Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Once you enter your fourteenth week, you are officially in the second trimester of pregnancy! While the first trimester is often a time of adjustment for your body, by the second trimester, your body has a much better idea of what its new little resident is all about. The new hormone levels introduced by your baby and his placenta have begun to stabilize, and your heart has had time to adjust to the increased blood volume it has been pumping (which has increased by about 40 percent or so). This translates, for many women, into the elimination of morning sickness and an increase in energy (maybe not back to your “pre-pregnancy” level, but usually better than it has been).

Your baby is still growing and changing rapidly. He is now able to move all of his joints and is often busy flexing his arm and leg muscles. As a result of this, along with his growing size, you may feel the first sensations of movement from your baby. The first time you feel your baby move is so exciting! This can happen anywhere from about 16 weeks to 20 weeks, so don’t worry if you haven’t felt him yet. At your prenatal appointments, it has probably become part of the ritual to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, either with the Feta Scope or the Doppler. This way, you can still feel that reassurance and connection until you are able to feel those first kicks.

Around your fifth month or so, your baby will begin using his circulatory system and his urinary tract. His brain is growing quickly and working hard, as well. During this time, the brain is doing things like designating specialized areas for sensory development. Also, a protective covering called myelin is beginning to form around all of his nerves. This will continue for up until a year after his birth. His respiratory system is also developing, and he will begin taking small breaths of amniotic fluid. This is his breathing practice, and it helps his lungs to get ready for birth.

While your baby starts the second trimester off very skinny and with wrinkled skin, by the end of this time, he will begin to put on a bit of baby fat. This will make his skin begin to appear smoother and make him look more like a newborn. By the time you are ready to head into your third trimester, at 28 weeks, your baby will be about 2 pounds! He can hear and open and close his eyes, and he has regular intervals of sleeping and waking (which can often seem to be opposite from yours!).

Can you believe that, after this, you have only 3 more months of pregnancy left?! It’s sometimes hard to not want your baby here now so you can hold him and gaze at him with your own eyes, but pregnancy is a very intimate time for you and your baby, and it lasts only 9 short months!