What Happens During the Second Trimester of Pregnancy?

Duration of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

The second trimester of pregnancy, which spans from week 13 to week 28, is often considered the most enjoyable phase of pregnancy because expectant mothers may experience a decrease in morning sickness and are likely to have more energy.

In addition, the baby’s growth and development continue to progress, bringing about exciting milestones. In this blog, we will explore the major changes and developments that occur during the second trimester of pregnancy, as well as provide tips and precautions for a healthy and fulfilling experience. So let’s dive in and discover what happens during this special time.

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Understanding the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

The second trimester of pregnancy marking the beginning of the second phase of your journey towards motherhood. It is a time when many women experience relief from common first trimester symptoms, such as morning sickness and fatigue, due to hormonal changes. With the first trimester behind you, you may notice a surge in energy levels and a decrease in fatigue. This trimester is also characterized by significant changes in your body as your baby continues to grow and develop. Let’s take a closer look at the duration, major milestones, bodily changes, health indicators, and baby’s growth during this phase of pregnancy. During your second trimester prenatal visits, your health care provider will continue to check on your and your baby’s health, monitoring the fetal heartbeat. Most women find the second trimester to be the most physically enjoyable, as morning sickness tends to lessen and extreme tiredness and breast tenderness typically ease up by this time.

Explore the essential aspects of the First Trimester of Pregnancy, covering weeks 1 to 12.

Duration of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

Second trimester weeks typically begin at 13th and extends up to the 28th. This phase of pregnancy marks a turning point, as the risk of miscarriage decreases significantly and the chance of pregnancy complications reduces. You will find yourself feeling more comfortable and energetic, as any morning sickness symptoms tend to improve during this time. Along with physical changes, the second trimester also brings about emotional changes, as you may start feeling more connected to your baby and experience a range of emotions, from excitement to occasional anxiety. At this stage of your pregnancy, you may notice a small baby bump, as your uterus expands in both upward and outward directions. It’s important to embrace this special time and take care of your physical and emotional well-being.

Major Milestones in the Second Trimester

As your second trimester of pregnancy progresses, around week 16, you may have the opportunity to hear your baby’s heartbeat using a Doppler device. By week 18, your baby’s brain and nervous system will be fully developed, and they’ll begin practicing breathing movements. Additionally, the anatomy scan conducted between weeks 18 to 22 is an exciting milestone that can reveal your baby’s gender if you wish to know. At week 24, your baby’s skin will be covered with vernix caseosa, protecting it from amniotic fluid, while at 27 weeks, their eyelids will open, and they will start responding to light, sound, and touch.

second trimester of pregnancy period

Bodily Changes Experienced During the Second Trimester

As your pregnancy progresses into the second trimester, you may experience significant bodily changes, including vaginal discharge. Blood vessels continue to dilate, accommodating the increased blood volume required for fetal development. You may notice your uterus reaching the top of your abdomen, especially if it’s your first pregnancy. This period is marked by big changes in fetal development as well. Remember to consume extra calories and keep an eye on risk factors for genetic abnormalities. Your due date is approaching, so pay attention to the weeks of your pregnancy and consult the American College of Obstetricians for guidance.

What are the most common Second Trimester Symptoms?

  1. Increased energy levels
  2. Reduced morning sickness
  3. Growing belly and weight gain
  4. Backaches and round ligament pain
  5. Breast changes and colostrum production
  6. Skin changes and stretch marks
  7. Nasal congestion and nosebleeds

Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so not all symptoms may apply to everyone.It is crucial to seek personalized advice from your healthcare provider.

Physical Transformations

During the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, many changes occur in a woman’s body. The expanding uterus can lead to abdominal pain commonly known as round ligament pain. It’s important to consume vitamin D during this time to support the baby’s bone development. Increased blood flow may cause red or brown vaginal bleeding, which should be reported to the healthcare provider. A growing belly may result in dull aches, but sharp and persistent pain should be evaluated by a doctor. Dark patches on the skin, called chloasma or the “mask of pregnancy,” are common due to hormone levels. Additionally, it is advised to avoid standing for long periods to alleviate discomfort.

