Second trimester of pregnancy, all information

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Philippe Gloaguen
@philippegloaguen
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Contents

  • 1 Second trimester and weeks of pregnancy
  • 2 Symptoms of the second trimester of pregnancy
  • 3 Second trimester of pregnancy and weight 
  • 4 Nutrition in the second trimester of pregnancy 
  • 5 Second trimester of pregnancy: examinations 
  • 6 Second trimester of pregnancy: morphological ultrasound 
  • 7 Fetal movements 
  • 8 Second trimester of pregnancy and sexual intercourse
  • 9 Second quarter: the preparation course 
  • 10 Second trimester of pregnancy and travel
  • 11 The fourth month of pregnancy 
  • 12 The fifth month of pregnancy 
  • 13 The sixth month of pregnancy 
  • 14 The weeks of the second quarter 

The quarter of well-being? Without a shadow of a doubt it is the second! The annoyances of the former finally ease up and in some cases disappear completely. The belly can be seen, but it is not yet bulky and heavy as in the last period of pregnancy. The anxiety is reduced, also because the first movements of the little one begin to be perceived, which is very reassuring. In short, in principle, almost all future mothers feel beautiful and full of energy. So let's see all the details of the second trimester of pregnancy.



Second trimester and weeks of pregnancy

The second trimester of pregnancy ranges from 13 + 2 (13 weeks and 2 days) up to 26 + 2 (26 weeks and 2 days).

Symptoms of the second trimester of pregnancy

As we said at the beginning, this period is the best of pregnancy. As in all things it is obvious that there are exceptions and that some mothers are struggling with some more or less annoying and serious problem. Generalizing to the maximum, however, it can be said that the second quarter is the one in which you feel really great. 


Those who have suffered from nausea and vomiting await the end of the first trimester of pregnancy with the same trepidation as a child waiting for Santa Claus. Around the 12th week of pregnancy, the level of betaHCG in the blood settles down. In the most fortunate cases, nausea and vomiting disappear as if by magic in the second trimester, while in others they are significantly reduced. Unfortunately, there is also a percentage of women who continue to live with the disorder even in the second trimester and, sometimes, even beyond. It is something that happens. 


Fatigue and sleepiness also begin to subside, as do mood swings. Finally the hormones stabilize and you feel physically more charged. But not only that: you see yourself beautiful and you really are. The skin of the face is luminous, the hair is thick and shiny, the belly that is finally visible makes you radiant. There is no denying it: a state of grace. 

For some symptoms that go away, new ones may arise. For example, back pain and groin pain are lurking. The problem arises from the fact that, with the abdomen becoming prominent, the posture changes a little and increases the load on the spine. Remember that movement always helps, so don't make the mistake of going to bed if your back hurts. It might even be counterproductive. 

Heartburn can also get worse. The enlarged uterus and the baby press on the stomach, making it easier for acids to flow back into the esophagus. A really nasty feeling. Eat little and often, preferring dry foods and avoiding those that can increase the disorder, such as tomatoes, citrus fruits, coffee. 


Already from the second trimester, especially if you are already subject to it, anemia, that is an iron deficiency, could appear. Its need increases during pregnancy because it is needed by both mother and baby. If the anemia is very severe, the gynecologist may prescribe a specific iron supplement. 

Especially towards the end of the trimester, one should be on the lookout for a number of symptoms that act as a warning that something is wrong. For example, a rise in blood sugar could be the wake-up call for gestational diabetes. Swelling of the feet, hands and face, accompanied by proteins in the urine, give rise to the suspicion of gestosis. Even if it is more frequent in the following trimester, it could still appear and it is advisable to be careful and follow the advice of the gynecologist. 


Second trimester of pregnancy and weight 

The feeling of general well-being, together with the disappearance of some ailments, increases the appetite. And so the "danger" of having nasty surprises off the scales also grows. If in the first trimester the weight gain is never very marked, the same cannot be said of the second when the accumulation of pounds is faster. With very subjective variables, you could gain between 5 and 6 kilos. But as always it is not a fixed rule. 

During the visits, the gynecologist will constantly weigh you to evaluate the increase over time. If this happens too closely it is not a good thing. Ideally, the weight increases gradually. You can also check it at home, but don't get obsessed: just once a week, but without too much stress. 


