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What to Expect on the Journey: The Second Trimester

Learn what you can expect in the second trimester of pregnancy in this article.

Published by Anja Health on

May 3, 2022

— Updated on

August 17, 2022

A typical pregnancy lasts about 40 weeks and is split into three periods—the first, second, and third trimester. The second trimester is categorized as weeks 13-26 of your pregnancy. There is a lot to look forward to during this time, and many women believe that these are the most manageable weeks of pregnancy and often times the most enjoyable. Some of those symptoms from the first trimester, such as fatigue and nausea, will start to fade, if not be gone entirely. This trimester is where many pregnant people feel more connected with their baby and at ease with their pregnancy.

Baby development during second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester is often referred to as a turning point for you and your baby. During this trimester, your baby has developed all of its systems and organs and will now begin to grow in both length and weight. The umbilical cord is thickening and carrying nourishment from you to your baby.

With all the major organs and systems formed, your baby can now spend time growing. During the second trimester, your fetus will start to look more like a child, with its facial features, fingers, and toes more defined.

In this trimester, your baby's weight will multiply more than seven times. As the second trimester ends, your baby will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weigh about 2 to 3 pounds. 

In the second trimester, you might start to feel your baby move. They'll be able to stretch, make faces, and even suck on their thumb. Your baby can also hear you toward the end of the second trimester. 

Changes to your body in the second trimester

You and your baby are both going through changes. Your uterus continues to stress as your baby grows larger. It will return to its pre-pregnancy size after birth. Similarly, you may start to gain weight and begin to show. Of course, each of us is unique, and no two bodies will look the same during pregnancy.

Many women feel more comfortable in the second trimester. The uncomfortable symptoms of early pregnancy, like nausea and fatigue, typically fade away in the second trimester.

Additional pregnancy symptoms during the second trimester may include:

  • An increased appetite
  • An achy body
  • Some swelling in your hands, feet, and ankles
  • Some stretch marks

Tests during the second trimester

Throughout your pregnancy, you'll have various tests to check on your health and your baby's health. During your second trimester, you'll have an ultrasound that will tell you the biological sex of your baby. You'll also be screened for the Rh factor in your blood and gestational diabetes.

Rh factor

Rh factor is an antigen protein found on red blood cells. You do not need to do anything if your blood is Rh positive. If your blood doesn't have the protein, you're Rh negative.

Suppose you're Rh negative and your baby is Rh positive. In that case, your body could make antibodies that might be harmful during another pregnancy. Talk with your healthcare provider about an Rh immune globulin injection during pregnancy, and inform your entire health care team during labor that you're Rh negative.

Gestational diabetes

Toward the end of your second trimester, you'll likely get an oral glucose screening test to determine if you are developing gestational diabetes. Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes in a pregnant person who did not have diabetes before they were pregnant.

During the test, you'll be given a syrup-like drink to drink in a specified amount of time, and then you'll wait about an hour. After the hour, you'll have your blood drawn, and your doctor will review the results with you.

If you are diagnosed with gestational diabetes, you'll want to check your blood sugar regularly, eat a balanced diet, and stay active. Suppose these steps aren't enough to manage your blood sugar. In that case, your healthcare provider may prescribe insulin, metformin, or other related medication.

What to prepare or plan during second trimester

Excitement is growing as each week goes on. Remember to follow the checklist outlined in What to Expect on the Journey: The First Trimester. Continue to do your research, bond with your baby, ask questions, take pictures, and relax as much as possible.

The second trimester is a good time to schedule birth and educational classes to learn about birth, breastfeeding, and parenting. Then, you'll want to discuss with your healthcare provider the type of birth you'd like to have.

When to call your doctor during the second trimester

You know your body best and should never feel nervous or embarrassed to reach out to your health care provider with any questions, no matter the stage of pregnancy.

Call your doctor right away if you experience:

  • Unusual or severe cramping or abdominal pain
  • Noticeable changes in your baby's movement
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that gets worse over time
  • Any signs of premature labor

Prepare for your birth with Anja Health

The second trimester of pregnancy is a good time to consider what you'll do with your umbilical cord blood and tissue. It contains powerful stem cells that could save your child's life.

Anja Health is the first affordable Stem Cell Safe that makes it easy to harvest, freeze, and store your umbilical cord blood and tissue to use if your child develops a disease that could be treated with cord blood. The stem cells found in cord blood could be the key to treating or reversing these potentially life-threatening conditions when nothing else works.

Instead of throwing your cord blood and tissue away, consider banking it for later use. Before your due date, order a stem cell collection kit from Anja Health and store it at room temperature until your due date. When you arrive at the hospital, let the admitting nurse know that you plan to collect your cord blood and tissue. At the time of your delivery, tell a health care professional you have your kit ready for collection.

Anja Health will pick up your kit from the hospital and deliver it to our AABB-certified laboratory to be processed and stored.

Take a look inside Anja Health's lab:

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