Emotional Changes

During the second trimester of your pregnancy, hormonal changes can lead to increased energy levels and improved mood. It’s common to experience heightened emotions, ranging from joy and anticipation to anxiety or fear. This is also the ideal time to plan childbirth classes, antenatal appointments, and maternity leave. You may notice fluctuations in appetite, energy levels, and interest in physical activity. It’s a good opportunity to plan your birth plan, including preferences for pain relief, labor, and postpartum care.

Health Indicators and Emergency Symptoms to Look Out For

During the second trimester of your pregnancy, it’s important to be aware of health indicators and emergency symptoms. Keep an eye out for signs such as high blood pressure, severe headaches, and vision changes, which may indicate preeclampsia. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends contacting your healthcare provider if you experience any unusual or concerning symptoms. Additionally, be mindful of genetic abnormalities and seek medical advice if needed. It’s also crucial to ensure you drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration during this stage of pregnancy.

Routine Check-ups and Tests

During this phase, regular check-ups and blood tests are crucial for monitoring both your health and your baby’s development. These tests typically include assessments for gestational diabetes, iron levels, vitamin D, and blood group, ensuring a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, an anatomy scan, usually conducted between weeks 18 to 22, evaluates your baby’s growth, development, and the position of the placenta. Don’t forget to schedule a dental check-up, as hormonal changes during pregnancy can increase the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It’s important to take care of yourself as you go through this exciting phase of pregnancy.

When to Contact Your Healthcare Provider

If you experience vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain, or severe headaches, reaching out to your healthcare provider is crucial. Seeking medical advice for symptoms of preterm labor like regular contractions before 37 weeks is important. In case of decreased baby movements, especially in the third trimester, contacting your healthcare provider is necessary. Report any signs of urinary tract infections such as pain, burning, or frequent urination. Notify your healthcare provider of new symptoms like blurred vision, swelling, or persistent abdominal pain.

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Baby’s Growth and Development in this Phase

During this period of your pregnancy, big changes occur in fetal development. The top of your uterus reaches about halfway between your pelvis and navel. Blood vessels also develop in the fetus to accommodate this growth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends additional 340 calories daily. It’s an exciting time, especially if it’s your first pregnancy, and a great time for dads to feel more involved. This phase also includes genetic abnormalities screenings and understanding risk factors.

Key Developments at Different Weeks

  1. Around the 18th week of pregnancy, rapid brain development takes place, showcasing significant fetal development.
  2. Advancing to week 20, you should be able to hear your baby’s heartbeat with a stethoscope, a delightful milestone for parents.
  3. By week 22, the fetus starts discerning sound, marking the beginning of sensory perception.
  4. Week 24 marks the layering of vernix caseosa on the baby’s skin, contributing to fetal protection.
  5. Subsequently, at week 26, the baby’s brain activity increases as it practices breathing movements, signifying remarkable progress in the second trimester of your pregnancy.

Physical Appearance of your Baby

During the second trimester of your pregnancy, your baby’s development leads to some fascinating physical changes. Around week 18, your baby’s skin starts producing vernix caseosa, a protective waxy coating, followed by the appearance of lanugo, a fine hair, around week 20. As your pregnancy progresses to week 24, your baby’s lungs begin to produce surfactant, an essential substance for breathing. By week 26, your baby’s eyelids open, revealing their developing eyes. Witnessing these big changes in your baby, such as the appearance of stretch marks, is an exciting part of the second trimester of pregnancy.

Tips and Precautions for a Healthy Second Trimester

As your baby grows, the top of your uterus becomes more noticeable. Be sure to consume extra calories to support this big change in fetal development. Also, consider joining a childbirth education class, especially if this is your first pregnancy. You should also be aware of the risk factors for genetic abnormalities and other complications as you progress through the second trimester weeks of pregnancy.

Lastly, it’s essential to be mindful of your due date and stay informed about the changes happening in this period of your pregnancy. Remember to prioritize your health during this time and make sure to get plenty of rest to support your well-being and the development of your baby.

Diet and Exercise Recommendations

During this part of your pregnancy, it’s essential to engage in low-impact exercises such as prenatal yoga or swimming to maintain fitness and flexibility. Additionally, focus on consuming a diet rich in whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, and vegetables to provide essential nutrients for fetal development and promote healthy eating. Avoid excessive weight gain by following a balanced eating plan and incorporate Kegel exercises to strengthen pelvic floor muscles. Don’t forget to consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice on exercise and diet.

