Second trimester

Second trimester of pregnancy

 

The middle third of pregnancy is the time when you feel the first fetal movements. Your baby is starting to look like a real person, with hair, even eyelashes, and the behave like one when it starts to suck its thumb. After week 24 of pregnancy the baby is considered legally viable, that is, it is capable of sustaining independent life special care.
 
In the second trimester, your baby will grow steadily and the basic structures and organ systems that were established in the first trimester will be further developd and consolidated. The overall size of the fetus will increase three- to four-fold, and it's weight a dramatic 30-fold. Although over the coming weeks you will begin to look noticeably pregnant, this is often the time of renewed energy, good health and a sense of wellbeing.

14 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s reproductive system is the site of most of the action when you're 14 weeks pregnant. If you’re having a boy, his prostate gland is developing. It you’re having a girl, her ovaries are moving down her abdomen into her pelvis. In addition, because the thyroid gland is now functioning, your baby starts producing hormones this week. By the end of week14 of pregnancy, the roof of your baby's mouth (palate) will be completely formed.

 

14 weeks pregnantYou and your body in week 14 of pregnancy

You are now beginning the second trimester when you should start experiencing what is known as mid-pregnancy bloom. You will be feeling better about everything. If your sex drive has diminished over the last few months it will probably return and sex may be better than ever.

Your growing baby - Week 14

The baby is beginning to look human as the chin, forehead, and nose become more clearly defined. It can now turn its head and even wrinkle it's brow. The baby may even respond to external stimulus by actually moving away when the doctor or midwife feels your abdomen. The baby is now 3.4 inches (8,7 cm) long and weighs about 1.5 ounce (43 grams)

15 weeks pregnant

Eyebrows and hair on your baby’s scalp are starting to appear this week. If your baby is going to have dark hair, the hair follicles may begin making the pigment that will give the hair its dark color. Your baby’s eyes and ears now have a baby-like appearance, and the ears have almost reached their final position, although they’re still riding a little low on the head. Your baby’s skin is adding hair follicles and accessory glands, but it is still very thin. The bone and marrow that make up baby s skeletal system continue to develop this week. Muscle development is continuing, too. By the end of the week 15 of pregnancy, your baby will be able to make a fist.

 

15 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 15 of pregnancy

Your heart has enlarged to cope with the increased amount of blood circulating in your body and the baby's need for oxygen, and has increased its output by 20 per cent. You will be feeling more energetic than before and now is a good time to have a holiday before the birth.

Your growing baby - Week 15

When 15 weeks pregnant, the fetal skeleton of the baby is developing and its legs are now longer than its arms. The hair on its head is becoming thicker and it has eyelashes as well as eyebrows. The baby can probably hear now and the amniotic fluid makes an excellent sound conductor, so it will be able to hear your stomach rumbling and your heart beating as well as the sound of your voice. The baby is 4 inches (10 cm) long and now weighs around 2.5 ounces (71 grams)

16 weeks pregnant

The skeletal and nervous system have made enough connections to signal movements of the limbs and body. In addition, your baby’s facial muscles are now well enough developed to allow for a variety of expressions. Inside your uterus, your baby may be squinting or frowning at you, although these movements aren’t conscious expressions of emotions. Your baby’s skeletal system continues to develop as more calcium is deposited on the bones.

 

16 weeks pregnant

If you're having a girl, millions ot eggs are forming in her ovaries this week. Beginning at 16 weeks, your baby’s eyes are sensitive to light. Although you probably don’t even know it, your baby may be having frequent bouts of the hiccups. Hiccups often develop before your baby performs lung movements associated with breathing. Because your baby’s trachea is filled with fluid rather than air, the hiccups don’t make that characteristic hiccup sound.

You and your body - Week 16

You may feel your baby’s first movements around this time. These early movements are like a fluttering, bubbling sensation. You may notice the beginning of the linea nigra, a dark line which appears down the centre of your abdomen. This will disappear after the birth.

Your growing baby when 16 weeks pregnant

The baby will be moving around frequently now, although you may have only just started to feel this. The body will became covered in a fine downy hair called lanugo, which is thought to maintain the right body temperature. It is possible to tell a baby's sex now through an ultrasound scan. When 16 weeks pregnant, the baby is around 4.6 inches (11,5 cm) long and weighs around 3.5 ounces (105 grams).