Furthermore, the recommendation is always the same: it is not at all true that you have to eat for two. Nor is it true that there are cravings. Don't take advantage of this ancient rumor that if you don't eat cherries in December, your baby will be born with a dark spot on the skin. There is no scientific basis for this, just know that. 

Nutrition in the second trimester of pregnancy 

The goal is one: to avoid spiking the scales. Even if hunger is felt, moderation is very important. Okay, you have "to make up" the first trimester in which nausea and vomiting have given you no respite, but take it easy if you do not want to receive the reprimands of your doctor. 

Split your meals throughout the day. In addition to the three main ones (breakfast, lunch and dinner), there are two hunger-break snacks. This is to avoid getting hungry at the table. For these breaks fresh or dried fruit, vegetables, yogurt, a piece of Parmesan cheese are good. Meals must be complete with all the main nutrients, always without overdoing the quantities: proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, fats.


Here are some other tips for healthy eating: 

  • Prefer whole grains: they have a lower caloric index and, thanks to the fibers, promote intestinal regularity.
  • Drink lots of water: at least two liters a day.
  • Choose good fats: for example raw extra virgin olive oil.
  • Pay attention to cooking methods: yes to grill, steam and oven. Limit frying. 
  • Meat and fish must be lean: better white meats and blue fish. 
  • Take care of hygiene in the kitchen: in addition to avoiding dangerous foods during pregnancy, surfaces and utensils must be cleaned well to prevent contamination.
  • Limit the consumption of sugars: in particular the complex ones are "accomplices" of weight gain.  

It is also a good idea to move a little every day to keep fit. 

Second trimester of pregnancy: examinations 

Here is the list of tests to be done during the second trimester of pregnancy. 

To be carried out between weeks 14 + 0 and 18 + 6

  • Sorting test.
  • Glucose load curve (only in the presence of risk factors).
  • Rubeo-test (rubella virus).
  • Toxoplasma.
  • Venous blood collection.
  • Amniocentesis (if prescribed by the gynecologist for any risk factors).

To be carried out between weeks 19 + 0 to 23 + 6

  • Toxoplasma.
  • Morphological obstetric ultrasound.

To be carried out between weeks 24 + 0 to 27 + 6

  • Toxoplasma.
  • Glucose load curve.
  • Complete urinalysis with urine culture. 
  • Venous blood collection.

Second trimester of pregnancy: morphological ultrasound 

Let's spend a few words already on what is probably the most important ultrasound of the whole pregnancy: the morphology. As the name suggests, it serves to carefully observe the appearance of the fetus. But not only the external one: fundamental is the analysis of the development of internal organs and the measurement of various parameters that take into account the health of the child. 

During this period, the proportions of the fetus, its movements and the amount of amniotic fluid are optimal for visualizing many fetal parts. And, if you haven't known it yet, the morphology will almost certainly allow you to find out if you are expecting a boy or a girl. The exam involves the standard measurement of a series of structures (head, abdomen, femur) that give information on growth and the study of all the systems that can be explored in these weeks. 

With some exceptions, ultrasound scanners are now accurate and technological. However, we must emphasize that, despite the precision and accuracy of doctors, some diseases cannot be diagnosed during pregnancy, but only after childbirth.

The fetal movements 

Undoubtedly one of the most exciting aspects of the second trimester of pregnancy is the fact that, at a certain point, the movements of the baby begin to be felt. At first it seems a quick flicker in the belly, almost a "passage of air", gradually feel with more defined taps. To then get to well-aimed kicks. In the second trimester, fetal development continues unabated, the baby gains weight and then begins to feel right. And finally you can relax! Information on how the puppy is doing comes directly from him. 

Since when are the movements clearly distinguished? It is quite subjective. On average we say that before 19-20 weeks it is quite difficult to perceive them, while afterwards they are more clear. It seems there are also differences between the first pregnancy and the following ones. When you are expecting the second (or third, fourth) child, the football is felt in advance of the first, probably because it is a sensation already known. 

Don't worry if at first you happen to feel some movement and then that's it. It can be normal. The important thing is that, from the moment you feel them regularly, you feel them every day for at least 10 times. This will allow you to rest assured. The parameter of 10 daily kicks is essential at the end of pregnancy: if this threshold is not reached, it is advisable to notify the gynecologist or midwife.