Things to Avoid During the Second Trimester

During this stage, pregnant women should refrain from consuming unpasteurized dairy products and undercooked meats to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses. It’s essential for pregnant women to avoid activities that pose a risk of falling, such as skiing or horseback riding. Additionally, pregnant women should steer clear of hot tubs, saunas, and activities that can lead to overheating as they may affect fetal development. Minimize exposure to secondhand smoke, as it can harm your baby’s development. It’s important to always seek advice from your healthcare provider before starting any new medications or supplements.

second trimester of pregnancy fitness

Navigating the Second Trimester Checklist

Exploring your birth plan is an important part of the second trimester checklist. Additionally, considering and registering for antenatal classes can provide valuable insights and skills. Creating a nursery that is secure and functional for your baby’s arrival is a significant step during this period. It’s also essential to research maternity leave options to plan for time off before and after childbirth. Moreover, scheduling your anatomy scan is a crucial milestone during the second trimester, providing insight into the fetal development and ensuring everything is progressing as expected.

To-do List for the Second Trimester

As you enter the second trimester, it’s a good time to start exploring child care options available in your area. Consider scheduling dental check-ups to address any oral health concerns, such as dental care, that may arise during pregnancy. It’s also essential to plan your maternity leave and discuss arrangements with your employer. Additionally, looking into childbirth classes can provide valuable insights and preparation for labor and delivery. Creating a birth plan to outline your preferences and expectations is also an important task to consider during this stage of your pregnancy.

What Makes the Second Trimester Different from the First and Third?

During the second trimester, morning sickness symptoms often decrease, and you may start feeling your baby move. Your abdomen will grow, and energy levels tend to increase. Unlike the first trimester, physical changes are more gradual compared to the third trimester.

Follow our detailed guide on 3rd trimester weeks to stay informed about the growth and development of your baby.


The second trimester of pregnancy is an exciting and transformative time for both the mother and baby. As the weeks go by, you’ll experience physical and emotional changes, while your baby grows and develops at a rapid pace. It’s important to take care of your health during this time, with regular check-ups and a nutritious diet.

Stay active and avoid certain activities that could be harmful to you and your baby. Remember, every pregnancy is unique, so consult with your healthcare provider if you have any concerns or notice any unusual symptoms. Enjoy this special time and cherish the miraculous journey of pregnancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some common symptoms experienced during the second trimester?

Some common symptoms experienced during the second trimester include a decrease in nausea and fatigue, increased energy levels, back pain and round ligament pain due to the growing baby, and Braxton Hicks contractions. Many women also experience a “pregnancy glow” during this time.

When does 2nd trimester of pregnancy start?

The second trimester of pregnancy typically begins around week 13 and lasts until week 28. During this time, many women experience a decrease in nausea and fatigue. The baby’s organs continue to develop, and their movements become more noticeable to the mother. Regular prenatal appointments are important during this trimester.

What are the different stages of pregnancy?

The different stages of pregnancy are divided into trimesters. The second trimester, which lasts from week 13 to week 28, is a time of significant physical changes for the mother and development milestones for the baby. It is an important period of growth and preparation before the third trimester begins.

When does the second trimester end?

The second trimester of pregnancy typically begins around week 13 and ends around week 28. During this period, the baby’s organs continue to develop, and the mother may start to feel the movements. Many women find relief from nausea and fatigue during this stage. Regular prenatal appointments are important for monitoring and testing.

What are the stages of development and growth for the baby in the second trimester?

During the second trimester, the baby’s organs and body systems continue to develop and mature. It grows hair, nails, and eyelashes, and can hear sounds from outside the womb. The mother may feel the baby’s movements more prominently and gender can be determined through ultrasound. At this stage, the baby is around 14 inches long and weighs about 2 pounds.

Gloria Wells

Gloria Wells

Hi! I'm Gloria, a cheerful mother who is always ready to find the best growth path for my son. With my husband, I created a brand of baby products that became a Best Seller on Amazon and sold out quickly with great reviews. In my spare time, I practice Aikido, a Martial Art of balance and respect, which has helped me grow as a person. I love to sing with my son and cook healthy meals with him.