Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Alternate Names : Middle Prenatal Period
Pregnancy is the process of childbearing. Measured from the start of a woman's last normal menstrual period (LMP), it usually lasts about 40 weeks or roughly 9 calendar months.
The second trimester of pregnancy encompasses weeks 14 through 27. Although most women undergo many of the same physical changes during this time, no two pregnancies are alike.
What is the information for this topic?
During the second trimester, continuing growth and development in mother and fetus cause many changes to occur.
Women may notice:
the abdomen begins to swell. By the end of the second trimester, the uterus is near the rib cage.
the skin on the abdomen and breasts stretches. Stretch marks may be visible.
movements made by the fetus. Known as quickening, this often occurs sometime around weeks 16 to 20.
a dark line forming from the navel down to the middle of the abdomen
brown, uneven marks on the face or other changes in skin pigment
darkening of the area around the nipples
Often, the second trimester delivers a welcome energy boost to women and an end to morning sickness. It may also bring:
nasal congestion and occasional nose bleeds
whitish vaginal discharge
less of a need to urinate often
increase in appetite
Braxton Hicks contractions in which the uterus becomes hard and tight and then relaxes
In the fetus:
growth continues quickly from now until birth
organs such as the heart and kidneys develop further
eyebrows and fingernails form
the skin is wrinkled and covered with fine hair
periods of activity and quiet occur as the fetus moves, kicks, sleeps, and wakes
By the end of the second trimester, the fetus is about 11 to 14 inches long and weighs about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds. It can swallow, hear, and urinate.
Although miscarriage in low-risk pregnancies is rare at this time, women sometimes have other problems in the second trimester, including:
high blood pressure, which may be a sign of preeclampsia
sugar in the urine. This may be a sign of gestational diabetes, a form of diabetes associated with pregnancy.
Each month of the second trimester of pregnancy, the healthcare provider will check:
the mother's height and weight
the fetal heartbeat
the size, shape, and height of the uterus
any swelling of the mother's hands and feet