Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Changes, and More

The first trimester of pregnancy is probably the most exciting time, full of sudden physical and emotional changes that immediately impact you. Once the realization starts setting in however, you are already begin to show! And that is when the second trimester begins. While you will have had three months to become accustomed to pregnancy and the early discomforts that seem to plague you, the second trimester is much more relaxing and soothing in that you lose many of those discomforts.

You will feel more energetic so you may be more excited to go out and actually meet up with your friends and do more things that you have usually done before you have gotten pregnant.

There are a lot of women who consider their second trimester of pregnancy as the easiest months of the whole course of being pregnant. This explains why a lot of women usually plan a lot of good things about their babies at this point in time. This may be what you are doing as well. Even though you feel good and you feel that everything is going to be okay, you still need to make sure that you will know your current progress. So let’s begin with the baby’s progress:

Baby’s Progress In Months 4-6

Quite a bit goes on to your baby during the second trimester, so let’s begin at week 15:

  • Week 15: This is the time when your baby’s hair will start to sprout. How much hair will sprout will highly depend on your genes. There are some babies who are born with a head full of hair while others do not have much hair at all.
  • Week 18: The moment that the second trimester starts at week 18, you can expect at this point in time that your baby is already beginning to show signs of truly being alive. Your baby will be able to yawn and there may be times when your baby will hiccup as well. The fingerprints will also begin to form at week 18.
  • Week 21: You can already expect at this point that your baby will have more coordination. You may begin to feel your baby’s arms and legs when they kick and pump in your tummy. This usually brings a lot of delight to new mothers.
  • Week 22: If you are excited to know how your baby is going to look like, you will be excited to know that by this time, your baby’s eyelashes and eyebrows will start to grow. This can have a huge impact on how your baby would look like later on. Your baby will also start to develop some of his senses. Smelling, seeing and hearing will start from this week.
  • Week 23: This is the time when the baby will start to become even bigger than usual. There is a big chance that if you would eat right, your babies will double the amount of weight by this time. Of course, this is big progress considering how small your baby is during the first trimester.

    sonogram second trimester

    Get used to those ultrasounds.

You have to remember that your baby’s digestive system will also grow during the second trimester. Even if it has been fully developed by the end of the first trimester, it is at the second trimester when your baby would begin to taste the food that you will eat. You have to remember that what you eat will also affect your baby’s preference for food later on.

Changes To Your Body

  • Morning sicknesses subsides: For some woman, nausea may continue throughout the whole pregnancy. For most however, this most unpleasant and loathed symptom usually disappears after the beginning of the second trimester. This will certainly help to restore your energy and mood!
  • Pregnancy becomes visible: The most obvious change you see is the fact that you will start showing. During the first trimester of pregnancy all the changes that occur within your body are mostly felt. In the second trimester you will not just feel, but also see the difference! Be prepared and start shopping for maternity clothes as early as possible.
  • Your skin changes: You may get dark spots on your face and you may get a dark, longitudinal line on your stomach. This occurs due to the increased production of melanin during pregnancy. In addition, you may also notice the appearance of the first stretch marks on your skin, especially at the parts of the body that are growing because of your pregnancy – your stomach and breasts.
  • Increased hair growth: Another change that can occur in the second trimester of pregnancy is this. This can be a conducive change for you however, as your hair will also look richer and healthier. The downside is that it is not limited to the hair on your head, but also to your arms and even face. Before you start thinking about removing these excess hairs, consult with your doctor on which method is the safest for you and your baby.
  • You begin to feel the baby: Up until this point, the life of your baby (heart rate and any movements) has been visible only on ultrasound. Come to the second trimester of pregnancy, you will be able to actually feel the very first movements of the baby inside of your belly. This really brings the realization that there is a living, breathing human being residing inside of you.
  • Physical discomfort: This occurs because of your womb’s size augmenting and putting pressure on other organs of the body. The pressure on the lungs can lead to shortness of breath, pressure on the bladder can lead to frequent urination, and pressure on the back can lead to minor aches and pain.
  • Bleeding of the gums and the nose. During pregnancy, hormones increase blood flow to the mucous membranes. As a result, during your second trimester you may experience problems with sensitive gums or bleeding from the nose.
  • Varicose veins: These are very common in the second trimester. Increased blood flow through your body is the culprit here and it can also affect the appearance of the small, visible veins under your skin; known as the spider veins.
  • Leg cramps and swelling: These occur because of the increasing pressure of the uterus on the blood vessels and the fact that you may have a magnesium deficiency. They are not a cause for concern, but they can be unpleasant. You can combat leg cramps by drinking plenty of water and avoiding standing up too long or having your legs crossed.
  • Increased desire for sex: Hormonal changes in the body and increased production of estrogen during the second trimester can lead to an increased desire for sex. While you may lose this desire during the first trimester, it comes back with a burning passion in the second! A healthy pregnancy does not require that you refrain from sex so feel free to indulge as you please.
second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester is a good time to relax and unwind.

