Your Second Trimester, Week-by-Week

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See what's happening in there every single week!

Week 14

Your renewed energy (and end to morning sickness) may lull you into thinking you can take on a marathon, but follow this guideline: Work out only so hard that you can carry on a conversation without getting out of breath.

What to do now:

  • Sign up for prenatal yoga, Pilates, swimming or other exercise class.

RELATED: 15-Minute At-Home Prenatal Workout

Week 15

The "window of opportunity" for many important screening and diagnostic tests opens this week, should you decide to undergo them.

What to do now:

  • Make an appointment for the multiple marker test or amniocentesis. The former screens for chromosomal abnormalities, including Down syndrome; neural-tube defects such as spina bifida; and other defects. The latter can diagnose chromosomal and other abnormalities. Both are typically performed between 15 and 20 weeks.

Week 16

Sometime between 16 and 22 weeks, you'll start to feel your baby move.

What to do now:

  • Decide whether you want to find out your baby's sex. Many doctors do a detailed ultrasound between 16 and 20 weeks, at which time gender often can be determined.

RELATED: Counting Fetal Movements

 

Week 17

Your sleep may be marked by vivid and bizarre dreams, often reflecting anxiety you might have about childbirth and parenthood.

What to do now:

  • Invest in a good body pillow to help you get your z's.
  • Look into childbirth education classes; they fill up quickly. Ditto for doulas.

Week 18

Just when you thought you couldn't possibly take any more pee breaks, you do. It's inevitable: As your baby grows, your bladder shrinks (or so it seems).

What to do now:

  • Drink plenty of fluids (not coffee or tea, which are diuretics) during the day, but limit them toward bedtime.

Week 19

Now that you're feeling better, it's time to spend some quality time with your partner. So have sex! Unless you're having complications, it's safe for most women throughout pregnancy.

What to do now:

  • Take advantage of your waning baby-free days: see a movie, go to dinner, take walks together. No babysitter required.

RELATED: 7 Ways to Get in the Mood for Pregnancy Sex

Week 20

You're halfway there, which means your uterus has reached your navel! The nesting urge is probably kicking in. Have fun with it, but don't go overboard and exhaust yourself.

What to do now:

  • If you're planning to have the nursery painted or new carpet installed, get it done soon so the room has a chance to air out before the baby arrives.

Week 21

If you're 35 or older, have chronic high blood pressure or diabetes or are carrying multiples, you are at a higher risk of preeclampsia. It can occur this early, but usually doesn't set in until the third trimester.

What to do now:

  • Call your doctor immediately if you have signs of preeclampsia: swelling, especially in your face and hands; sudden weight gain; headache; nausea or vomiting; or vision changes.

Week 22

You may be developing hemorrhoids and constipation. Lucky you! At this point, the fetus weighs almost a pound.

What to do now:

  • Keep downing the fluids and fiber-rich foods, but talk to your doc before taking any laxatives or stool softeners.

Week 23

Your doctor may soon advise you to steer clear of long-distance travel—not because it is unsafe, but because she wants you close by in case you go into labor.

What to do now:

  • Craving a last baby-free getaway (aka a "babymoon")? Do it now.

Week 24

If you are 30 or older, have a family history of diabetes, are Hispanic or obese, you are at increased risk for gestational diabetes. It typically has no symptoms.

What to do now:

  • Schedule an appointment for your glucose screen, which checks for gestational diabetes; it is conducted between 24 and 28 weeks.

RELATED: 8 Things You Didn't Know About Gestational Diabetes

Week 25

You may be afflicted with heartburn and leg cramps, especially at night.

What to do now:

  • Make friends with Tums. They won't harm your baby, and they work wonders on heartburn.
  • To help prevent cramps, stretch your legs, especially your calves, before going to bed. Also avoid standing or sitting in one position for too long.

Week 26

Your to-do list is getting longer while you're getting more tired. Your fetus begins to sleep for longer periods now, often when you do. Its eyes open and are beginning to blink.

What to do now:

  • Look into child care if you'll be returning to work. Day-care centers fill up fast, and nannies can be hard to come by.
  • Get into the nap habit. You'll need to master these 20-minute mini-snoozes once your baby arrives.
  • Start narrowing down your baby name list. But think twice about whether you want to share the possibilities with others.

Week 27

You may be distressed to see the numbers on the scale creep (OK, jump) up: From here on out, you'll probably be gaining about 1 pound a week. This still only translates to about 300 extra calories a day, though.

What to do now:

  • Focus on eating high-fiber foods, including fruits, vegetables and whole grains; they will help you feel full longer.

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