Second trimester of pregnancy
Trimester two is the longest stretch (and not just for your maternity leggings), running from week 13 through to week 27. Your belly will be growing, and by the end of this trimester you'll have a proper bump and will also start to feel your baby move in there. As you pass the halfway mark, the end result of pregnancy – yes, that means having an actual baby to look after – will start to feel a bit more real.
After what can often be a trying first trimester, you've reached the golden age of pregnancy (we sincerely apologise if you're one of those unlucky women who feel rotten through the second trimester, too). By now, the placenta is fully formed and takes over hormone production, meaning some of the least enjoyable pregnancy symptoms – morning sickness, for example – start to ease off, and you begin to regain some of your former energy. If you're lucky enough to be one of those who experience that wonderful 'blooming' quality in pregnancy, this trimester is when the magic will happen.
You've also got exciting things to look forward to (aside from not having your head down the toilet 24/7), like the 20-week scan, the gradual showing up of your pregnancy belly and finding out whether you're expecting a boy or girl if you've decided you want to know.
How long is the second trimester?
The middle stage of pregnancy works out at roughly three months – months four to six, to be exact.
Your questions about the second trimester answered
- When will I feel my baby move?
- When can I find out the sex of my baby?
- Can I fly when I'm pregnant?
- Will I get stretch marks?
- What exercise is safe during pregnancy?
- How can I stop people from touching my bump?
- How can I keep cool during pregnancy?
Things to do in the second trimester
- Have a 20-week scan
- Shop for maternity clothes
- Visit the dentist
- If it's winter, have the flu vaccine
- Sign up for antenatal classes
- Think about your plan for maternity leave
- Consider taking a final baby-free holiday
Health issues to be aware of in the second trimester
- Varicose veins
- Pelvic girdle pain
- Gestational diabetes
- Obstetric cholestasis
Thinking ahead to later in pregnancy
- Do you have a shortlist of baby names?
- What do you want in your birth plan?
- Have you thought about a birth partner or doula?
- If you have older children, how will you help them welcome their new sibling?
What Mumsnetters say about the second trimester…
For me, it was week 16. Suddenly the tiredness and sickness lifted and I felt great. From about week 20 I could start to feel the baby move and it was so nice.
I'm 19 weeks and I think the nausea lifted at about 14 weeks. I still get the odd wave, especially in the evening, but in general, it is not as bad as it was. Much better than the feeling of the first trimester.
16 weeks of feeling dreadful. One week of feeling OK. Then I started feeling movements in week 18 and sailed through till the end.
Enjoy this time while you can… in no time you will be complaining of not being able to sleep well, constant indigestion even at the thought of food and all those other things we pregnant women have to deal with!