Second Trimester of Pregnancy

The second trimester of the pregnancy is the most comfortable of the three trimesters. The woman feels less fatigued in her second trimester. While the woman is in her first trimester, there is a constant danger of miscarriage. When she enters her second trimester, this danger has already passed. The initial symptoms of pregnancy, such as nausea and dizziness also get over.

A woman’s body undergoes more changes during this time. While the baby in her womb continues to grow, he breasts start secreting ‘colostrum’ or milk. During this stage of the pregnancy, the woman’s heart also starts pumping more blood than it normally does and even increases in size. Meanwhile, the baby also starts to show important changes. This is the time when its facial features become more defined than earlier. This means that it starts forming its forehead, nose, and chin. It starts to grow in height. As its muscle development takes place simultaneously, the baby starts to smile and frown. Also, somebody hair starts appearing on the baby’s frame.

However, the third trimester is not devoid of all problems. It comes with its set of complications, the most important of which is diabetes. Diabetes is a common condition among women who are in their second trimester. It is referred to as ‘gestational diabetes.’ This mainly occurs during pregnancy because, at times, the pregnancy hormones start influencing the production of insulin in a woman’s body. Almost 10% of all pregnancies suffer from gestational diabetes. While gestational diabetes disappears after pregnancy, it is essential for the woman to get herself examined for it, and to take steps to prevent it.

Another common problem that women face in their second trimester is that they are unable to sleep on their back, as the fetus starts to pressurize the blood vessels. It is advisable therefore that women sleep on their side and use pillows to prop them up.

14 Weeks Pregnant

Week 14 marks the beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy. According to medical experts, the 14th week is the time the women should start relaxing and enjoying their pregnancies. This is mainly because the risk of miscarriage has dramatically reduced by the 14th week. Ultrasound will reveal that the placenta is working well. It is supplying nourishment and oxygen to the baby. This is also the time when a bulge on their stomach will be visible. They may feel their breasts becoming more tender and sensitive. The breasts will secrete colostrum in preparation of the lactation. There may also be some mood swings and anxiety at this time. This is normal.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby is fully developed by the time pregnancy enters the 14th week. The baby may weigh as much as 100 grams around this time. Its liver starts to function and produces bile. Apart from some physical movements, the baby will also be making facial expressions such as squinting and frowning.

15 Weeks Pregnant

Both the mother and the baby undergo several changes by the time pregnancy enters the 15th week. The baby is making rapid growth. The mother too gains weight around this time and appears pregnant. While this is a relatively relaxing time for women, they do become prone to common ailments such as cold and flu.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby has grown in both height and weight by this time. Its skin is now reddish and is wrinkled. It also has body hair called ‘Lanugo’. The Lanugo is known to help the baby maintain a constant temperature inside the womb. New parents will be happy to learn that by this time, the baby can hear their voice. The women might feel some movement from the womb. The baby may be kicking or moving. It will also hiccup at times. It is also able to go off to sleep. It is also able to squint, frown, suck, and grasp by this time. Its skin, however, remains thin, and the blood vessels are visible through it. The bones inside its ears will begin to harden now.

How Your Body Changes

Most women gain weight in their second trimester. There may be cramps in the leg as a result of stretched ligaments in the abdomen, caused due to the increasing size of the uterus. Women are prone to ailments such as bacterial vaginosis, and urinary tract infection. A case of bacterial vaginosis should be taken very seriously as it may cause pre-term labor in women. Urinary tract infection, on the other hand, may lead to kidney infection. This too may result in pre-term labor. These infections can be kept at bay by following simple measures such as wearing loose fitting clothes, avoiding dirty swimming pools, and also by avoiding perfumed soaps and sprays.

16 Weeks Pregnant

Women experience ‘quickening’ at this stage of their pregnancy. Quickening is the movement of the baby in the womb which can be felt by the mother. Midwives, during the 16th week of pregnancy, may recommend the antenatal test for the women. These tests will check for any congenital disabilities in the baby. Women above the age of 35, especially those with a history of congenital disabilities, are made to take the ‘amniocentesis’. This test reveals any chromosomal defects or abnormalities.

