The Second Trimester

Pregnancy is thought of in three distinct stages, each referred to as trimesters. During each of the three trimesters your body and baby both undergo distinct changes, and it is these changes that define the trimesters. The middle period of about 15 weeks is called the second trimester, and tends to be from the 13th through to the 28th week of your pregnancy. For many couples this is also an exciting time because the sex of your baby can be determined by ultrasound, provided of course that your baby cooperates and sits in the appropriate position!

What happens to me during the second trimester?

During this period you will begin to feel better, if you have been suffering from morning sickness then you will be glad to know that it will abate and leave you feeling much more energetic and refreshed. You can also find yourself putting on weight that you might have lost during the first trimester as your appetite returns and you need to fuel the growth of your child and sustain yourself as well.

What happens to my baby/foetus during the second trimester?

During the second trimester you can begin to feel the movement of the foetus within you, a sensation which is remarkable for both parents and is often the memory of a lifetime. This movement is typically felt during the fourth month, although for every woman this is completely individual, don’t be surprised or alarmed if you feel movement before or shortly after the average point at about 20-21 weeks. The foetus is held within a structure called the uterus which protects it, and during the 20th week of your pregnancy is often expands dramatically.

Another important change during the second trimester is that a supporting structure called the placenta starts to work fully. The placenta is basically designed to support growth and provides a foetus with much needed nutrition and other materials it needs, while taking away any wastes which your body disposes of. The placenta is very important in providing protection against bacterial infection. Unfortunately the function of the placenta also means that any alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs you take will also be passed on to your baby, making it critically important that you maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.

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