What happens in the second trimester?
The second trimester lasts until you are 28 weeks pregnant and your baby continues to grow and develop steadily. Any nausea and sickness should have resolved in the first few weeks of this trimester and many women can start eating some foods that they felt they could not in the first trimester and tolerate a cup of tea or coffee. Your body will see further physical and emotional changes and most expectant mothers start to enjoy being pregnant and are often said to be "blooming" or "glowing". You will, over the next few weeks, see your pregnant bump emerging and, if it is your first pregnancy, you usually feel flutter type sensations between 18-23 weeks (quickening), which is your baby moving. Second time mums recognise these fluttering sensations a bit earlier, around 16-20 weeks.
At 20 weeks of pregnancy your baby will have grown quite a lot. You will be able to see this when you have your anatomy scan. If you want to know what sex your baby is, the ultra-sonographer will be able to tell you. This is not fool proof and very occasionally your baby might be born the other sex.
At 24 weeks of pregnancy your baby is about 30cm (12 inches) long (a ruler length) and weighs about 650g (1lb 7oz). This is when your pregnancy is said to be "viable", which means he/she has a good chance of surviving if you went into premature labour. Your midwife will start to measure your abdomen (fundal height) at your next appointment to assess your progress and record this in your hand-held notes.
By around 28 weeks of pregnancy your baby's organs are functioning, apart from his/her lungs. He/she will weigh about 1000 g (2lb 3oz) now and be around 35cm (13 inches) in length. Your baby will be active and you should feel your baby moving.
Remember! You are prone to constipation during pregnancy and increasing levels of the hormone progesterone will slow down your bowel habits, so make sure you have enough fibre in you diet. For more information on diet and fibre, see Eating healthy in pregnancy.
A hormone, Relaxin, produced by the corpus luteum (ovary) and placenta during pregnancy will help to relax your muscles and ligaments in preparation for your forthcoming birth, so take care not to overdo things, because you are more at risk of pulling a muscle. Low to moderate impact exercise is recommended.
You may notice that you seem more forgetful but just take things steady and think logically if you have lost something.