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Second Trimester Pregnancy – What To Expect, Development & Tests

Pregnancy is a beautiful journey full of surprises. Every trimester brings new challenges for the expecting mother and those caring for her. While every pregnancy journey is unique, being aware of certain changes can reduce stress levels. Read on to learn the various developments and challenges you will likely face in your pregnancy's second trimester.

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Second Trimester Pregnancy

Your second trimester starts at week 14 and continues until week 27 of your pregnancy. Most women consider this to be the best part of pregnancy.

The first trimester is when most women are anxious about their pregnancy, not knowing what to do, which doctor to go to, what activities to discontinue or continue and morning sickness. All these can make the first trimester a little challenging. During the third trimester, both you and the baby gain weight, thus making it difficult to move, sleep, or even sit like before. The hormones can cause severe mood swings, and the anticipation of childbirth can make the third trimester a little less exciting for many women.

In the second trimester, you are still not too heavy to do most activities. You have crossed the sensitive first few weeks, and the doctor will lift most restrictions if they have given you any. Most women are over their morning sickness, too. During the second trimester, most women enjoy eating all the foods they crave, doing physical activities, and even travelling before the restrictions come up in the third trimester.

Changes in the Mother During the Second Trimester

In the second trimester, you can expect to experience the following changes in your body and mind:

  • Size – Your body is expanding to accommodate the growing fetus. As the baby grows inside, the uterus will start pushing against your organs to make space for the baby to grow. Now, don't worry about buying bigger-size clothes. Remember, your body is creating a whole new human inside.
  • Weight Gain – You will start gaining more weight than you did in the last few weeks. You might have lost a little weight if you suffered from morning sickness. Most women will regain the weight they lost in the first trimester and then gain some. Do not focus too much on the weight. Your body needs to gain weight to support the baby's weight.
  • Skin Changes – Many women will experience the infamous "pregnancy glow". However, not all women experience good skin during pregnancy. Some women may experience the negative impact of all the hormonal changes on their skin. You may see a flare-up of acne, dull skin and even melasma - more commonly known as a mask of pregnancy. Don't worry; most of this is temporary and will settle down once you deliver the baby, and the hormonal balance is restored.
  • Joint Pains – As the baby's weight increases, your back will take the load. If you do not maintain good posture, you may feel more pressure on your back. It is advisable to avoid standing or walking for long. Take small breaks from time to time. The hormonal changes will also affect the joints, leading to pain and stiffness.
  • Linea Nigra - The linea Nigra is a verticle dark line that forms on your abdomen during pregnancy. This line is distinct in colour for most women and extends from the naval to the pubic area. For some women, it can even extend further upwards towards their chest. The line fades away after the delivery.
  • Food Cravings – Your food cravings and aversions can get stronger. You may also eat more than before. This is not just a craving, your hunger will also increase to support the nutritional demands of the growing baby.

Changes in the Baby During the Second Trimester

During the pregnancy's second trimester, the fetus will go through the following changes:

  • Size of the fetus Your baby will grow almost 3 times in size this trimester. You can start seeing body parts in your pregnancy ultrasounds. Your baby will progress from the size of a lemon to the size of a cauliflower in this trimester.
  • Weight – Your baby will start gaining weight. As the fetus grows, the weight also increases correspondingly. By the end of the six-month period, your baby could weigh between 1 and 1.5 kg.
  • Body Parts – Your baby's body parts start developing and becoming visible in the ultrasounds. You can now make out not just hands and legs but tiny fingers, too. The medical professional performing your scans will check if the baby's nose, skull and abdomen are properly formed.
  • Movements – Your baby is getting bigger and stronger and will push harder against your body for some space. As a result, you can feel those kicks and punches stronger than before. Even a sudden jerky movement can cause a reaction in your baby. You can also feel your baby moving and rolling around inside. Sometimes, a very active fetus can even interrupt your sleep.

What to Expect in the Second Trimester?

A few more changes that can be expected in the second trimester are listed below:

  • ScansAn ultrasound in the second trimester will help examine the baby closely. The scan will check whether the baby's heart, body parts and placenta are all functioning properly.
  • Blood Tests – You may need one or two blood tests to check your blood glucose, blood pressure and hormonal changes. These tests help identify gestational diabetes, gestational hypertension, or other issues.
  • Doctor Check-ups – Your doctor check-ups will increase, and you may start the trimester by visiting once a week. However, the days between your check-ups will reduce as the pregnancy progresses.
  • Medications – If you are at risk of gestational diabetes or hypertension, your doctor might give you some medications for a few days to bring everything under control. They might even prescribe medications to improve deficiencies, if any.

What Should You Do During the Second Trimester?

If you are entering your second trimester, here is a quick checklist to follow:

  1. Ensure you eat healthy food and never go hungry. Acidity and digestion issues may not be comfortable during pregnancy.
  2. Ensure you drink enough water and stay hydrated. Your body needs many liquids to make blood and other essential nutrients for the baby.
  3. Pay attention to symptoms; if anything is even remotely concerning, consult your doctor immediately.
  4. Stomach pain during the second trimester is not normal. If you are experiencing this, you should check with your doctor or midwife.
  5. Stay active and follow a mild exercise routine after getting approval from your doctor. Not moving around can tighten your muscles and make delivery harder.
  6. Stay in well-ventilated spaces, as you can experience heat flashes. Without ventilation, you may feel lightheaded or dizzy.
  7. Follow the doctor's instructions regarding medications, diet, and exercise, and never miss any appointments. Ensure you take all the recommended scans, as they help identify potential issues as soon as possible.
  8. Go easy on yourself. Your body is busy making a baby, so don't expect it to function like or more than before. It is already doing a lot more than before.
  9. Never self-medicate or follow advice from non-professionals. Pregnancy is not the time to take risks or try new things.
  10. If you experience any upper stomach pain during the second trimester, do not ignore it

Also Read : Overcome downs and frowns of the third trimester


For many women, the second trimester is the best part of pregnancy. If it is difficult for you, remember you are not alone. There is nothing to worry about unless your doctor says so. There is not much you can control during your pregnancy. With an open mind and a little flexibility, you can enjoy the second trimester of pregnancy.


1. What are important tests during the second trimester?

Generally, your doctor will suggest an ultrasound during the second trimester to ensure the baby is developing as expected. You will also undergo blood tests to check your blood glucose, glucose tolerance, blood pressure and hCG levels.

2. What are the major developments in the second trimester?

During the second trimester, your baby will grow bigger and heavier and develop eyelids, eyelashes, nails, and hair. Their brain starts developing, they develop reflexes, and they start responding to some stimuli.

3. How can I check my baby's development during pregnancy?

Take all the recommended scans to ensure the baby is developing according to expectations. Track their movements, count the kicks from time to time, and pay attention to their movements.

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