17 weeks pregnant

In week 17 of your pregnancy the eyebrows and the hair on your baby’s scalp continue to appear. The baby also continues to experience bouts of the hiccups. Although you aren’t able to hear them, you may begin to feel them, especially if this is your second baby. When you are 17

 

17 weeks pregnant

weeks pregnant, brown fat starts to develop under your baby’s skin. This will help keep your baby warm after birth, when the temperature change from your uterus to the outside world will be quite noticeable, to say the least. Your baby will add more layers of fat in the later months of your pregnancy.

You and your body - Week 17 of pregnancy

Your waistline will have completely disappeared and you may have begun to develop stretch marks. Bleeding gums may be a problem, so if you haven't had a dental check-up now is the time to go. If you work, you should start thinking about when you intend to leave and whether you will want to return.

Your growing baby - Week 17

Your baby’s limbs are fully formed in week 17, as well as the skin and muscle. Its taste buds are beginning to develop so that it will be able to distinguish sweet from non—sweetened fluid. After 17 week of pregnancy, the baby is about 5.1 inches (13 cm) long and weighs around 5 ounces (145 grams)

18 weeks pregnant

During week 18 of your pregnancy your baby’s bones begin to harden, a process called ossification. Bones in your baby’s legs and inner ear are among the first to ossify. With the bones in the inner ear now developed enough to function and the nerve endings from your baby’s brain now hooked up to the ears, your baby can hear sounds. He or she may hear your heart beating, your stomach rumbling or blood moving through the umbilical cord. Your baby may even become startled by loud noises.

 

18 weeks pregnant

Your little one can also now swallow. Inside your uterus, your baby may be swallowing a good dose of amniotic fluid every day. Scientists think this may help keep your amniotic fluid at the appropriate, constant level.

You and your body in week 18

You should be able to feel the movements quite clearly when you are 18 weeks pregnant. Your nose may become blocked as pregnancy causes the membranes inside the nasal passages to swell. You may also notice an increase in vaginal discharge. You will find that there are several physical changes besides the predictable weight gain.

Your growing baby when 18 weeks pregnant

The skin is still wrinkled because the baby hasn't started to gain body fat and is very active. It is becoming aware of sounds outside the uterus and you may be able to feel it jumping at unexpected noises. The baby is now, when you are 18 weeks pregnant, around 5.6 inches (14 cm) long and weighs about 6.75 ounces (195 grams)

19 weeks pregnant

During week 19 your baby’s skin becomes covered with a slippery white, fatty coating called vernix caseosa, or vernix for short. Vernix helps protect the baby's delicate skin, keeping it from becoming chapped or scratched. Under the vernix, fine, down-like hair called lanugo covers your baby’s skin.

 

Your baby’s kidneys are now developed enough to make urine. The urine is excreted into your amniotic sac, the bag of waters inside your uterus that contains your baby and your amniotic fluid. Unlike your urine, your baby’s urine is completely sterile because he or she is living in a sterile environment. Therefore, when your baby swallows amniotic fluid containing urine, it is not a problem. His or her hearing is now well developed. The baby is probably hearing lots of different sounds, maybe even your conversations. Mom's voice is by far the most prominent in any conversation. If you sing or talk to your baby, it’s reasonable to think he or she might notice. It’s less clear whether your baby is able to recognize particular sounds.

19 weeks pregnantYour baby’s brain continues to develop millions of motor neurons, nerves that help the muscles and brain communicate. As a result, the baby now may make conscious muscle movements, such as sucking a thumb or moving his or her head, as well as involuntary movements. You may or may not be able to feel these movements yet. If you haven’t, you will soon.

You and your body in week 19 of pregnancy

You have started to put weight on your bottom, hips, and thighs as well as your abdomen. Tiny veins may start appearing on your lace. These are very small broken blood vessels which are caused by circulation changes. They will disappear after the birth.

Your growing baby - Week 19

The baby is starting to put on weight and its rapid rate of growth has begun to slow down. The milk teeth have developed in the gums and the buds for the permanent teeth are beginning to form. The baby is around 6 inches (15,2 cm) long and weighs about 8.5 ounces (240 grams)

20 weeks pregnant

The baby’s skin is thickening and developing layers this week, under the protection of the vernix. Skin layers include the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin; the dermis, the middle layer, which makes up 90 percent of the skin; and the subcutis, the deepest layer of skin, made up mostly of fat. Your baby’s hair and nails continue to grow. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you would see a fetus remarkably baby-like in appearance, with thin eyebrows, hair on the scalp and rather well-developed limbs.

