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The Second Trimester

Prenatal visits during the second trimester:

During the second and third trimester prenatal visits, your physician may check the following, depending on your current medical condition and the health of the fetus:

What to expect during the second trimester:

The second trimester marks a turning point for mother and fetus. The mother usually begins to feel better and will start showing the pregnancy more. The fetus has now developed all its organs and systems and will now focus on growing in size and weight.

During the second trimester, the umbilical cord continues to thicken as it carries nourishment to the fetus. However, harmful substances also pass through the umbilical cord to the fetus, so care should be taken to avoid alcohol, tobacco, and other known hazards.

During the second trimester, both the mother's body and the fetus continue to grow.

Illustration demonstrating fetal growth from 8 to 40 weeks
Click Image to Enlarge

Fetal development during the second trimester:

Now that all the major organs and systems have formed in the fetus, the following six months will be spent growing. The weight of the fetus will multiply more than seven times over the next few months, as the fetus becomes a baby that can survive outside of the uterus.

By the end of the second trimester, the fetus will be about 13 to 16 inches long and weighs about 2 to 3 pounds. Fetal development during the second trimester includes the following:

A fetus born at the end of 24 weeks may survive in a neonatal intensive care unit.

Changes in the mother's body:

The second trimester is the most physically enjoyable for most women. Morning sickness usually abates by this time and the extreme fatigue and breast tenderness usually subsides. These changes can be attributed to a decrease in levels of human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone and an adjustment to the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones.

The following is a list of changes and symptoms that may occur during the second trimester:

Click here to view the
Online Resources of Pregnancy & Childbirth


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