Are you relieved of your morning sickness symptoms? Is your urge to vomit easing up now?
Welcome to the second trimester of pregnancy, a stage where most of your early pregnancy symptoms are alleviating, and you can breathe easy. However, in some expecting ladies, morning sickness continues.
Read on to know the symptoms of second trimester of pregnancy and learn how your baby grows in this stage of pregnancy.
Second Trimester of Pregnancy
The second trimester starts from week 14 to week 27. During this stage of pregnancy, you start feeling the baby inside your womb and by the middle of the trimester, you may start seeing a small baby bump.
Like most of the women, you may feel more relaxed, more energetic and less exhausted in the second trimester as the hormones settle and ease your sore breasts and mood swings.
Symptoms of Second Trimester of Pregnancy
- Morning sickness
Most of the expecting mothers witness reduced symptoms of morning sickness in pregnancy 2nd trimester. However, if you continue to experience severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy, it may lead to complications. So, get the treatment at the earliest to control the symptoms.
- Sore breasts or tender breasts
As the hormones have settled down and your body has adapted to the changes, your breasts become less sore and sensitive. But your breasts continue to grow as they are getting ready for feeding. So, wear a comfortable sized supporting bra.
- An ache in the lower abdomen
In the second trimester of pregnancy, you may experience cramps or aches and at times sharp pain in your lower abdomen/belly because your uterus is now expanding and putting pressure on the nearby muscles and ligaments. You can change your body position, take a warm bath, try different relaxation techniques or press heat pack/hot water bag on the lower belly.
The movement of food becomes slow due to the high levels of progesterone hormone and results in constipation. Also, the iron supplements taken during this stage may also result in constipation. So, eat lots of fibre-rich food, drink extra fluids and stay physically active to relieve the problem.
- Normal Urination & UTI
In pregnancy 2nd trimester, your womb moves up into your belly and eases the pressure on your bladder. This reduces the number of rounds to the washroom and you can sleep better in the night. However, as the uterus grows, it becomes difficult to empty your bladder complete and increases the risk of urinary tract infection. This results in pain or burning while peeing, frequent urge to urinate, traces of blood in urine and lower belly pain. These signs are treatable, and the condition is detectable in urine culture.
- Heartburn/ Acid Reflux
The muscles between the lower oesophagus and stomach keep the food in the stomach and stop it from coming up. However, during this stage of pregnancy, high amounts of progesterone loosen these muscles and result in acid reflux and heartburn. So, eat smaller meals frequently and avoid oily food.
You may experience backaches in the second trimester of pregnancy as you gain weight and as the baby grows. This puts pressure on your back making it sore. Get a good pregnancy massage, sit straight, use a chair with good back support and stuck a pillow between legs while sleeping. Do not lift heavy things and wear comfortable shoes.
- Weight gain
Weight gain is one of the symptoms of second trimester of pregnancy. According to FSSAI, a pregnant woman needs over 350kcals/day in the second trimester. So, eat all the right food and get proper nutrition at this stage.
- Varicose veins
You will see spider veins (tiny red veins) appearing on your skin in the second trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the blood flowing more towards the baby. Also, the growing weight of your baby and pressure on your legs slows the blood flow to the lower body and results in blue or purple coloured swollen veins (varicose veins). These usually clear off after the delivery. However, you can ease the situation by placing your legs on a stool.
- Skin changes
In this stage of pregnancy, you will start noticing brown patches on your face and brown marks or lines appearing around your abdomen. This is due to the excess production of melanin. Also, your skin is more sensitive to sunlight. So, avoid going out when it is hot outside.
You will also notice stretch marks appearing on your skin as your belly accommodates the growing baby inside.
Emergency Symptoms of Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Get immediate medical help in case your experience any of the following symptoms:
- Heavy bleeding
- Acute abdominal pain
- Excess sweating
- Severe Dizziness
- Sudden weight gain
- Weight is less than required
Baby Growth in Pregnancy 2nd Trimester
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), your baby’s bones harden, the neck is more defined, lungs grow, the baby starts moving and showing other developments.