How Your Body Changes

Women become prone to common ailments such as cold and flu during this time. They are also susceptible to chicken pox and rubella. But apart from this, women in their 16th week of pregnancy generally glow on their face. This is a result of the heart pumping more blood, and improved circulation in the body. But they will continue to feel some pain, caused due to the increasing weight and shape of the body. Backaches are a common complaint around this time. Women are now advised to try sleeping on their sides instead of their backs.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby weighs almost 150 grams now. It will be making a lot of movement in the womb now. Experts say that by the 16th week of pregnancy, babies can grasp, kick around, and even somersault. According to them, this is also the time when the baby starts responding to various kinds of visual stimulation. For instance, in the case of high-intensity light, the baby will use its hands to shield its eyes. Using an external monitor, midwives can make the parents-to-be hear their unborn child’s heartbeat. While still inside the womb, the baby can breathe. Its body also starts developing fat, which acts as an insulation for its body.

17 Weeks Pregnant

According to midwives, by the time of 17th week of pregnancy, the women have got used to several changes taking place within them. However, this is also the time they become prone to allergies and rashes. While some women feel energetic during this stage of their pregnancy, some women think otherwise. The symptoms vary with each pregnancy. Some women may have low blood pressure because of which they tend to feel dizzy. Midwives recommend small, frequent bites in between meals as a remedy for this.

Your Baby’s Development

The uterus, meanwhile, is growing. It even starts pushing the intestines out on one side of the abdomen. This may result in sciatic nerve pain in some women. The amount of blood being pumped in the body increases, which may cause excessive sweating in some women. They are advised to maintain a healthful lifestyle to avoid all kinds of infections.

As the pregnancy furthers, the baby’s umbilical cord becomes stronger. By this time, the baby’s organs such as its ears move into their final position. They also develop their eyes, but they remain shut. A protective layering referred to as ‘vernix’ starts developing on the baby’s body. Pads start appearing on its fingertips as well as toes. While in the earlier stages, the head used to be larger than the rest of the body, the body becomes more proportionate now.

18 Weeks Pregnant

The cardiovascular system undergoes significant changes in the 18th week of pregnancy, and most women may find their blood pressures to be low. This is a regular occurrence at this stage of the pregnancy. This is also the time when women tend to gain weight. However, it should not become a cause for concern. They are discouraged from trying any weight-loss programs at this stage of their pregnancy.

The baby’s development continues. It starts responding to sounds by kicking in the womb. It will also begin hearing sounds made by the body, such as that of the blood flowing inside the umbilical cord, and the beating of its mother’s heart. The parents too, at this stage, can hear the heartbeat of their baby with the help of s stethoscope. If the child is a girl, then she will start developing her uterus and fallopian tubes by this time.

Apart from the dizziness caused by low blood pressure, there are other symptoms that women have to undergo in their 18th week of pregnancy. For instance, their frequency to urinate will increase. Their breasts will become more substantial, and the areolas will become even darker. Digestive trouble such as piles and constipation are also usual during this time. Stretch marks may appear in some cases. Women can get rid of these by applying anti-wrinkle creams. There may be some heartburn as well during this time.

19 Weeks Pregnant

The 19th week of the pregnancy sees the baby go through more changes than its mother. In general, the women will be in good shape at this shape and would be enjoying her pregnancy. The baby’s muscles become stronger, and it grows in both height and weight. In the case of a baby girl, the ovaries have more than six million eggs. The baby also starts to kick around more vigorously now. It also sleeps for approximately 20 hours.

How Your Body Changes

For the women, the 19th week brings along skin that is excessively dry and flaky. Midwives advise taking a lot of fluids, especially water to get rid of this problem. Women also tend to sweat a lot during this time, which may give rise to severe heat rashes. Therefore, it is advised that women wear loose-fitting clothes where their body can breathe properly. There may be some cases of fatigue and dizziness. Women may also experience round ligament pain, which may affect the hips, abdomen, and groin. This, however, is a typical symptom for this stage of pregnancy.

