The second trimester is a very busy period for you and your family mainly because of the number of tasks that you complete during this time. From finding the right doctor and hospital/clinic for your prenatal visits, to addressing a lot of personal needs—dental, exercise patterns, supplements and medication, shopping for maternity clothes, skin care—the time will fly. Of course, the baby bump will begin to show and if you are eating right, you can control that weight gain by following an active schedule.
Nervous system begins to function well. The baby will yawn, close his/her mouth, and may begin sucking his/her thumb. The genitals are prominent and visible in an ultrasound. Fingers and toenails are completely formed. Each new development can be accompanied by severe nausea or vomiting and it is said that this signals healthy development in a baby. But, not all experience this though. Baby is about 6 inches long.
At this point, your doctor will do a detailed examination of both the mother and the child. You will have to do a detailed blood, urine test with checks for thyroid, Rh factor, scan of the baby and address any concern that you have. The visits will become frequent and you may call with questions or if you notice anything unusual like spotting, abnormal cramping or very severe nausea. Keeping a diary with list of questions to ask and track changes helps at this point and keeps you organized.
By the fifth month, most of the early symptoms of pregnancy will disappear and you will definitely feel good and in control of yourself. You will accept the changes in your body and learn to adapt with your new size. Of course, you will feel the tenderness in your breasts, increase in pressure on your back, some heartburn but cravings for food will lead to good appetite and desire to try out new foods.
Baby’s eyes, nose, ears are very well formed and soft hair called lanugo grows on the baby’s body to protect it while in the womb. It will disappear after the baby is born. A coating of white creamy substance called vernix caseosa starts forming on the skin but becomes clearer in the third trimester. Vernix has anti-microbial properties and helps build the immunity in a new-born. It also helps the baby adapt in the uterus and acts as a shield. The baby is now 10 inches long and weigh about 1 pound.
The baby now begins to gain weight and will double in size to 12 inches and up to 2 pounds or about a kilo by the end of second trimester. Eyes open and you can expect movements as the baby stretches inside the womb. It can listen to sounds and get more active. This is the time you should take serious care of your dental/oral hygiene. With the nausea disappearing, most mothers will eat well and more frequently. The teeth at this time are most vulnerable for cavities or other problems and you have to make sure you are brushing well after every meal and flossing to reduce the risk of infections. Some studies say that good dental hygiene leads to full-term pregnancies without the risk of premature birth. With the increasing pressure on your back, learn some simple stress relieving exercises.
The baby also begins to take short breaths to prepare his lungs after birth. Eyesight is developed. The baby also becomes human-like with fat on its body although the skin will continue to be wriggly and reddish in color. Some experts also believe that the baby begins to dream at this point.
Overall, the second trimester is an active period both for the baby and the mother.