Welcome to the second trimester of pregnancy, Moms! As you must have already started to notice, this trimester (13-27 weeks) is a more comfortable and enjoyable time compared to the first trimester. The nausea and morning sickness of pregnancy now start to subside and the appetite returns. The baby bump usually does not show before the 20th week which can bring some discomfort but not yet. Not yet. Most women feel more energetic and better adjusted to the hormonal changes of pregnancy during the second trimester and hence this period has been rightly called the ‘Honeymoon period ‘ or rather the ‘Baby moon period ‘ of pregnancy.
Development of the baby in the second trimester
The second trimester is the time for rapid differentiation & growth of the baby. The baby grows from a size of about 2.9 inches , weighing 23 gm to about 14.4 inches and weighing approx 800-900 gm by the end of it. It really is a miracle how a small mass of cells in the beginning of pregnancy changes into a fully differentiated and well developed human being during the antenatal period.
As the second trimester progresses, various organs of the body develop and differentiate to acquire optimal functional capacity in itself, a system growing rapidly. The baby’s kidneys start to function & form urine, and the intestines take their normal position inside the abdomen. The baby’s skeleton develops gradually from the early part of the second trimester and the bones may be seen on an Ultrasound scan. It is quite an emotional & exciting moment to witness your baby’s hand and limb movements in that all-informing ultrasound scan and also to feel its first movement at around 18-20 weeks ! The baby’s eyes and ears get fully formed and the baby can hear muffled sounds as early as in the 18th week of pregnancy, although he/she may respond to your voice only by the 25th week. The fingernails and fingerprints develop and the baby’s hair is visible as soft, lanugo hair by the 22nd week. By the 24th week, the baby develops regular sleep and waking cycles and grows real hair. The lungs and the nervous system of the baby are growing and maturing rapidly at this stage and new milestones are reached and crossed every week .
Diet and Nutrition in Second Trimester
The importance of a balanced diet in pregnancy cannot be emphasised enough. Good nutrition is necessary not only to meet the mother’s energy requirements, but…