Warning Symptoms To Pay Attention For

  • Cramping: If after the 20th week of your pregnancy you begin to feel like you are getting stomach cramps, this might mean that you are undergoing premature labour. You would need to get help immediately if you would begin to feel some cramps together with some contractions and vaginal discharge.
  • Lack of Kicking: You need to remember that after the baby’s legs and arms develop, you would begin to feel a lot of kicking but if you do not feel kicking that much, this might mean that your baby is undergoing something that would require medical help immediately.
  • Vaginal Bleeding: While vaginal bleeding is common during the first trimester, it may not be that common anymore in the second trimester of pregnancy. Usually, this is serious if this is encountered with stomach pain.

These are just some of the things that you can expect during your second trimester of pregnancy. Be aware of these warning signs so that you can seek medical help immediately to ensure your health and your baby’s health are up to par.

What You Should Do During The Second Trimester

The second trimester is the time for various tests and more planning, but also a great time to enjoy the progression of your pregnancy. I recommend that you do the following during this period to ensure a smooth transition into your third trimester:

  • Take the necessary tests. This includes the Glucose screening test to check if you have gestational diabetes. Also, your doctor may recommend that you do an amniocentesis and determine whether the fetus has some genetically disorders and abnormalities. Also keep track of your food cravings and what they could mean.
  • Prepare your other children for the arrival of the baby. Begin to talk to them about the new family member and explain what behavior you expect from them and how it will be the first few days when the baby arrives home.
  • Make plans for your baby. In the second trimester you’ll be able to find out the gender of your baby. After this happens, think about and narrow down some names for your baby. Make a financial plan for raising your child and keep in mind all the expenses you will need the first few years.
  • Begin moisturizing your stomach. Stretch marks appear on your skin are a result of the intense stretching the pregnancy causes. Start moisturizing your skin to slow down and even minimize stretch marks.
  • Start with light exercises.You can start doing prenatal Kegel exercises in the first trimester of pregnancy. In the second trimester, you may begin with light physical activities that do not require too much effort, and that do not involve lying on your back for a long time. These exercises can put pressure on the vena cava and endanger the normal blood flow to the baby. You can practice yoga for pregnant women, swimming, or regularly go for a walk.
  • Enjoy the time with your partner and friends.Really enjoy your time and make the most of it. When the baby comes, most of the time you will be devoted to him/her, and you will have very little time for socializing with adults.

The second trimester is considered the easiest period of the pregnancy. Most of the initial, unpleasant symptoms have disappeared and you’ve probably already become accustomed to the fact that you are pregnant and that you need to adapt to the changes. At the same time, your stomach is not too big yet and pregnancy does not present a great challenge in performing daily activities. That is why the second trimester the right time to deal with any stressful planning for the future and to maximize your time spent with friends and family before the baby arrives and diminishes that.