20 Weeks Pregnant

The 20th week of pregnancy is the middle of the nine-month-long pregnancy. Usually, by this time, mothers-to-be can tell if their baby is awake or is sleeping in the womb. Its movements also increase. It can hear well by this time and is even breathing at this stage. Its scalp hair is developing fast. The baby’s body is covered with a white substance, referred to as ‘vernix caseosa’. This helps the baby with passing through the birth canal smoothly.

Pregnant women, who have a small body frame, may have trouble breathing around this time. This is mainly due to the restriction of the lungs. Symptoms such as indigestion, heartburn, constipation, and frequent urination may continue. Extreme dry skin may cause itching. Women may feel bloated up during this time. Drinking plenty of water will relieve this feeling. Maintaining hygiene is a must to keep infections at bay.

21 Weeks Pregnant

Week 21 of pregnancy is a reasonably relaxed time for women. They may go swimming or do light exercises, but only after getting a green signal from their midwife. They should wear loose-fitting clothes to allow the body to breathe. They will gain weight around this time. Due to the growing size of the body, women may experience leg cramps. Midwives advise the use of pillows to support the legs as a measure against the pain. Mental health should also be given emphasis, as it is essential for women to feel happy and relaxed at this time.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s body too will grow in the second trimester. Its body will start circulating blood. Other body parts such as the intestines also, will begin to expand and contract. Its hearing ability will increase. Pregnant women are encouraged to talk or read to their babies during this time. This may have a calming effect on the child and is also of a way of bonding with it.

22 Weeks Pregnant

How Your Body Changes

Women start gaining weight around the 22nd week of their pregnancy. The pregnancy has progressed to a level where the mothers can feel their babies’ movements. Though symptoms such as morning sickness and nausea are over by this time, there may be other symptoms such a vaginal discharge. This happens because the body, during this time, starts to pump more blood. This leads to an increased flow of blood in the lower parts of the body. Apart from this, some women may experience bleeding from other parts of the body such as the rectum or the anus. This is a result of hemorrhoids that may have developed inside the body. Their frequency to urinate also increases.

Your Baby’s Development

Although the baby is growing at a rapid rate during this time, its skin remains wrinkled. Body organs such as the pancreas start functioning. The liver begins producing various enzymes that help in breaking down the bilirubin. The baby’s eyes have also formed by this time, even though the iris lacks pigment. According to medical experts, babies develop a sense of touch by this time. They may make movements of stroking their face at times.

23 Weeks Pregnant

Both the mothers and their babies gain weight by the 23rd week. In the case of the mothers, the weight gain becomes evident. Midwives, at this stage, advise a healthy well-balanced diet to the expecting mothers. A balanced diet is accompanied by calcium and iron intake. Both are important for the bay to have strong bones and teeth. Feeling bloated is normal during these days. Some may undergo cramps in the leg. Often, women complain of bleeding gums during this period of their pregnancy.
In some cases, women get ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions. These, however, are not very painful. They even help the mother prepare for her labor.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby, by around the 23rd week, weighs one pound approximately. Its height also increases. The skin still appears to be red, and is wrinkled. Also, because the child’s body produces skin at a faster rate than it provides fat, some of the skin hangs loosely. The red color of skin is indicative of pigmentation that is beginning to take place in the child body. It also suggests that the baby skin is starting to lose its transparency. The baby’s body organs continue to develop at a healthy rate.

24 Weeks Pregnant

Women, by the 24th week of their pregnancy, start facing difficulties due to their growing size. These symptoms include conditions such as backaches, fatigue, sore feet, bladder trouble, and nosebleeds. The skin of the breasts and the abdomen stretches further, causing itchiness in these areas of the body. The midwife may recommend a moisturizing lotion to relieve the itching. The eyes too, tend to become dry and sensitive at this stage. Usage of eye drops will bring relief to this condition.
In some cases, women may experience a sudden tightness in their uterus or the abdomen. These contractions are referred to as the ‘Braxton Hicks’ contractions. The round ligament pain observed by women tends to increase around this time. They also suffer from cold, caused by the swelling of the mucous membrane. Saline drops may help relieve the cold.

