Trimester Two

During the second trimester, energy levels can somewhat return to normal. It is really important to stay well hydrated, continue movement and eat nourishing foods. It is especially important to eat well after a period of morning sickness, so that you ensure yourself and baby receive optimal nutrients. It is lovely to start journalling at this time. Notice the changes within your body, and start to think about welcoming your baby, the sort of parent you might like to be. 
If this is your first baby, enjoy resting where possible, dates with your partner and slowly preparing for their arrival. If you have other children, it is a beautiful time to spend quality time with them, talk to them about what they might expect with a newborn sibling.
You might like to book in your birth support team, photographs and start making regular appointments for body care (massage or chiropractic).

The Second Trimester 13-28
Week 13
he hormone, relaxin, helps to loosen ligaments and joints. It may also make you a little clumsier. Baby's foetal nerve cells have been multiplying rapidly and synapses (neurological connections in your brain) start to form. The baby has more reflexes: touching the palms makes the fingers close, touching the soles of the feet makes the toes curl down and touching the eyelids makes the eye muscles clench. Baby starts to swallow and urinate amniotic fluid! Baby has fingerprints.

Week 14
Energy levels increase and morning sickness may ease up. Miscarriage risk drops drastically.  The baby can move the muscles of its face. HIs or her arms will lengthen in proportion to its body. Downy hair forms on the body.

Week 15
Skin pigmentation may change, and libido may spike. Baby is about the size of an avocado. The circulatory system and urinary tract are in full working order, the foetus is inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid through his lungs.

Week 16
Constipation, bloating, gas and indigestion may be prevalent due to hormones. You may feel your baby kick for the first time! Baby is rapidly growing, about 13 cms and weighing 140g. The skeleton is mostly cartilage, which will harden later and myelin slowly begins to wrap around the spinal cord.

Week 17
The uterus is growing to accommodate baby, mummas will usually be showing now. The baby’s bones begin to harden, the umbilical cord grows stronger and thicker.

Week 18
Vivid dreams, nightmares and insomnia can disrupt a mummas sleep now. Baby’s ears are standing out from its head. The arms and legs can flex, and the chest moves to mimic breathing. Boys genitals are recognisable and girls reproductive organs are developed.

Week 19
As the centre of gravity shifts, you might experience back ache and clumsiness. Sensory development reaches its peak this week with each of the senses – taste, smell, hearing, sight and touch – developing in their specialised areas of the brain. Nerve cell production slows as existing nerve cells grow larger and make more complex connections. Arms and legs are in correct proportion to the body. Baby measures about 14.2cm long and weighs about 240g.

Week 20
Uterus has reached the navel! Round ligament pain can be present due to the round ligaments, which are attached to your pelvic sidewall and each side of your upper uterus, pulling and stretching as the uterus grows. Vernix caseosa begins to cover the baby, and bub is steadily gaining weight. 

Week 21
Hopefully mumma is feeling amazing, though body image concerns may appear as her belly grows. It is important to keep moving in preparation of labour, for optimal foetal positioning and to ensure strong pelvic floor muscles. The eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed and the fingernails cover the fingertips.

Week 22
Low blood pressure is common, so be mindful of moving quickly from lying down or seated to standing. Nails and hair may look extra strong due to oestrogen (hormone). The baby now weighs about 430g, measures 27cm long from crown to heel, and is proportioned like a newborn. The lips are distinct and the eyes are formed, though the iris still lacks pigmentation. The pancreas is developing steadily. 
The first signs of teeth appear in the form of tooth buds beneath the gum line.

Week 23
Mumma should definitely have felt bub kick by now. Anaemia could be causing a few symptoms like fatigue and should be monitored as bub likes to take what he or she needs and many mummas cannot store iron efficiently. Your baby's hearing is well established and lungs are preparing to breathe.

Week 24
Libido may dip or surge here thanks to hormones. Aches and pains due to growing a human are apparent and sleep may be harder to come by, despite being tired. Bronchioles in the baby's lungs are developing.

Week 25
The uterus grows upward and outward now. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur. Baby now weighs nearly 660g and is about 35cm long from crown to heel. He or she is starting to put on some adipose/fat, and their hair has colour and texture.

Week 26
Fluid retention may occur in some mummas, so it is important to stay hydrated. Baby’s eyes begin to open around now and brain development is intense.

Week 27
The volume of amniotic fluid reduces by half. The weight in the belly might cause sciatica. Baby sleeps and wakes regularly! Often babies will get hiccups now, swallowing amniotic fluid.

Week 28
 As baby and belly grow your legs may ache or cramp, it's hard to get a good sleeping position, and the baby is big enough to give you some sharp kicks to the ribs. The baby weighs just over one kg and may measure 38 centimetres from top to toe. His or her fat layers are forming and his fingernails appear.

This is a wonderful time to start thinking about the delivery of your baby earth side. Ways in which to help you breastfeed, what to do with the placenta, creating a birth plan, starting to prepare a place for the baby to sleep.
It is really important to learn about optimal foetal positioning and pelvic floor health (including diastasis recti). It is important to eat a wide variety of nutritious, fibrous, foods and stay well hydrated to avoid fluid retention and constipation.
It is a good idea to begin or continue exercising.
Talking to each other about labour support from partner, about parenting roles and expectations. Mum should feel safe to discuss any concerns she may have about the labour and post partum period with her partner.

Tim McDonaldComment