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Second trimester of pregnancy

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You have entered the second phase of your pregnancy, which means the second trimester. It begins with the 4th month and ends with completion of six months. Precisely, it is the period between 13 – 27 weeks.

 

Changes that you will experience

Morning sickness goes away

Mood swings, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and tiredness eventually go away after your first trimester.

You feel better and energetic

Many women say that the second trimester is the easiest phase to deal with. You naturally feel energetic and better about the whole pregnancy thing. You should be active to help your baby grow properly.

Enlargement of breasts

Soreness or tenderness won’t exist anymore but your breasts will be significantly enlarged.

Bleeding

With changes in hormones, you can observe bleeding from your nose and gums. Congestion in nose and swelling of gums are also associated.

Backache

This is very obvious due to increase in weight of your baby. You can manage it easily with good prenatal yoga therapy or massages.

Heartburn and constipation

Heartburn and constipation will be persistent throughout your pregnancy. The reasons are pressure exerted in your tummy and lack of peristaltic movements, respectively.

Baby pump shows up

With 4ths, you can happily feel your baby bump and it becomes quite prominent with end of second trimester

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Diagnostic tests during second trimester

Ultrasound

It will be done usually after week 20 or may be anytime to check for proper development of your baby, possibility of complication, multiple babies, confirming due date, etc.

Maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP) and multiple marker screening

The MSAFP test measures the level of alpha-fetoprotein which is produced by the fetus. Abnormal levels of this protein indicate genetic abnormality and spina bifida.

Glucose screening

This again advised sometime in between week 24 - 28 weeks to diagnose gestational diabetes. It is a routine test.

Amniocentesis (optional)

It is offered to women whose MSAFP tests results are abnormal. It could be suggested sometimes between 15 and 18 weeks. It is done to find out neural tube defects and genetic defects.

 

How your baby develops in second trimester

First Half

 Your baby’s intestines have developed from your umbilical cord and therefore, urine formation takes place which is discharged in amniotic fluid. The arms and legs have fully formed, the sex is apparent and reproductive organs (ovaries/prostate) take into shape. His/her skeleton system starts forming the bones and it can make sucking motion with the mouth. Fats accumulate in the body by the end of week 17.

Second half

With onset of 18th week, your baby’s ears stand out from the head and he/she might start hearing. You might be able to feel your baby’s movement in the 20th week, it rapidly grows measures ~ 7.5 inches by the end of 22nd week. Your baby can swallow and fine hair in the scalp and eyebrow is visible.

Third half

The vital organs like lungs, heart, and brain continue to mature. An interesting attribute of the 23rd week is- fingerprints and footprints develop. The eyelids open and rapid eye movement is noted in between 24th-26th weeks. The reproductive organs like ovaries or testes have fully formed. Following the next two weeks, i.e. in 25th week your baby can respond to your voice and can show reflex and fingernails grow. By the end of the sixth month your baby is about 12 inches long.

Written by: healthplus24.com team
Date last updatde: June 06, 2014