What to Expect During the Second Trimester

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The second trimester, occurring from week 13 to week 26, marks the midpoint of pregnancy when the baby bump becomes noticeable. Often considered a turning point, this phase brings relief to the mother as the baby's organs are fully developed, and subsequent growth focuses on size and weight. Noteworthy developments during this trimester include the baby's eyes facing forward and becoming mobile, fully developed ears, and the possibility of your baby making sucking motions.


Your Experience During Week 13

Once you enter the second trimester, the risk of having a miscarriage reduces. Your baby will start to grow upward and move away from your bladder, so the urgency to urinate will decrease. You might experience dizziness as your blood pressure and hormones change during this time. Because of hormone changes, you might experience hormonal acne on your skin and a rise in libido. 


The Baby During Week 13

The baby’s kidneys will start to work and produce urine, this will be the main fluid of the amniotic fluid. Your baby might be able to put their thumb inside their mouth. The baby's skeleton will start to get harder and more structured, and its skin will begin to thicken. Your baby will be +-74mm and weigh +-23g.


Your Experience During Week 14

Your progesterone levels will rise causing constipation. It is advised that you speak to your healthcare provider about safe options for you to use as laxatives. Normal bowel function might be hindered because of the growing uterus adding pressure inside your belly. 


The Baby During Week 14

Your baby will be +-87mm and weigh +-43g. Your baby will start to create a complete skeleton with muscle and bone. The limbs will start to be in proportion with the rest of the body. Your baby might be able to wiggle their fingers and their neck will be well defined. Your baby will be able to create facial expressions due to the connection between their brain, nerves, and muscle function. The gender of the baby will start to be more apparent. 


Your Experience Week 15

You might experience pigmentation (dark spots on your face) during this time due to hormonal changes. 


The Baby During Week 15

The baby will be +-101mm and weigh +-70g. Your baby’s head will still appear much larger than the rest of their body. The nervous system will begin to function. Your baby will start to hear things, so this might be a good time to start talking to your baby even though they are inside your womb. Your baby’s body temperature is regulated through the lanugo (a fine layer of hair). You will still be able to see the baby’s blood vessels and skeleton because their skin is still busy getting thicker. 


Your Experience at Week 16

Your uterus will still be growing, and the baby bump will be more evident. You might experience the ‘pregnancy glow’ due to hormonal changes and increased blood supply to your face.


The Baby During Week 16

The baby’s head will be in an upright position. The baby’s eyes will be positioned in the front but will still be widely spaced. The movement of the baby will become more coordinated. 


Your Experience During Week 17

You might be able to feel the movements of your baby. Because the uterus is still growing bigger you might experience pains and have weird food cravings during this time. This might lead to indigestion and heartburn. Speak to your healthcare provider about the safe treatment options for your heartburn. 


The Baby During Week 17

The baby will be +-130mm and weigh +-140g. Your baby will start to develop a protective layer of fat under their skin to help them keep warm. The baby will start to suck and swallow. The baby’s brain will start to regulate their heartbeat (140-150 bpm). Your baby might become more active inside your belly. The umbilical cord is responsible for nourishing the baby and will become thicker. The placenta is responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen to the baby. The toenails of the baby will start to develop. 


Your Experience During Week 18

You will start to feel yourself again and not feel tired frequently. The supporting ligaments of the uterus might stretch and lead to lower abdominal pain.


The Baby During Week 18

The baby is +-142mm and weighs +-190g. Your baby will be able to kick and turn in your womb and also yawn and hiccup. The ears will be prominent by this time and the lungs will start to grow. Unique fingerprints will start to appear on their fingers and toes. If you are having a girl, her ovaries will start to develop.


Your Experience During Week 19

Your metabolism will increase having a positive effect on your hands and nails. Due to hormonal changes, you might experience chloasma, which is spots appearing dark on light skin and light on dark skin. But will normally go away after a few months after pregnancy. 


The Baby During Week 19

The baby will start to develop myelin to coat their nerves which will help for rapid coordinated movements. Your baby’s skin will be protected by a thick waxy substance called caseosa. Without this protection, your baby’s skin would have appeared wrinkled. Your baby will be +- 153mm and +- 240g.


Your Experience During Week 20

You are finally halfway through your pregnancy. Your normal sleeping position might not feel comfortable anymore and it is advised to get a pregnancy sleeping pillow to help support you.  It is also advised that you sleep on your side since this will increase blood flow to the placenta and enhance kidney function.


The Baby During Week 20

If you are having a girl, her uterus will start to develop. If you are having a boy, the testicles will start to descend. Your baby will be covered in lanugo (downy hair) which will help keep the vernix caseosa onto the skin. Your baby is +-164mm and +-300g.


Your Experience During Week 21

You will start to see a vertical line appear down your abdomen called the linea nigra, but this will fade over time after your baby is born. Your indigestion and heartburn might increase because of the pressure from your growing uterus. 


The Baby During Week 21

Your baby will be able to swallow a small amount of amniotic fluid, what you eat can change the amniotic fluid. Your baby will be able to suck their thumb. The skin of the baby will no longer be as translucent as it was previously. Your baby will be +-26.7mm and weigh +-360g. 


Your Experience During Week 22

Your breasts will still be getting bigger and might start to leak. This is just your body’s normal way of preparing for when the baby arrives. Your hair will start to grow faster due to your increased metabolic rate. You might start to get stretch marks since your belly is growing. It is normal if you experience backache during this time. 


The Baby During Week 22

Your baby will start to develop senses. Your baby might also have developed a sleep routine, and the first hairs on their head will become visible. Your baby will be +-278mm and weigh +-430g.


Your Experience During Week 23

Your body will start to supply hormones to your pelvis to soften the ligaments and prepare for birth.


The Baby During Week 23

Your baby’s lungs will start to mature, and they will start to practice movements to help them with breathing after birth even though they get oxygen from the placenta. They might start to experience rapid eye movements. Your baby will be able to hear as their ears would have developed fully. 


Your Experience During Week 24

It will be beneficial for you to start attending antenatal classes and performing pelvic floor exercises. This will help strengthen your core in preparation for the delivery of your baby.


The Baby During Week 24

The baby will be +-300mm and weigh +-600g. The baby’s hair will still be growing even though it does not have any pigmentation or colour yet. The baby will gain more weight during this time and start to look like a newborn. The baby’s skin will appear wrinkled and pink. 


Your Experience During Week 25

You might still experience constipation and heartburn as your uterus grows which puts extra pressure on your organs. It is recommended that you start to rest during this time. 


The Baby During Week 25

Your baby will be +-346mm and weigh +-660g. You will start to see your baby’s nostrils during a doctor’s appointment. Your baby’s vocal cords will start to develop, and they might react or move when they hear a familiar sound such as a voice. 


Your Experience During Week 26

You might gain extra stretch marks on your breasts and body as you gain a healthy amount of weight during pregnancy. Gradual weight gain and a healthy diet can reduce the chances of developing stretch marks. They will fade eventually after your pregnancy. You can speak to your healthcare provider about safe cream options for the dry and itchy skin of the stretch marks.


The Baby During Week 26

You will see your baby’s eyes will begin to open during a doctor’s appointment, they can also respond to light and sound by moving their eyes. The lungs of your baby will start to produce surfactant. This will help them breathe when they are born. If you are expecting a boy, the baby’s testicles will start to descend into the scrotum. 


Your Experience During Week 27

Your hormones will start to stabilise, and you will experience fewer mood swings. Your baby bump will start to become very prominent


Your Baby During Week 27

The baby’s taste buds will be fully developed and will be able to react to different tastes since the amniotic fluid will taste different after everything you eat.


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