Second Trimester – Weeks 13 to 28
Congratulations!! You've made it to the second trimester. You’ll hopefully have left the worst of your morning sickness behind (fingers crossed!), and you should start to feel more energetic than in those earlier months. Most women say this is the easiest and most enjoable trimester. You’ll be blossoming by the end of the second trimester
- Ultrasounds and screenings for abnormalities and growth are offered during this time
- Your baby bump may actually start to show!
- Baby movements will go from being light fluttering to actual kicks and even hiccups!
- Baby can now respond to light, sound, and touch. They’re blinking and swallowing amniotic fluid (hence the hiccups!)
- By the end of the 28th week, baby is around the size of a cauliflower - check out this video for Fetal Development in the 2nd Trimester
- A gender scan can reveal whether you’re having a boy or a girl
- Antenatal classes will help with making a birth plan, practising pelvic floor exercises, and choosing how to feed your new baby
When to call your midwife:
Please call your midwife if you have:
- Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
- Noticeable changes such as a decrease in your baby’s movement
- Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that seems to be getting worse
- Signs of premature labour:
- Regular tightening or pain in the lower abdomen or back
- Any bleeding in the second or third trimester
- Fluid leaking
- Sudden weight gain, severe headache or blurred vision (signs of pre-eclampsia)
Fun things to do in the second trimester...
Although there are still several weeks left in the pregnancy, a woman may want to plan for delivery earlier to help make their third trimester a bit less stressful. Some things that can be done now to prepare for birth include:
- Start reading a pregnancy book
- Book on some antenatal, first aid, and parenting classes
- Take a tour of your local hospital and it's birthing facilities
- Start thinking about where your baby will sleep and if you're going to decorate a nursery
- Book a private gender scan (from 16 weeks) and reveal the sex in a fun way
- Have a baby shower
- Start buying clothes / baby items
Your baby's fingers and toes are well defined; eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, nails and hair are formed. Teeth and bones become denser in the second trimester of pregnancy. Your baby can suck his or her thumb, yawn, stretch and make faces.
The nervous system is starting to function, the reproductive organs and genitalia are now fully developed, and your doctor or midwife can see on an ultrasound if you are having a boy or a girl. If you wish to find out the gender of your baby you can have a private gender scan from around 16 weeks. Your baby's heartbeat will now be picked up on a fetal doppler.
By the end of week 16, your baby is about 11-12cm long and weighs about 3 1/2 oz.
Hair is beginning to grow on your baby's head and lanugo, a soft fine hair, covers his or her shoulders, back, and temples. This hair protects your baby and is usually shed at the end of the baby's first week of life.
Your baby's skin is covered with a whitish coating called vernix caseosa. This "cheesy" substance, thought to protect baby's skin from long exposure to the amniotic fluid, is shed just before birth.
You may begin to feel your baby move - This first movement is called quickening, it may feel like little butterflies in your stomach.
By the end of week 20, your baby is about 25 cm and weighs around 10 1/2 oz.
His or her skin is reddish in colour, is wrinkled, and veins are visible through the baby's translucent skin. Baby's finger and toe prints are visible. The eyelids begin to part and the eyes open. Your baby may respond to sounds , and you may notice jerking motions if baby hiccups.
If born prematurely, babies can often survive after the 23rd week of pregnancy with intensive care.
By the end of week 24, your baby is about 30 cm long and weighs about 1 1/3lb.
Your baby will be opening and closing their eyes, they may also be able to suck their little fingers. Baby's brain is continuing to develop and is becoming very active.
By the end of week 27, your baby is about 36 cm long and weighs about 2lb.