second trimester pregnancy
Pregnancy Trimesters,  Second Trimester,  Uncategorized

Second Trimester of a pregnancy – All you need to know

Second Trimester of Pregnancy

The second trimester is the period from the 13th-28th week of pregnancy. During this time, women are able to experience some movement in the womb. This is also the time when the umbilical cord starts thickening, in order to supply food and oxygen to the fetus. This is a sign of baby’s growth. A healthy diet during this time is a must, as it will also aid in the baby’s growth. Light exercises are also recommended during this period.

second trimester
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Week 14

Week 14 marks the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy. According to medical experts, the 14th week is the time the women should start relaxing, and enjoying their pregnancies. This is mainly because the risk of miscarriage has greatly reduced by the 14th week. Ultrasound will reveal that the placenta is working well. It is supplying nourishment and oxygen to the baby. This is also the time when a bulge on their stomach will be visible. They may feel their breasts becoming more tender and sensitive. The breasts will secrete colostrum in preparation of the lactation. There may also be some mood swings and anxiety at this time. This is normal.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby is fully developed by the time pregnancy enters the 14th week. And the baby may weigh as much as 100 grams around this time. Its liver starts to function, and produces bile. Apart from some physical movements, the baby will also be making facial expressions such as squinting and frowning.

Week 15

Both the mother and the baby undergo several changes by the time pregnancy enters the 15th week. The baby is making rapid growth. The mother too, gains weight around this time, and appears pregnant. While this is a relatively relaxing time for women, they do become prone to common ailments such as cold and flu.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby has grown in both height and weight by this time. Its skin is now reddish in color and is wrinkled. It also has body hair called ‘Lanugo’. The Lanugo is known to help the baby maintain a constant temperature inside the womb. New parents will be happy to learn that by this time, the baby is able to hear their voice. The women might feel some movement from the womb. The baby may be kicking or moving. It will also hiccup at times. It is also able to go off to sleep. It is also able to squint, frown, suck, and grasp by this time. Its skin however, remains thin, and the blood vessels are visible through it. The bones inside its ears will begin to harden now.

How Your Body Changes

Most women gain weight in their second trimester. There may be cramps in the leg as a result of stretched ligaments in the abdomen, caused due to the increasing size of the uterus. Women are prone to ailments such as bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infection. A case of bacterial vaginosis should be taken very seriously as it may cause pre-term labor in women. Urinary tract infection, on the other hand, may lead to kidney infection. This too, may result in a pre-term labor. These infections can be kept at bay by following simple measures such as wearing loose fitting clothes, avoiding dirty swimming pools, and also by avoiding perfumed soaps and sprays.

Week 16

Women experience ‘quickening’ at this week 16 of their pregnancy. The movement of the baby in the womb which can be felt by the mother is called quickening. Doctors, during the 16th week of pregnancy, recommend antenatal test for the women. These tests will check for any birth defects in the baby. Women above the age of 35, especially those with a history of birth defects, are made to take the ‘amniocentesis’. This test reveals any chromosomal defects or abnormalities.

How Your Body Changes

Women become prone to common ailments such as cold and flu during this time. They are also susceptible to chicken pox and rubella. But apart from this, women in their 16th week of the second trimester pregnancy generally have a glow on their face. This is a result of the heart pumping more blood, and improved circulation in the body. But they will continue to feel some pain, caused due to the increasing weight and shape of the body. Backaches are a common complaint around this time. Women are now advised to try sleeping on their sides instead of their backs.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby weighs almost 150 grams now. It will be making lot of movement in the womb now. Experts say that by the 16th week of pregnancy, babies are able to grasp, kick around, and even somersault. According to them, this is also the time when the baby starts responding to various kinds of visual stimulation. For instance, in case of high-intensity light, the baby will use its hands to shield its eyes. Using an external monitor, doctors are able to make the parents-to-be hear their unborn child’s heartbeat. While still inside the womb, the baby is able to breathe. Its body also starts developing fat, which acts as an insulation for its body.

Week 17

According to gynecologists, by the time of 17th week of the second trimester pregnancy, the women have got used to the several changes taking place within them. However, this is also the time they become prone to allergies and rashes. While some women feel energetic during this stage of their pregnancy, there are women who feel otherwise. The symptoms vary with each pregnancy. Some women may have low blood pressure because of which they tend to feel dizzy. Doctors recommend small, frequent bites in between meals as a remedy for this.

Your Baby’s Development

The uterus, meanwhile, is growing. It even starts pushing the intestines out on one side of the abdomen. This may result in sciatic nerve pain in some women. The amount of blood being pumped in the body increases, which may cause excessive sweating in some women. They are advised to maintain a hygienic lifestyle so as to avoid all kinds of infections.

As the pregnancy furthers, the baby’s umbilical chord becomes stronger. By this time, the baby’s organs such as its ears move into their final position. They also develop their eyes, but they remain shut. A protective layering referred to as ‘vernix’ starts developing on the baby’s body. Pads start appearing on its fingertips as well as toes. While in the earlier stages, the head used to be larger than the rest of the body, the body becomes more proportionate now.