 

20 weeks pregnant

Now, 20 weeks pregnant,  you've probably begun to feel your baby’s movements. Make a note of the date, and tell your care provider at your next visit. While most of baby’s organs are structurally developed or nearing development, your baby is still quite small. But by the end of this month, he or she will finally pass the 1 pound mark!

You and your body - Week 20 

Your uterus is enlarging quite rapidly now so that you look pregnant. Your navel may be flattened or pushed out and it will stay this way until after the birth. Heartburn may start to become a problem because the uterus is starting to push against your stomach.

Your growing baby - Week 20

Vernix, a white greasy substance, is starting to form over the baby’s skin to protect it from the amniotic fluid. This usually wears off before the birth, but sometimes traces at it can be seen. At this stage in your pregnancy the baby weighs around 10.6 ounces (300 grams) and measures about 6.5 inches (16,5 cm).

21 weeks pregnant

In week 21 the baby begins to absorb small amounts of sugar from the amniotic fluid he or she swallows during the day. These sugars pass through your baby’s digestive system, which is now developed enough to handle them. Any processing of the sugars, however, is only done as practice. The Baby is still completely dependent on the placenta for his or her nourishment.

 

Also this week, your baby’s bone marrow starts to make blood cells. The bone marrow works along with the liver and spleen, which have been responsible, up to this point, for making blood cells.

21 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 21

You should be able to see your abdomen ripple as the baby moves. You may be feeling slightly breathless as your expanding ribcage pushes upwards, giving your lungs less room. You will probably be feeling energetic so now is the time to tackle things such as planning the nursery.

 

Your growing baby - Week 21

The baby is very active now and you will probably be able to feel it kicking quite easily. If this disturbs you at night, stroke your tummy and talk to the baby because it will be soothed by the sound at your voice. The baby is now around 10.5 inches (26,5 cm) long and weighs about 12.8 ounces (365 grams).

 

22 weeks pregnant

The senses of taste and touch advance in week 22 of your pregnancy. Taste buds are starting to form on your baby’s tongue, and his or her brain and nerve endings are now mature enough to process the sensation of touch. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you might see him or her experimenting with this new found sense of touch — feeling his or her face, sucking a thumb or touching other body parts.

 

Your baby’s reproductive system is continuing to develop. If you're having a boy this week his testes begin to descend from the abdomen down to the scrotum. If you’re having a girl, her uterus and ovaries are now in place, and her vagina is developed. Your baby girl has already made all of the eggs she’ll need for her own reproductive life.

22 weeks pregnant

You and your body - Week 22 

Your lower ribs are starting to cause you pain as they get pushed outwards by your growing baby and your expanding uterus. Your ribcage rises by a small amount as it is pushed upward. To minimize the discomfort try sitting up as straight as you can or lifting your arms above your head. This is an ideal time to investigate the different methods that you can use to ease discomfort now and during labour and birth.

Your growing baby - Week 22

Your baby is getting larger every day. Eyelids, and even the eyebrows, are developed. Fingernails are also visible. Your baby's organ system are becoming specialized for their particular functions. Consider the liver. The function of the fetal liver is different from that of an adult. Enzymes (chemicals) are made in an adult liver that are important in various body functions. In the fetus, these enzymes are present but in lower levels than those present after birth.

23 weeks pregnant

During week 23 of the pregnancy,  the baby’s lungs develop rapidly beginning preparation for life on the outside. The lungs are beginning to produce a substance that lines the air sacs called surfactant. This substance allows the air sacs to inflate easily. It also keeps them from collapsing and sticking together when they deflate.

 

If your baby was born before this time, the lungs would have had no chance of working. Now it’s possible that the lungs could function to some degree outside the womb, however, your baby would need a lot more surfactant to handle breathing air without help. In addition, the blood vessels in your baby's lungs are growing and developing in preparation for breathing. He or she is making breathing movements, but these are just trial runs.

Your baby is still receiving oxygen through your placenta. There’s no air in the lungs until after birth. Although your baby now looks like a baby he or she is still slender and delicate looking, with little body fat and thin, nearly translucent skin. Later in your pregnancy when fat production catches up to skin production, your baby will grow into this skin and will look more like an infant. Babies born at 23 weeks can sometimes survive if they receive the appropriate medical care in a neonatal intensive care unit.

