Second Trimester, Week 13 to 27
The first trimester can be a bit overwhelming for the mother-to-be, the second trimester is better. This trimester is a breather for mom, she gradually starts feeling better, her pregnancy bump starts to show more, she has more energy and the morning sickness is clearing up.
The embryonic stage is over, your baby is a fetus, with significant development in the first trimester, your baby is ready to grow in length and weight. The umbilical cord attached to the baby has also started to thicken as it is considered the carrier for all nourishment to the fetus inside the womb.
During this trimester, an anomaly scan is recommended, this scan gives a detailed view of the baby and confirms the gender. Around week 26, your doctor may request a repeat of the blood work and screening tests done at the end of trimester one. This is a part of antenatal care for all mothers and babies.
Changes a mother may experience
This trimester is more enjoyable, for the mother-to-be than the first trimester. The frustrating pregnancy symptoms have faded away by now and the mother can actually enjoy more physical activities.
Here are a few things a mom can expect to experience in trimester two:
- Mom’s appetite has increased
- Mom may be able to feel the movement of the baby by week 20.
- The uterus is growing and may be above the bellybutton by week 20, that baby bump is showing
- As the belly is growing, the skin may itch as it stretches
- Mom may feel pain as her uterus continues to expand and ligaments stretch to accommodate a growing baby.
- The mother may be urinating less in this trimester as compared to the first trimester. The uterus has now grown out of the pelvic area and no longer creates extra pressure on the mother’s bladder.
- Some mothers experience congestion and some may even experience frequent nose bleeding. This is due to the increase in hormones and the increased blood flow that can greatly affect the mucous membranes.
- Mother’s oral hygiene may be affected, the gums are more swollen and they can bleed easily. This change is also due to the hormonal levels.
- The mother’s skin also starts to change, there may be some significant pigmentation on the face or on the abdomen.
- Severe heartburn and gastrointestinal discomfort
- Swollen hands and feet may also be a part of this trimester
By this time, the fetus has all the major system and the organs formed. The weight of the fetus is likely to multiply seven times in the next six months after the first trimester. By the end of the second trimester, the fetus height is likely to be able 13 to 16 inches and the baby is likely to weigh about 2 to 3 pounds at this time. Fetal development in this trimester is as follows:
- The fetus is big enough to kick, move, and take frequent turns inside the mother’s womb.
- The eyes of the fetus have started moving gradually and ears are able to move.
- The fetus can hear voices and later in the third trimester respond as well with frequent movement.
- The fetus is rapidly developing reflexes like sucking and swallowing.
- In this trimester, the placenta is fully developed that is responsible for the nourishment of the fetus till the time of birth now.
- The brain development in the fetus is highly significant in this trimester and will continue.
- The fetus has started taking cycles of sleep as well as wakefulness.
- Tiny little hair follicles continue to grow on the head of the fetus.
- Fingerprints and toe prints are also developed during this trimester.
- The fetal growth rate is rapid and so is the size and weight of the fetus.
- The 20th week officially marks halfway through the pregnancy.
The doctor will recommend the mother eat healthy meals and keep active during this time The mother may be prescribed prenatal vitamins, she may be encouraged to exercise regularly, recommended a healthy diet that has fruits, vegetables, fiber, and proteins. Now is a good time for mom to start looking into classes regarding childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, and first aid. If you are using a private facility you can request a tour of the birth center to ensure that the baby will be born in a safe environment and that you are comfortable.