Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Soon-to-be mom, has the second trimester of your pregnancy begun? Well, for most of you this time is going to be the most enjoyable and comfortable phase of pregnancy. It’s because in the 2nd trimester you will be in your sweet spot. Your uncomfortable morning sickness would be subsiding, and you might start experiencing a burst of energy! On other hand, your little bundle of joy would be developing and making his presence felt as he/she will start rolling in the amniotic sac.

Read on to learn about the pregnancy symptoms, the foetal development in the second trimester, and what’s in store for you during the coming weeks.

How long is the Second trimester?

The second trimester runs from 14 to 27 weeks of pregnancy, lasting 14 weeks or approximately three and a half months.

Your Baby’s Development in the Second Trimester

In the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby’s development continues upon the foundation set in the first trimester.

Your little one goes from being about the size of a nectarine to that of a head of cauliflower, and this growth spurt will become more visible to the outside world as your belly becomes more prominent.

Each week of pregnancy brings something new; here are some of the highlights of fetal development in the second trimester:

  • 14 Weeks: Sucking and Swallowing

Around the time you’re 14 weeks pregnant, your little one may start practising sucking and swallowing motions, possibly sucking that thumb in the coming weeks!

  • 16 Weeks: Baby on the Go

Around the time you’re 16 to 18 weeks pregnant, or soon after, you may feel a tiny flutter in your belly as your little one rolls around or flips in the amniotic sac. This feeling is called quickening. If this is your first pregnancy, it may take longer for you to detect the sensations of movement. Conversely, if this is your second pregnancy, you may recognise the signs of movement sooner. This is just one of the many ways a second pregnancy can be different from a first. You’ll probably notice your baby’s kicks and movements are getting stronger from around 19 weeks onward. Your baby is growing but still has plenty of room to move, which is a good thing because it gets a little more cramped during the third trimester.

  • 17 Weeks: Your Baby Gets a Waxy Coating

The glands in your baby’s skin may already be producing a greasy substance called vernix. This will cover your little one’s body and act as a waterproof barrier protecting the skin.

  • 22 Weeks: Your Baby Has Eyebrows

Those little brows are visible now: tiny tufts of fine hair, with no pigment yet. Though your baby's eyelids are still fused shut for a few more weeks, his eyes can move now behind the lids.

  • 23 Weeks: Your Baby Responds to Sounds

With his ears fully developed, your baby may respond by moving if he hears the sound of your voice or a loud noise. This is an excellent time to start singing to your baby and playing music — and don't forget to talk to him and tell him what you’re up to.

  • 27 Weeks: Your Baby May Smile

Your baby’s first smile could be happening any day now, as babies often start practising inside the womb from around 27 weeks. Smiling typically occurs when your baby is asleep, often during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.

What’s in Store for You This Trimester

These are just some of the highlights and things to expect in the second trimester:

  • Meeting your baby bump:

Although it’s different for every mom-to-be and can even be different from one pregnancy to the next, you might start showing early in this trimester. Around this time, you might like to read more on when you may start to show.

  • Announcing your pregnancy:

Although some people may have guessed already, some of your friends, family, and colleagues will expect you to share the good news with them

  • Having tests and check-ups:

During the second trimester, you’ll continue with your regular prenatal care. At your check-ups, your doctor may check your fundal height, which is the distance between your pubic bone and the top of your uterus. This measurement helps your doctor assess your baby’s size and growth rate. If you are at risk for certain conditions, such as gestational diabetes, your doctor may recommend additional tests. In the case of gestational diabetes, a glucose test is performed to help your doctor make a diagnosis.

  • Getting a maternity bra fitting:

This trimester your belly and breasts will grow noticeably. You may need to shift to maternity wear or extra-comfortable pants and tops soon; don’t be surprised if you also need to go up a cup size. It could be a good idea to get professionally fitted to ensure you wear a supportive, comfortable bra. If your breasts are painful, consult your doctor for the right treatment.

  • Experiencing an energy boost:

During the second trimester, you may experience an extra burst of energy, which you can use in many ways! Begin or continue your exercise routine (though you'll want to check with your doctor first) with some walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga. Start getting the nursery prepared and make a list of all the baby essentials you’ll need. Go on a babymoon! However you decide to use your extra energy, try not to overdo it and schedule time for rest as well.

  • Upping your calories:

Despite the famous saying, you don’t actually need to “eat for two.” Moms-to-be typically only need around 300 extra calories per day — that’s about a glass of skim milk and half a sandwich — as part of a healthy pregnancy diet. For more help, ask your doctor for personalised advice.

  • Preparing for Godh Bharai:

As you’ve reached the second trimester of pregnancy, you should start preparing for your Godh Bharai ceremony- the Indian version of the baby shower. It is celebrated in the seventh month of pregnancy. As these months are nearing, planning a day filled with joy, blessings, and lots of fun is a must.

  • Continue practising Garbh Sanskar:

Keep augmenting your baby’s mental and behavioural development by practising Garbh Sanskar, while he/she is still in your womb. This act will help you develop a closer bond with your child while imparting knowledge and better habits.