Your Baby’s Development

The organs inside the child’s body are fast developing during this time. The lung starts to build branches and specialized cells that inflate the air sacs. Premature babies usually have breathing problems as their lungs have not developed properly. Insufficient development of lungs in premature babies also tends to affect their body temperatures too adversely. Medical experts say that at that a baby in the womb at this time is a thin version of what it will look like once it is born.

25 Weeks Pregnant

The expectant mothers gain quite some weight by the 25th week of their pregnancy. The increased weight somewhat reduces their mobility, but even then the midwives encourage the women to go for small walks. Some form of light exercise can also be done by women. This will help in reducing the stiffness in their body. Women need to take some precautions as there is a risk of premature delivery at this time. The early birth may be caused due to an incompetent cervix or some infection.

Some women may develop red or brown stretch marks on their breasts, hips, and abdomen. Although these marks disappear after childbirth, women can use anti-wrinkle cream to remove these. Expectant mothers may also feel very hot, a feeling caused by an increase in the hormone level in the body. Taking plenty of fluids will help relieve the condition. There will also be symptoms such as constipation, indigestion, and heartburn. In some cases, women may find that the cholesterol level in their body has increased.

Your Baby’s Development

Midwives say that by the 25th week, the baby develops the ability to cry. Its taste buds are also in the process of developing. The body becomes more proportionate now. It even starts gaining body fat. The skin begins losing its wrinkles, while the finger and toenails develop fully.

26 Weeks Pregnant

Contractions, known as the Braxton Hicks contractions start appearing regularly to women who have entered the 26th week of their pregnancy. There should not be a matter of concern for the mothers-to-be, as these contractions are painless and help them prepare for their labor. They may continue to experience symptoms such as heartburn, and pain in the ribs. Women are advised to consult a midwife if these symptoms worsen or persist for too long. Although women do gain weight at this stage of their pregnancy, it may seem to vary due to water-retention and bloating. Sciatica pain is also a common complaint around this time. The aches and pains say, midwives, can be relieved by doing some light exercises. This will not only help them relax but also improve the blood circulation in their bodies. There may also be a significant increase in the frequency to urinate.

Your Baby’s Development

By the 26th week of pregnancy, the baby’s eyes and eyelids have developed enough for it to be able to open and close them. Its blood circulation becomes functional, and it also develops a sense of touch. It may even respond to touch. In the case of a male child, the testicles of the baby will move into the scrotum at this stage of pregnancy.

27 Weeks Pregnant

27th week signifies the end of the second trimester of the pregnancy. Women, at this stage, are advised to eat nutritious, well-balanced food that also includes the necessary amounts of calcium, vitamins, and minerals. Fresh fruits should also be included in the diet. Greasy or oily food should be avoided altogether. There is a risk of premature labor in the third trimester. This is caused due to dehydration. Therefore, women are advised to take plenty of fluids to avoid early labor. In case of symptoms such as water vaginal discharge, vaginal bleeding, and severe pain in the abdomen, a midwife should be consulted immediately.

In other cases, expectant mothers may have high blood pressure. This could be caused due to the placenta’s inability to grow blood vessels inside the uterine walls to carry out the pregnancy. Even though this condition occurs rarely, it may be fatal to both the mother and the child. Symptoms such as vision trouble, blood clotting, breathing difficulties, swelling of hands and feet, frequent headaches, and sudden weight gain, may be indicative of this condition.

In a typical case, meanwhile, women will continue to experience symptoms such as increased frequency of urination, leg cramps, constipation, backaches, and round ligament pain.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s retina starts developing layers that will help the child to receive images when it is born. It may also hiccup quite frequently. Midwives say that this is because the baby’s breathing is normalizing inside the womb.