What to expect in your second trimester
Hooray – you’re almost half way through your pregnancy! Some mamas say the second trimester is the easiest. For many women, the second trimester is a time of preparation for baby’s arrival. Your energy levels are up, you’re feeling great post-morning sickness and the fatigue of your first trimester is subsiding. During these three months, you’ll notice a lot of changes going on with and in your body, all to support the growth of your little one!
When is the second trimester?The second trimester of your pregnancy spans weeks 14 through 27, or months four through six. Your first semester nausea has probably passed (yay!), but you may have started experiencing some of the second trimester’s symptoms. Pregnancy heartburn and constipation, anyone?During these weeks, your baby and your belly are really starting to grow! At the beginning of your third trimester, your baby hardly weighs one pound, but by the end, they’ll weigh in at around two pounds.
What is happening to your body?
As your baby starts to grow, you’ll start noticing some changes in your own body, too. Your breasts will continue to grow because of enlarging milk glands and deposits of fat, which means your body is getting ready to produce milk for your baby.
As your belly grows, your doctor will measure your belly from your pubic bone to the top of your belly to measure your baby’s growth. This growth will cause some skin changes, including stretch marks and dry, itchy skin.
Other symptoms you may experience during your second trimester may include:
- Body aches
- Darker skin on your face
- Dizziness or lightheadedness from lower blood pressure
- Growing breasts and belly
- Heart burn
- Increased appetite
- Leg cramps
- Swelling hands or ankles
Creams and lotions can help with your skin symptoms, and light exercises such as walking can help to alleviate leg cramps.
You’ll start to feel your baby move during the second trimester, and you’ll hear his or her heartbeat for the first time around week 16! During your second trimester, you’ll have the option to undergo genetic testing to test your child for genetic or chromosomal conditions.
Pregnancy symptoms to call your doctor about
Not every symptom is cause for alarm; in fact, most are normal. However, if you experience anything that worries you, you can always reach out to your doctor. They are there to support you through your journey!
If you experience any of these symptoms, reach out to your doctor immediately:
- Blurred vision
- Extreme swelling
- Fever over 100°F
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Rapid weight gain
- Severe or unusual abdominal cramping or pain
- Severe diarrhea
- Yellowing of the whites of the eyes (jaundice)
You’ll likely see your doctor every two to four weeks throughout your second trimester but follow your instincts. Call your doctor if you need to see them sooner than a scheduled appointment.
How is your baby growing?
Your second trimester is a great time to enroll in prenatal education, breastfeeding, infant CPR and parenting classes. Your doctor can recommend and help you chose classes, too. As you start to join classes and make some great strides towards motherhood, your baby hits some incredible milestones in the second trimester.
At the beginning of the second trimester, your baby has all their facial features, which you’ll start to see at your ultrasound appointments. You can also find out the sex of your baby at around week 18! If you don’t want to know, make sure you say so at your ultrasound appointments.
Your baby’s organs fully develop in the second trimester. They can also begin to hear and grow some of their hair. They’ll develop a layer of fat to help with their metabolism, and you’ll even notice that your appetite will increase to support their growth. Towards the end of your second trimester, your baby can stick out their tongue and “dance” to music. The nerves in their ears will form enough so that they can recognize the difference between your and your partner’s voices, too.
You may also notice that your child begins to develop their sleep cycle—you’ll be able to feel their movement and stillness as they sleep and wake!