Second Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

Here are just some of the symptoms you may experience during the second trimester:

  • Dizziness

Your body is experiencing changes in circulation, including less blood flow to your upper body and head. This can leave you feeling a little light-headed or dizzy. If you do feel light-headed, lie down on your side, if you can. Also, make sure you drink plenty of fluids. You might be able to help prevent dizziness by moving more slowly when you change positions or stand up. Above all, if you’re concerned about how you’re feeling, ask your doctor for advice.

  • Round ligament pain

If you experience pain or cramping in your groin area, chances are it's due to round ligament pain. As the uterus grows, the ligaments that hold it in place in your abdomen stretch, and this can cause pain. Typically, round ligament pain is nothing to worry about, but if it becomes intense or doesn’t go away, contact your doctor. Groin or abdominal pain during pregnancy can also be a sign of a possible complication, so your doctor will need to rule out anything more serious. Other pregnancy symptoms that could crop up are hip and pelvic pain.

  • Skin pigment changes

During pregnancy, your body produces more melanin — the pigment that gives skin its colour — so your nipples may become darker, and brown patches may appear on your face (called chloasma or “mask of pregnancy”). You might also notice a dark line that runs from your pubic region to your belly button — this is called the linea nigra. These darker skin patches tend to slowly fade after your baby is born.

  • Itchy skin and stretch marks

As your baby grows and you gain pregnancy weight you may experience dry, itchy skin or develop stretch marks. There are no proven solutions for stretch marks, but a moisturising lotion may help soothe itchy skin.

  • Sinus congestion

If your nose feels stuffed up, making it difficult to breathe, it could be due to the hormone progesterone, which increases circulation to the mucous membranes of the nose, causing them to swell. This condition is called pregnancy rhinitis, and unfortunately, there's not much you can do to make it go away. Staying hydrated can help you feel a bit better, and you can also try using a humidifier or dabbing a little petroleum jelly around each nostril to make your nose less dry. Saline drops or a saline rinse may also help.

  • Leg cramps

Some moms-to-be experience lower leg cramps that often strike at night. You can help keep these cramps at bay by stretching before bed and staying hydrated. If you do feel sharp pains in your calves, try massaging the muscle or taking a warm shower or bath.

  • Lower back pain

As you gain weight and your uterus expands, your centre of gravity and posture can change, putting more pressure on your back. Exercise and stretching may help relieve some of this discomfort. Applying a heating pad or a cold compress may also offer some relief. If it’s possible, avoid standing for long periods.

  • Constipation

Hormonal activity and your growing baby pushing against your intestines can lead to constipation during pregnancy. Although this condition can be uncomfortable, drinking more water and eating more fibre can help get things moving.

  • “Pregnancy brain.”

Feeling a little spaced out lately? This could be due to hormonal changes during, lack of sleep, or even stress. Experts don’t yet know whether pregnancy has a real impact on your memory and mental sharpness, but if you feel more scatter-brained than usual, just know that many other moms-to-be feel the same way. Try using your tablet or smartphone to stay organised with lists and reminders. Read more about whether pregnancy brain is fact or fiction and what you can do to keep yourself organised.

  • Thicker hair

During pregnancy, many moms-to-be find that their hair gets thicker and might grow faster than usual. It’s one of the physical changes you may really enjoy this trimester!

Checklist for the Second Trimester

  • Consider getting some stretchy clothes to accommodate your growing bump.

  • Sign up for childbirth classes to ensure you get a spot.

  • Make an appointment for your second-trimester ultrasound scan, which usually takes place between 18 and 20 weeks.

  • Ask your doctor, what, if any, genetic testing may be recommended for you. Consider whether genetic tests like amniocentesis and maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) testing are right for you. Ask your doctor if you will need an Rh immune globulin shot. (This may be recommended if an earlier blood test showed you are Rh-negative.)

  • Make a list of any questions you have about your pregnancy and childbirth so that you can get answers at your next prenatal checkup.

  • Ask your doctor what options you have for labour and childbirth and think about where you would like to give birth.

  • Think about whether you would like to write a birth plan.

  • Start doing pelvic floor exercises. Consult your doctor to learn more about Kegel exercises.

  • Talk to your employer about your maternity leave if you haven’t already.

  • Connect with other moms-to-be in your area or online so that you have a support network of others who are going through similar things as you.

  • Start researching your childcare options for after your baby is born.

  • Still, looking for the perfect baby name? Play around with our Baby Name Generator for inspiration.

  • Create a Garbh Sanskar playlist that includes soothing music, mantras, shlokas or you can also head to our Garbh Sanskar Playlist available on Pampers App.

  • If you are given a printout of the ultrasound image, start your baby’s first photo album with it.

Takeaway

As the second trimester is the middle phase of your pregnancy, you will be experiencing some worthwhile changes in your body. The sudden burst of energy would make you want to get things done. But remember to take things slow. In case you have any concerns or doubts, talk to your doctor. Until then, keep talking to your belly and create a closer bond with your baby. Soon enough, the apple of your eye will be born and you will miss these days!

How we wrote this article The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.