Time to celebrate!
You made it through everything the first trimester threw your way — like daily puking, sore boobs, and crushing fatigue — but likely don’t have to deal (yet!) with everything the third trimester brings, like crotch pain, sleepless nights, and the reality of impending labor.
Usually by this point, you’re sitting pretty in the latter half of the second trimester — and it’s the best pregnancy is going to get.
You have a little more energy, you can eat more of your favorite foods, and you can still walk down the street without waddling.
What else can you expect at 6 months pregnant? Here’s the scoop.
You’re probably not having morning sickness anymore, unless you’re one of the unlucky women who get stuck with nausea and vomiting for the whole 9 months (in which case, we’re very sorry).
But the sixth month of pregnancy isn’t exactly symptom-free. You might be feeling:
- constipated, as your growing uterus puts pressure on your intestines and slows things down
- achy, especially in your back, hips, and pelvic area (due to the extra weight you’re carrying and how it’s being distributed)
- itchy, especially on your stomach, as your skin stretches to accommodate your growth
- dizzy, because your circulation is ramping up to provide more blood flow to your uterus
- swollen or crampy in your legs and ankles, as your veins work harder to keep all that extra blood moving through your body
- super hungry All. The. Time. (hey, baby needs to grow, right?)
You may also be continuing to have symptoms like:
- heartburn and indigestion
- aversions to specific smells
- round ligament pain
All of these can start in the first trimester but may or may not go away over time.
Gone are the days of feeling horribly pregnant but still not looking pregnant. By 6 months, it’s becoming clearer that you’re expecting! You might notice:
- your breasts continuing to grow in size
- your belly protruding enough to require a transition to maternity clothes
- your belly button beginning to turn outward
varicose veins, as your circulation needs increase
- weight gain of anywhere from 10 to 15 pounds since the first trimester
If you’re not showing a ton yet, don’t stress: All expectant moms (and their babies!) develop at different rates. Your belly may appear smaller at 6 months if:
- it’s your first pregnancy
- you had a strong abdominal core pre-pregnancy
- you’re above average in height
This is totally normal. You’ll pop at some point — we promise!
On the flip side, if you feel like your 6-month belly belongs to that of a full-term baby, that’s probably normal, too.
The number of pregnancies you’ve had, combined with your overall health, weight, and anatomy, play a bigger role in determining your bump size than your baby’s health.
Still, if you have concerns about the amount of weight you’re gaining (or not), give your doctor a call for a professional opinion.
Enough about you — how’s baby doing in there?! At this point, your little nugget is, well, not quite so little anymore. They’re anywhere from 7 to 12 inches long and may weigh between 1 and 2 pounds.
They’ve also been making tons of strides as far as development.
By 6 months, your baby has fully formed lungs and a unique set of fingerprints, and they’re beginning to focus on sounds outside the uterus (like you and your partner talking).
They’re also moving their eyes beneath their still-closed eyelids and probably having lots of hiccups — which you should be able to feel! Speaking of feeling…
If this is your first pregnancy, you may still be new to the sensation of fetal movement, but you’re about to become very familiar with your baby’s kicks, jabs, punches, and rolls.
You don’t have to officially start counting kicks until 28 weeks, but you should be able to notice a general pattern of when your baby is more active.
If you can tune into their schedule now, it’ll be easier to check those daily kick counts off your list in a few weeks. (FYI, here’s how to count kicks, in case you want to study up.)
In the meantime, enjoy the feeling of your baby wiggling around in there, as their movements should be easy to detect, but not too uncomfortable yet. Just wait until month 9 when they ninja kick you in the ribs on the regular.
Because some twins share the same placenta, they may be smaller at 6 months than a singleton baby.
Even if each of your babies has their own placenta, you’ll still have to consume double the extra calories (so 600 per day, not 300) to keep them steadily growing.
Yes, you’re going to be much bigger than your BFF carrying only one baby — but you have a really good excuse.
In many pregnancies, your twins may be tracking along the same growth curve as a single pregnancy, with both babies measuring about 10 inches long and 1 to 2 pounds in weight.
A more concerning issue with twins is when one baby is growing at a much slower rate than the other. That may point to twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS) or intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR).
Both conditions are rare and you likely won’t notice either by weight gain or belly size alone — you need to be diagnosed with an ultrasound and possibly other tests as well.
You don’t have to prepare for your baby’s actual arrival just yet, but you can keep yourself busy at 6 months by:
- getting the nursery ready and picking out furniture
- completing your baby registry
- signing up for a hospital tour, breastfeeding class, and birthing class
- spending time with your significant other (maybe even plan a babymoon!)
- finding a perfect-for-you exercise and/or mindfulness routine to carry you through the rest of your pregnancy
- handling logistics, like figuring out how to add your baby to your health insurance or finding a local safety technician to install your car seat
Remember to get plenty of rest, too, and don’t let your to-do list wear you out. If you can ask your partner, some family members, or reliable friends for help, don’t be shy!
You might have been expecting leg cramps at 6 months, but what about cramping and spotting?
Many of the symptoms below are a normal part of a healthy pregnancy — or may signal a treatable problem — but in general, you should always call your doctor if you have:
- vaginal bleeding, especially if you’re soaking through a pad
- vaginal leaking or other signs that your water has broken
- severe pain in your back or abdomen
- painful urination or other signs of infection, such as cloudy or foul-smelling urine
- a fever that lasts more than a few days
- persistent vomiting or diarrhea
- Braxton-Hicks contractions that don’t stop or slow down with rest and hydration
- a measurable slowing of fetal movement
- any new spotting or cramping, or changes to existing symptoms
The sixth month of pregnancy isn’t exactly a cakewalk (none of pregnancy is) but it’s typically one of the easier, breezier months. Try to be present in the experience.
Pretty soon, you’ll be focused on delivering your baby and preparing to care for a newborn, not to mention carrying around a belly the size of a beach ball 24/7.
You’re not there yet — so just enjoy!