Week 18

The cardiovascular system undergoes major changes in the 18th week of the second trimester, and most women may find their blood pressures to be low. This is a normal occurrence at this stage of the pregnancy. This is also the time when women tend to gain weight. However, it should not become a cause for concern. They are discouraged from trying any weight-loss programs at this stage of their pregnancy.

The baby’s development continues. It starts responding to sounds by kicking in the womb. It will also start hearing sounds made by the body, such as, that of the blood flowing inside the umbilical cord, and the beating of its mother’s heart. The parents too, at this stage, can hear the heartbeat of their baby with the help of s stethoscope. If the child is a girl, then she will start developing her uterus and fallopian tubes by this time.

Apart from the dizziness caused by low blood pressure, there are other symptoms that women have to undergo in their 18th week of pregnancy. For instance, their frequency to urinate will increase. Their breasts will become larger, and the areolas will become even darker. Digestive trouble such as piles and constipation are also normal during this time. Stretch marks may appear in some cases. Women can get rid of these by applying anti-wrinkle creams. There may be some heartburn as well during this time.

Week 19

The 19th week of the second trimester pregnancy sees the baby go through more changes than its mother. In general, the women will be in good shape at this shape, and would be enjoying her pregnancy. The baby’s muscles become stronger, and it grows in both height and weight. In case of a baby girl, the ovaries have more than six million eggs. The baby also starts to kick around more vigorously now. It also sleeps for approximately 20 hours.

How Your Body Changes

For the women, the 19th week brings along skin that is excessively dry and flaky in nature. Doctors advise taking lot of fluids, especially water to get rid of this problem. Women also tend to sweat a lot during this time, which may give rise to severe heat rashes. Therefore, it is advised that women wear loose-fitting clothes where their body can breathe properly. There may be some cases of fatigue and dizziness. Women may also experience round ligament pain, which may affect the hips, abdomen, and the groin. This however, is a normal symptom for this stage of pregnancy.

Week 20

The 20th week of the second trimester pregnancy is the middle of the nine-month-long pregnancy. Usually, by this time, mothers-to-be can tell if there baby is awake or is sleeping in the womb. Its movements also increase. It can hear well by this time, and is also breathing at this stage. Its scalp hair is developing fast. The baby’s body is covered with a white substance, referred to as ‘vernix caseosa’. This helps the baby with passing through the birth canal smoothly.

Pregnant women, who have a small body frame, may have trouble breathing around this time. This is mainly due to the restriction of the lungs. Symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and frequent urination may continue. Extreme dry skin may cause itching. Women may feel bloated up during this time. Drinking plenty of water will relieve this feeling. Maintaining hygiene is a must in order to keep infections at bay.

Week 21

Week 21 of the second trimester pregnancy is a fairly relaxed time for women. They may go swimming, or do light exercises, but only after getting a green signal from their gynecologist. They should wear loose-fitting clothes to allow the body to breathe. They will gain weight around this time. Due to the growing size of the body, women may experience leg cramps. Doctors advise the use of pillows to support the legs as a measure against the pain. Mental health should also be given emphasis, as it is very important for the women to feel happy and relaxed at this time.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s body too will grow in the second trimester. Its body will start circulating blood. Other body parts such as the intestines too, will start to expand and contract. Its hearing ability will increase. In fact, pregnant women are encouraged to talk, or read to their babies during this time. This may have a calming effect on the child, and is also of way of bonding with it.

Week 22

How Your Body Changes

Women start gaining weight around the 22nd week of their second trimester pregnancy. The pregnancy has progressed to a level where the mothers can feel their babies’ movements. Though symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea are over by this time, there may be other symptoms such a vaginal discharge. This happens because the body, during this time, starts to pump more blood. This leads to increased flow of blood in the lower parts of the body. Apart from this, some women may experience bleeding from other parts of the body such as the rectum or the anus. This is a result of hemorrhoids that may have developed inside the body. Their frequency to urinate also increases.

Your Baby’s Development

Although the baby is growing at a rapid rate during this time, its skin still remains wrinkled. Body organs such as the pancreas start functioning. The liver starts producing various enzymes that help in breaking down the billirubin. The baby’s eyes have also form by this time, even though the iris lacks pigment. According to medical experts, babies develop the sense of touch by this time. They may make movements of stroking their face at times.

