Stages of Pregnancy – Second Trimester - Cherokee Women's Health

Stages of Pregnancy – Second Trimester

The second trimester marks the beginning of your baby’s journey, as well as using those organs that formed in the first trimester. Very exciting! Women also tend to feel more energized and not as nauseous. You’ll most likely become visibly pregnant instead of just appearing bloated, but not so heavy that moving around is difficult.


How Long Is the Second Trimester?

Once you’ve reached the second trimester, you’re now in the middle part of your pregnancy and it lasts from weeks 13 to 26.

Baby Growth and Development

The brain develops quickly and begins to take over functions such as fetal movements, breathing, suckling and sensory sensations such as sound, taste and smell by the end of the second trimester. The uterus grows at a rapid pace, as does the placenta to keep up with your growing baby’s needs.

By around week 19 — or sooner for some women — you may feel movement from the baby moving freely within the amniotic sac in your uterus. Women explain the movements as a faint tickling or a flutter. During the second trimester, your baby might start to suck their thumb and by week 20 your baby can hear sounds, including your heartbeat. How cool is that?!

Around week 26, your baby is approximately 11 inches long and 1.5 pounds. Your baby’s sensitivity to hearing is increased. You may notice the baby’s movements increase when you or your partner are playing music or talking to him or her.

Body Changes

During your second trimester, your appetite improves and you begin to regain some energy. The breast tenderness and morning sickness wane.

As your uterus grows, you may feel discomfort or pains as uterine ligaments stretch. Your skin also stretches so it’s around this time that stretch marks may appear around your belly and your breasts. While your baby weighs less than a kilo, your blood volume will continue to increase. This increase helps meet the demands of the growing baby inside of you, resulting in some additional weight gain.

Keys to a Successful 2nd Trimester

  • Nutrition is Key – Choose foods that are fresh, not packaged, and try to prepare foods at home.
  • Iron – Iron is essential as towards the end of your second trimester, as many women become anemic. Get a head start and choose foods rich in iron, like greens, beets, dried fruits, kidney beans and eggs to name a few.
  • Stay active – Keep moving. An easy way to do this is by walking outside, if weather permits. It’s also a great stress reliever!

Learn what to expect in your 1st trimester and 3rd trimester.

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