About Your Baby
- Weeks 13 to 16: Can move, sleep, suck, and swallow. Sex (gender) can be seen on ultrasound.
- Weeks 17 to 20: Growth and activity increase. Internal organs continue to mature, Eyebrows and eyelashes appear.
- Weeks 21 to 24: Skin is thin, wrinkled, and covered with downy hair called lanugo. Tiny fingerprints and toe prints are visible. Eyes begin to open.
- At the end of this trimester, your baby is about 10 to 12 inches long and weighs about 1 to 1½ pounds.
As the second trimester begins, morning sickness may improve or disappear. Your appetite may also improve. You may still have sore breasts and heartburn, however, as well as new symptoms such as a stuffy nose, varicose veins, and more vaginal discharge (leukorrhea). You may also feel new aches and pains (especially in your back and pelvis) and notice skin itchiness or color changes. The good news? By the end of the trimester, you should be able to feel your baby moving inside you and you may notice that your hair and fingernails are growing faster than usual.
Tips for the Second Trimester
- Eat smart (not everything) and exercise regularly (with your doctor’s consent). You may be eating for two, but that doesn’t mean you should double your intake. If you’re average in size and activity, 300 extra calories a day should be about right. Also, talk to your doctor or midwife about exercise. Unless you’re advised otherwise, aim for about 30 minute of moderate activity every day. Exercise can help ease aches and pains, relieve stress, and help you sleep better. It also gives you energy and keeps you strong for the baby’s birth and beyond. Avoid contact sports or those that can cause you to fall (so no kickboxing or horseback riding). Swim, walk, do yoga, cycle - anything that gets your heart pumping a little harder but stop and rest if you feel faint or have unusual pain.
- Sign up for a childbirth class. A childbirth class is a great way to prepare for labor and birth. Prenatal classes cover topics such as relaxation, breathing, medications, hospital procedures, newborn care, and post-partum adjustments.