What else happens during the second trimester? Read on for a handy overview.
What is the baby up to during the second trimester?
All the major organs may have formed by now, but the fetus still has plenty to work on! Shortly after the first trimester comes to an end, between 14 and 16 weeks of pregnancy, a fetus will begin sucking and swallowing some of the amniotic fluid that keeps it safe from outside influences. This swallowing is accompanied by the formation of the baby's first intestinal lining. This is called meconium and will later become the baby's first poop. Eyes and ears will move into the "correct" place at this point during the pregnancy. Your baby will start looking like a baby and stop looking like a tadpole. Finger prints, tiny soft nails, and and facial hair (eye lashes and eyebrows) will also appear during the second trimester, along with soft small hairs all over the body which will disappear again later on. Liver and pancreas will start working, and the brain develops rapidly. Lungs also start maturing in preparation for breathing after birth. The fetus will have been moving its arms and legs even in the first trimester, but the highlight of the second trimester is definitely that the mom will be able to feel fetal movement at some point during this stage of pregnancy. By the end of the second trimester, the fetus will even have settled down into a clear wake/sleep pattern!
Mom during the second trimester
The first trimester is widely recognized by mothers all over the world to be the most difficult stage of pregnancy. Morning sickness, extreme fatigue, mood swings and getting used to the idea that you are really going to have a baby are all rather intense!
The second trimester brings relief to many moms-to-be. During the second trimester, you can generally expect to feel an awful lot better. Those raging pregnancy hormones are becoming normal, and most women get a lot of the energy they seem to have lost back during this time.
What's more, most pregnant women start "showing" or developing a real baby bump during this time. This is a beautiful reminder that you are growing a baby, to other people as well everyone will now understand if you feel a bit tired or need to go to a prenatal appointment during work hours. Feeling your baby move is definitely a highlight of the second trimester. You can expect this anywhere between 14 and 20 weeks of your pregnancy, though first time mothers are more likely to experience the first flutters of fetal movement toward the later points of that scale. At first, you may think you feel your intestines.
Later on, it becomes very clear your baby is kicking! Besides these pregnancy signs, you may start developing stretch marks and notice other strange skin changes like the linea negra, a dark line on your abdomen. No matter how you feel about the changes your body is going through, your libido is probably also going to change. Some women don't want sex at all during their pregnancy, while others find the need to be closer to their partner than ever :). The second trimester will bring a few prenatal appointments with it, too. If you decided to opt to participate in any prenatal testing like the double and triple blood tests, or an amniocentesis, this will be the time. You will also have a crucial ultrasound to check how the fetus and placenta are developing, and if you have enough amniotic fluid. You may find out if your baby is a boy or a girl at this point.