Pregnancy – The Second Trimester

This post covers everything you need to know about the second trimester of pregnancy, and what to expect. Congratulations on making it to the second trimester mommy! Life is going to get a bit easier during the next few weeks – this was definitely my favorite trimester. The dreaded morning sickness (or in my case late-afternoon-evening-sickness) subsided and I had a wider variety of meal options without struggling to keep it down.

I was pretty fortunate because my entire pregnancy went well – it was only shortly before my due date when I developed preeclampsia and had to have an emergency c-section. Keep reading to find out what to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Pregnancy – The Second Trimester

second trimester

Prenatal Visits

During the second trimester, your gynecologist will do the following checks – depending on the health of the fetus and your present medical condition:

  • Any discomforts or symptoms
  • Your blood pressure
  • Fetal heartbeat
  • Your weight
  • A urine test to check for glucose (which might signal hyperglycemia) and albumin (a protein that might signal toxemia or preeclampsia)
  • The size, growth, and development of your baby
  • Uterus size – after about 12 weeks of gestation, you can feel the uterus through the abdominal wall
  • Fundus (top of your uterus) height, beginning at twenty weeks of gestation

RELATED: Pregnancy – The First Trimester

Second Trimester – Bodily Changes and Symptoms

The second trimester is seen as a turning point for both you and your baby. You will start feeling a lot better and your pregnancy bump will become more noticeable. The fetus has now started to develop systems and organs and will grow in weight and length. The umbilical cord will thicken to provide nourishment to your little one. Remember, everything you consume will be passed on to your baby, including harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, medications, and more, so it’s important to be mindful about everything that you eat, drink, or otherwise take in.

Bodily Changes

Most women find the second trimester most enjoyable because, during this time morning sickness, breast tenderness, and extreme fatigue tends to lessen. These changes happen because of decreased levels of human chorionic gonadotropin hormone and adjusted levels of progesterone and estrogen hormones. Here is a list of some of the changes and symptoms you might experience during the second trimester:


  • Increased appetite.
  • Around 20 weeks you should be able to feel the fetus moving (referred to as quickening).
  • The uterus extends to the height of your belly button at 20 weeks, making your baby bump more pronounced.
  • The skin on your belly starts to itch as it grows and you might experience pain down your sides because of the uterus stretching. Your lower belly might ache when the ligaments stretch to help support your uterus.
  • You may need to urinate less often since the uterus grows out of your pelvic cavity, easing some of the pressure on your bladder.
  • Congested nose, and possible nosebleeds.
  • Your gums might bleed due to increased progesterone and estrogen levels that affect mucous membranes in the mouth.
  • You might notice hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
  • Due to pregnancy hormones, skin pigmentation might change on your abdomen or face.
  • You might notice white-colored vaginal discharge (if you notice a bloody or colored discharge – contact your doctor immediately).
  • Backache due to weight gain.
  • Constipation, heartburn, and indigestion.

Related: Tomato Craving During Pregnancy – Is It Good or Bad?

Fetal Development

Now that your little one has developed all his major systems and organs, the remainder of your pregnancy, he will continue to grow. During the next few months, his weight will multiply by seven, in order for him to survive once he is outside the uterus.

By the end of this trimester, he will be 13-16 inches long and weight around 2-3 pounds. Second trimester fetal development includes:

  • Kicking, moving and turning from side to side.
  • The eyes have been slowly moving to the front of the fetus’s face and his ears have moved to the sides of his head.
  • Your baby can hear your voice.
  • Vernix caseosa (whitish substance) starts to show on the fetus to help protect his delicate skin. Vernix is eventually absorbed by the skin, however, it is noticeable on some babies after birth.
  • Developing reflexes like suckling or swallowing.
  • Responding to certain stimuli.
  • From the fifth month onwards, the brain will undergo the most crucial growth period.
  • The placenta is now fully developed.
  • Toes and fingers are completely separated and nails start to grow on the tips of the toes and fingers.
  • Your baby undergoes cycles of wakefulness and sleep.
  • The fetus skin is red and wrinkly, and soft hair (lanugo) starts to appear.
  • The fetus starts to grow hair on his head.
  • Toeprints and fingerprints starts to form.
  • The fetus starts to accumulate fat.
  • Eyelids starts to open and the eyelashes and eyebrows becomes visible.
  • The fetus grows rapidly in weight and size.
  • The 20th week is the halfway mark of your pregnancy.
  • A fetus born at the end of the 24-week mark might survive in a neonatal intensive care ward.

Final Thoughts

I hope you have enjoyed reading about what to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy. Remember to be good to yourself and enjoy every second. Someone told me that I should treasure every moment because my pregnancy will be over before I know it. And she was right! It went by so quickly.

2 thoughts on “Pregnancy – The Second Trimester

  1. Very insightful thank you for sharing.
    I know in my second trimester I still did not feel to good I only started feeling well her in my third trimester.
    This was very informative.

    1. Hey Nikita. Ag no! I’m sorry to hear this. Being pregnant is such a happy time and it’s not ideal if you’re feeling not well. I was very fortunate with my entire pregnancy. I had severe nausea and fatigue during the first trimester, but my second trimester went so well. The third trimester was also not too bad – it was only shortly before my due date that I really struggled. I developed pre-eclampsia, but my gynie picked it up quickly and performed an emergency c-section. I was in hospital for a few days until my blood pressure stabilised, but one the one hand it was a good thing – it gave me time to bond with my newborn. Thanks for reading my post and leaving a comment. 🙂

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