The middle part of your pregnancy is called the second trimester. It is made up of week 14 through week 27. During this period, your baby continues to grow and change almost every day.
Here is a summary of how your baby develops week by week during the second trimester.
Your baby is approximately the size of a lemon.
At this stage, your baby’s gender becomes more apparent.
Your baby can make faces due to the brain impulses. He may start the sucking and the chewing movements. He may latch on his thumb. His body is growing faster than his head. The neck becomes more define. His little hands and feet are more flexible and active.
You may start feeling your tummy out a bit. You and your partner have visible evidence of the baby. Your energy level is likely returning, your nausea is easing off too.
Some pregnant women might experience swollen, red, and tender gums that bleed when flossed or brushed. Make sure that you visit your dentist for teeth cleaning to avoid the gums’ inflammation.
You may start some yoga classes, Pilates to motivate you and for you to meet other expecting mothers.
Your baby is the size of an apple.
Your baby’s scalp and hair pattern develop.
Hence, your baby is complete, looking like a little person with eyelids, eyelashes, nails, hair, and well distinct fingers and toes. Your baby forms taste buds that are fully formed by about 20 weeks. What you eat, your baby directly tastes! It will be transformed into molecules that go to your bloodstream to reaching your amniotic fluid.
Your baby’s legs start growing longer than the arm; therefore, he/she can move all the joints and limbs, but you can’t feel the movements yet.
Highlights and some pregnancy symptoms of week 15
In this trimester, you may find that your sex drive comes back full force due to the increased blood flow and lubrication; sexual intercourse may feel better than ever.
If you decide to use the gender predictors test, keep in mind that they are highly unscientific, but they have a 50% chance of being right.
Starting from this trimester, begin your affirmations by saying to yourself positive statements of your choice to overcome negative thinking. Trust your body for what it can do.
About 20 % of pregnant women have a harmless condition called epistaxis which is nosebleed thanks to the increased blood volume and blood vessel dilation in the nose. Keep handy tissues available. If the nosebleed doesn’t stop after applying pressure, seek medical help.
Rhinitis of pregnancy:
This is a common condition. It happens in the form of nasal congestion. The nose might be stuffed up due to the hormonal changes and the blood flow increase to your mucous membranes. Keep yourself well hydrated and sleep with your head slightly elevated with extra pillows. Use humidifier or vaporizer in your room. Do not use anti-congestion or any drugs without consulting your doctor.
Acid reflux (Known as Heartburn)
It is a burning sensation in your chest happening mostly after eating or at night. Due to the progesterone hormone and some physical changes in your body, you may experience heartburn. It is not harmful, but it can be disturbing.
You can treat it by looking into lifestyle changes such as eating small and frequent portions, avoiding spicy food and watching your posture while eating, straight and upright back.
There are a lot of safe medications that can be prescribed by your doctor.
Week 16 – Kicks are coming week!
Your baby is the size of an Avocado.
Your baby’s eyes can slowly move, ears are close to reaching their final position, the skin is getting thicker.
His/her legs are much more developed, and the head is more erect.
You start feeling your baby’s movements between the 16th and the 22nd weeks, mostly when you are sitting or lying in a quiet place. Some women notice “quickening” this early, most don’t feel their baby move until 18 weeks or more especially if it is your first baby. The first movements may feel like little flutters, gas bubbles, or even like popcorn popping, but they’ll grow stronger and more frequent.
Your glowing skin is at its best times. The top of your womb will be about halfway between your pubic bone and your navel.
Your baby is the size of a turnip.
Your baby’s skeleton changes from soft cartilage to bone. The umbilical cord grows stronger and thicker. Your baby is more active, rolling and flipping.
Your baby develops tonsils. His/her blood vessels are visible through the skin.
Highlights of week 17
Keep moving and avoid standing still or sitting for long hours. This may lower your blood pressure.
Sleep on your left lateral, preferable not to lie flat on your back to release the compression of your growing uterus of major blood vessels resulting in a decrease of the blood flow to your baby.
Your baby is the size of a bell pepper
The smallest tubes of the lungs called bronchioles start to develop. At the extremities of these tiny tubes, the respiratory sacs begin to appear.
Your baby begins to hear.
Your baby’s digestive system has started working
If you are having a boy, his genitals could be seen, he may hide them every time you go for an ultrasound scan. If you are having a girl, her uterus and fallopian tubes are formed and in place.
Highlights of week 18
An increase in appetite and food cravings is common by now.
Your blood pressure might be lower than usual thanks to the dramatic changes that are undergoing your cardiovascular system. Do not leap up too quick from a lying or sitting position to avoid dizziness.
Your baby is the size of the heirloom tomato.
Baby develops protective coating. Cheese-like material called Vernix Caseosa. The arms and legs are in proportion. Your baby’s senses are developing: smell, vision, touch, hearing and taste.
Highlights of week 19
You may experience some ache in your lower abdomen or stabbing pain on one or both sides. The ligaments supporting your growing uterus are stretching to accommodate its increasing weight.
You may also notice darkness of your skin color on your upper lips, forehead, and cheeks. This skin condition is called chloasma or the “mask of the pregnancy”. Darkness of your nipples, scars, inner thighs, freckles, and vulva are also common. The Linea nigra appears. It is the darkened line from your belly button going down to your pubic bone.
What can you and your partner do?
