Second trimester: 5 changes pregnant women experience
Date: Friday, Aug 14, 2020
The second trimester, some women claim, is the best period of their pregnancy. At this point, they've gotten used to being pregnant and are mostly over the rough stage of morning sickness, which is usually more prevalent in the first trimester. And it's also a time when most women look forward to post-baby activities, such as planning for their maternity leave.
Sure, you'll be getting bigger, which won't always be a pleasant feeling, but you'll also get your appetite back and might be able to dig into all your favourite dishes again – especially as the food cravings set in. Also, the excess weight and swollen ankles of the third trimester feel as if they won’t happen for a long while yet.
But this doesn't mean that the second trimester is completely smooth sailing. Here's a guide to the changes your body experiences during these crucial three months – between weeks 13 and 27 – and the fetal development that takes place at the same time too.
The baby bump starts to show
You might be able to hide your pregnancy during the first trimester, but expect your baby bump to reveal itself to the world in the second trimester. At this stage, your uterus grows to the size of a papaya; and the pressure from its expansion will cause your navel to stick out. But don't worry, this will go back to normal once your baby is born.1
You'll feel your baby move
The positive test result and the first-trimester ultrasounds let you know you’ve got a new life growing inside you, but you won’t really feel its presence until the second trimester rolls around. Once you’re 20 weeks pregnant, you'll be able to feel your baby's movement, what obstetricians call 'quickening'.2
The greater the number of pregnancies preceding this one, the earlier this will happen for the mother—but the average time quickening starts is between weeks 18 and 22.3
You'll develop stretch marks
As your baby grows, your body also has to grow in order to accommodate it. Unfortunately, one of its more visible results happens along the way: stretch marks. While not every pregnant woman gets them, stretch marks are fairly common, and tend to appear on your stomach, breast, thighs or buttocks. The good news is, most of these will fade once you've had your baby.4
Your breasts will grow
You might have noticed that your breasts have grown, and this will continue to happen in the second trimester, although they won't be as tender as they were during the first trimester. Their increase in size is due to the enlarging milk glands that are preparing you for breastfeeding. Your breasts also begin to produce colostrum, a thick yellowish liquid that's a precursor to breast milk, and you might experience a bit of leakage from time to time.5
You'll swell more
Your body is retaining more fluid for your baby, and your blood circulation has slowed down. As a result of this, you'll be more puffy especially in your face, ankles and hands. Raise your legs and feet whenever possible to ease swelling. Also, lie on your left side when you're resting or sleeping as this reduces the pressure on your blood vessels. Finally, it’s important to stay physically active during this period – even if you don't feel like it.6
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- 1. https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/when-do-you-start-to-show
- 2. https://americanpregnancy.org/while-pregnant/first-fetal-movement/
- 3. https://www.stmarysregional.com/services/women/birthplace/second-trimester
- 4. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/stretch-marks.aspx
- 5. https://www.peacehealth.org/medical-topics/id/aa87816
- 6. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/swollen-ankles-feet-pregnant/