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Your Developing Baby — Part 2: The Second Trimester

For most women, the second trimester is much easier than the first.  The second trimester begins in week 13 and goes through week 28.  A lot of women notice that a lot of the symptoms they experienced in the first trimester such as nausea and fatigue go away.  During this trimester you will begin to notice your belly expanding and towards the middle of the second trimester most women will begin to feel baby move!  You may also experience some new changes in your body as you begin to make room for your growing baby.  Body aches in the back, abdomen, groin or thigh pain can be experienced as your ligaments begin to stretch.

And speaking of stretching, some women will begin to notice stretch marks on their abdomen, breasts, thighs or buttocks.  A good way to try and prevent stretch marks is to make sure you keep your skin in these areas moisturized daily.  You may also notice darkening of the skin around your nipples, a dark line on the skin running from your belly button to your pubic bone or patches of dark skin on your cheeks, forehead, nose or upper lip (this is sometimes called the mask of pregnancy).

Itching on your abdomen, palms, and soles of your feet might also occur.  If you notice this itching combined with fatigue, nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, or jaundice (yellow color on skin and whites of your eyes), call your doctor as these can be signs of serious liver problems.  You may also begin to experience some swelling in your ankles, hands and face.  If you notice this swelling appears very suddenly, contact your doctor immediately.

Your baby is also experiencing a lot of growth and changes during these weeks.

At 16 weeks:

  • Muscle tissue and bone continue to form, creating a more complete skeleton
  • Skin begins to form. You can nearly see through it
  • Meconium develops in your baby’s intestinal tract; this will be your baby’s first bowel movement
  • Your baby makes sucking motions with the mouth (sucking reflex).
  • Your baby reaches a length of about 4-5 inches and weighs almost 3 ounces

At 20 weeks:

  • Your baby is more active and you might feel a slight fluttering in your abdomen
  • Your baby is covered by fine, downy hair called lanugo and a waxy coating called vernix. This protects the forming skin underneath
  • Eyebrows, eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails have formed. Your baby can even scratch itself
  • Your baby can hear and swallow
  • Now halfway through your pregnancy, your baby is about 6 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces

At 24 Weeks:

  • Taste buds form on your baby’s tongue
  • Footprints and fingerprints have formed
  • Real hair begins to grow on your baby’s head
  • The lungs are formed but are not quite ready to work on their own outside of momma
  • Your baby has regular sleep and wake patterns
  • If your baby is a boy, his testicles begin to move from the abdomen into the scrotum. If your baby is a girl, her uterus and ovaries are in place and a lifetime supply of eggs have formed in the ovaries.
  • Your baby stores fat and has gained quite a bit of weight. Now at about 12 inches long, your baby weighs about 1 ½ pounds

Join us soon for Your Developing Baby—Part 3: The Third Trimester!

If you think you are pregnant, please schedule your appointment now or call us at 972-386-4015 to speak to one of our friendly staff to schedule your appointment.

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