Nurturing care and creating positive foundations for your child’s mental health and wellbeing begins from the womb. You and your partner can do the following acts:
- Talk to your bump
- Rub your bump
- Play music and dance with your bump
- Nurture your own relationship, spend loving time together with your partner, your emotional experiences affect the baby
Your baby’s size is of a banana.
You might be able to feel the baby’s movement better.
Your baby is regularly sleeping and waking.
Your baby’s digestive is producing meconium, which is the first dark, sticky poop of the baby that can go either in the diaper or in the womb during delivery.
Highlights of week 20
This is your halfway destination of your pregnancy! You might need to celebrate and spoil yourself. It actually isn’t selfish; it is helpful to fuel yourself with the necessary energy. You are not doing it only for you, you are doing it to build the blocks.
Allow yourself to have time for you, because by doing whatever brings you joy and makes you happy has a positive impact on your unborn baby, your husband and the whole family if you have other kids.
Your baby is the size of a carrot.
Her/his body is covered with fine hair called Lanugo.
Your baby can suck his or her thumb. The baby’s movements are full kicks and jabs against the wall of your womb. You may start noticing fetal movements’ pattern as you become more familiar with them.
Highlights of week 21
You may notice some varicose veins now, also known as spider veins, which is a group of small vessels near the surface of your skin. Thanks to higher progesterone levels that cause the walls of your veins to relax. They also happen when the uterus applies pressure to the large vein (the inferior vena cava) that carries blood back to the heart from your feet and legs. The spider veins can be seen particularly on your legs, face or your ankles. Varicose veins are common. For some women they are usually harmless part of pregnancy.
Week 22 – baby hearing your heartbeats
Your baby is the size of spaghetti squash.
The hair and eyebrows become more visible
Your baby may be able to hear sounds faintly from inside your body, such as your breathing, your heartbeat, and your digestion. These sounds will grow louder as your baby’s hearing improves.
Highlights of week 22
Acne may develop due to the increased production of oil
Stretch marks may be noticed too on your expanding abdomen to accommodate your growing baby. They may vary in color from pink to dark brown depending on your skin color. Stretch marks are common and show up on the tummy, buttocks, thighs, hips and breasts.
Your baby’s size is of a large mango.
Your baby’s finger point and footprints form.
The eye movement is rapid now.
The ridges form in the palm and soles of the foot.
Hiccups begin causing jerking movements.
The baby can hear the outside world such as music.
Highlights of week 23
You may experience swollen ankles, hands and face at the end of the day or during the heat of summer. An isolated edema can be normal during the pregnancy but if it is accompanied with high blood pressure and protein in the urine, it can be a sign of preeclampsia.
Contact your doctor and seek medical advice in this case.
Your baby’s size is of an ear of corn.
You baby’s skin is still thin and translucent, but it starts to change.
The respiratory sacs at the tips of the smallest branches of your baby’s lungs are growing and multiplying, adding more surface area for the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide once your baby is born.
Highlights of week 24
A Glucose Tolerance Test is done at 24 weeks of gestation to rule out gestational diabetes. The test may be done earlier if you have a high glucose level in your urine when you come in to visit your doctor in the clinic during your routine prenatal care.
Glucose Tolerance test Instructions:
- 8 – 10 hours fasting required prior to sample collection
- Fasting blood sample taken
- 75 grams Glucose drink will be given to you from the laboratory
- Drink entire Glucose drink within 5 – 10 minutes. Note the time after completion
- Subsequent blood samples to be collected after 1 and 2 hours (post Glucose drink)
- A urine specimen may be needed with each blood specimen collection
- Third collection after 3 hours post Glucose drink may be required based on the physician’s instruction
- Do not eat and drink during this period. Small amount of water can be taken
- Activities prohibited during this test:
- Excessive walking
- Chewing gum
- We cannot allow you to leave the hospital grounds during the test
- If you experience any lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, etc. These should be reported to the staff
Watch for signs of preterm labor
Call your doctor if you have unusual discharge, vaginal bleeding, abdominal cramping, pelvic pressure, low back pain, or leaking fluid.
Your baby’s size is of an average rutabaga.
Your baby’s wrinkled skin starts to fill out with baby fat. The hair has color and texture. The eye browns just sprouted a few weeks ago, now he is working his facial muscles by raising them.
Highlights of week 25
Your hair may look fuller due to hormonal changes.
Your skin may look pale. It is pretty common during pregnancy to have iron deficiency or anemia. Around this time, your doctor might order some blood tests. Your doctor will prescribe you iron supplements as per your needs.
You might need to sign up for some classes to train on specific techniques to cope with pain (hypnobirthing, breathing techniques, etc..) or to find out about labor and delivery by booking for antenatal classes and maternity tours.
Your baby is the size of a bunch of scallions.
Your baby starts inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, which helps develop their lungs.
Your baby may now be able to hear your voice, a broader range of sound and can respond by changes in his/her heartbeats, breathing, and movement.
Your baby’s nervous system starts maturing and your baby gains more fat.
If you’re having a boy, his testicles have begun to descend into his scrotum, this trip might take about 2 to 3 months
Highlights of week 27
The 2nd Trimester ends by the end of week 27.
Your growing uterus may cause the following:
– Lower backache
– Shift in your center of gravity
– Stretching and weakness of your abdominal muscles
– Pressing on a nerve
– Hormonal changes that loosen your joints and ligaments
Preeclampsia is a disorder that only occurs in pregnant and postpartum women. It is characterized by the new onset of hypertension diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Any pregnant woman can develop preeclampsia. However, some women are at higher risk than others.