Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Guide To Weeks 13 to 27

2nd trimester Second Trimester Pictures

second trimester pregnancy

Baby at 6 Months (24 weeks)

Second Trimester of Pregnancy


What Can I Expect To Happen?

4th Month: Weeks 13 to 17
5th Month: Weeks 18 to 22
6th Month: Weeks 23 to 27

Return To Main Guides

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Trimesters
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester


Finally you are coming to the end of the first trimester of pregnancy and arriving in the second. Most women find this second period the most enjoyable part of their pregnancy. The second trimester is the first time you are likely to feel your baby move, an exciting milestone. Some of the unpleasant earlier pregnancy symptoms, such as morning sickness and mood swings are probably abating, or even disappearing. Your energy levels will be picking up and you will have less need to run to the toilet every hour.

4th Month: Weeks 13 to 17

What May Happen to You

By week 17 your belly will start to look more pregnant. Your uterus has now grown to the size of a melon and is large enough to push out of the pelvic cavity. This gives your body the first real appearance of the pregnant shape. It is also probably the first time you go shopping for maternity clothes. Other issues you may encounter:

• Increased appetite.
• Swollen ankles, feet and sometimes hands and face.
Varicose veins in pregnancy.
• Sensitive gums.
Hemorrhoids in pregnancy.
• Your breasts continue to grow but they may become less sensitive.
• You might start to ask: When should I start wearing maternity clothes? or how early does nipple discharge start in pregnancy?

Your Baby

By week 17 your baby is about the size of the palm of your hand: 13cm long and about 5 ounces/142 grams in weight. The baby's eyes are still sealed shut but they start making side to side movements and can perceive some light. The baby becomes sensitive to touch and is likely to squirm if you poke your belly. He/she makes sucking motions with the mouth (so-called sucking reflex).

5th Month: Weeks 18 to 22

Chances are this month you will feel your baby move for the first time. That movement, coupled with a rapidly rounding tummy, will help pregnancy feel more like a reality. Although your baby still has a lot of developing to do, this is the time when you may start to really bond.

What May Happen to You

• Increasing vaginal discharge.
Back pain while pregnant is very common, as well as hip, pelvic and/or groin pains. Change in posture as your baby grows.
• Varicose veins.
• Change in skin color on the face or stomach. Stretch marks appearing as the skin expands.
Constipation in Pregnancy is also common, as well as bouts of diarrhea.
• Heartburn, acid reflux, bloating and/or flatulence.
• Leg cramps or other pregnancy cramps.
• Fewer mood swings, but bouts of absentmindedness.

It is worth checking out pregnancy tips for ways on minimizing the worst effects.

Your Baby

By week 22 your baby is nearly 20cm long, the size of a small doll and weighs 25 ounces/453 grams/1.5 pounds. He/she may start practicing gripping by pulling on the umbilical cord (lets face it, there's not much else to do in there!). Your baby's eyes are still closed but they become more aware of light. If you shine a flash light on your belly, you may feel your baby react, trying to move away from the sudden brightness. Your baby can hear your voice, and tastes pretty much everything you do, so this is why it is important to follow a balanced nutritious diet. Eyebrows, eyelashes, toenails and fingernails have formed, so the baby can even scratch itself.

6th Month: Weeks 23 to 27

By the sixth month, baby is doing a lot of moving and is starting to pack some force into his/her punches. These junior calisthenics, particularly when combined with bouts of hiccups, may become the first form of family entertainment! Although you are two thirds of the way through your pregnancy, you are still relatively light enough to move around. Your uterus is the size of a basketball by now. Enjoy the freedom before your last trimester! (See third trimester of pregnancy).

What May Happen to You

• More fetal action.
• Nasal and congestion, occasional nose bleeds.
• Sensitive gums.
• Aches in the lower back.
• Leg cramps. Avoid taking aspirin during pregnancy as a painkiller.
• Itchy abdomen. If you also have nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, jaundice or severe fatigue combined with itching, call your doctor. These can be signs of a serious liver problem.
• Mom's body changes may start to include stretch marks.
• Increased appetite.
• Breasts continue to grow, see pregnancy breast changes.
• Trouble sleeping, finding it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.
• Emotionally, mixed feelings: excitement, boredom, some anxiety about the future.
• Some swelling of hands, fingers and face. If you suddenly gain a lot of weight or notice extreme swelling, contact your doctor as this could indicate preeclampsia.
• A line on the skin which runs from the belly button to pubic hairline.
• Patches of darker skin on the face, nose or upper lip. (Sometimes called the mask of pregnancy).

Your Baby

By week 27 your baby is a whopping 38 cm from head to toe. Weight continues to climb and by the end of month six, the baby weighs about 32 ounces/900 grams/1.9 pounds. Interestingly enough, at this point your baby has more taste buds than it will when born. This means baby is highly sensitive to the food you eat, so for example, if you have a curry, the spice-kick could give the baby hiccups.

Always discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your OB/GYN or pregnancy healthcare team.

  Related Articles on PREGNANCY TRIMESTERS

For more advice on having a safe 9 months, see the following:

Travel during Pregnancy - Last time to fly before the baby is born.
Flu during Pregnancy - Colds and flu medications.
Prenatal Care Guide - OB/GYN visits, costs, ultrasound scans.
Pregnancy After 35 - Weighing the risks and benefits.
Tylenol while pregnant - Is it safe?

Return to Homepage: Womens Health Advice

Please Note: Information provided on this site is no substitute for professional medical help. See Disclaimer.
Copyright. All rights reserved.