The second trimester (weeks 14 to 27) is a time of rapid change for both Mom and baby. It is also a welcome relief from many of the symptoms of early pregnancy, and for most women, this is the part of the pregnancy where they feel best.
Changes to Your Body
Over the course of your second trimester, your baby bump will go from barely there to unmistakable. Expect to gain about one pound per week as your belly swells to accommodate your rapidly growing baby. In most women, morning sickness subsides early in the second trimester, however, you may still experience constipation or heartburn.
New symptoms during this time tend to be mild and include nasal congestion, swelling of the feet and ankles, dizziness, and dull pain in the lower abdomen as your belly grows. Some women will develop varicose veins and hemorrhoids (which are a type of varicose vein).
During these three months, your baby is growing much more quickly than before, going from 3.5 inches to over 14 inches long! By week 21, you may finally begin feeling little kicks and jabs. Your baby’s heartbeat will become regular and he/she will begin to see, smell and hear. Hair is beginning to grow, including eyebrows and lashes.
Medical Care in the 2nd Trimester
With many of the risks of early pregnancy behind you, the second trimester is usually pleasantly uneventful. That being said, certain symptoms should prompt an immediate call to your doctor, including severe abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or a fever over 101.5 degrees F.
Routine checkups during this period include a 20-week sonogram to monitor your baby’s developing organs, check for certain uncommon birth defects, and to accurately determine the baby’s gender (if you want to know!) You should also undergo a glucose screening around week 26 to check for gestational diabetes, which occurs in 10% of pregnancies. Finally, if you are interested in testing for genetic disorders, discuss it with your doctor early in this trimester.
Ongoing care from a healthcare provider that you trust is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. The team at OB/GYN Associates is proud to offer comprehensive obstetrical care. Call us for an appointment at 716-675-5222.