Pregnancy: The Second Trimester

Pregnancy Second TrimesterWelcome your second trimester of pregnancy with a big smile! Among the pregnancy stages, this is when you will feel most comfortable which definitely explains why many recognize this as the ?honeymoon period? of pregnancy. Pregnant women, who are in their second trimester, will most likely notice that the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms such as morning sickness, dizziness, and fatigue seem to subside at this stage. What?s more, they also find that their sex drive goes back to normal and they have a better grip on their emotions. Still, it is equally essential to know what to expect during this period (week 14 to 28) of pregnancy.


Fetal Growth and Development Highlights

Fetal Development during the Second TrimesterImagine a medium-sized shrimp and a large-sized mango? they are representatives of your baby?s sizes when you are 14 and 28 weeks pregnant with him, respectively. At week 14, your baby will be about the size of your fist with a height of almost 3 inches from crown to rump. ?By week 28, your baby would have increased his height to about 15 inches (crown to heel) and his weight will be around 2.22 pounds.

Your baby will grow fine hair (a.k.a. lanugo) starting around week 15 and will be coated with white waxy substance (a.k.a. vernix caseosa) by week 20. Most often, the white waxy substance will be gone before he comes out of your tummy while the fine hair will disappear within the first two weeks after birth.

By week 16, barely into your second trimester, your baby?s hearing will have developed allowing him to hear you whenever you talk or sing to him. At week 17, his skeletal system becomes firmer and stronger and his hearing more developed. Week 18 is when his other senses (taste, sight, and smell) start to develop as well. His body becomes more proportional by week 19 and by week 21, you?ll start to feel him kicking in action inside you.

Your baby?s eyelids and eyebrows start to become more prominent and even his eyes have formed by week 22. At week 23, you may even start seeing him squirm within your belly since he will be around 28cm long and weigh 1lb already. Your baby?s brain starts to grow quickly by week 24 and he?s also started to become familiar with loud sounds outside your womb such as a dog barking.

Some of the amazing things that happen during your second trimester is during week 25; when your baby will start making fists and reaching for his feet. He may even start showing if he?s a rightie or a leftie. By week 26, your baby may start to open his eyelids and show off his baby blues. Though he might not see much inside your womb, he will sense it if you shine a light at your tummy and maybe even react to the stimuli with a bit of kicking. Week 27 is when his immune system starts to gear up for life outside your womb. He may also start sucking his thumb at this point. By the last week of your second trimester, your little one will have developed motor skills (sucking, stretching, and yawning) and his nervous system will be completely functional. It is also during the second trimester that your baby?s sexual and reproductive organs become completely developed. Therefore, his gender may be accurately identified with the help of an ultrasound machine.


Maternal Changes Highlights

Second Trimester SymptomsAs previously mentioned, many of the uncomfortable pregnancy symptoms present in the other pregnancy stages are absent in this semester. However, you will be exhibiting the following changes.

Your unborn baby?s growth will give you a wider waistline and hips ? causing your skin to stretch. Unfortunately, this will result in unavoidable scarring on the skin (more popularly known as stretch marks) and itching on the abdomen and other areas of the body. Except for cosmetic surgery, there is no other proven way to totally get rid of stretch marks. However, early and regular application of prescription retinoid creams or creams with cocoa butter and vitamin E has been found to lessen the intensity of the marks.

Thanks and no thanks to hormonal changes, you will have noticeably larger but very tender breasts. Thus, now is a good time to purchase bra with good support. These hormonal changes also affect the flow of your pee, making you more susceptible to urinary tract infections. Immediately inform your doctor if you feel some discomfort when you pee and a high temperature. These are symptoms of urinary infections.

The slight, whitish vaginal discharge on your underwear may give you some discomfort. But, actually, this discharge is useful in keeping you safe from harmful bacteria so there is no need for you to panic and call your doctor. ?However, you do have to consult him if the discharge has a pungent smell and is green or yellow in color. This type of discharge may indicate that you might be suffering from some type infection in your vagina.

Other symptoms that you may notice in your second trimester of pregnancy are breathlessness and leg cramps. Do not be alarmed by these symptoms. Most pregnant women manifest these symptoms. The expansion of your uterus leaves little room for your lungs to do their job properly. Take time to rest and relax whenever you feel breathless. Stretch your legs before going to sleep, keep yourself active, and drink lots of liquids to lessen your bouts of leg cramps.


Prenatal Visits

Second Trimester Prenatal VisitsYour doctor will concentrate on checking out your baby?s growth and development during your second trimester prenatal visits. Is your baby?s growth normal? Is your baby?s heart beating healthily? When is your baby coming out? Is there any sign of the baby having health problems? These questions will be answered during the said consultations. ?Be well-prepared every time you visit your doctor. Think of questions and things that bother you before going to your second trimester prenatal visits.

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