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Second Trimester: What to Expect When You’re Expecting

Man and pregnant woman laying down smiling at second trimester pregnancy belly.

Welcome to your second trimester of pregnancy! The second trimester weeks range from week 13 to the end of week 26. This is such an exciting time for a new mother, as you’ll begin to notice significant changes in your body – and in your baby. Let’s start at the beginning of this stage to learn about what to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy.  

The Second Trimester: Your Growing Body

In the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, the worst of the nausea will have likely passed and your baby isn’t large enough to make you uncomfortable – this is the sweet spot of pregnancy. Most women experience a newfound sense of well-being and connection to their body.

Your body will begin to grow to meet the needs of the fetus. Your abdomen will expand, and you’ll likely begin to see that telltale pregnancy belly – along with stretchmarks and swollen limbs.

As blissful as it may seem, there are things you should do in order to stay healthy during this stage:

The 2nd Trimester: Fetal Development

While the first trimester of pregnancy brings about some uncomfortable changes, the second trimester marks a turning point for the mother and fetus. In this stage of pregnancy, your body will grow with the fetus, you’ll start to feel movement – and you’ll get a better look at your new baby during the second trimester ultrasound!

The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy. Between weeks 18-22, you’ll get a second trimester ultrasound, or 20-week ultrasound, during which you’ll get the first good look at your baby’s chest, abdomen, and brain.

By the 2nd trimester, your fetus has developed all of its organs and will continue to grow in size for the remainder of the pregnancy. During this stage, you can choose to learn the sex of your child. While sex may be determined by ultrasound as early as 14 weeks, it is not always accurate. The second trimester is truly when you can choose to find out whether it’s a boy or a girl!

This is also when the brain undergoes its most important period of growth from the fifth month on. The fetus develops reflexes, can respond to external stimuli, and develops hair, fingernails and toenails. The placenta is fully developed, and the umbilical cord continues to thicken as it carries more nourishment to the fetus. According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, at the end of the second trimester, your fetus should be about 13-16 inches long and weigh 2-3 pounds.

Prenatal Visits in the Second Trimester

As stated previously, the 2nd trimester is the most important stage for brain growth and development. Your second trimester diet and lifestyle can have a profound impact on your child. That said, get comfortable with your OBGYN, as you should be checking in with your doctor and keeping regular prenatal appointments.

During your prenatal visits, your OBGYN will likely check the following:

2nd Trimester of Pregnancy Precautions

While there are some expected changes and discomforts associated with pregnancy, there are a number of second trimester symptoms not to ignore:

Talk to Your OBGYN

Not every woman experiences the same symptoms, but one thing is certain – you should make and keep regular prenatal appointments during your second trimester. Adjusting your diet and lifestyle habits could have a profound impact on the health and life of your baby.

If you have more questions about pregnancy or are ready to make your prenatal appointment, contact the office of Dr. Christopher Quinsey in Lake Mary, Florida. Dr. Quinsey has served thousands of women in the Central Florida community and is one of the highest-rated OBGYNs in Orlando.

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*This blog is for general informational purposes only. Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A. does not distribute medical advice through this blog. As such, this blog does not constitute a patient-client relationship between the reader and Christopher K. Quinsey MD, P.A.

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