By now you have made it to your half way point. The best part about the second trimester is that it is the easiest and most enjoyable part of the pregnancy. Gone is the morning sickness and fatigue commonly seen in the first trimester.
Even though the sex organs of your baby have already developed, it really isn’t until week 20 or so when it becomes easy to decipher gender. You have a much better chance of catching the baby in the right position than ever before. This is the week that most physicians will do a thorough ultrasound to check your baby for gender (if you want to know) and physical abnormalities that may require further testing. Don’t forget to take your partner along to the 20 week ultrasound so you can see your baby—perhaps for the first time.
Right now, you feel great and baby is changing rapidly. Compared to its start, baby has quadrupled his or her weight by the 20th week.
Being able to feel the baby that you and your partner created is one of the best joys of pregnancy. By the 20th week, you will also be able to tell when the baby is sleeping and when the baby is awake. You and the baby are on opposite schedules, you will feel the baby more around more as you are trying to sleep or lie down.
The baby should weigh about 11 ounces and be 6-1/2” in length. The baby will start to practice breathing although the lungs will one of the last organs to fully develop. The baby is covered with light fine hair called the lanugo and vernix and is enjoying his happy home.
Changes With Your Body
While the baby is growing, new moms to be may find themselves short of breath. As the uterus begins its climb upward, it will press against the lungs and diaphragm making it difficult to take a deep breath. Any significant shortness of breath—especially at rest—or when accompanied by a wet cough should be reported to your doctor.
Weight gain can be tricky at this point. At this stage of pregnancy, you should expect to gain about 8 to 10 pounds—but most women are usually over that mark by now. The doctor should be monitoring your weight gain, and if they have any concerns they will let you know.
You may start to notice stretch marks around this time as well. Unfortunately, stretch marks are considered to be a part of your genetic makeup—and cannot truly be prevented. Keeping them moist with fancy creams and oils may prevent discomfort from them but they will remain no matter what you do to stop them.
You may notice as the baby grows that you are experiencing constipation, indigestion and some skin itchiness. Stay hydrated and drink plenty of fluids every day. Stay away from caffeinated drinks, these drinks only make you more thirsty, and contain empty calories.
What To Expect
At this stage of your pregnancy, you should be relaxing and enjoying every minute. Try to stay on target with your exercise and eating plan, and continue to take your prenatal vitamins.
Many moms are also scribbling baby names by now. If you haven’t started down the list, this is a good time to start.
As the baby continues to grow at a fast rate, your body will change rapidly as well. These changes are normal and if you have any concerns at all, now is the time to speak to your doctor. If you think something isn’t right, don’t hesitate to call your doctor or go to the local emergency room.