tested if your swelling doesn’t go away after week 20.

  • ​Gestational hypertension

    This might happen when you are around 20 weeks pregnant. And if you have gestational hypertension coupled with high protein levels in your urine, you might be suffering from preeclampsia, which is usually characterized with kidney problems, visual changes and headaches.

    Note: Having gestational hypertension is likely to make you increase your risk of stillbirth, intrauterine growth restriction, preterm birth, and placental abruption.

    Get your weight under control because this is closely linked to gestational hypertension.

  • Gestational diabetes

    Ensure to have your blood sugar tested just to help you determine whether you might be having gestational diabetes since suffering from this could put you and the baby at risk. Weight and your diet are key determinants of this.

    Therefore, making some necessary changes to your diet could minimize your chances ofdeveloping such problems. You will also need to deal with rapid weight gain, weird dreams, itchy breasts, sleeping problems, increased libido and energy, leg cramps, itchy bumps, heartburn, backache and others.

    These shouldn’t be any problem, as they will pass with time.

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