8 Changes to Expect in the Second Trimester of Your Pregnancy

Dec 11 , 2020


8 Changes to Expect in the Second Trimester of Your Pregnancy

The Second Trimester

The second trimester is weeks 14 to 27 of your pregnancy. Most women say that out of all three trimesters, the second trimester is the most bearable one. The pregnancy symptoms that appeared in the first trimester (e.g. loss of appetite) will begin to ease up, if not completely disappear. Your nausea will lessen (best part is specific food won’t trigger your nausea-induced headaches too much anymore and will actually begin to taste good again), your energy level will start to pick up, breasts still remain larger than usual but will finally be less tender, and your baby bump will begin to show and actually look more like a baby bump than a result of a bloated lunch!

Your Baby’s Milestones in the Second Trimester

Your developing little one becomes really busy in the second trimester. In approximately week 18 of your pregnancy, your baby’s weight can be that much of a chicken breast. He/she will already be able to yawn and hiccup. At around week 21, you will already be able to feel his newly coordinated arms and legs since the baby will already start to kick. In the last leg of the second trimester, your baby will likely double his weight and by the end of this trimester, you’ll be housing a 2-pound human!

Here are a few milestones for your baby: 

1. Hair, skin, and nails

At weeks 16-22, your baby’s first tiny hairs such as his eyelashes and eyebrows begin to sprout. Your baby’s skin also gets covered in lanugo, a type of hair that serves as a protective layer that keeps him warm until he/she is able to build up more fat in the next trimester. By Week 19, your baby’s skin also gets covered in vernix caseosa (a greasy layer of oil and dead skin cells that shield skin from amniotic fluid). Both lanugo and vernix caseosa sheds before birth. 

2. Digestive System

By the end of the first trimester, your baby’s digestive system would have developed completely already. In the second trimester, your baby will begin to suck and swallow in preparation for life outside of the womb. He can also begin to taste the food the mommy consumes via the amniotic fluid - which research has also proven, can influence his food preferences outside of the womb. This is also a good reason for you to follow a healthy diet during your pregnancy balancing varieties of fresh fruits and vegetables. Baby’s waste systems are also beginning to kickstart. He/she still gets nutrition via your placenta. With a kickstart in baby’s waste systems also means a lot of peeing. 

3. Senses

Baby’s eyes and ears begin moving into their correct positions. By Week 22 of pregnancy, the fact that his senses are beginning to develop means he’s also beginning to smell, see, and hear. His/her eyes are also beginning to open.

4. Heart 

By the 17th week, baby’s heart is no longer spontaneously beating as his brain is now in-charge of making his heartbeat more regular. At week 20, you should also be able to hear this through a stethoscope! By week 25, capillaries will begin to form which will be the pathway for oxygenated blood to be delivered through his body. 

5. Brain 

As mentioned, your very own baby’s brain will be able to regulate the baby’s heartbeat and even command a few kicks to your stomach! In addition to that, your baby will begin to have control over blinking. 

Changes in Your Body

Some pregnancy symptoms will still continue. Likewise, others will occur for the first time as your baby bump begins to grow and the levels of your pregnancy hormones begin to rise. Some pregnancy symptoms in the second trimester include the following: 

6. Congestion

Blood flow is generally increased in your body’s mucous membranes (including your nose).

7. Mild swelling of the ankles and feet

Most pregnant women experience this at week 22 of pregnancy while some experience it a little earlier and may last until delivery. To reduce puffiness, we recommend staying active and doing indoor workouts and simple exercises every other day. Kick up your feet when you’re not moving, avoid long periods of staying on your feet and sitting. You can also reduce the swelling by sleeping on your side.

8. Leg cramps

You’ll blame the leg cramps on pregnancy hormones and your weight gain but it can also be affiliated with shortage of calcium or magnesium. This is why it’s important to keep eating a healthy and well-balanced diet during your pregnancy. 

Along with the different symptoms you experienced in your first trimester and the other changes you will feel on top of the first semester ones, all of these are perfectly normal and temporary (yay!). As your appetite increases, the second trimester is also when your weight gain will begin to show. If you started out your pregnancy with a normal weight, expect to be gaining at least one pound per week, totaling at least 14 pounds at the end of the second trimester. Remember every pregnancy is different, so don't be alarmed if you don't feel these symptoms. Consult your OB-GYN for more information. 

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