Ellen Schneiderman, R.N., explains what a woman should expect going into her second trimester and shares the developments a baby goes through during this time.
The second trimester is from weeks 13 to 27 and this is the trimester where women really feel their best. If she has been experiencing some morning sickness that usually goes away by now, the increased urination has usually subsided because her uterus comes out of her pelvis into her abdominal area, and this is the point where she probably will start to feel the baby move; usually it’s about 18 to 20 weeks if this is her first baby, a little bit earlier, at about 16 to 18 weeks if this is her second or third baby.
She will start to have increased energy and the baby is going to start growing and this is the point where she is going to start showing so everybody is going to start knowing that she is pregnant, which is kind of exciting for her.
She will start to see some stretch marks on her skin. She will continue to probably have some constipation issues and such so it’s a good idea for her to keep her intake of water and fiber in her diet increased.
At this point in her pregnancy her doctor will screen her for gestational diabetes by having a glucose tolerance test. If she is going to have any genetic testing, that will be done early in the second trimester if that’s indicated.
Often women start to have some numbness and tingling in her hands and fingers and this is called carpal tunnel syndrome. It’s very common in pregnancy and it usually will go away after. She may notice some bleeding, some nosebleeds or bleeding from her gums and that’s normal. It’s due to the increased vascularity during pregnancy.
Women can be prone to either urinary infections or vaginal infections in pregnancy. They should be treated and she must let her doctor know because they can lead to pre-term labor.
If a woman finds out from her doctor that her blood type is an RH-negative, during this second trimester she will get an injection of rogam because that helps protect her from the possibility of her baby having a positive blood type and a set up for some kind of auto transfusion later on during the pregnancy after the baby is born.
The baby is starting to grow now and all the organs that have developed during the first trimester continue to grow. She will start to feel the baby move and the baby will start to gain weight. By 24 weeks we consider the baby viable, meaning that the baby could live outside of the mother’s uterus, however of course we want the baby to continue to grow inside for as long as possible.