At Open Arms Real Choices Clinic, we’re all about empowered education! We take great care to keep our staff and clients informed with honesty and transparency. We hope you enjoy our series on The Stages of Pregnancy. Let’s explore the second trimester.
The second trimester is often described as the best part of the pregnancy. During this time, the baby becomes more mobile and you may begin to feel the baby flipping and turning inside of the uterus. This trimester is also the time that you will be able to find out the gender of your baby. How exciting!
MONTH 4 – weeks 13 through 16
During the fourth month of pregnancy, the prenatal appointments will monitor the baby’s growth and look for any potential health problems. As you begin developing your “baby bump,” the doctor will measure your fundal height which is the distance from your pubic bone to the top of your uterus. The baby’s heartbeat can now be heard through an instrument known as a doppler.
- The fingers and toes are well developed by this point
- Facial features become more prominent
- The nervous system begins to function
- The baby begins to suck his/her thumb, yawn, make faces, and stretch
- Size—6 inches long and approximately 4 oz.
MONTH 5 – weeks 17 through 20
At this point in pregnancy, the baby really begins forming muscles and so he/she begins exercising them in the womb. The first movement of the baby is commonly known as “quickening” which can be compared to as a fluttery feeling. Soft hair, also known as lanugo, begins to form and around the shoulders, temples, and back for protection. This is shed after the baby’s first week out of the womb. Another protective coat called vernix caseosa is formed which is a white substance covering the baby’s skin. This is shed just before birth.
- Eyelashes, fingernails, and toenails have formed giving the baby the ability to scratch his/herself.
- The baby can hear and swallow.
- Size—6 inches long and approximately 9 oz.
MONTH 6 – weeks 21 through 24
The baby’s skin is reddish in color as veins are visible through the baby’s light, translucent skin. The baby may become responsive to external sounds and become even more mobile. Hiccups can also be felt at this point.
- The eyes begin to open
- Finger and toe prints visible
- Taste buds form on the tongue
- The bone marrow begins to create blood cells
- Lungs form but are not functional yet
- Sleep cycles for the baby are more regular
- If the baby is a boy, the testicles begin descending into the scrotum, and if the baby is a girl, the ovaries with a lifetime supply of eggs and uterus are in place
- The baby begins to store fat
- Size—12 inches long and approximately 1.5 lbs.
MONTH 7 – weeks 25 through 28
The baby continues to grow and stores body fat. The baby also changes positions often in the womb, responding to external sounds. At this point, the amniotic fluid begins to diminish.
- Size—14 inches long and approximately 2-4 lbs.
The middle stages of fetal development and growth proves to continue to be an exciting time for the mother. Even though there can be a lot of changes happening in the body and extensive growth occurring in the womb, your baby is growing and moving closer to being outside the womb.