The second trimester starts from week 13 through to week 27 of your pregnancy. During this period, the baby grows larger and stronger and many women begin showing a larger belly. It is an interesting and exciting turning point for both the mother and fetus. The fetus has now developed all its organs and systems and will now focus on growing in size and weight.
During the second trimester, the umbilical cord continues to thicken as it carries nourishment to the fetus. From the start of the pregnancy caring for your health and the fetus is of utmost importance, especially during the 2nd semester as harmful substances can pass through the umbilical cord to the fetus. This it is best care to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other unhealthy substances.
By the end of the second trimester, the fetus will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weighs about 2 to 3 pounds. Fetal development during the second trimester includes the following
- The fetus can hear the mother’s voice. – Start talking to your baby
- The fetus kicks, moves, and can turn from side to side.- respond to every moment of your baby
- A creamy white substance (called vernix caseosa, or simply vernix) begins to appear on the fetus and helps to protect the thin fetal skin – the best for baby skin and it acts as protection
- The placenta is fully developed- eat healthy food
- The brain will undergo its most important period of growth from the fifth month on- eat food contains omega 3 and 6 for brain development
- Fingernails have grown on the tips of the fingers and toes, and the fingers and toes are fully separated.
- The fetus goes through cycles of sleep and wakefulness – he/she is aware of the sleepy and wakeful moments. It would benefit you after delivery
- Skin is wrinkly and red, covered with soft, downy hair (called lanugo).
- Hair is growing on the head of the fetus.
- Fat begins to form on the fetus.
- Eyelids are beginning to open, and the eyebrows and eyelashes are visible.
- Fingerprints and toe prints are formed.
- Rapid growth continues in fetal size and weight.
- The 20th week marks the halfway point of the pregnancy.
Changes in the mother’s body
The second trimester is the most physically enjoyable for most women. Morning sickness usually lessens by this time and the extreme tiredness and breast tenderness usually eases up. These changes can be attributed to a decrease in levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone and an adjustment to the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones.
The following is a list of changes and symptoms that may happen during the second trimester:
- Appetite may increase. – eat healthy food , small amounts frequently ,avoid junk food and eat more fruits.
- The skin on the belly may itch as it grows and there may be pain down the sides of the body as the uterus stretches- use natural oil or stretch mark cream to minimize the stretch marks
- The lower stomach may ache as ligaments stretch to support the uterus- starts some prenatal exercise and learn correct posture
- The need to urinate often may decrease as the uterus grows out of the pelvic cavity, putting pressure on the bladder-
- A woman’s gums become more spongy and may bleed easily. This is due to the increase in hormones (estrogen and progesterone) that affect the mucous membranes in the mouth.- use soft bristle brush to prevent bleeding and visit your dentist regularly
- Varicose veins and hemorrhoids may appear- exercise and correct posture and eating lots of fiber helps a lot
- A woman may have a white-colored vaginal discharge called leukorrhea. (A colored or bloody discharge may signal possible complications and should be examined immediately)- maintain good personal hygiene is important
- The increasing weight gain may cause backaches- exercise and correct posture
- Skin pigmentation may change on the face or belly due to the pregnancy hormones – massage body with coconut oil before taking your shower
- Heart burn, indigestion, and constipation may continue – take small amount of food frequently, exercise and eating lots of vegetables helps
Pat yourself on the back, you have made it to the 2nd Trimester!
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