Week 23

Both the mothers and their babies gain weight by the 23rd week of the second trimester. In the case of the mothers, the weight gain becomes evident. Doctors, at this stage, advise a healthy well-balanced diet to the expecting mothers. A well-balanced diet is accompanied by calcium and iron intake. Both are important in order for the bay to have strong bones and teeth. Feeling bloated is normal during these days. Some may undergo cramps in the leg. Often, women complain of bleeding gums during this period of their pregnancy. In some cases, women get ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions. These however, are not very painful in nature. They even help the mother prepare for her labor.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby, by around the 23rd week, weighs one pound approximately. Its height also increases. The skin still appears to be red in color, and is wrinkled. Also, because the child’s body produces skin at a faster rate than it produces fat, some of the skin hangs loosely. The red color of skin is indicative of pigmentation that is beginning to take place in the child body. It also suggests that the baby skin is beginning to loose its transparency. The baby’s body organs continue to develop at a healthy rate.

Week 24

Women, by the 24th week of their second trimester pregnancy, start facing difficulties due to their growing size. These symptoms include conditions such as backaches, fatigue, sore feet, bladder trouble, and nose bleeds. The skin of the breasts and the abdomen stretches further, causing itchiness in these areas of the body. The gynecologist may recommend a moisturizing lotion to relieve the itching. The eyes too, tend to become dry and sensitive at this stage. Usage of eye drops will bring relief to this condition. In some cases, women may experience a sudden tightness in their uterus or the abdomen. These contractions are referred to as the ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions. The round ligament pain observed by women tends to increase around this time. They also suffer from cold, caused by the swelling of the mucous membrane. Saline drops may help relieve the cold.

Your Baby’s Development

The organs inside the child’s body are fast developing during this time. The lung starts to develop branches and special cells that inflate the air sacs. Premature babies usually have breathing problems as their lungs have not developed properly. Insufficient development of lungs in premature babies also tends to adversely affect their body temperatures too. Medical experts say that at that a baby in the womb at this time, is a thin version of what it will look like once it is born.

Week 25

The expectant mothers gain quite some weight by the 25th week of their second trimester pregnancy. The increased weight somewhat reduces their mobility, but even then the doctors encourage the women to go for small walks. Some form of light exercise can also be done by women. This will help in reducing the stiffness in their body. Women need to take some precautions as there is a risk of premature delivery at this time. The premature delivery may be caused due to an incompetent cervix or some infection.

Some women may develop red or brown stretch marks on their breasts, hips, and abdomen. Although these marks disappear after childbirth, women can use anti-wrinkle cream to remove these. Expectant mothers may also feel very hot, a feeling caused by an increase in the hormone level in the body. Taking plenty of fluids will help relieve the condition. There will also be symptoms such as constipation, indigestion, and heartburn. In some cases, women may find that the cholesterol level in their body has increased.

Your Baby’s Development

Doctors say that by the 25th week, the baby develops the ability to cry. Its taste buds are also in the process of developing. The body becomes more proportionate now. It also starts gaining body fat. The skin starts loosing its wrinkles, while the finger and toenails develop fully.

Week 26

Contractions, known as the Braxton Hicks contractions start appearing on a regular basis to women who have entered the 26th week of the second trimester pregnancy. There should not be a matter of concern for the mothers-to-be, as these contractions are painless and help them prepare for their labor. They may continue to experience symptoms such as heartburn, and pain in the ribs. Women are advised to consult a doctor if these symptoms worsen or persist for too long. Although women do gain weight at this stage of their pregnancy, it may seem to vary due to water-retention and bloating. Sciatica pain is also a common complaint around this time. The aches and the pains, say doctors, can relieved by doing some light exercises. This will not only help them relax, but also improve the blood circulation in their bodies. There may also be a significant increase in the frequency to urinate.

Your Baby’s Development


By the 26th week of pregnancy, the baby’s eyes and eyelids have developed enough for it to be able to open and close them. Its blood circulation becomes functional, and it also develops the sense of touch. It may even respond to touch. In case of a male child, the testicles of the baby will move into the scrotum at this stage of pregnancy.

Week 27

27th week signifies the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy. Women, at this stage, are advised to eat nutritious, well-balanced food that also includes the requisite amounts of calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh fruits should also be included in the diet. Greasy or oily food should be avoided completely. There is a risk of premature labor in the third trimester. This is caused due to dehydration. Therefore, women are advised to take plenty of fluids in order to avoid premature labor. In case of symptoms such as water vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and severe pain in the abdomen, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

In other cases, expectant mothers may have high blood pressure. This could be caused due to the placenta’s inability to grow blood vessels inside the uterine walls in order to carry put the pregnancy. Even though this condition occurs rarely, it may be fatal to both the mother and the child. Symptoms such as vision trouble, blood clotting, breathing difficulties, swelling of hands and feet, frequent headaches, and sudden weight gain, may be indicative of this condition.

In a normal case, meanwhile, women will continue to experience symptoms such as increased frequency of urination, leg cramps, constipation, backaches, and round ligament pain.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s retina starts developing layers that will help the child to receive images when it is born. It may also hiccup quite frequently. Doctors say that this is because the baby’s breathing is normalizing inside the womb.

Read more;

First Trimester of a pregnancy – All you need to know

Third Trimester of a pregnancy – All you need to know

Pregnancy Clinic-Everything you need to know!

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