The first trimester can feel like time passes quite slowly. After all, the 12 week mark significantly increases your baby’s survival rate. The second trimester starts at the beginning of week 14 to week 27. So what happens to both you and your growing bundle during this period? We’ve got all the info on what to expect in the 2nd trimester right here for you.
Changes you’ll feel in trimester 2
If you experienced morning sickness in the first trimester you may find that it may start to reduce and even disappear. However, this trade off comes with a few other changes you’ll feel. In the second trimester your baby bump will grow quite significantly, so if you weren’t showing in the first trimester you certainly will be during these weeks.
You may find that your lower back and hips are sore, this is due your hips making room for bubs. Your breasts will also be growing so buying supportive wide-strapped wire-free bras are recommended for comfort.
Varicose veins may also appear and you may even find that they appear in your nether regions due to your body needing blood to be pumped around your growing body plus into your placenta for bubs.
Dizziness is also common due to a lower blood pressure during pregnancy. Keep hydrated and take care when going from sitting to standing.
If you notice that you sound a bit nasal, your nose is a bit stuffy or are snoring, don’t fret because it’s totally normal. Your blood flow increases your body’s mucous membranes causing these symptoms but you can use saline sprays or nasal rinses to help.
Leg cramps can start during this trimester and last right through to the end of your pregnancy can be due to hormonal changes, an increase in weight and a shortage of calcium or magnesium. Try and eat well and exercise during your pregnancy.
Along with cramps, your ankles and feet may be swelling. Remember to report this to your midwife or obstetrician as this can be a sign of pre-eclampsia. However if it is mild and they have cleared you keep active, avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time and elevate your legs to reduce the puffiness.
Changes in baby in the second trimester
In the second trimester your baby will do the most growing in the shortest amount of time. Your bub will literally go from the size of a small peach to a head of cauliflower in the second trimester.
Baby’s facial features will start to develop, his eyelids, eyebrows, eyelashes, hair and teeth are formed and his bones become denser.
His body will become covered with fine hair called lanugo which will rub off soon after birth. He will also be covered in a creamy coating called vernix to protect his skin during his time in utero.
Baby’s muscles are also developing and you may start to baby feel movements in your belly early in the second trimester.
Your baby’s genitalia will be formed and your radiologist may be able to tell you the gender of your child during your ultrasound should you so choose.
Tests and screenings to expect in the second trimester
During the second trimester, many women will have a variety of tests done. Most women will have an ultrasound. They’ll also get blood work and glucose tolerance test done.
The ultrasound will be done to check that your baby is growing healthily. Measurements will be taken via the ultrasound to give you and your health care provider an estimated growth result. This means they will be able to give you an updated estimated due date and whether your baby is measuring larger or smaller in comparison to their gestation age.
You will also need to be screened for gestational diabetes via a blood test. You’ll need to drink a concentrated glucose drink and blood will be drawn before, an hour after drinking it and then 2 hours after drinking it. Your midwife or obstetrician will discuss a plan if you do have gestational diabetes.
This trimester is one where you should have the most energy so you may feel like nesting and preparing for your new bub and packing your hospital bag before you hit the third trimester where you may feel quite uncomfortable. Here’s some tips on what to pack in your hospital bag.
Preparing yourself for baby
Get ready for your baby’s arrival with our useful guide. Start thinking about your labour choices and consider if you need a birth plan.