What Is The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

What Is The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

17 Aug 2022 | 8 min Read

Reema Shah

Author | 608 Articles

A pregnancy lasts normally for about 40 weeks and is divided into three periods of time which are the first, second and third trimesters. Each trimester is about 14 weeks long. The 2nd trimester means you are around 14 weeks pregnant. The second trimester of pregnancy trimester lasts from week 14 to the end of week 27.

In this phase of pregnancy, expecting mums start looking and feeling more pregnant. For many people, the 2nd trimester weeks are the best because the morning sickness and fatigue of their first trimester are no more there.

How many weeks are there in the second trimester of pregnancy?

The 2nd trimester of pregnancy lasts from week 14 to the end of week 27.

Also read: The First Trimester Of Pregnancy Symptoms

Symptoms In The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

In the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, these are some of the signs of pregnancy-

  • Swollen and bleeding gums
  • Dizziness
  • Nosebleeds
  • Round ligament pains which happen on the side of the belly due to the expanding womb
  • Headaches
  • Constipation 
  • Bloating 
  • Sore breasts
  • Indigestion and heartburn 
  • Leg cramps
  • Feeling hot
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Greasier, spotty skin
  • Urine infections
  • Vaginal infection 
  • Thicker and shinier hair

The symptoms of 2nd month of pregnancy include breast tenderness, morning sickness and bloating.

second trimester of pregnancy
The foetus kicks and moves during the second trimester of pregnancy / Credit – Canva

How Does a Foetus Develop During The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

Fetal development during the 2nd trimester includes fetus kicks, moves, and can also turn from side to side. The eyes gradually move to the front of the face, and the ears have moved from the neck to the sides of the head. During the second trimester, the fetus can hear your voice.

What Changes Does Your Body Undergo During The Second Trimester?

Compared to the first trimester, the second-trimester symptoms are usually much better as there is less fatigue, morning sickness and moodiness. You may feel a lack of focus at work or at home. Plus, during the 2nd trimester of pregnancy, you gain about six kilograms. Many mums may feel anxious about tests done during the second trimester weeks.

Second-Trimester Pregnancy Food Chart

Even if the second-trimester pregnancy symptoms are much better than the first trimester, the diet must be specially taken care of. Some fruits that are the most important to eat during the second trimester include bananas, apples and berries. Here are some important vitamins along with their sources too-

Iron

To manage the second-trimester symptoms, iron intake is important as it helps to carry oxygen around the mum’s body and to the developing baby.
Some iron food sources include-

  • Lean meat
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cooked seafood
  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains like bread and oatmeal
  • Fortified breakfast cereals

Calcium

Calcium helps in forming the baby’s bones and teeth and also smoothly running the nerves, muscles and circulatory system.
Some calcium-rich foods to manage the 2nd-trimester pregnancy symptoms include-

  • White beans
  • Almonds
  • Dairy products such as cheese, milk and yoghurt
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Turnip greens, kale and broccoli
  • Breakfast cereals 
  • Calcium-fortified fruit juices
  • Sardines and salmon 
second trimester of pregnancy
Kale is another vegetable that is highly beneficial during the second trimester of pregnancy / Credit – Canva

Protein

Protein is another important vitamin that helps manage second-trimester symptoms. It helps in developing the baby’s brain and aids other tissues to grow.
Some good sources of protein include-

  • Lean meats
  • Cooked fish (not raw)
  • Eggs
  • Lentils, peas and beans
  • Nuts
  • Tofu and tempeh

Folate

Folate is another essential vitamin to manage 2nd-trimester pregnancy symptoms as it helps prevent neural tube defects and also reduces the risk of premature labour.
The best sources of folate include:

  • Black-eyed peas and other legumes
  • Dark green leafy vegetables, li spinach and collard greens
  • Oranges
  • Fortified cereals
  • Whole grains like rice
Cheese is a source of calcium and can be safely consumed during the second trimester of pregnancy unless advised by your doctor / Credit – Canva

Foods to Avoid in the Second Trimester

As part of the 2nd trimester of pregnancy precautions, there are some foods to avoid, some of which are-

  • Fish that have high levels of mercury like swordfish, king, shark and tilefish
  • Raw eggs
  • Raw meat
  • Soft cheeses like feta, Brie and blue cheese
  • Seafood and ready-to-eat meats
  • Raw fish
  • Mackerel
  • Unpasteurized dairy products

Foods that Cause Miscarriage in the Second Trimester

It is essential to avoid specific foods during the second trimester of pregnancy to prevent a miscarriage. Some of them are-

  • Pineapple
  • Papaya
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • ​Sesame seeds
  • ​Raw eggs​
  • ​Animal liver
  • ​Sprouted Potato

Exercises For The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

Women who exercise during pregnancy will experience fewer backaches, a better body image and more energy. Here are a few exercises to try-

1. Plank

To do this pose, get on your knees first while keeping your wrists directly parallel to your shoulders. After that straighten your legs. Ensure that you do not let your tummy hang or arch your back.

