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Your Guide to the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

September 23, 2015 by HealthyFamilies BC

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Your Guide to the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

In the second trimester of pregnancy (15-27 weeks), you will likely leave your morning sickness behind and welcome your energy back.

During this exciting time your baby is growing rapidly. From physical changes to getting the chance to see your baby for the first time, here’s an overview of what to expect during the second trimester.

  1. Prenatal Care: If you haven’t already, register your pregnancy with your local Health Authority to connect with a public health nurse and to get latest information and care for you, your baby and family. This free support is available to all pregnant women who are residents of BC. Here’s how to register.
  2. Check-ups and Tests: Plan to see your doctor or midwife about once a month.  At 18-20 weeks you’ll have an ultrasound to check your baby’s development and position. This provides an estimated due date as well. You’ll also have glucose screening at 24-26 weeks to tests for gestational diabetes, which can be caused by hormonal changes. Learn more details and what other check-ups and tests you might have.
  3. Baby’s development:  Your baby’s lungs, heart and blood systems start to develop during the second trimester. You’ll likely feel movement, usually after 19 weeks. This is called quickening, and is often described as a fluttering feeling. Your baby will be able to hear your voice and you may be able to feel their outline through your abdomen. See how your baby grows week-by-week during this three-month period here.
  4. Physical changes: During the second trimester your healthy weight gain should be steady and gradual, averaging around 0.2 to 0.5 kilograms (0.5-1.0 pound) per week. You’ll experience a range of new physical changes. You might have nasal congestion, milk may leak from your breasts, your gums might become red or inflamed, and you may have some lower back pain or sore legs. Find more details on what all of this means and learn how to keep discomfort to a minimum.
  5. Relationship with your partner: The second trimester can be a great time for your partner to connect with your pregnancy. Have your partner feel your belly when the baby moves and talk to your baby. Pregnancy can change your relationship, but you and your partner can still be intimate. Learn about healthy sex during pregnancy.
  6. Work: If you will be working during your pregnancy, let your employer or direct supervisor know about upcoming medical appointments. Work with them to develop arrangements that support your specific needs and limitations. You may have to stop performing physical work, such as heavy lifting, and other parts of your job may need to be modified. Talk to your employer about what changes may be possible. Here is more advice.
  7. Managing stress: It’s normal to feel some stress during pregnancy – it’s an exciting time. But too much stress can be unhealthy for you and your baby. Try to get enough sleep, eat healthy foods and be physically active. Practice relaxation breathing and consider going to prenatal classes. Find more tips.

Watch this video to hear what you and your developing baby will experience during the second trimester.

Related blogs

Guide to Your First Trimester of Pregnancy

Recommended resources

What to Eat When Pregnant
Exercising Safely During Pregnancy
Alcohol & Pregnancy
How Support Teams Can Help During Pregnancy
Dental Care During Pregnancy

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