The second trimester is full of more changes both with your body and with the baby. Your baby will continue with its miraculous development. As you will see each week something new is happening. You enter the second trimester in week 13 and it continues through week 27.
During the second trimester the pregnancy will likely begin to feel more real, you will be done with those pesky first trimester symptoms of morning sickness and exhaustion (hopefully), and sometime during this trimester you will begin to feel the baby move. Some women do still suffer from morning sickness, however, for the majority of women this symptom will have disappeared. Your body will be growing and likely you have out grown your favorite pair of jeans and are looking for bigger, more comfortable clothing to wear.
The development of the baby continues at a pretty rapid pace. By the beginning of the second trimester the baby has already begun to move but since it is still so small you can’t feel it yet. Other changes your baby will go through during the first weeks of the second trimester are the development of its reproductive organs. In boys the prostate gland begins to develop and in girls the ovaries move from the abdomen to the pelvis. The baby’s mouth will be completely formed by the end of the 14th week. Skin will begin to form, starting out nearly transparent. Eyebrows and scalp hair will begin to grow. The eyes, ears, and bones will further their development. By week 16 your baby will begin be able to make facial expressions.
Midway through the second trimester fat will begin to accumulate under the skin helping to keep the baby warm. During the 17th week nerve endings will connect with the ears and your baby will begin to be able to hear. Some of the sounds they hear are your heart beat, the gurgling of your stomach, blood moving through the umbilical cord, and may even be startled by loud sounds from the outside world. As the skin further develops it will become covered by fine hairs called lanugo that help to protect the baby. The kidneys begin producing urine around this time, which is excreted into the amniotic sac.
The 20th week will mark the halfway point of your pregnancy. The baby is about 6 inches long now and weighs about 9 ounces. It is around this time that you can begin to feel the baby move. During the next few weeks your baby will begin to swallow small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid giving them another source of nourishment. The bone marrow will begin to produce blood cells, something done by the liver and spleen until now. The reproductive organs will continue to develop. The baby’s lungs will begin to produce surfactant, a substance that allows the air sacs in the lungs to develop getting them ready for life outside. He or she will begin to look more like a newborn. With very intensive medical care babies born at 23 weeks can survive, however, there are serious risks and complications including bleeding in the brain, and most don’t survive.
Over the remaining weeks of the second trimester your baby will develop its individual fingerprints and footprints. Your baby will begin to be able to control their balance as the inner ear reaches full development. Now that you can feel the baby move you will likely notice that they have developed a regular sleep-wake cycle. As the hands begin to reach full development the baby will begin exploring the structure of the inside of your uterus, a means of entertain for your little one. The baby’s eyes are fully developed now but remain closed. By the end of the second trimester the baby will weigh approximately 1 ½ pounds and will continue growing like a weed. Their lungs, liver, and immune system will continue to mature making it easier for them to survive outside the womb. A baby born at 27 weeks has an 85% chance of survival; however, serious complications are still possible.
The changes your baby goes through on a weekly basis during the second trimester are truly amazing. Here are a few websites that have some great pictures so you can see what your baby looks like as it goes through the various developmental stages.
Enjoy this time in your pregnancy. The second trimester is often referred to as the honeymoon period. It is during this time in your pregnancy, when you are free of most of the early symptoms and before the symptoms of later pregnancy kick in, that you can really enjoy being pregnant.
Remember that each pregnancy is different. So, be sure to talk to your doctor or midwife if you have any specific questions about your pregnancy or about the development of your baby.