- The second trimester is between 13 to 27 weeks
- The fetal development mainly involves brain development at fast pace
- The baby starts movements including kicking the amniotic sac
- Ultra sound screening between 16 to 20 weeks helps identify abnormalities and can hear heart beat
- Staying active helps reduce discomforts
You have now crossed the danger zone, the first trimester. With all the morning sicknesses and miscarriage worries, three months of pregnancy have been completed successfully.
The second trimester of pregnancy is often called the golden months. Though the normal discomforts of pregnancy still haunt you, the confidence and little movements of the baby makes you forget all that worries.
During these months your belly starts grow more as the fetus enters the growing stage after forming the organs. Here are the major developments happen to the baby inside and also to the mother’s body:
Your baby is now around 25g weight and starts movements inside tummy, but you may not recognize it. They may yawn or take their fingers to mouth.
Your morning sickness and nausea would have disappeared. Now, the mother feels more food cravings for sugar or pickles. Always limit your intake of such spicy or sweet food. Constipation may occur. If it gets severe get medical help than trying home remedies.
The baby starts growing and growing. Now, the baby is 4 to 4.5 inches long. All the tiny organs start functioning. Pancreas starts producing insulin while liver starts secreting bile. The facial muscle starts to function as the baby may wince which can be during the ultra sound scanning.
The mother may get nipple leaking as the lactation process begins. She may also feel stress on the body due to growing tummy. Enough support from the partner and care of the family and friends help in dealing with anxieties.
The baby’s head will be covered by soft hair called ‘Lanugo.’ The tiny one will probably weigh around 2 ounces by this week. The baby starts hearing sounds a little.
The mother will have a more visible tummy and sometimes experience Braxton- Hicks contraction which prepares the uterus for birth. Do exercises that strengthen your pelvic muscles for delivery. Some woman may also experience nose bleed or gum problems during these stages due to hormonal functions.
The baby is about the size of a lemon now and starts kicking or holding thump to the mouth. Some may not feel the movements, but nothing to worry as it may get delayed in some. The belly will now have a more amniotic fluid with enough space for the baby to move.
The mother may experience pressure in the pelvic region due to growing belly. She gets a pound of weight each week with the developing fetus. As per experts, a pregnant woman needs around 340 extra calories per day in the second trimester with the 2000 calories intake.
The baby will start to develop eye lashes and eye brows which can be seen in ultra sound scanning. While in the initial stage the upper part of the body especially head was growing faster by the time, it becomes proportionate. The placenta continues to grow.
The mother may get leg cramps or even spider veins or varicose veins. Get moving to reduce leg cramps. Generally, the mother starts to feel happy as the baby gets moving and belly gets noticed. Some also feel stressed or anxious.
The fetus can actually hear the noises outside and sounds like mother’s heart beat inside the body. Baby may even respond to louder noises at this stage or soon. The baby may change positions or jiggle around inside the spacious womb.
The mother can feel the movements. You can also attend some antenatal classes during these weeks to know about normal birth and also helps meeting other expecting mothers.
The baby inside approximately has 6 inches length and 8.5 ounces in weight. Genetic factors would also be set in the baby even for the future generations. During ultra sound scanning may give you a picture of the baby sucking the thumb or trying to grab the placenta.
The belly starts getting large while the mother feels more stress. Back pain may arise during these weeks for which proper exercise can help. Avoid lifting heavy weights.
The baby will be around 10 inches long and weighs 9 ounces. Sweat glands form while the baby remains a bit wrinkled. The baby starts developing immunities acquiring from the mother.
The mother’s uterus would have completed growing downwards. Now it develops in the upper part, more to the rib cage. Get yourself informed about child birthing and preparations to be done. In primigravidas, mothers who are pregnant for the first time may feel the first movements of the baby late by 20 weeks.
An ultra sound screening will be done between 16 to 20 weeks for analyzing the fetal development. It again confirms the due date and evaluates the fluid level. The screening during these weeks can hear the sound of baby’s heart beats, the proof for a living being inside your tummy.
