The second trimester is often associated with more energy and a greater connection to your growing baby.

Week 13

Your Baby:

Congratulations, you are in your second trimester. Baby is about three inches long, the size of a kiwi. Bones are forming and hardening (make sure you’re consuming adequate levels of calcium and vitamin D)! The eyelids are fused together to help protect delicate eyes as they develop. Your baby’s little fingers have now formed fingernails, and possess their own set of unique fingerprints.

Your Body:

If you haven’t shared your exciting news yet, you may take comfort in knowing the vast majority of miscarriages happen early in the first trimester. Hopefully, nausea has begun to subside or disappear altogether, making room for pregnancy cravings. Healthy snacks are encouraged. Try not to overdo it on sweets and highly processed foods. Right now your body only needs about 300 extra calories a day; so you’re not encouraged to eat for two! Most women will only gain two to five pounds in the first trimester of their pregnancy. In fact, many women actually lose a pound or two in the first trimester due to hormonally induced nausea and loss of appetite.

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Week 14

Your Baby:

Your baby weighs about 1.6 ounces and is 3.5 inches long, about the size of a peach. Intestines are working, producing meconium (the first bowel movement after birth). Baby is covered in fine hair called lanugo until he or she gains enough fat to keep warm. The baby’s body is now growing faster than it’s head; the arms and legs are now more proportional to the rest of the body.

Your Body:

You may start to feel more round ligament pain (ligaments that help support the uterus) beginning this week. As your muscles and ligaments stretch to accommodate your growing uterus, aches and pains on your sides, across your belly and in your lower back are common. Elevate your feet when you sit down for some instant relief. Now may be a good time to look into a prenatal yoga class and/or start taking more frequent walks to help ease minor aches and pains. For those having an amniocentesis, it’s usually scheduled between now and 18 weeks.

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Week 15

Your Baby:

Your baby is about four inches long and is approximately the size of a lemon. Ears are getting into position on the sides of the head and baby can now wiggle fingers and toes. Hair growth continues on the eyebrows and head. The baby is now making facial expressions and moves on a regular basis.

Your Body:

You should notice a belly bump as the top of your uterus is now approximately an inch above your pubic bone. Hormonal changes contribute to swollen, sensitive gums that may occasionally bleed when you brush your teeth. Try switching to a softer toothbrush. Good dental hygiene is important to avoid plaque and bacteria build-up. Make sure you are still brushing at least twice a day and gently flossing.

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Week 16

Your Baby:

Your baby is now about the size of an avocado and weighs approximately 3.5 to 4 ounces. The heart is now circulating 25 quarts of blood each day. Start singing to your baby. Your voice can now be detected inside the womb thanks to the formation of tiny bones inside their tiny ears. Depending upon your baby’s position, gender can usually be determined via ultrasound.

Your Body:

The top of your uterus is now halfway between your pubic bone and your belly button. You will start to see a noticeable increase in weight gain around this time. Up to this point, most women will have gained approximately five pounds. If you are of average weight, the recommended weight gain is approximately one pound per week for the next 25 weeks. You can also thank your pregnancy hormones for your thicker and fuller head of hair.

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Week 17

Your Baby:

A little over five inches long and about the size of an apple. The bones in your baby are transforming from softer cartilage to dense bone. Baby is sucking and swallowing in preparation for life outside the womb. An ultrasound may even show your baby sucking its thumb!

Your Body:

You may notice your nails are growing faster and your friends may comment on your pregnancy “glow”. You may notice many changes in your skin as a result of your hormonal changes and increasing blood volume. A less welcome change may be a facial skin darkening condition called melasma (or chloasma) – also known as the “mask of pregnancy.” This is caused by a combination of hormones and sun exposure. It’s important to remember to use a 30+ spf sun screen liberally when in the sun.

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Week 18

Your Baby:

Your baby weighs five ounces and is about the size of a pear. An active baby twists, rolls, kicks and punches. As the baby’s nervous system continues to develop bouts of hiccups may occur. Your baby’s eyes can start to detect light and his or her blood vessels are still visible through their thin translucent skin.

Your Body:

Lucky Moms may first detect their babies’ movements (known as quickening) and described as a fluttering or bubbling sensation. Most women don’t detect quickening until 20 weeks gestation. Babies movements are usually more obvious at night after meals and when you are laying down. These small waves will soon turn into kicks and rolls that can be felt and seen by others. Sleeping is more challenging now. Tender breasts and your growing belly can make it difficult to find a comfortable position. Try using pillows to support yourself by placing one between your knees and under your belly. Do you have trouble falling asleep? A warm bath or light snack before bed may help.

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Week 19

Your Baby:

About the size of an orange, your baby weighs half a pound and is covered in vernix, a white creamy substance that protects baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid. Your baby continues to develop fat for warmth. All of the organ systems – including the brain and the central nervous system, the kidneys, liver and the cardiovascular system – are functional and continuing to grow and develop.

Your Body:

Most women experience some form of stretch marks during their pregnancy. These hereditary badges of pregnancy can cause itching and mild discomfort. Ask your partner to rub some moisturizing cream on your belly and talk to your baby while they’re at it. While there is no proven cure for stretch marks, gaining weight gradually may help reduce their severity. Most fade away after birth and become much less obvious.

