Charting Your Dates
The second trimester technically starts at the beginning of week 14 and ends after week 27 concludes.
Tracking Your Baby’s Growth
Here are some exciting milestones you can watch for during your second trimester!
– Week 14. Sucking, swallowing and taste preferences begin to take shape.
– Week 15. Your baby starts to sprout hair.
– Week 17. The brain and heartbeat sync up.
– Week 20. You can listen to your baby’s tiny heartbeat through a stethoscope.
– Week 21. Your baby’s hands form fingerprints.
– Week 22. This week it’s all about eyelashes and eyebrows.
– Week 23. Weight gain (up to two pounds by the end of week 27!).
– Week 24. Those tiny eyelids experience their first blinks.
– Week 25. The circulatory system gears up in earnest by forming capillaries.
Tracking Your Own Growth and Development
Your baby isn’t the only one experiencing major changes during your second trimester. You will notice your own body taking on a life of its own as well.
Here are some of the big changes you can watch for:
– Snoring. If you’ve never snored before, now is your chance! Your baby’s growth triggers increased blood flow to your tissues and membranes, triggering mucous production as well. Ask your ob-gyn about safe over-the-counter meds to ease symptoms here.
– Swelling. Just as your breasts are losing their tender puffiness, your ankles and feet are getting theirs. Keeping active and elevating your feet helps keep this symptom in check.
– Cramping. Your legs are all that stands between swollen ankles and a swollen belly, so be sure to eat a diet high in calcium and magnesium to keep cramps at bay (consult your ob-gyn about the best levels to maintain).
– Aching. Your lower belly is suddenly being asked to work overtime supporting you and your growing baby. The aching you feel is sometimes termed “round ligament pain” because your belly ligaments literally have to stretch and grow with you.
– Gum sensitivity. If you experience mild gum sensitivity and/or a bit of bleeding, this is considered normal. Bright red bleeding gums are not, however – consult your dentist.
– Dizziness. Plenty of hydration and small, frequent meals can combat the lower blood sugar that can lead to dizziness – after all, you are now hydrating and nourishing for two!
– Hemorrhoids/varicose veins. Did you know hemorrhoids are actually a type of varicose vein? You may see/feel both developing now, but so long as they weren’t present before you conceived, they will likely go away on their own after you give birth.
A Note About the Boudoir
Many couples notice some changes in their intimate life during the second trimester. The majority of your mind is firmly on all things baby, and the rest of it is likely coping with a laundry list of changes that seem to have a mind of their own.
In some cases, you may find your libido is actually enhanced during the second trimester, but if not, don’t fret. This too shall pass, and the key to getting through it without hurt feelings or resentment is to keep talking, keep cuddling, keep enjoying these rare moments of birthing new life with your partner.
What to Expect in Terms of Weight Changes
Your baby is growing, which means you will see the numbers on the scale increasing. During your second trimester, you can expect to add about one pound for each week – so approximately 14 pounds total.
Symptoms to Talk to Your Ob-Gyn About
Yes, your body will be going through many shifts and changes during your second trimester. But not every symptom is considered par for the course.
If any of these symptoms show themselves, consult with your ob-gyn:
– Heavy bleeding vaginally.
– Severe pain in your abdomen.
– A fever that exceeds 105 degrees Fahrenheit.
– Symptoms of gestational diabetes (excessive thirst and urination, excessive fatigue and snoring).
– Symptoms of preeclampsia (excessive swelling in the face/hands, sudden (not gradual) weight gain, changes in vision).
Your Second Trimester To-Do List
In addition to resting, eating well, hydrating well, and keeping fit, you can add these items to your to-do list.
– Routine monitoring (of your baby’s health).
– Track your weight.
– Increase your daily calories (aim for 300-350 calories/day or your ob-gyn’s recommendation).
– Glucose screening.
– Level 2 professional ultrasound (3D/4D).
– Prenatal genetic screening.
– Immunizations (talk to your ob-gyn about what to get/avoid).
– Research childbirth class options.
– Research birthing options.
– Begin sleeping on your side.
– Continue doing Kegel exercises.
– Decide if you want to know the baby’s gender in advance.
– Keep shopping for “new baby” supplies and gear.
– Create your baby registry.
– Research childcare options.
– Research baby names.
– Yay – your third trimester is almost here!