Second Trimester

Second Trimester

The second trimester marks a turning point for you and your baby. All major organs and systems have formed and the following six months will be spent growing. Your baby’s weight will multiply more than seven times by the end of the second trimester. By 28 weeks, your baby will be about 24cm long and weigh about 1.2kg.

Development during the second trimester:

  • Your baby kicks, moves, and can turn from side to side.
  • Hearing, swallowing and sucking reflexes are developing
  • Vernix is formed: a creamy white substance on your baby’s skin that helps to protect the thin fetal skin. Vernix is gradually absorbed by the skin, but some may be seen on babies even after birth.

Your baby responds to certain stimuli:

  • The placenta is fully developed
  • The brain will undergo its most important period of growth from the 5th month on
  • Fingernails have grown on the tips of the fingers and toes, and the fingers and toes are fully separated
  • Your baby goes through cycles of sleep and wakefulness
  • Skin is wrinkly and red, covered with soft, downy hair (called lanugo)
  • Hair is growing on your baby’s head
  • Eyelids are beginning to open and the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible
  • Fingerprints and toeprints have formed
  • The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy

Changes in the mother’s body

The second trimester is the most physically enjoyable for most women. Morning sickness usually abates by this time and the extreme fatigue and breast tenderness usually subsides. These changes can be attributed to a decrease in levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone and an adjustment to the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones.

Symptoms during your second trimester:

  • Increased appetite
  • Feeling your baby move for the first time – a phenomenon called quickening – by 18-to-20 weeks
  • Your pregnancy becomes more visible as the uterus has grown to the height of the belly button
  • Skin on the belly may itch as it grows and there may be pain down the sides of the body as the uterus stretches. You may feel aches and pains as ligaments stretch to support the uterus
  • Nasal congestion and nose bleeds can be common. This is due to the increase in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that affect the mucous membranes in the nose
  • Bleeding gums are also due to the increase in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that affect the mucous membranes in the mouth
  • Varicose veins and hemorrhoids may appear
  • White-colored vaginal discharge is common
  • Increasing weight gain may cause backaches
  • Skin pigmentation may change on the face or abdomen due to the pregnancy hormones
  • Heart burn, indigestion, and constipation may continue 

Prenatal visits during the second trimester

During the second and third trimester prenatal visits, your doctor will check the following:

  • Any current symptoms or discomforts
  • Your weight
  • Your blood pressure
  • Urine test – to detect protein which may indicate preeclampsia, toxemia or bladder infections, and sugar (which may indicate diabetes)
  • Growth, size, and development of your baby
  • Height of the fundus (top of your uterus)
  • Fetal heartbeat
  • Any other relevant medical checks as indicated

Our goal at Birthright is to provide you the best gynaecological care in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere, where you can talk to us about your needs.

Call us and discuss your care.

0800 247 848