Second trimester of pregnancy: what happens at this stage?

The second trimester of pregnancy is usually the most pleasant of all, especially since the annoying symptoms of the previous stage usually disappear. It is a time to enjoy your pregnancy and witness your baby's great development.

Last update: July 01, 2021

The second trimester of pregnancy is usually the most stable stage of pregnancy. The mother has assimilated her new state and the fetus has already formed all its organs. Therefore, this phase almost always passes without great ups and downs.

One of the most positive aspects of the second trimester of pregnancy is that several of the annoying symptoms that were present in the first three months begin to reduce and even disappear. The most common is that nausea and dizziness are now much milder or are no longer there.

The usual thing is that there is also more energy and less fatigue. The baby will have a noticeable increase in weight and size, and the mother will feel that her pregnancy is more "real." The second trimester of pregnancy goes from week 13 to week 27. Let's see the details of this fantastic stage.

Changes in the fourth month

During the second trimester of pregnancy, the baby gains weight and grows noticeably.

During the fourth month there are great advances in the development of the baby. His heart and circulatory system have finished forming and he can now blink. The face already looks very complete and the nervous system begins to function.

At the end of this stage, the baby it will measure about 13 centimeters and weigh about 120 grams. Let's see in detail what happens in this phase of the second trimester of pregnancy.

Week 13

The most striking event of week 13 is that the baby already begins to produce urine. It releases it into the surrounding amniotic fluid and actually takes some of it, which is normal. Also, his bones begin to harden and his movements become a little more harmonious.

Week 14

The most important thing about week 14 is that it is now possible to hear the baby's heartbeat during a prenatal checkup. That is a very exciting time for most parents. His spleen is already forming red blood cells and his neck is more defined, as are his genitals.

Week 15

Rapid growth of the baby continues at week 15. Your hearing is much more developed and you are probably already hearing the mother's voice and your heartbeat. The hair and scalp pattern forms, and a fine fluff appears on your head called "lanugo." This disappears before being born. Sometimes you will have hiccups.

Week 16

At week 16 the baby has thicker skin and his head is more upright. The first movements of the baby are slightly felt, as if it were a bubbling or a flutter. The limbs can now flex and he is able to make a fist. In fact, you can grab the umbilical cord and pull it. You can also frown and squint.

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Changes in the fifth month

During the fifth month there is a lot of progress. The senses develop and new facial gestures and movements appear that can be perceived by the mother. At the end of this phase of the second trimester of pregnancy, the baby will measure about 25 centimeters and weigh about 350 grams.

Week 17

The baby already has incipient eyelashes, eyebrows and fingerprints. The ratio between the size of the head and the rest of the body begins to balance. Toenails appear and the bones in this area begin to harden. The baby is more active: rolls and turns in the amniotic fluid. The placenta continues to grow.

Week 18

By the 18th week, the baby's hearing is already highly developed. Hear external sounds clearer, and even respond to loud noise or music. He also has much more defined ears. Your digestive system begins to work and the eyes are better located on the face.

Week 19

The pace of growth is no longer so intense. His skin looks rough and is still very delicate. So, a covering of fat forms around the skin, whose name is "sebaceous spot". This will protect you from any adverse effects that amniotic fluid may cause. In girls, the uterus and vaginal canal are formed.

Week 20

By week 20 the baby already has much more coordinated movements. It's the moment when he starts sucking his thumb to develop their sucking reflex, which will be very useful when they are born. He also sleeps and wakes up with more or less regular patterns.

Second trimester of pregnancy: changes in the sixth month

The sixth month spans from week 21 to week 27, so it's not really a month as such. Let us remember that the gestation time is calculated from the date of the beginning of the last menstruation; that is, when a woman is not yet pregnant.

At this stage there are many changes. Their senses are heightened, skin development continues, and the baby gains new skills. At the end of this phase of the second trimester of pregnancy, you will be around 12 inches tall and weigh between 600 and 900 grams.

