The worst is over! The best is yet to come…
Once you past the first trimester of pregnancy it’s such a relief. For a lot of expecting moms, the second trimester is the best one. In the pregnancy outline, I will guide you through what to expect the next few weeks and give you a glimpse of what’s in store for you as your body continues to change and your fetus continues to grow into a beautiful baby.
The second trimester is the period of pregnancy categorized as weeks 14 – 27. There will be a lot of growing and changing and at this time and you will really start to see that glow and round belly. Take a look at what’s going on during weeks 14 – 20.
The unattractive symptoms of the first trimester will dissipate and you will finally start to feel like the beautiful pregnant mom to be you are as everyone else will start to see your growing belly as well.
At this point, the risk for miscarriage as dropped significantly and this is the time that you can feel at ease and make your pregnancy announcement to family and friends.
If you haven’t done so already, you will also want to schedule your prenatal visit and start taking your prenatal vitamins to help assist with your healthy pregnancy.
As you enter this trimester in your 14th week, you now have 26 weeks left to go in your pregnancy.
By week 14 you are in your fourth month of pregnancy. Your baby is about the size of an orange, can start to move its face as the muscles are fully functioning, (look at that smile) the genitals are developed, and baby starts to grow hair around their body. As the hair grows and covers the babies body, this is known as lanugo. This coat of hair will keep your baby warm as it continues to grow over the next few months. Don’t worry, it normally sheds away before baby is born.
For you this week, you will start to feel a little more like yourself, (aside from the growing baby) and all of those annoying symptoms you had to deal with should be starting to go away. You’re also making fewer trips to the bathroom since your uterus has moved up into your abdomen. You could feel some dull achy pains on the sides of your abdomen which is known as round ligament pain, but not so much that you will be impaired. This is due to the muscles in your abdomen stretching to fit your growing belly.
You may have an increased appetite since the morning sickness is going away and your breasts may still be growing but the tenderness should subside if not yet then within the next couple of weeks.
As baby reaches the size of a pear, this is an exciting week for it, as is each week. But by week 15 your baby’s skeleton can actually be seen on an x-ray. That’s awesome, right? Your baby is also at work kicking, sucking, doing somersaults, and working on breathing so it will be able to do all of those things once it is out in our world. Their getting plenty of practice right now, although you won’t be able to really notice much of it since baby is still so small.
For you this week, you may notice some swelling and redness in your gums. This is absolutely normal. You may even see a small red bump on your gums called a pregnancy tumor. This is also normal as the hormones in your body are hard at work.
Taking care of your teeth at any time, but even more now is necessary. It’s easier when you are expecting for gingivitis to progress into an infection so make sure to brush twice a day, floss, and schedule your regular cleanings with your dentist. Neglecting to take care of your dental hygiene during pregnancy could lead to such impacts such as preeclampsia or premature labor.
Now that you are in the second trimester and starting to eat a little more you may notice that you will also start to gain some weight. This is the time to do so, but try not to go overboard with “eating for two.” You want to aim to gain about a pound a week, or average at about four pounds a month, but don’t worry too much about jumping on the scale, you should be just fine with getting your weigh ins at your prenatal visits.
You are now 16 weeks with only 24 left to go. This is probably one of the most exciting weeks for moms and dads to be because by week 16 your baby’s gender could be revealed on an ultrasound. Yaah! Time to start looking at those cute baby girl or baby boy names.
Click Here To Read The Cutest Unique Baby Names – 60 Beautiful And Unusual Names You Are Sure To Love
At this time, your baby may be able to tell when you’re in the light or dark since they are starting to perceive light. But the eyes still remain closed for now. Imagine your little bundle sucking its thumb. That’s a pretty sight, and right now, they could have already started. Another exciting fact for baby this week is that it’s heart can pump over 20 quarts of blood a day. Those little heart muscles are hard at work getting baby ready for the real world.
You may start to notice a rounding in your belly (that’s not from the donuts you’ve been consuming.) You baby is growing at a steady rate and is about the size of an avocado this week. You’ll continue to see growth in your breasts but not tenderness and you may start experiencing some constipation, this is normal. An over the counter stool softener should do the trick. (not laxative) If you are feeling uneasy about buying any over the counter drugs talk to your doctor and have them guide you on which ones are best.
Another not so great symptom is an increase in vaginal discharge. I know this sucks mommy to be, but it’s all good. You want this discharge because as I mentioned in the first trimester post, it protects the birth canal from getting infections.
You’ll still see some redness in your gums and could have some bleeding, this is normal, just continue to practice good oral hygiene to avoid gingivitis.
Backaches are increasing at this time, and this is to be expected since your belly is growing bigger and your muscles are supporting more weight. This would be a good time to schedule a prenatal massage or take a warm bath.
If you are struggling with a stuffy or dry nose at this time, (which is normal) a humidifier could help. You could experience some nosebleeds, using a Neti pot could help with moistening up your nose.
This week your baby is about the size of a large onion, but far from smelly. Baby continues to progress in development and size is at the stage where he or she is practicing swallowing to get ready for their first feeding.
Excitingly, baby can probably hear your voice this week as the ears are almost finished forming and are starting to pick up sounds. Along with that, you baby is starting to put on a little more weight at fat stores start to develop under the skin. Now that the brain is calling the shots, your baby’s heart beat is becoming more regular and is going at about 140 beats per minute.
Here in your fourth week of pregnancy, some symptoms that are in full force are you increased appetite. This is okay, your baby is growing and needs more nutrition for those developing muscles and fat that storing up for when they are born. You also need more fuel since your body is creating a human. Try to get in your fiber to help combat that constipation.
You could start to see some small stretch marks here and here. Yes, I know. What we all dread about pregnancy, the mark that is left behind. Take this as a good sign that your baby is healthily growing and your body is doing its job to support another human being.
The occasional headache could have you feeling a bit under but don’t hesitate to take some Tylenol. Still feeling a bit wary about OTC meds? Ask your doctor for recommendations on what you could take during pregnancy.
Continue to drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated to avoid dehydration. And last for this week, try not to eat too close to going to bed. Heartburn could have you tossing and turning all night. Give yourself sometime after eating to let your food digest, and this would be a good time to go for an evening walk.
By 18 weeks you are finally in your fifth month of pregnancy with only four months to go. Your baby is weighing in between five and six ounces, about five inches long, and is about the size of a cucumber. Pretty neat, huh? Your little one has grown so much over the past 18 weeks and your body has been hard at work.
By this week, your baby has developed tiny fingerprints on its fingers and toes. If you haven’t felt it already, you may start to feel some small kicks soon as your baby is bouncing around and doing flips. Baby has also started yawning and probably has had a hiccup or two by now. Pretty soon you’ll be feeling those too.
I remember feeling my baby hiccup every night before I went to bed.
As your baby continues to grow, your uterus continues to expand. Now’s a good time to start buying some maternity clothes if you haven’t already started. By now, back aches are in full swing as your body is changing to accommodate your growing baby and this could be affecting your posture and center of gravity.
You will find that you get used to it very quickly and will soon be handling pregnancy like a pro! If back pain is just too much, try taking a warm bath to help you relax and get rid of some of that pain. You can also talk to your doctor and see what she recommends.
For symptoms this week, you could feel some leg cramps, bloating and gas, swelling in your feet and ankles (edema) and more stretch marks. Try some light stretching before going to bed to try to avoid those charley horses in the middle of the night.
I remember screaming in horror when I would stretch during sleeping and feel that muscle spasm come on. Believe me, you don’t want that and for some reason it seems to be inevitable for pregnant moms to be in the second and third trimester.
