Your Pregnancy Part 2: The Second Trimester
Many women will say that the second trimester is their favorite trimester of their pregnancy journey! This is due to it being the most comfortable trimester out of all three. The second trimester takes you from week 14 through week 27. Overall, your pregnancy is well established, your nausea might have gone away, and you might be sleeping better as well.
One fun fact about the second trimester is that your baby begins to hear during the second trimester. Therefore, your baby might start to recognize your voice and also respond to sounds outside the womb!
Here are a few changes you might notice in your body during the second trimester:
- Increased hunger and energy overall
- Feeling your baby move inside you more (maybe feeling like butterflies or gas bubbles)
- Your stomach will start showing you are pregnant to others
- You may need maternity clothes or larger bras to accommodate the body changes
- You may have some nasal congestion due to increased blood flow to your mucous membranes
- Potentially experience mild swelling in your ankles and feet
- You may experience sensitive gums and maybe bleeding- be sure to see your dentist if you experience any bright red or bleeding gums
During the second trimester, your baby will grow from the size of a peach to the size of a cantaloupe. Your baby’s senses will start developing and your baby will move around a lot!
Here is what is happening to the baby during the second trimester:
- The baby’s skin is covered in lanugo (soft hair that will eventually go away)
- The baby will start to gain weight quickly
- The baby’s genitals normally can be seen around week 16
- The baby becomes much more active and kicks more strongly
- The baby might swallow and suck it’s thumb
- The baby’s senses are developing and the baby might be able to hear
- The baby has times to be awake and also times to sleep
- The baby can open it’s eyes
- The baby might be able to recognize familiar voices like mom’s or dad’s
Lastly, there are a few tests that are done in the second trimester that you should expect from your doctor. They are as follows:
- Fetal Anatomy Survey– Is an ultrasound that is performed sometime between 18 and 20 weeks. This ultrasound looks at fetal size and anatomy including the baby’s organs. It can screen for potential concerns like the location of the placenta or the amount on amniotic fluid your baby has. At this ultrasound, the gender of your baby might be able to be seen! Therefore, you can let the ultrasound technician know if you would like to see the gender or have it be a surprise for delivery!
- Glucose Tolerance Test– This test will let the mother know if she has gestational diabetes with the pregnancy. The test is typically done between 24 and 28 weeks, but can be done earlier if there are risk factors for gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes can cause problems for the mother and baby during pregnancy and after birth, so it is important to be screened. During the test, mom is asked to drink a concentrated sugar solution. After an hour, mom’s blood is drawn and blood sugar levels are tested. If the results are abnormal, typically a 3 hour glucose tolerance test is performed.
Enjoy every minute of the second trimester and your growing baby, you have so much to look forward to! Also consider joining us for one of our prenatal or birth classes.
Source: Understanding Pregnancy: A Comprehensive Guide. (2012). InJoy Productions, Inc.