2nd Trimester of Pregnancy

2nd Trimester of Pregnancy

Pregnancy is divided into 3 trimesters
In this section we will look at pregnancy development and what to expect / how you might feel during the 2nd trimester week 13 to week 27.

The Second Trimester
As your pregnancy progresses, your baby and becoming parents might seem more real. By now you will have heard your baby’s heart beat at your antenatal clinic and as your abdomen begins to grow the jeans begin to get tighter.
While you’re adjusting to the changes in your body, your baby is developing.

By Week 13 your baby’s intestines have been growing for the past couple of weeks. Meconium is made in the intestinal tract and will build up to be the baby’s first bowel movement after it is born. Your baby is also has urine in its bladder and can pass it into the amniotic fluid.
Tissue that will become bone is also developing in your baby’s head arms and legs.

By Week 14 your baby’s arms have almost reached the full length they will be at birth and your baby’s neck has become clear.
By now your baby might be almost 3 1/2 inches (90 millimetres) long from crown to rump and weigh about 1 1/2 ounces (40 grams).

By Week 15 your baby is growing rapidly. Your baby’s skeleton is developing bones, and they will be visible on ultrasound.

By Week 16 your baby’s eyes have begun to face forward and begin to move slowly. The ears are close to reaching their final position. Your baby might be able to make sucking motions with his or her mouth.
Your baby’s movements can be seen very clearly during ultrasound scans.
The eyebrows and eyelashes grow in, and tiny nails have begun to grow on the fingers and toes.
By now your baby might be more than 4 1/2 inches (12cm) long from crown to rump.

By Week 17 fat begins to develop under your baby’s skin. The fat will provide energy and help keep your baby warm after birth.

By Week 18 your baby’s ears begin to stand out on the sides of its head and your baby might begin to hear.
By now your baby might be 5 1/2 inches (14cm) long from crown to rump and weigh 7 ounces (200 grams).

By Week 19  a greasy, cheese-like coating called vernix caseosa begins to cover your baby. The vernix caseosa helps protect your baby’s delicate skin from hardening that can result from amniotic fluid.

By Week 20  this is half way through your pregnancy and you might be able to feel your baby’s first movements, also known as quickening. If you’ve been pregnant before, you might have begun feeling your baby’s movements a few weeks ago.
By now your baby might be about 6 1/3 inches (16cm) long from crown to rump.

By Week 21 your baby is starting to gain more weight. Your baby is becoming more active and is able to swallow.

By Week 22 your baby is completely covered with a fine, down-like hair called lanugo. The lanugo helps hold the vernix caseosa on the skin. . The eyebrows and eyelashes grow in, and tiny nails have begun to grow on the fingers and toes.
By now your baby might be 7 1/2 inches (19 cm) long from crown to rump and weigh 1 pound (460 grams).

By Week 23 your baby’s skin is wrinkled, more translucent than before and pink to red in colour.
This week your baby begins to have rapid eye movements.

By Week 24 your baby is spending time sleeping and awake. Real hair is growing on your baby’s head.
Your baby might be about 8 inches (21 cm) long from crown to rump and weigh more than 1 1/3 pounds (630 grams).

By Week 24 your baby’s hands and some reflex are developing. Your baby might be able to respond to sounds, such as your voice.

By Week 26 Your baby’s lungs are beginning to produce surfactant, the substance that allows the air sacs in the lungs to inflate and keeps them from collapsing and sticking together when they deflate.
By now your baby might be 9 inches (23 cm) long from crown to rump and weigh nearly 2 pounds (820 grams).

By Week 27 This week marks the end of the second trimester. Your baby’s lungs and nervous system are continuing to mature and growing fast every day. Your baby’s crown-to-rump length might have tripled since the 12th week of your pregnancy.

Second trimester pregnancy: What to expect and how you might feel.
The second trimester of pregnancy is often the most enjoyable and you may feel a renewed sense of wellbeing.
Your body may experience physical changes from head to toe during this time.

Your breasts might keep growing, because fat can accumulate in preparation for producing milk. There will be less breast tenderness. It is very important to get fitted for and wear a supportive bra.

As your uterus grows and expands to make room for the baby, your abdomen expands. In the early part of the second trimester you can expect to gain 3 to 4 pounds (about 1.4 to 1.8 kilograms) a month until delivery.

Braxton Hicks Contractions
You might feel Braxton Hicks contractions, in your abdomen. These are practice contractions for real labour. They are mild tightenings and very irregular.

Skin changes
As a result of hormonal changes, you might notice dark patches on your face or a faint, dark line down your abdomen (linea nigra). These skin changes are common and usually fade after delivery. If you are in the sun it is very important to use a high sun factor protection for your skin.

Stretch marks
You might notice pink, red or purple streaks along your abdomen, breasts, buttocks or thighs during the second trimester of pregnancy. Your stretching skin might also be itchy. Moisturizers can help. It is very difficult to prevent stretch marks and most of them will fade or disappear after the birth of your baby.

During pregnancy there is an increase in blood in your body. This increase in blood can soften your gums which can make them bleed when you brush your teeth, it helps if you use a soft tooth brush and it is also important to have a check-up with your dentist. The increased blood flow can cause the lining of your nose and airway to swell, which can lead to snoring, congestion and nosebleeds.

If you experience dizzy spells drink fluids and rise slowly after lying down or sitting. Dizziness is caused by your blood vessels dilating and your blood pressure drops as a result. If you lie down make sure you lie on your left side to help your blood pressure to come back up.

Leg cramps
Leg cramps are common as pregnancy progresses, often happening at night. To help prevent leg cramps during pregnancy, stretch your calf muscles before going to bed.

Vaginal discharge
You might notice a thin, white vaginal discharge. This discharge is thought to help prevent the growth of harmful bacteria or yeast. If you develop vaginal itch, a strong smell or soreness contact your midwife or doctor. This can sometimes be a sign of infection.

Kidney symptoms or infection
There is an increased risk of kidney infections in pregnancy because urine flow slows down and the growing uterus might cause pressure on the bladder. If you develop pain when you are passing urine please contact your midwife or doctor.

Your emotions

During the second trimester, you might feel less tired and more energetic while preparing for your baby. Make sure you have booked your online antenatal classes www.antenatalonline.ie to prepare for labour and the birth of your baby.

If you are working speak to your employer about maternity leave.

It is important to remember that you can’t plan or control everything about your pregnancy. But it is also important to learn as much as you can to enable you to make informed choices. Healthy lifestyle choices will give your baby the best start.

Attend regular antenatal visits with your midwife or doctor. They will monitor baby’s heart beat and growth as well as your blood pressure and urine and detecting any problems with your health or your baby’s health.

If you have any concerns talk to your midwife or doctor and they will put your mind at ease.

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