Here is how your baby grows week after week in the 2nd trimester:
- Week 14 – Facial features are developing, the kidney is making urine, bone marrow is developing, bones are hardening, and limbs start moving. In this week, your little one’s body is covered with soft, downy hair called Lanugo. Also, the baby starts swallowing amniotic fluid and sucking fingers.
- Week 15 – In this week, the skin is transparent and blood vessels are visible. The skeletal system, bones, muscles and hair on eyebrows & scalp continue to grow. The limbs grow longer and move. Eyes remain closed and become sensitive to light and the ears attain positioning.
- Week 16 – Philtrum begins to appear on the upper lip, backbone strengthens, head and neck become more erect and scalp pattern appears. The nervous and musculoskeletal systems continue to develop, and the foetus can kick make grasping motions with hands. Toenails start growing. The baby can now suck the thumb. The heart pumps about 25 quarts of blood a day and the placenta grows to accommodate several blood vessels.
- Week 17 – In this week of second trimester of pregnancy, the circulatory system becomes fully functional and the umbilical cord grows stronger and thicker. Soft cartilages are transforming to bones and the spinal cord is getting covered by myelin, a fatty substance that helps nerves transfer messages from the brain to other body parts.
- Week 18 – Your baby’s retina is developing and the middle ear bones and nerve endings from the brain are developing. Fingers and toenails are developed to the tip and unique fingerprints are formed. Breathing passages in the lungs are forming and liver and pancreas start secretions. Genitals are visible in an ultrasound scan.
- Week 19 – Taste buds are developed, limbs are in proportion and the brain develops the senses for sound, smell, taste, touch and vision. In this week, the cartilage is replaced by bones and the face is more defined. You can start singing/speaking to the baby as it starts hearing in this week.
- Week 20 – The skin is covered with vernix and the oil glands start working. Brain nerves continue to develop, and the head is covered with hair. The larynx is developing in this week. Muscles grow and teeth form under the gums.
- Week 21 – A rhythmic pattern of your body movements, heart rate and breathing start. The liver and spleen start making blood cells, and the bone marrow begins contributing to blood cell formation. The digestive system starts working and the placenta keeps growing.
- Week 22 – In this week of pregnancy 2nd trimester, the lower limbs are fully developed. And the genitalia of the baby is clearly developing. The vagina is fully developed in girls and testicles are growing into the scrotum in boys. The baby’s first poop (Meconium) also forms.
- Week 23 – In this foetal stage, the pancreas starts producing insulin and the hair develops colour. Nipples develop, eyes make rapid movements, the bone marrow makes blood cells and baby starts gripping with hands.
- Week 24 – Fats start depositing under the skin and the skin becomes red and wrinkled. The lungs are developing, and the baby starts breathing movements. The brain is developing and is using over 50% of the baby’s energy. Toes and fingers have developed unique prints. The babies develop startle reflex.
- Week 25 – During this stage of pregnancy, the nostrils start opening and the spine develops different parts. The kidneys start producing urine and the baby starts responding to light, sound and touch.
- Week 26 – The air sacs are formed in the lungs. The nervous system controls a few body functions, and the brain and digestive systems continue to grow. The eyes start opening and closing, your unborn starts responding to sounds and melanin starts forming.
- Week 27 – The baby starts recognising your voice. The nose is fully functional, the skin is less wrinkled, and the brain is consuming half the energy of the baby and is growing fast.
Dos and Don’ts During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Follow these tips to sail through the pregnancy 2nd trimester:
- Eat at least 5 small meals a day that includes all the 5 food groups. Include grains, vegetables, fruits and dairy products in your diet.
- Take enough rest and get a full night sleep.
- Drink plenty of water and fluids to avoid dehydration.
- Indulge in any physical activity or exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes a day.
- Keep your doctor’s appointment without a miss.
- Get all the recommended tests done.
- Moisturize your stretched and dry skin daily.
- Keep your weight in check.
Avoid doing the following:
- Drinking alcohol
- Smoking tobacco or other abusive substances
- Eating oily, spicy and undercooked food
- Drinking too much of caffeine
- Taking unprescribed medication
- Standing/ sitting for too long
- Sleeping on your back
- Stressing over things
The second trimester of pregnancy is an easier stage of pregnancy compared to the first and the last trimesters. Enjoy this period and do not fret over things.