Week 21

The baby begins to differentiate the voice of the mother and to recognize the voices of the people around her. It is a good time to talk and sing to him. Its body is covered with fine hair called "lanugo" that will disappear before it is born. The hair on the head and eyebrows thickens and shows signs of color.

Week 22

The taste buds begin their development and the baby practices swallowing. The lungs also advance in their evolution and the baby already practices the respiratory movements. Brown fat is forming, which is where heat is produced. In males, the testicles begin to descend.

Week 23

At week 23, ridges form on the soles of the hands and feet. Now it is more common for the baby to suck his finger and their movements are already perceptible to the mother. Typically, the baby rests when the mother is active and moves when she rests. All those movements are a sign that he is okay.

Week 24

The baby's skin is translucent and appears pink or red, as it allows the blood in the capillaries to be appreciated. If it has normal movements, it is often said that it is now "viable". This means that if it were born at this time it would have a chance of survival, although it would require a lot of help to achieve it.

Week 25

In week 25 there are no big changes. For this moment has already developed Rapid Eye Movements (REM). This is that the eyes move quickly, even though the eyelids are closed. The digestive system and lungs have completed their formation, but are not yet considered mature.

Week 26

The eyes take on a blue hue. The baby shows vigorous movements, while accumulating more and more fat and muscle. Your skin looks a little less wrinkled. The lungs begin to produce a substance called 'surfactant' which allows the air sacs to inflate and deflate normally.

Week 27

At week 27, the second trimester of pregnancy ends. It is a time of maturation of the already formed organs and of weight gain. The heart rate slows down and it is sometimes possible to hear your heart by placing your ear on your belly.

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Changes in the mother during the second trimester of pregnancy

During the second trimester of pregnancy, the belly is rounded and the pregnant woman feels that everything is more "real."

Just as the baby has changes during the second trimester of pregnancy, the mother also experiences changes in her body. The most common are the following:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen.
  • Back pain.
  • Bleeding gums
  • Breast growth.
  • Braxton Hicks contractions.
  • Nasal congestion and nosebleeds.
  • Vaginal discharge or discharge
  • Frequent urination
  • Hair growth and thickening.
  • Headache.
  • Constipation and heartburn.
  • Dizziness
  • Hemorrhoids.
  • Leg cramps.
  • Changes in the skin
  • Spiders and varicose veins.
  • Increased risk of urinary tract infections.
  • Weight gain.
  • Increased sexual desire.

General second trimester pregnancy tips

The second trimester of pregnancy is usually easier to cope with than the first. Even so, emotions may continue to fluctuate and there may be bouts of anxiety, sadness, or both. It is normal for this to happen, but if it is very pronounced it may be a good idea to seek psychological support.

During this stage, the following actions should be carried out:

  • Continue taking prenatal vitamins.
  • Get proper exercise regularly.
  • Perform Kegel exercises regularly.
  • Eat a healthy diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, fiber, and lean protein.
  • Hydrate frequently.
  • Keeping teeth and gums healthy. Inadequate mouth hygiene is associated with preterm labor.

The consumption of any substance that can affect the baby, such as tobacco, alcohol, etc. should be avoided. It is very convenient that at this stage a prenatal education course begins, since this provides valuable information and facilitates the assimilation of the changes experienced by the mother.

It is important that routine checks are scheduled and followed. The indicated thing is to do the ultrasounds of the case and a glucose test. A prenatal genetic screening test and appropriate vaccinations should also be performed.

Enjoy the second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester of pregnancy is the right time to buy maternity clothes. This should be comfortable and take into account the growth of the belly during the rest of the pregnancy. Taking lots of souvenir photos is also a good idea.

The most advisable thing is to sleep on your side to rest better. It is also a good idea to start planning the must-have baby shower. It can also be a great time to take one last "honeymoon" or "babymoon" trip with your partner.