Ah, the second trimester, the one filled with happiness, glee, and finally starting to enjoy the pregnancy. Although it may be dubbed as the “honeymoon semester”, it still comes with its fair share of things to know about the second trimester.
So, because you’re here, I’m guessing you want to know EVERYTHING about the second trimester and what you can expect.
Well. Let me tell you, you are in the right place for that! As we will cover everything you want to and need to know in the post below.
Not in the second trimester quite yet? Check out our post on the first trimester and everything you need to know!
Anyways, happy reading!
Everything to Know About the Second Trimester
- when does it start and end?
- second trimester symptoms
- second trimester body changes
- baby development and milestones
- any tests and appointments?
- things to do
- things not to do
Put on your swimsuits, grab your floaties, and let’s jump right in!
When Does it Start and End?
The second trimester starts at the beginning of Week 14 and ends at the end of week 27.
While there are some contradictions about how the weeks and months of pregnancy are calculated and counted, choosing the most common one and sticking with it is what’s best to do.
Still confused on how the months and weeks are counted? Use this handy pregnancy calculator to see how far along you actually are!
Second Trimester Symptoms
During your second trimester, you may not feel too many symptoms of pregnancy. That is because that first surge of hormones is most likely over and you get to relax and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.
Hence, the second trimester is also known as the “Honeymoon trimester” because you will get to feel and see the joys or pregnancy, without feeling nauseous and tired all the time.
Pelvic discomfort: a common place many women feel pain in the second trimester is in the pelvic and hip region. This is due to the hormone relaxin causing your muscles and joints to relax so your pelvis can open up to let baby through in a few months. If this pain is constant and unbearable, go see your health practitioner, or even better a chiropractor for some re-adjustment. It could be that your pelvis is rotated, causing pain and a more complicated delivery.
Jerking in the Belly: Nearing the end of your second trimester, be on the lookout for baby making regular, rhythmic, jerking movements. These are actually baby hiccupping! How cute! But don’t worry, they are completely normal, and baby is just practicing breathing or sucking their thumb! Changing positions and drinking some water usually helps these hiccups go away.
Body Changes in the Second Trimester
During the second trimester, most women report feeling nausea and fatigue start to lessen or go away completely. In fact, most women enjoy this part of pregnancy the most, so lucky you!
However, this new well feeling doesn’t mean nothing is changing, in fact, your belly is going to grow a lot this trimester and you will really start showing the world your little secret!
During the second trimester, these are the changes happening in your body:
- Your uterus is expanding
- Your baby belly is showing more and more
- Increase in stretch marks
- Itchy belly (due to stretch marks)
- More frequent dizziness and lightheadedness
- Lots of baby kicks
- Round ligament pain (pelvic and hip pain)
- Increased appetite
- Areolas around nipples may darken in color
- Swelling of hands and legs
All these symptoms and signs are a normal part of pregnancy, however, if you are experiencing these symptoms make sure to contact your doctor or healthcare provider:
- Extreme nausea
- Extreme swelling in hands and legs
- Rapid weight gain
- Frequent dizziness leading to passing out
- Jaundice (yellowing of the eye whites)
Baby Development and Milestones
Week 13: Baby is now swallowing amniotic fluid; this is preparing him for breathing and swallowing milk once born. Bones are beginning to harden, and little one is producing and releasing urine already! But don’t worry, it won’t harm baby in any way!
Week 14: Baby’s sex is now becoming more and more apparent, and soon you will get to find out who you have! Are you team boy or team girl?
Week 15: Skull is hardening even more, and the hair pattern of your little one has developed, soon hair will start to grow!
Week 16: Lots of things are happening! The ears are almost in their final position, the skin is thickening, and the neck has now fully developed to hold baby’s head straight up high! Baby is also becoming more and more coordinated with the movements. You may already feel some tiny flutters!
Week 17: Baby is becoming more and more active with each day and is practicing somersaults in your belly. Also, those adorable little toe and fingernails are growing!
Week 18: Your baby can hear sounds! So, try speaking or singing a lullaby, it may react by giving a little kick. Plus, baby’s digestive system has now started working.
Week 19: Baby is now being covered in a greasy white coating called vernix. This will protect baby’s skin from any abrasions from the amniotic fluid.
Week 20: You are halfway through to your due date! By now, you will most likely feel baby move regularly, as baby is developing awake and sleep cycles.
Week 21: Baby is practicing his sucking reflexes by sucking on his thumb! You may even get a sneak peek on an ultrasound!
Week 22: Your baby is developing more and more hair, it’s not very long yet, but the scalp hair and eyebrows are there already!
Week 23: Your baby’s unique fingerprints and footprints are developing, something making them totally unique. Due to all that thumb sucking, baby may even begin hiccupping. This feels like regular rhythmic movement and jerking in the stomach.
Week 24: Baby’s skin is developing more and more and is starting to take on its pinky color.
Week 25: Baby has listened to you for a while now and is starting to recognize your voice. It may even begin to respond to your voice with movement.
Week 26: Baby’s lungs are beginning to develop more and more and producing essential substances that will allow them to work properly once baby is born!
Week 27: Your third trimester ends at the end of this week. Baby is gaining more fat and filling in those skin wrinkles. Their nervous system in the brain is also maturing, meaning, more controlled movements.
Tests and Appointments
There aren’t a lot of tests and screenings to do in the second trimester. However, the most exciting one is the second ultrasound.
You will get an ultrasound to measure baby and check if everything is growing and developing properly. They will also be able to tell the gender, but if you find out or not is up to you!
The doctor will also want to check your blood work, do some diabetes screening, and check your blood pressure during this time.
