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2nd trimester

07th Nov 2023

The second trimester of pregnancy: What to expect and everything you need to know

a blue and white sign reading 'her family' and 'second trimester'

Everything you need to know about weeks 13 to 28 of your pregnancy, also known as the second trimester

Welcome to the second trimester of your pregnancy! This is often considered the ‘honeymoon phase’ of pregnancy, as many mams-to-be find it more enjoyable than the first trimester – although not always the case.

During this stage, your body and baby are going through lots of changes, so let’s look at exactly what you can expect from these key growth weeks for your baby.

Increased energy, less sickness
One of the most noticeable changes in the second trimester is a boost in energy. You’ll likely start feeling less fatigued and more like your usual self.
For most women, morning sickness eases up during this trimester, making things a little easier to handle. Your appetite might also increase as nausea subsides, so maintaining a balanced diet is recommended.

Baby’s movements start
Usually around the 18-20 week mark, you’ll begin to feel your baby’s first movements, often described as fluttering or bubbles. It’s a lovely moment that will continue to happen (and strengthen) as your pregnancy progresses.

Your bump in the second trimester
Your baby bump will become more pronounced around now, and you might need to shop for some maternity clothes. Charity shops and Depop are great too, if you’re on a budget or would like to do maternity sustainably.

Another pregnancy scan
The 20-week scan (sometimes referred to as the ‘anomaly’ scan) typically takes place between 18-21 weeks, and it will check your baby’s growth and development. This is when you might find out your baby’s gender if you choose to know.

pictured is a woman having an ultrasound scan on her baby bump, she's wearing a mask and a white t-shirt and there's an ultrasound technician present

Weight gain
Gradual weight gain is normal in the second trimester. Your healthcare provider will monitor this to ensure you and your baby are on track.

Preparing for labour
It’s around this time that your hospital might invite you to attend antenatal classes to learn about labour, childbirth, and baby care. It’s an excellent time to start preparing for the big day. You might also want to start preparing the baby’s room, or setting up whatever area the baby will be sleeping in. It’s an exciting part of getting ready for your little one’s arrival.

Baby’s developments in the second trimester
Your baby’s senses are rapidly developing. They can hear sounds from the outside world, so talking or singing to your bump is a lovely way to bond.

Changes to your body and some symptoms
Things you may experience around this time are:
Heartburn and indigestion (ask your doctor about what’s best to take for this)
Back pain due to your growing uterus
Pelvic pain (which is worth speaking to your doctor about)
Increased vaginal discharge (usually clear or white)
Possible skin changes like a pregnancy ‘glow’ or stretch marks
Braxton Hicks contractions (some women may start experiencing these, which are often described as ‘practice’ contractions. They are usually relatively painless and help prepare your body for labour)
Piles (haemorrhoids) symptoms like a lump, itching or pain during, before or after going to the bathroom

Further check-ups
You’ll continue to have regular check-ups with your healthcare provider to monitor your baby’s growth and your overall health. Don’t hesitate to ask any questions or discuss any concerns you may have.

The second trimester of pregnancy is usually a time of positive changes and milestones. You’ll likely feel more energised, enjoy the feeling of your baby moving, and experience fewer symptoms of morning sickness. Remember to maintain a balanced diet, stay hydrated, and attend your regular check-ups.