23 weeks pregnant

But complications are common and usually serious. On the bright side, the long-term outlook for premature babies is improving each year as knowledge in the field of neonatal medicine continues to expand. But there’s no doubt that at this age, baby is far better off staying in the uterus, if at all possible.

You and your body - Week 23

The baby can be felt through your abdominal wall and the midwife or doctor will palpate your abdomen to see how the baby is lying. You may occasionally feel a pain rather like a stitch down the side of your stomach. This is the uterine muscle stretching and it will go away after you have had a rest.

Your growing baby - Week 23

The baby is beginning to look as it will at birth, with the head more in proportion to the body. In a boy, the scrotum is now well developed and in a girl the ovaries already contain several million eggs. (These will reduce to around two million at birth and will carry on decreasing until puberty) The baby is around 11.4 inches (29 cm) long and weighs approximately 1.1 pound (501 grams)

24 weeks pregnant

This week your baby is beginning to get a sense of whether he or she is upside-down or right side up inside your amniotic sac. That’s because your baby's inner ear, which controls balance in the body is now developed. By the 

 

24th week of your pregnancy your baby is about 8 inches long and weighs about 1 pound. Babies born at 24 weeks have a greater than 50-50 chance of survival, and the odds get better with every passing week, still, complications are frequent and serious.

24 weeks pregnant

This month, your little boy or girl will add more body fat, which will make his or her skin look more smooth and less wrinkled. The skin will also begin to take on a little more color.

 

You and your body - Week 24

You will noticeably be putting on weight. Your feet and legs may start to feel the strain of carrying this extra weight, so make sure that you wear comfortable shoes and that you get plenty of rest.

Your growing baby - Week 24

Vigorous movements followed by periods of quiet will start to occur as the baby develops its own waking and resting periods. The pattern that develops now may well continue after the birth so it’s a good idea to monitor it for a few days to see how it compares with the sleep pattern once the baby is born. The heartbeat can be heard with an ordinary stethoscope and the baby can hear you clearly when you speak. It is now around 11.8 inches (30 cm) long and weighs about 1.3 pound (600 grams)

25 weeks pregnant

At this time, your baby’s hands are now fully developed, complete with miniature fingernails and the ability to curl his or her fingers into a tiny fist. This week, he or she is probably using these hands to discover different body parts.

 

25 weeks pregnant

Your little one is exploring the environment and structures inside your uterus, including the umbilical cord. The nerve connections to your baby’s hands have a long way to go, however if she or he wants to grasp a big toe, success will be an accident.

You and your body - Week 25 

When you are around 25 weeks pregnant, you should be look rosy-cheeked and healthy because of the increase in blood circulation under the skin. Pressure from the growing uterus on the bladder means that you need to make frequent trips to the lavatory. Cramp, heartburn and backache are often problems now.

Your growing baby - Week 25

The fetal brain cells continue to develop and become more sophisticated and the bone centres are beginning to harden. The baby actively practises breathing, inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid, as more air sacs develop in the lungs. When too much amniotic fluid is swallowed, you may feel a hiccup. When you are 25 weeks pregnant, the baby is about 13.6 inches (35 cm) long and weighs around 1.5 pound (660 grams)

26 weeks pregnant

Week 26 lashes are now well formed, and the hair on his or her head is longer and more plentiful. Your baby still looks red and wrinkled, but more fat is accumulating under the skin with each passing day. As your baby continues to gain weight over the next 14 weeks until birth, this wrinkly suit of skin will become a better fits.

26 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s footprints and fingerprints are now formed. All the components that make up the eyes have developed, but your baby probably won’t open his or her eyes for about two more weeks.

You and your body - Week 26

If you are working you need to decide when you are going to stop. Remember that you should notify your employer in writing by the end of the 15th week before your baby is due. Your partner must also tell his employer if he intends to take Paternity Leaver. If you haven't started taking regular exercise you should now, because this will help prepare your body for the rigours of labour.

Your growing baby - Week 26

Although still appearing rather scrawny, the baby is beginning to lay down fat under the skin. This fat will help regulate body temperature now and after the birth. The baby is around 14 inches (35,5 cm) long and weighs approximately 1.7 pound (750 grams)