Second trimester of pregnancy and sexual intercourse

Given the widespread feeling of well-being, the second trimester is also the best from a sexual point of view. Yes, because, unless forbidden for some reason by the gynecologist, during pregnancy you can continue to have intercourse with your partner. And there are not a few women who say that, while pregnant, sex is even more satisfying.

If the first trimester is the one characterized by disturbances (of the series: intimacy is the very last thought for the vast majority of couples) and the third is the most "problematic" one for "logistical" reasons (ah that baby bump ...), the second then becomes the top. The mother feels better, she has less anxiety because the risk of a miscarriage is reduced, she sees herself splendid in the mirror, the sexual desire increases. In short, the conditions for a "hot" evening are all there. 

Only in some cases can the doctor place limitations, particularly if there is any problem: threat of abortion or previous spontaneous interruption of pregnancy, placenta previa, risk of premature birth, loss of blood or amniotic fluid, ongoing infections in one of the two partners, placental abruption, shortened or dilated cervix. In all these circumstances you have to be patient a little. But if none of these conditions are met, go ahead! Sex can only bring the couple closer together. 

Second quarter: the preparation course 

Especially the first pregnancy always generates many doubts, fears, curiosities. It is an unknown and fascinating world in which, however, you can risk getting lost if you don't have the right guide. The solution? A good preparation course. It is the best way to receive all the most important information about pregnancy and, in particular, its highlight: labor and delivery. 

The preparatory courses are usually held by a midwife, who, however, makes use of the collaboration of various experts who intervene in the meetings: gynecologist, neonatologist, pediatrician, anesthetist, pediatrician, psychologist. Each of them deals with specific issues related to their specialization, in order to provide as much information as possible to future parents. Yes, not only to the future mother: even the father is welcome to the course because, unless he is against it, he too will be in the delivery room, so it is right that he knows what can happen. 

In addition to a theoretical part, the preparation courses are almost always accompanied by a practice, made up of exercises: examples are those of breathing, stretching, yoga, pelvic floor training. If you choose to follow the course in the facility where you will later give birth, it will be an opportunity to become familiar with the place (especially with the delivery room) and with the staff. However, there are also many private alternatives, for example in specialized centers, swimming pools, gyms. 

Second trimester of pregnancy and travel

The period is perfect, as for sex. Once the first trimester ailments are gone, but still without the third quarter baby bump, you can safely think about some travel. Needless to say, even if you are fine for now, prudence must guide you always and in any case. No rafting or African safaris, but something quieter why not. 

If there are no particular problems, any means of transport is fine, always using some precautions. In the car, for example, keep your seat belt fastened. Some think that there is some particular exception during pregnancy. Only the gynecologist can make a certificate not to use it, but there must be very serious reasons. The belt saves the life of you and the baby. If the journey by car is very long, plan to stop every now and then. 

In this gestational period there are still no restrictions regarding the plane, which instead happens at the end of pregnancy. In fact, some companies prohibit boarding for women close to giving birth. But for now it doesn't concern you. If the ride is long, stretch your legs every now and then, just like on a train. 

As for the goals, choose the ones you prefer, but always listen to your body. If you have low blood pressure, leave very hot places alone. If you go to the beach, avoid the beach at peak times. If you love high mountains, be careful that the altitude does not disturb you. Have fun, relax, but always using your head.  

The fourth month of pregnancy 

The fourth month of pregnancy ranges from 13 + 2 (13 weeks and 2 days) to 17 + 4 (17 weeks and 4 days). The development of the baby is quite fast and even the first hairs on the head begin to appear. Mom, from now on it's hard to get into your old clothes - it's shopping time!

The fifth month of pregnancy 

The fifth month of pregnancy covers the period from 17 weeks and 5 days to 21 weeks and 6 days. Generally, towards the end of this month you feel the first movements: now you really feel pregnant right? The baby's body is covered with fluff and vernix, two substances that protect the skin. 

The sixth month of pregnancy 

Between weeks 22 and 26 + 2, the sixth month of pregnancy ends the second trimester. It is now impossible to hide the belly! It is possible that you feel the so-called Braxton-Hicks contractions: the uterus prepares itself. The baby grows in weight and length and with the morphological ultrasound the sex could already be discovered. 

The weeks of the second quarter 

13 – 14 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 18 – 19 – 20 – 21 – 22 – 23 – 24 – 25 – 26 

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