Pregnancy Second Trimester

Pregnancy is generally 9 months, or 40 weeks, longs. This period is divided into three trimesters. The second one stretches from week 13 to 28. This is the period when you can see your baby bump, can feel your baby’s movement, and can even find out the sex of your child. Often referred to as the ‘golden period of pregnancy’, the second trimester is when the ‘morning sickness’ of the first trimester generally goes away. After the hormonal roller-coaster that was the first trimester, which might have left you drained and tired, the second trimester is the time when you get your energy back. Although smother than the first and the third trimesters, major changes happen to your body and that to your baby during the second trimester. Read to find out more.

What Happens To Your Body During The Second Trimester?

As you already know, the symptoms of the first trimester, such as nausea and vomiting, improve during the second trimester. You also feel more energetic as compared to the first one. You’ll have the following changes in your body during this trimester:

Uterus Enlargement

The baby develops rapidly during this period, so much so that your baby bump starts to show. To support the growing baby, your uterus expands. This keeps on happening throughout pregnancy, and contracts only after you give birth.

Weight Gain

Although you need to gain a certain amount of weight across the three trimesters, it might be tough in the first one given the morning sickness. Once that improves, which generally happens in the second trimester, you can eat much better. In fact, you need to eat 300-500 calories more to support your child.

Pain In The Lower Abdomen

Now that your uterus is expanding, you might feel dull, although sometimes it can be sharp, cramps. This is because the enlarged uterus presses on the nearby muscles and ligaments. If you too feel the abdomen pain, heat therapy might help, such as using a hot water bottle. You can also take a warm bath, or try different body postures to rest.


The weight gain starts putting pressure on the back. This can lead to a sore back and even aches. This is perfectly normal during the second trimester. If you too suffer from this, maintain a good posture. While sitting on a chair, make sure it has good back support. Always wear comfortable shoes and you can also go for a massage.

Enlarged Breasts

Tender, sore, and enlarged breasts are some of the signs of pregnancy. However, breast tenderness largely goes away during the second trimester. The breasts still continue to grow as it prepares to produce milk once the baby is born.

False Labour

Braxton-Hicks contractions, more commonly known as false labour, are common during this period. These happen as your uterus muscles tighten up sometimes. If you have them too, there is no need to worry, as these dull, irregular cramps aren’t real labour. However, these give the perfect opportunity for you to practice the breathing techniques when you do go into real labour. If you feel discomfort, you can take a warm bath, breathe deeply, drink green tea, or use a hot water bottle.

Vaginal Discharge

Thin, milky white discharge is common during this period. This is nothing to worry about. However, if you have discharge, which is green, yellow, or has blood in it, and/or smells really bad, then you must consult your doctor as it might be a sign of something serious.

Frequent Urination

During the second trimester, there will lesser urge to urinate than in the first one. However, that will come back again in the third trimester, as your baby will get too big and will press against the bladder.


You might feel dizzy while pregnant. One of the reasons might be that the enlarged uterus presses some of the blood vessels that might cause dizziness. Changes in the hormones and a low blood sugar level might be some other reasons for dizziness.

Other than these you might also feel leg cramps, headache, heartburn, constipation, hemorrhoid, and urinary tract infection during the second trimester.

These are the common changes that you might see in you. However, there are certain symptoms that might hint at something wrong. If you have any of these, you must see a doctor immediately:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Severe abdominal cramps
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Jaundice
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Excessive sweating

What Happens To The Baby During The Second Trimester?

Here are some of the changes you will see in your baby:

  • During this trimester, the baby grows about 16 inches long and weighs somewhere around 1.2 kilograms. The vital organs begin to grow and develop. The body also starts storing fat. 
  • The lungs form completely. However, they are not developed enough to breathe.
  • Your baby’s ears start taking shape and he/she can hear your voice. 
  • The baby can also open and close his/her eyes. The eyelids and eyebrows also start forming. 
  • Some hair grows on your baby’s head.
  • As you know, this is the trimester when you can first feel your baby’s movement. This is because the baby can kick, and move around in your womb.
  • The baby can also swallow and suck.
  • Your baby starts sleeping and waking up as per the normal sleep cycle. 

As you know that oxygen and vital nutrients are supplied from you to your baby by an organ called the placenta. This placenta grows completely in the second trimester. This stays inside your body throughout the pregnancy. Once your baby is born, you also push out the placenta. The placenta and the baby are connected by a thin tube-like structure known as the umbilical cord. 

How Should You Take Care Of Yourself During The Second Trimester?

Although the second trimester is a lot easier than the first and the third ones. But, this does not mean that you should put your guard down. Your baby is growing rapidly and some major changes are happening to you. Hence, you must take good care of yourself.

Here are some of the tips that might help:

  • Diet is an extremely important component for you to sail through your pregnancy. Hence, have a nutrient-rich well-balanced diet during the second trimester. Include a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats in your diet. There is another aspect of diet that you should keep in mind, which is you have to consume some extra calories. 300-500 extra calories are generally recommended. However, this does not mean you should go overboard with it. You do not have to eat for two people. Just 300-500 extra calories will be sufficient. 
  • Equally important is exercising. However, this component depends on the woman. If your body allows for it, then you should definitely work out regularly. Some of the good workout options include brisk walking, cycling, Yoga, swimming and running. 
  • It is extremely important to stay hydrated. So have lots of water and other fluids throughout the day.
  • This is also the time when you should take care of your dental health. Not only is it good for your health but also for the baby as poor dental health has been linked to preterm labour. 
  • Since in the second trimester, you get some respite from fatigue and morning sickness, you can try some exercises that might help you during the delivery. You must include squats in your daily exercise routine. You should also start practising breathing techniques that will be required while you are in labour. 
  • Also, since the third trimester might be more challenging than the second one, you can start with your shopping for the newborn during this period itself. This will not only help you to plan better, but will also give you time during the third time to completely take care of yourself. 

These are some of the things that you must do during the second trimester. Similarly, there are some things that you should completely avoid or limit during this period. Here are some of those things:

  • You must avoid alcohol, smoking and recreational drugs.
  • Although exercising is good for both your health and that of the baby, avoid going overboard with it. This is because strength training and other strenuous exercises can put a pressure on your stomach and might cause an injury. 
  • Limit your caffeine intake. Although a cup of tea and coffee is fine, you can replace your second and third cups with something else such as green tea.
  • During this period, you might feel several aches and pains across your body. However, never take a pain medication without your doctor’s recommendation. Stay away from over the counter drugs. You can instead try other options like a warm bath, massage, stretching, deep breathing or using a hot water bottle. If the pain gets unbearable, talk to your doctor. He/she might recommend you a drug that will not harm your child.

These are some of the tips you can try in order to sail through the second trimester.