Recent weeks have brought on many screenings and tests to make sure your baby is healthy and growing properly–and thankfully the next few weeks will be pretty quiet. Sometimes women feel as though the second trimester is just the calm before the storm as they wait for new rounds of testing and screenings that will be ahead in the weeks to come. This time may also bring about new found attention from both loved ones and strangers who begin to notice your belly—this can be difficult to field, but don’t be afraid to say “hands off” when necessary.
There are many healthy practices that you should never overlook—no matter how many weeks pregnant you may be. If you smoke, there’s never a better time to stop. Many women feel that smoking during pregnancy is acceptable and helps ensure the delivery of a smaller baby, but no matter if you smoke one cigarette, or fifteen in a day, the danger still remains so don’t be afraid to ask for help kicking your habit if you need it.
The baby is continuing to gain weight as the days go by. As the weeks pass, your baby will grow stronger and as the tiny nudges turn into full-fledged kicks, and your partner may enjoy feeling the baby move now. Do your best to share as many experiences as possible with your partner. With a weight of one pound and a length that stands at just over 11 inches, your baby is continuing to form and develop at an alarmingly fast rate. Even though your baby still has many pounds pack on, he or she is continuing to fine-tune their bodily functions and appearance.
The previous weeks have allowed your baby to form and develop and coming weeks will bring on the addition of weight and fat stores that will be necessary for the baby to live outside the uterus.
Mom’s circulation is continuing to deliver nutrients to the baby and remove wastes. As baby begins to practice some functions in preparation for birth, the majority of his or her needs are being met by the mother.
Baby’s pancreas is developed, and fine tuning its function. While baby’s iris’ still do not have a specific color yet, many of the baby’s other facial features—like the eyes and lips– are becoming more defined, and tiny tooth buds are forming under baby’s gums.
The baby’s sensory system is developing very quickly, and the brain is sending signals as nerves grow and develop helping baby refine their senses. He or she may be exploring their face or moving their legs and arms to see how they feel. If the baby is a girl, she will have ovaries and early egg cells are present by the thousands, and her uterus is completely formed at this point.
Changes To Your Body
There are many hormonal changes that bring on new physical changes during pregnancy. While you may have expected belly and breast growth, you may be seeing other differences you hadn’t expected. Some of the most common include:
- Longer, thicker hair
- Stretch marks (for up to 50% of all women by the time they deliver)
- Faster growing fingernails
- Increasing body hair (face, stomach, chin and upper lip)
- Darkening, larger nipples and areola
What To Expect
As you begin to show more, you will find that others will begin to offer their opinion about your size, claiming that you are too large or too small for your gestational age. Remember that every woman carries differently, and their children grow differently, so try to take comments with a grain of salt and do what’s best and most healthy for you and your baby during this time.
It can be easy to over-do your activity levels during your second trimester. The high energy level and the loss of early fatigue and nausea may cause you to feel that you can continue to follow your regular routine and pace. For some, this is acceptable and for others it can be difficult to keep up the same actions so make sure to slow down if you need to and follow your body’s signals.