A healthy pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks. The time period of pregnancy is grouped into three trimesters. The second trimester of pregnancy includes 13 to 27 weeks. For many mothers-to-be, the second trimester is the most comfortable and enjoyable phase of pregnancy. The pregnant lady is now in that sweet spot where her morning sickness has most likely disappeared. A few discomforts can occur, such as being dizzy and round ligament pain. However, these annoying symptoms may be offset by a burst of energy during this trimester. Meanwhile, the baby continues to grow and develop at a steady pace.
The second trimester starts from 13 to 27 weeks of pregnancy, lasting 14 weeks or approximately three and a half months.
In the second trimester, the baby’s growth continues upon the foundation set in the first trimester. The little one goes from being the size of a peach to that of a head of cauliflower, and this growth will become more visible to the outside world as belly becomes more prominent. Each week of pregnancy brings something new:
14 Weeks: Sucking and swallowing
Around the time of 14 weeks of pregnancy, the little one may start practicing sucking and swallowing motions, probably sucking the thumb in the coming weeks.
16 Weeks: Baby on the go
Around the time of 16 to 18 weeks pregnancy, or soon after, a woman may feel a tiny flutter in her belly as the baby rolls around or does flips in the amniotic sac. However, this step may take a longer time to detect the sensations of movements if a woman is experiencing her first pregnancy. A woman will probably notice her baby’s kicks and movements are getting stronger from around 19 weeks onward.
17 Weeks: Baby gets a waxy coating
The glands in the baby’s skin may already be producing a greasy substance known as vernix. (Vernix Caseosa is the white stuff when baby is born). This will cover the little one’s body and acts as a waterproof barrier to protect the skin.
22 Weeks: Eyebrows growth
Entering in the 22 weeks, the eyes got visible now with tiny tufts of fine hair. Yet there is no pigment present. Though the baby’s eyelids are still fused shut for a few more weeks, eyes can move now behind the lids.
23 Weeks: Baby responds to sounds
With the full development of ears, the baby may respond by moving by hearing the sound of the mother’s voice or a loud noise.
27 Weeks: Baby may smile
Smiling typically occurs when the baby is asleep, often during Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep.
It’s not just the baby who’s busy! But the mother has a full schedule too. At around the halfway mark of the pregnancy (at approximately 20 weeks), mothers-to-be will possibly have an ultrasound scan to check on the baby’s health. In this trimester, the belly and breasts will grow noticeably. Many women may need to shift to maternity wear or extra-comfortable clothes. During the second trimester, ladies may experience an extra burst of energy, which they can use to begin or continue their exercise routine.
The symptoms a woman might notice in the second trimester could be nasal congestion, dizzy spells, leg cramps, backache, varicose veins, Achiness in the lower abdomen, bleeding gums and teeth, etc.
Dizziness: The body is experiencing changes in circulation, including less blood flow to the upper body and head. This can leave a woman to feel a little light-headed or dizzy. Make sure to drink plenty of fluids.
Round ligament pain: If a pregnant lady is experiencing pain or cramping in her groin area, this might be due to round ligament pain. As the uterus grows, the ligaments that hold it in place in the abdomen stretch and can pain. Usually, round ligament pain is nothing to worry about, but if it becomes intense or doesn’t go away, contact the healthcare provider.
Mild swelling in the ankles and feet: It is usually experienced by pregnant women, starting at about week 22 of pregnancy (sometimes earlier also) and lasts until delivery.
Leg cramps: It usually starts in the second trimester and lasts through the third. It is not only due to hormones and weight gain but also possibly because of a shortage of calcium or magnesium. Make sure to keep eating a healthy, well-balanced pregnancy diet.
Skin changes: The skin might start to look different during the second or third trimester. During pregnancy, the body secretes more melanin (the pigment that gives skin its color). Some women might also notice a dark line that runs from her pubic region to her belly button. This is called the linea nigra. These darker skin patches tend to fade away after the baby is born slowly. As the baby’s growth continues, and the mother gains pregnancy weight, they may experience dry, itchy skin or develop stretch marks.
It is very important to be aware of what to do and what to avoid as the pregnancy continues. This will help the mother top take care of herself and her developing baby.
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