The onset of the fourth month of pregnancy, that is the 13th week indicates another milestone – the beginning of the second trimester. Second trimester – the span from week 13 to 27 is known as the ‘honeymoon period” for various good reasons. Now, you can bid farewell to the morning sickness that drove you crazy for the first three months. In the second trimester, nausea subsides, mood swings and emotions ease out, and sex drive returns. To make it even better, it is also the time when you will start to feel the baby’s first movements.
Besides these symptoms, there are various other changes that happen in this trimester. Let’s look at them week wise.
This is the time you will probably start feeling brighter and livelier as compared to the first three months. But for some women, nausea continues, in that case, contact your doctor. Your baby starts growing hair, lots of it. The hair growth is not only on the head and brows but all over the body.
This week onward, the baby can grasp, suck its thumb, and even make faces. Middle months are comparatively more energetic. Make the most of it, & enjoy activities like jogging, swimming, yoga, light-impact aerobics.
In your 15th week of pregnancy, your baby is still small enough to fit into your palm. In this week, you might feel flutters low down in your tummy, that is your baby wiggling inside you. One of the most exciting moments of pregnancy is to feel the baby move. Most women notice ‘quickening’ between 15 and 20 weeks.
The antenatal test is a multiple marker screening tests that measure the levels of alpha-fetoprotein and screens for birth defects is suggested by the doctor. This test is performed between 15 and 20 weeks.
In this week, your baby is the size of a pear. Its circulation system and urinary tract are functioning now. Your uterus is growing now and you might feel discomfort due to ligament stretching in your abdomen. Although the pain is temporary, because of the growing uterus, you might experience back pain also.
In this week, the baby’s ears are almost in the final place, the eyes start to look forward instead of sideways, the cartilage that will become the skeleton starts to harden.
The baby starts moving around now, and you can expect fluttery sensations in the stomach. you may notice your breasts expanding and your areola getting larger, it is harmless though.
This is the beginning of the fifth month of your pregnancy. You baby can now feel and hear. However, all it can hear for now is your heartbeat and the flow of your digestive system. But soon it will be able to detect voices outside the womb and recognise your voice.
In the next few weeks, you can expect your doctor to perform an anomaly scan, to check your baby’s organs. It’s also a time to shop. Buy loose and comfortable clothes and invest in a good pair of shoes, preferably a size bigger as your feet as tend to swell along with your body.
This week onward, your baby’s sensory development starts to take place in specialised areas of the brain. You may notice some pain in your lower abdomen, which is normal and is caused due to the growing uterus which has now reached your belly button.
Getting a good night’s sleep might be difficult now as you may start experiencing heartburn and indigestion. For a lot of pregnant women, pregnancy can cause nasal congestion also, which may lead to snoring while sleeping.
Your baby measures about 6.5 inches now and is regularly gaining weight. This week, the baby is swallowing more, which is a good practice for the digestive system.
As your expanding uterus pushes against your lungs, experiencing some breathlessness is normal; but if it gets out of hand, consult your doctor. Make sure you consume an iron rich diet as your baby needs to make red blood cells.
Your baby now measures almost 10.5 inches and the eyelids and eyebrows are completely developed. The fingernails start to cover the finger tips. You can now communicate with your baby, talk to them, sing to them, read them stories, as the baby can now hear you.
There is no doubt about the fact that you’re gaining weight but don’t be alarmed by it. Give yourself a break and enjoy your pregnancy. But do consult your doctor if the weight gain is more than usual. Ask your doctor to check if your bump is measuring about right for your dates.
Your baby now looks like a mini infant. The lips are becoming more distinct and the eyes have developed. The pancreas, which is essential for hormone production is developing steadily. First signs of teeth start showing beneath the gums.
You will notice steady weight gain and increased appetite. It is common if you’re experiencing increased vaginal discharge, as it is due to more blood flow in that part of the body. Peeing a lot is another normal symptom.
The blood vessels in the lungs are developing in preparation for breathing and the baby is swallowing regularly. The baby now measures about 12 inches.
Pregnancy hormones can make your gums which can result in bleeding while brushing. You should brush and floss regularly but be gentle.
Although the baby’s skin is still thin and fragile, its body is growing and taking up more room in your uterus. Taste buds are now forming, and you may experience more cravings now.
You will notice red stretch marks on your belly, buttocks, and breasts. For some pregnant women, they are itchy too. Pregnancy hormones tend to make your skin drier, so make sure you keep your skin moisturised and hydrated.
Although there is no air in your baby’s lungs, it starts making breathing movements as the senses develop. The baby responds to touch and light as the optic nerve now starts to function.
Many pregnant women now start worrying about the delivery, whether it will be normal or caesarean. You can read up about some excellent positions for labour and practice childbirth techniques like breathing, massaging, natural pain relief etc.
As each week passes, you baby becomes more receptive to sound. You baby may measure around 14-15 inches now. The baby’s eyes are beginning to open.
Around this time, a slight increase in your blood pressure is normal. But if you see symptoms like sudden weight gain, blurred vision, and swollen hands and feet, you may have pre-eclampsia. In that case, contact your doctor.
You are now approaching the final stage of pregnancy – the third trimester. Your baby is growing steadily now and can open and close its eyes. The baby now sleeps and wakes at regular intervals.
From this week on it is advisable to consult with your doctor if you need to travel by air. Read all about breastfeeding basis along with your partner, as their support will be required after the baby is born.
What you eat plays a major role in your baby’s development. Make sure you eat foods that are rich in calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. These nutrients are essential for the growth of your baby’s bones and teeth. Another important dietary supplement should be foods rich in omega-3 oils, as they are vital for your baby’s brain development.
Staying fit during pregnancy is beneficial for you and your baby. Go for low-impact exercises like walking, swimming, and yoga. Using your arms while walking will help your build upper arms strength and flexibility. Gentle yet strengthening yoga is great idea in second trimester. It will help you stretch muscles and ease out the pregnancy pain in your back and lower back. Hire a trainer or a coach if you wish to swim during pregnancy. Water exercises are great during pregnancy as there is no danger of falling. Follow a routine of 30 minutes, three to five times a week and stay in shape during pregnancy.
The coming week will mark the onset of the third trimester. Only a few more weeks and you will have your bundle of joy in your arms. To know all about the third trimester, watch this space.