Things to Do in the Second Trimester
Exercising during pregnancy has so many benefits. Find and stick with a pregnancy friendly exercise, such as prenatal exercise, yoga, swimming, or Pilates.
Exercising increases blood flow to baby, keeps your body strong, prepares your muscles for the strains of labor, and decreases your chances of injury and pain.
Start shopping for maternity clothes
Your growing baby bump is showing no mercy to your clothes, and your jeans and shirts may be fitting tighter and tighter. Now is the time to look around for any good deals on maternity clothes.
But don’t go overboard, you will need different items at different stages. So, buy a few staple items now and wait for later to get that expensive item you’ve had your eyes on.
Prevent stretch marks
Most stretch marks start appearing in the second trimester, so it is essential to start preventing and treating them now.
Wondering why they appear, how to prevent them and treat existing stretch marks? Have all your questions answered on our –insert stretch mark post-
Take some time to rest
Even though you are probably so impatient for baby to come and cannot wait, take some time to enjoy this time now. If you haven’t yet, plan a little getaway with your loved one and take time to take care of yourself.
Whether that is a spa treatment or a mini road trip, do something you love that you may not get around to doing when baby is here!
It’s not like you will never get to do these things after baby is here, they will just be a lot more complicated than before.
Keep looking for that perfect baby name
Still haven’t decided on a name? Try narrowing your list to at least a couple you and your partner both like.
Try each writing down 10 names, swap lists and cross out the ones you don’t like. Then compile the names on a new list, cross out more and more until you have a few you like and could imagine naming your little babe!
Decide on finding out the sex and plan a gender reveal!
The second trimester is that long-awaited time most parents find out if they are having a boy or girl. But that doesn’t mean you have to.
Decide before your 20-week ultrasound if you want to find out or not and start planning that gender reveal if you are finding out!
Will go throw a party? Will the doctor tell you? Or will you find out together at your favorite restaurant or look out spot?
Take a childbirth class
Being informed about birth is the best thing a pregnant momma can do. So, take a prenatal class at your local hospital, or even take one online if you are tight on time.
Here are some amazing resources on online prenatal classes you can take from the comfort of your own home!
Doing this together with your partner or birthing partner will help both of you get prepared, know what to expect, and go into the birthing process a whole lot calmer and more confident.
Giving birth is hard, and knowing how to handle the pain, support the mom-to-be, and tips and tricks to help make it easier will make all the difference, trust me.
Worried about contractions? They’re not as bad as you think.
Still worried? Then make sure to read our 7 Things You Should Know About Contractions That Will Make Labor Easier for all the answers to your questions!
Start using pregnancy pillows
During the second trimester, your belly is growing more and more, which means laying on your belly is a no-go. Laying on your back is also not encouraged, as the weight of your belly and uterus can compress the umbilical cord and reduce blood flow to baby.
That is why doctors recommend sleeping on your side during pregnancy, specifically your left side for optimal blood flow for baby.
Not a side sleeper? That is where pregnancy pillows come into play. Using the right pregnancy pillow for you that will give you the right support in the right places will make a huge difference, and you will fall in love with your new best cuddle buddy.
Not sure which pregnancy pillow to buy? Use our pregnancy pillow quiz to help you find the right pregnancy pillow fit for you!
Create a baby registry
Creating your baby registry during the second trimester is a must-do. As friends and family will be wondering what to get you and your little one soon!
Not sure what to include in your registry? Here is a simple guide on everything you will need.
Deciding where to do your registry is also simple, just go with amazon! Why? We’ll let me tell you:
- Everybody has Amazon nowadays
- Add products to your amazon registry from ANY site
- Have over 270,000 baby items for selection
- Update and access your registry from mobile, any time
- Easy 45-day returns
- Fast two-day shipping
- Amazing discounts and coupons
- And even get a completion discount once finished
- Plus, it’s FREE to make one.
So, head on over to complete one today!
Things Not to Do in the Second Trimester
Take lots of pain meds
You may be experiencing more headaches, aches, and pains during this trimester, and grabbing that Tylenol seems like the best option.
However, long term use of Tylenol has been linked to ADHD in children, so lay off the pain meds for a while. Take only if necessary and always consult your health practitioner before consuming any over-the-counter medicine.
Drink alcohol or smoke
While drinking heavily while pregnant has always been a huge no-no, the occasional glass of wine or sip of beer has been deemed “okay” during later pregnancy.
However, any amount of alcohol consumption has been deemed unsafe during pregnancy and linked to an increase in fetal alcohol syndrome. So, resist that champagne and your favorite alcoholic drinks, yes even a sip or two is not okay, and go with something virgin instead.
Not drink enough water
Dehydrating yourself is easy during this trimester, as drinking water is usually the last thing on your mind. However, dehydration has been linked to pre-term labor and increased Braxton hicks contractions.
So, do not let drinking too little water be the cause for your pain and suffering, and make sure to get those glasses of water down!
While exercising during pregnancy is very encouraged and beneficial, doing the wrong type of exercising and over-exercising your body can lead to even more complications.
Doing certain exercises that require you to lay on your back is heavily discouraged and blood flow to the baby can be reduced greatly.
Using your ab muscles too much can cause problems when recovering postpartum. This is because your ab muscles may not naturally come together anymore, a condition known as diastis recti.
What can I expect from the second trimester?
Your second trimester is super exciting, you most likely feel much better, have tons of energy, and your baby belly is finally showing! Being informed on what is going on and what to be aware of is the best way to have a happy, healthy, and safe pregnancy.
Is there anything we didn’t answer? Still got questions? Make sure to leave a comment below and we will make sure to get back to you!
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Until next time,