The baby is around 350 g weight and 10.5 inches long and continues to grow. The eyes will be active though it remains closed. The baby takes in amniotic fluid regularly and passes it out as urine. Taste buds are forming on the tongue and put on weight faster.
The mother also puts on weight faster from now on. Stay active. Try walking and exercises for pelvic muscle. Monitor the weight gain. Hormonal actions may cause headache and other discomforts during these weeks.
The baby will be around 11 inches long and less than one pound weight. The brain development becomes faster. Finger nails will be grown almost completely. The baby has a distinct pair of lips. The baby will now have a miniature shape and size of a newborn baby with functional organs.
The uterus continues to grow, you may find it difficult to bend or sit. Check for signs of anemia or preeclampsia as it starts to appear during this stage. Swollen hands or feet are indications of high blood pressure.
Twenty third week:
The baby will start to have a routine. You get kicks or movements at a particular time of day or night. Monitor the movements. The baby may also get hiccups, and you may feel it.
The mother may feel stress on the back as the belly gets larger. Leg cramps make it difficult for you to sleep at night. Find a comfortable position and relieve yourself from stress.
Twenty fourth week:
They have been attained the minimum growth to survive in this world. But the lungs are yet to develop completely.
The mother may get more vaginal discharges from this week. The baby starts blinking his eyes with brain functions efficiently.
The baby passes urine frequently, and it adds as amniotic fluid. The fetus now weighs around 1.5 pounds and 13 inches long. The color pigmentation of hair will start appearing. The baby also starts acquiring some fat thus the wrinkles disappear gradually.
The mother puts on weight quickly during these weeks, and the skin glows perfectly. Eat a balanced diet and monitor the weight gain.
Twenty sixth week:
The baby is around 13.38 inches long and weighs around 2 pounds. The baby’s ear nerves start to develop and will be able to hear sounds clearly.
The mother would have gained around 7.5 to 10 kg weight during the first and second trimester together. She may get worried about the bloating body and stretch marks. Support and care of the partner are important to pass this phase.
Exercise in Second Trimester:
It is always crucial to stay active during the entire pregnancy. Do exercises that do not stress you out. Lifting heavy things should be avoided.
1. Try walking which makes you feel better and gives the enough movements.
2. Wear comfortable cloths for workouts
3. Choose group Yoga or exercises that give some social time too
4. Consult your doctor or physical trainer when beginning new exercises than the one you were practicing.
5. If you are beginning, do workouts for ten minutes and then day by day, develop to 30 minutes.
Food for Second Trimester
It is the stage of bone and teeth development. The cartilages formed will be turned to hard bones along with brain development.
Consume food rich in calcium for bone and teeth. Also, have food with high content of Omega 3 fatty Acids for proper brain development.
1. Fruits like Orange and Avocado in the diet
2. Green leafy vegetables like broccoli and cabbage
3. Carrot and other carotene rich vegetables
4. Milk and milk products for calcium
5. Sunflower seeds and fish for Omega 3 fatty acid
It is also important to consume an extra amount of food daily, but not over eat. Try to have the food frequently than finishing it in one sit. Much on some nuts and fruits as snacks in between. Always drink plenty and plenty of water.
You can also avoid fish that may have mercury content and restrain from consuming raw meat.
Pregnant women definitely experience the food cravings for certain food like pastries or pickles. Always satisfy your cravings, but realize if you over eat and avoid it.
Tests during Second Trimester
In normal cases, an ultra sound screening between 16 to 20 weeks helps identify fetal developments. Organs like eyes, ears and heart beat will be monitored. The level of amniotic fluid can be detected.
A Glucose tolerance test during the second trimester can diagnose chances of gestational diabetes while urine test for protein content will identify chances of preeclampsia. Other tests can also be recommended by the Gynecologist in case of any complication or high-risk pregnancy.