2. Curl and Lift

Sit on a chair with your back straight. Ensure you have two weights with you where each weighs about 5 to 7 pounds as per your comfort. By keeping your arms bent and parallel to your thighs, slowly lift your arms. Then keep the elbows bent until both the weights are at shoulder height. Straighten up and go back to the starting position once done.

3. Pile

This is another useful exercise to do during the second trimester of pregnancy. For this, you will need to stand parallel to the back of a chair. Then rest your one arm on the back of the chair in a way that there is a hip distance between either of your feet. Breathe in and pull your belly in. Then bend your knees and lower your body without bending your torso. Once done, straighten your legs and repeat the pose.

What Tests And Scans Are Recommended In the 2nd Trimester?

Most second-trimester tests and scans include ultrasounds, or “level 2” ultrasounds. These scans are done between eighteen to twenty weeks to examine that the baby is developing normally and to check the baby’s anatomy. However, women with high-risk pregnancies may have multiple ultrasounds during their second trimester.

What Should Be Avoided During The Second Trimester Of Pregnancy?

Some of the things to avoid during the second trimester of pregnancy include-

  • Avoid smoking, alcohol and excessive intake of caffeine
  • Avoid hot sauna baths
  • Dental visits are linked to diagnostic procedures.
  • Avoid undercooked meat as it can lead to diseases like Listeriosis and toxoplasmosis 
  • Avoid cleaning the cat’s litter box to prevent infections

When To See A Doctor In The Second Trimester

It is mostly recommended to see the doctor about every four weeks during the second trimester. However, if you have a preexisting health condition or high-risk pregnancy, you may have to see your doctor more often.

Also read: Guide To The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

Key Takeaways

The second trimester of pregnancy is a crucial period so remember to relax. There’s nothing to worry about as long as you follow through with everything on your checklist, eat a well-balanced diet, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. Also, remember to make some time for exercise regularly and you will be just fine. For any questions or doubts, do reach out to your doctor.

FAQs –

Is the second trimester difficult?

For many women, the second trimester is the easiest 3 months of pregnancy.

How does the stomach feel in the second trimester?

There may be mild but irregular contractions which cause a slight tightness in the abdomen. These contractions are more likely to occur in the afternoon or evening after doing some physical activity or after sex. You might want to try a pregnancy calculator to get an estimate of your due date and be prepared even better.

Not feeling hungry during pregnancy second trimester? What to do? 

You don’t have to worry if you’re not feeling hungry during pregnancy’s second trimester for a week or two. You should be fine as long as you’re drinking enough fluids and taking your prenatal vitamins and having something to eat. You need to call your doctor if you’re so sick that you aren’t able to eat at all or you’re losing weight quickly.

Feeling sleepy during pregnancy second trimester?

It is possible to feel fatigued during the second trimester as well. As the pregnancy progresses, you’ll most likely begin to feel tired again. This is because your baby has grown quite a bit and is putting more physical demands on your body. Hence, you might want to rest and feel dizzy or sleepy.

Feeling weak and shaky during pregnancy 2nd trimester?

Some women find that their blood sugar is low during the early stage of pregnancy or feel nauseous, hungry, dizzy or shaky. Towards the end of the second trimester, the body tends to use insulin. This issue can lead to gestational diabetes, which is the reason why some expecting mums feel dizzy. Some mums also suffer from hypertension during pregnancy.

Sleeping Guide for Second Trimester of Pregnancy?

The best position for sleeping during the later second trimester of pregnancy is the left side as it allows unrestricted blood flow to the kidneys and fetus.

Feeling full during pregnancy second trimester?

The rise in progesterone levels during the first trimester of pregnancy also continues to rise in the second trimester. At this stage, the progesterone level of the expecting mum can be around 40 times higher than that of a woman who isn’t pregnant. Hence, this leads to an increase in the feeling of fullness.

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