The second trimester of pregnancy

Second trimester of pregnancy

At the beginning of this period, the fetus is almost as big as a lemon : it will grow almost as large as a zucchini by the time you enter the 3rd and final trimester.

With the arrival of the second trimester of pregnancy, the risks of miscarriage decrease considerably: as we have said, about 80% of fetal losses in pregnancy occur within the first thirteen weeks.

The weeks of the second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester runs from the fourteenth week to the end of the twenty-sixth week of pregnancy (or the beginning of the twenty-seventh).

The development of the child during the second trimester

The thirteen weeks of the second trimester of pregnancy bring great developments in the growth of the fetus: its skeleton and other bone structures begin to mature, and a layer of fat begins to form under its hitherto translucent skin.

Another fundamental step is related to the fact that your baby in this period begins to swallow and also to suck his little thumb.

By the end of the second trimester, his hearing skills are sufficiently developed to allow him to hear your voice.

Some women are lucky enough to feel their baby’s first movements as early as this time.

Symptoms and changes in the woman’s body in the second trimester

For women, these thirteen weeks are often among the best of all 40 weeks. In this period begins to subside most of the unpleasant symptoms of the first trimester, while it is still too early for the symptoms of the last part of pregnancy.

Levels of the hCG hormone gradually decrease. The more balanced levels of estrogen and progesterone help reduce tiredness and morning sickness in women 

However, even in this period usually remain constipation, heartburn, indigestion and frequent urination.

You’re probably already starting to feel some of the pain that comes with pregnancy, and that’s because the growing uterus brings back pain and pain in the round ligament (the cord of the female genital tract that contains the uterus).

Usually after the 20th week many women – especially those who are in a subsequent pregnancy – start having Braxton Hicks contractions , the so-called false contractions.

Weight gain in the second trimester of pregnancy

As nausea and vomiting decrease during this time, your appetite improves and you may experience cravings .

However, it is important that you bear in mind that having to eat for two (for yourself and for your future child) does not mean having two portions at each meal.

In fact, you need no more than 300 / 500 calories a day – more – given that the ideal weight gain in these three months is around 200 / 400 grams a week.

The ultrasound

Usually the woman is made an ultrasound in the middle of pregnancy, between the eighteenth and twentieth week, in order to evaluate the size and physical characteristics of the future baby. The doctor, to be sure of proper development of his skull and brain, will measure the circumference of the child’s head.

At the beginning of the second trimester, the skeleton of the fetus is visible through its transparent skin. An At the beginning of the the eighteenth week also allows the doctor to find out the sex of the baby.

Second trimester screenings

As is known, screenings are tests that are made to identify the possible existence of a disease, or the existence of those abnormalities from which a disease develops even before it manifests itself with symptoms.

Both the alphafetoprotein (AFP) test in maternal serum and the multiple marker test are both optional blood tests that are done during the second trimester. Depending on the mother’s medical history (medical history), one of these tests is done to assess the existence of risks of genetic diseases and neural tube defects, such as Down syndrome, such as trisomy 18, or Edwards syndrome (a serious genetic disorder), and spina bifida (The maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) test and the multiple marker test are both optional blood tests that are done during the second trimester.

Some things to keep in mind

(a) Signals to be watched out for

Occasional headaches are quite normal during this time, but contact your doctor if you experience sudden severe headaches, as they may indicate high blood pressure or even preeclampsia (also known as gestosis).

Other possible warning signs include: severe back or stomach cramps, bleeding, amniotic fluid deficiency, multi-day diarrhoea.

(b) intake of certain foods should be avoided

The umbilical cord continues to become thicker, in order to be able to transport more nutrients to the developing fetus.

At the same time, however, it is also easier for some harmful substances to reach the child through the cord. Therefore, avoid tobacco, alcohol and other similar substances.

c) it is useful to do physical activity appropriate to the new condition

Exercising/exercising during pregnancy is the best way to keep weight gain under control. Swimming in particular could be a suitable exercise, because water helps you relax by supporting your baby bump.

It’s time to also consider enrolling in a prenatal yoga class.

(d) Other

Once you have taken care of your diet and lifestyle for your baby’s health, you can also think about more pleasant (useful or necessary) things: like making a list of names you like, going shopping looking for clothes for pregnancy , decorate the nursery, and so on.

You might find it useful to read the  List of necessary or useful things for the expectant mother in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy: these   are just some of the things you can do to enjoy these weeks of pregnancy which are relatively “light” for women.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *