The second trimester of pregnancy is from 14 weeks to 27 weeks, and even though this time is often referred to as the "honeymoon phase" of pregnancy, you and your baby undergo several big changes. For starters, the second trimester is when you physically start to "show" your pregnancy to the world, which brings its own set of challenges and excitement.
Second Trimester Experiences
Renewed energy - After the extreme fatigue many experience in the first trimester, the second trimester often brings a relief. Of course, you will still likely feel tired at times throughout pregnancy, as your body is working overtime, all the time.
Need for new clothes - With a growing belly, hips, and breasts, you're going to be in the market for some clothes that fit better and feel comfortable. This may be maternity clothes, or simply clothes that fit more loosely. If you upgrade your bra size, keep in mind that after birth, you will likely need to buy bras again in a bigger size.
Comments/questions from others - Now that your pregnancy is visible to others, you can expect to receive comments and questions from interested and well-meaning people. Sometimes this is appreciated and enjoyed, and other times, it's not. Soon enough, you'll learn how to expertly dodge unwanted small talk about your pregnancy.
Subsiding nausea/vomiting - If you were sick in the first trimester, the second trimester may bring relief. For some, however, it will not and you may experience nausea throughout pregnancy.
Baby movements - Somewhere around 16-20 weeks, you will start to feel baby move! In the beginning, movements feel subtle. Some report them feeling like little bubbles popping inside. Toward the end of your second trimester, baby's movements will feel more pronounced.
Braxton Hicks contractions - If you experience Braxton Hicks contractions, otherwise known as "practice" contractions in which your uterus tightens, hardens, and then releases, you may start to notice these toward the end of the second trimester. No need to worry -- it's not the real thing, just your body gearing up! However, if contractions become more frequent and regular, and bring increased pain, contact your OB or midwife to make sure you're not experiencing premature labor.
Round ligament pain - As your uterus expands and your body stretches to cope with the growth, you are more likely to experience sharp lower pains in your abdomen as you move and change positions. This is known as round ligament pain. Moving more slowly and mindfully as you change positions can help you avoid these pains.
Back pain - As your uterus expands and weight shifts in your body, you may start to notice lower back pain. Wearing a back brace can help, as can regular exercise, especially prenatal yoga and pilates, both of which focus on proper form and alignment to help alleviate common pregnancy discomforts.
Emotions - As increased hormones and high emotions become your new normal, you may get used to your new pregnancy state of feeling. But as the second trimester brings about several body shape changes, some may find it difficult to adjust to those changes. Remember that pregnancy is a time of immense change for the purpose of growing your baby. Many of those changes are temporary -- your body will one day return to being more like your pre-pregnancy self.
20 week ultrasound - At 20 weeks, most people attend a 20 week anatomy scan to make sure baby is developing as he/she should. During this time, if you wish to do so, you can also find out baby's sex.
Breasts may leak - During the second trimester, your breasts are already starting to make milk! They are forming the first nutrient rich milk called colostrum, and in doing so, may leak small amounts throughout the day (or not).
Renewed/increased sexual interest - Some people report feeling more sexual during the second trimester, which is a result of a surge of hormones coupled with renewed energy and less nausea. Some people also report not feeling increased sexuality throughout pregnancy, too, so keep your expectations open -- either feeling is ok and normal.
Second Trimester Happenings for Your Baby
During your second trimester, your baby experiences big changes, too! At different times during the second trimester, baby will start to:
- Grow hair
- Suck, swallow
Second Trimester To-Dos
The second trimester is a great time to take care of several pregnancy, pre-birth, and pre-baby to-dos. Take a look at some of the most important and most popular things to do in the second trimester.
- Hire a doula
- Sign up for a childbirth class (to take in the third trimester)
- Exercise regularly
- Eat well
- Plan your baby shower
- Create a baby registry
- Consider baby names
- Prep baby's room
- Schedule a maternity photo shoot (to do in the third trimester)
- Take pics of your growing, changing bump (you'll wish you had if you don't!)
Everyone receives their second trimester a little differently, but everyone experiences some major changes during this time. Don't worry or track if your experience of the second trimester is different than someone else's -- just like the journey of life takes its own path for each person, so too does pregnancy.