Now that you’re officially in your second trimester, your pregnancy may feel easier that in your first trimester.
A particularly exciting development is that you may now be “showing.” How soon a woman’s belly starts to show or protrude will depend on multiple factors, such as whether you’ve been pregnant before, your anatomy, your body shape, and the details of any previous pregnancies.
If you’ve managed to keep the secret of your baby news from friends and family, you might feel more comfortable telling them now. Miscarriages in the second trimester are less likely now that you’re past the first 12 weeks of pregnancy.
You baby is now between 3 and 4 inches in length and weighs a bit less than 2 ounces. Your baby can now make faces, whether that’s squinting, frowning, or even grimacing. While you won’t be able to see or feel them, your baby’s tiny expressions are due to brain impulses that show just how much they’re growing.
If you’re scheduled for an ultrasound soon, be on the lookout for whether your baby sucks their thumb. Your baby is also working hard at stretching out. Soon their arms will look more proportionate to the rest of their tiny body.
If you had a microscope, you’d be able to see the very fine hair, called lanugo, that starts to cover your baby’s body around this time.
At around 14 weeks, your baby’s kidneys can produce urine, which gets released into the amniotic fluid. And your baby’s liver starts producing bile. These are both signs that your baby is getting ready for life outside of the womb.
Most women can hear their babies’ heartbeats by week 14 with a Doppler ultrasound. You may choose to purchase one of these devices for home use. Don’t be worried if you don’t find the heartbeat right away. It can take several tries to learn how to use it.
Some changes you might notice by week 14 include:
- lessened breast tenderness
- increased energy
- continued weight gain
Other changes and symptoms you might experience include:
While some women experience morning sickness symptoms to the very end of their pregnancies, nausea is less of an issue for many women as their second trimester starts. Be aware, however, that even if your stomach seems more settled, you may still get a rush of nausea every now and then.
If your feelings of nausea seem particularly severe, or you’re finding it difficult to stomach just about anything, you may have hyperemesis gravidarum. Vomiting and weight loss are other signs of this potentially dangerous condition.
Morning sickness isn’t likely to hurt you or your baby. But if you’re concerned about persistent symptoms you should call your doctor to make sure you and your baby are getting enough nutrients.
If you are still feeling sick, there are things that can help. First, try not to eat too much at once. Several smaller meals can bring on less nausea than one large meal.
Drink plenty of fluids, and pay attention to your senses. If certain smells, such as pickles or vinegar for example, or temperatures, such as heat, make your nausea worse, avoidance is your best bet for now.
Ginger may also help. You can usually find ginger at the grocery store. Add it to tea, smoothies, or water. You can also try drinking ginger ale or eating ginger chews.
Growing a human being inside of you is a huge undertaking, and you will experience a lot of changes coming up. Hormones can cause mood swings. But other causes include physical changes, stress, and fatigue.
Mood swings are a very common part of pregnancy for many women, but you may notice your moods stabilize during the second trimester.
You’ll want to get as much rest as you can, and find a friend to talk to if you’re stressed about motherhood’s many unknowns.
Now that you’re in your second trimester, it’s a great time to start a pregnancy-appropriate exercise routine.
Take advantage of any extra energy you have this week. If you’re waking up feeling refreshed, try fitting in a 15-minute morning walk. If your energy peaks in the afternoon or evening, check out a local prenatal exercise class. Yoga, water aerobics, and walking groups are great options. If you already exercise regularly, keep up a routine that gets your heart beating at an aerobic rate 3 to 7 days per week.
You might find that a regular exercise routine leaves you feeling better overall. You may also consider finding an exercise partner who can share in the joys and fears of pregnancy.
Another bonus of no more nausea is that you might be more inclined to engage in sexual activity. Since your belly isn’t yet uncomfortably big, now’s a great time to enjoy some extra bonding with your partner.
You may also want to have sex more often now that you’re pregnant, due extra blood flowing below your waistline. It’s another way to stay active. And it’s completely safe unless your doctor has advised you otherwise.
Experiencing any of the following symptoms may warrant a call to your doctor:
You may also want to check in with your doctor if you’re still experiencing regular or worsening morning sickness. There are ways to ensure that you and your baby are getting the necessary nutrients.