The second trimester (weeks 13–27) is often the most comfortable stage for pregnant women, as most of the early pregnancy symptoms gradually disappear. You’ll start to notice a baby 'bump' and at around 20 weeks you’ll also start to feel tiny flutters as baby moves.
Baby’s growth during the second trimester
At the beginning of the second trimester, your baby is about the size of half a banana, their body is covered with soft downy hair and fingerprints have formed. The next 3 months is a time of rapid growth, which will see fingernails, eyes, eyelashes and eyebrows and genitals all form. By the end of this trimester, the digestive system is working and the lungs are getting ready to breathe. Your baby can hear and respond to voices and will have a pattern of sleep-wake times. Eyes begin to open and finger and thumb sucking takes place.
What’s happening to mum?
While the discomforts of early pregnancy should ease off, there are a few new symptoms to get used to. Common complaints include leg cramps and heartburn. You might find yourself growing more of an appetite, and your weight gain will accelerate. Learn about eating, drinking and watching your weight during pregnancy.
You will be seeing your lead maternity carer (LMC) once every 2 to 4 weeks to ensure the ongoing health of you and your baby. This is also a good opportunity for you to ask questions about any pregnancy-related issues that might be concerning you.
Red flag symptoms
Any of these symptoms could be a sign that something is wrong with your pregnancy. Don't wait for your regular prenatal visit to talk about them. Call your doctor or LMC right away if you experience:
- severe abdominal pain or cramps
- severe nausea or vomiting
- severe dizziness
- pain or burning during urination.
Screening tests and checks
20-week anatomy scan
An anatomy ultrasound might be performed between weeks 18 and 22. At this scan, parts of the baby’s body will be measured and assessed to make sure that they are functioning. At the anatomy scan, you may be able to find out the sex of your baby. Let your doctor know if you would like to know, or if you don't want to know.
Gestational diabetes blood test
Gestational diabetes can be detected between weeks 26 and 28 of pregnancy. To test for this, you’ll be given a high-glucose solution to drink. After drinking it, you’ll be asked to wait an hour before having your blood taken. This test will ensure that your body reacts properly to sugar during your pregnancy.
Spread the news!
If you haven’t done so already, now’s a good time to let family and friends know about your pregnancy. If you have kept it quiet, your expanding belly will be starting to give you away! Whether your pregnancy was planned or not, engaging the love and support of those around you will help make the coming months easier.