To avoid edema, avoid standing for too long and when sitting, try to put your feet up. Because you are pregnant, your body needs extra fluid for you and baby so that means that if you are standing for long periods of time, the fluid will collect in your ankles and feet. Oh, no. You don’t want that.
You can’t avoid the stretch marks because your baby is growing and your skin is stretching, but you can try a cream to help with reducing the marks, I’ve also heard that rubbing olive oil on your belly works well for this too.
This week your baby continues to pack on the ounces. Weighing in at 8 ounces and 6 inches long, you baby is about the size of a mango.
You know when you stay in water too long your hands and feet get wrinkly and shriveled?
Well, by this time that can also happen to your baby since they are in fact living in liquid for their entire development. The good news is that by 19 weeks pregnant your baby’s skin is covered in what is known as “vernix caseosa” This is a coating that protects the skin from being wrinkled at birth.
vernix caseosa – a greasy, white, cheese-like coating that protects baby’s skin and sheds as delivery approaches. It’s made up of lanugo (the hair covering your baby), oil from your baby’s glands and dead skin cells. (sounds gross!! But we’re thankful for it, without it your baby would look like a prune.)
Bronchioles, which are the main airwaves developing in your baby’s lungs are starting to form this week. Soon enough you’ll be able to hear those lungs scream out for you. And if you haven’t felt it already, you may be able to feel some kicks and flutters from your baby. Don’t worry if you haven’t felt them yet though. This can happen any time between 18 – 22 weeks and depending on how your baby is positioned it may be harder for your to feel it.
For you this week, things pretty much remain the same on the forefront. Things to expect will be an increased appetite, more stretch marks (yes I said more). Possible constipation. Dizziness due to the reduced blood going to your brain, backaches, and stuffy nose.
These are all symptoms that are to be expected in pregnancy and after a few weeks you will learn tricks that will help you to manage your pregnancy symptoms and live normally as your baby grows.
You are half-way through your pregnancy. 20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go! You are still in your fifth month of pregnancy and only have four months to go. Your baby has gained a whopping 2 ounces now weighing in at 10 ounces and sized six and a half inches. That fat is starting to pack on.
If you’re itching to know the sex of the baby and haven’t found out yet, now would be a good time to schedule an ultrasound and plan your gender reveal party. Is it a BOY or Girl??
If you’re having a girl, her uterus is fully formed and her vaginal canal is starting to develop. She also has ovaries with little eggs, millions of them. If you are having a boy, the testicles have begun to descent but they will remain in the abdomen until the scrotum is finished growing. Probably another couple of weeks.
Your symptoms this week remain the same as your body is hard at work growing your bundle of joy. You can expect to continue experiencing heartburn and indigestion, occasional headaches, leg cramps, dizziness, and swelling in your feet and ankles (edema). Remember to not stand on your feet for too long and when you are sitting, prop your feet up and get comfy.
To avoid leg cramps, some light stretching before bed should do the trick. Avoid eating right before bed to dodge heartburn, but if you still get hit with it, take a look at my list of safe medications to use during pregnancy or ask your doctor for a recommendation. Taking a short walk after dinner could also help and it’s a good idea to get in some exercise for you and baby.
You will continue to get some dizziness due to the lack of blood flowing to your brain, this can also happen if you are not cool enough. Your body is creating a lot of heat so try wearing comfortable loose fitted clothes and take breaks to go out and get some fresh air.
New to report this week is your belly button. For some women, their Innie could become an Outie. This didn’t happen to me but it does happen for some moms to be. This happens when your uterus pushes your abdomen forward but it goes back to normal when you deliver your baby.
Congratulations on getting this far in your pregnancy. With half down and half to go, this is a good time to start looking at baby names and ideas for your nursery. And don’t forget your gender reveal party.
Share Your Experience
How are you doing in your pregnancy? Do you have any or all of the symptoms listed here? If you have any questions about pregnancy or want to share your experience please feel free to leave a comment below. I would love to hear what you have to say.
Thanks for reading my latest post.