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Week 20

Your Baby:

You are halfway there! Your baby is about the size of a banana and weighs approximately 10 to 12 ounces. Hair follicles are actively growing on your baby’s scalp. Baby’s skin is developing layers and thickening. Arms and legs are now proportional to the rest of their body.

Your Body:

At 20 weeks you will have felt the thrill of your little passenger’s active movements (quickening). Many practitioners will recommend an ultrasound at the half way mark to assess your baby’s development. The top of the uterus is now level with your belly button and can be easily felt when lying flat on your back. Your practitioner should be able to hear your your baby’s heart beat with a stethoscope. Are you anxious to start decorating the nursery? Gender can be determined with 80-90% accuracy, if baby cooperates that is! Your practitioner or ultrasound technician will also look at the placenta, umbilical cord, cervix and volume of amniotic fluid. Most structural abnormalities of organs and bones are visible at this time.

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Week 21

Your Baby:

Your baby is about the size of a mango and is swallowing amniotic fluid for nutrition and to practice digestion. Taste buds have developed and studies have shown babies’ amniotic fluid contains flavors from foods that you have recently eaten. Your baby is developing a sleep pattern and is getting approximately 12 to 15 hours of sleep per day.

Your Body:

Your blood levels of testosterone have increased. Although many women report their libido has increased, sexual desire varies greatly from woman to woman. The good news, sex is safe during your pregnancy unless your practitioner tells you otherwise. You may need to get more creative with timing since fatigue can make you feel like the bed is only good for one thing, sleeping! Comfortable positions pose a new challenge as well. Keep the lines of communication open with your partner. Soon you will be all consumed with your baby so it’s important to make one another a priority before your little one arrives.

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Week 22

Your Baby:

Your baby is about the size of an artichoke, weighing approximately one pound and measuring nine inches. The sense of touch has developed and baby may experiment with this new sensation by thumb sucking or touching his or her face. Baby can now hear your bodily functions including your heartbeat, voice, and your grumbling tummy.

Your Body:

It’s not uncommon to begin to feel Braxton Hicks contractions. Painless and irregular, these contractions squeeze your uterus and may make your abdomen feel very firm or hard to the touch. As long as they remain random and are not accompanied by bleeding, loss of fluid or pain, they are nothing to worry about.

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Week 23

Your Baby:

Your baby is about the size of a grapefruit. Baby is now gaining weight more rapidly and by the end of the month will have doubled the current weight. Skin is still transparent and wrinkly but will fill out as baby accumulates more fat. Your baby’s eyes can detect light.

Your Body:

In addition to melasma (chloasma or “mask of pregnancy”) you can thank your pregnancy hormones for larger and darker nipples plus linea nigra, the dark thin line that runs down the middle of your tummy. You may also experience redness on your palms and/or soles of your feet, blotchy sections on your legs, skin tags and heat rash. These skin conditions usually fade in the months following your baby’s birth.

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Week 24

Your Baby:

Your baby is about the size of a papaya and weighs approximately 1.25 pounds. Baby has hair on their head but it has very little color because hair pigment is not fully produced. Baby’s sense of touch has continued to develop and they can feel their own face and umbilical cord. Baby may respond to loud noises and sudden movement when startled.

Your Body:

Sometime between 24 and 28 weeks you can expect a screening test for gestational diabetes. You will be given a sugary drink and after one hour, have your blood drawn. If your blood sugar levels are too high you will have to take an additional test that requires fasting beforehand. Gestational diabetes can cause problems for newborns such as low blood sugar and excessive fat. This condition significantly increases the need for a cesarean section because it can lead to very large babies that may have problems going through the birth canal.

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Week 25

Your Baby:

Your baby is now nine to 10 inches long and weighs about a pound and a half, the size of a squash. The lungs are developing surfactant, an important substance that will help the lungs expand after birth. Vocal chords are forming and their fingers are well developed. On your next ultrasound watch for yawning or thumb-sucking.

Your Body:

More than half of all pregnant women experience hemorrhoids because your enlarged uterus is pressing on the pelvic floor. These swollen veins in the rectum can be itchy, painful and bleed when you have a bowel movement. They will usually go away after your baby is born. Incorporate plenty of fluids and fiber into your diet to avoid constipation and try not to bear down during a bowel movement. Over the counter treatments like Tucks wipes and Preparation H can provide some relief.

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Week 26

Your Baby:

Your baby weighs about two pounds and is the size of a head of zucchini. The eyes are starting to open and begin to blink. Eyelashes are now present. Although your baby may have a specific eye color while in the womb (most likely blue), this can change up to one year after birth.

Your Body:

As your baby grows, movements are more noticeable. Most fetal movement is a welcome reminder that your baby is healthy. However, certain activities including kicks and punches can actually hurt. Try changing positions if your baby is making you particularly uncomfortable. Stretching may encourage your little one to move. If all else fails, try gently pushing back. Your baby may adjust its position.

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Week 27

Your Baby:

Your beginning the last week of the second trimester! Your baby is about the size of a rutabega. The lungs, liver and immune system are still developing. However, if baby were born now he or she would have a very good chance of surviving with medical care.

Your Body:

f your shoes and rings feel too tight, you are not alone. Many women experience swelling of the hands, feet and ankles called edema. This fluid build up is due to your increased blood volume and your enlarged uterus compressing the vena cava (the vein that moves blood from your lower limbs to your heart). If you experience this condition, try resting on your left side and/or elevating your feet up above your waist. Limiting your sodium intake may also be beneficial.

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