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Baby Development in Second Trimester

Pregnancy, one of the most wonderful and exciting phases of a woman’s life, usually lasts about 40 weeks. On the basis of changes that happen to the mother and fetus, this duration is broadly divided into three parts, which are known as trimesters. Representing the middle phase of the pregnancy, the second trimester starts in the 14th week and lasts until the 27th week. Since this is the time when the female’s uterus starts expanding to make room for the baby, the belly also grows in size. It is also considered the best phase of the entire pregnancy as it brings some relief from issues like nausea, breast tenderness, fatigue, etc.

What to Expect During the Second Trimester

During the second trimester, a woman’s body goes through several major changes. It is normal to feel some discomfort or pain in different parts of the body as the baby grows in size. The uterus expands, causing the uterine ligaments to stretch. In addition to that, the skin over the belly also gets stretched, causing mild itching and sometimes resulting in visible stretch marks.

Due to the higher rate of fetal growth in the second trimester, this is the time when a pregnant woman can actually feel the baby inside. The first movement of the baby, commonly referred to as quickening, can be felt somewhere around the 20th week. Around this time, the umbilical cord also starts to thicken so that enough nourishment can be provided to the fetus. A pregnant woman is advised to take a healthy diet with all the essential nutrients required for better fetal development in the second trimester.

Fetal Development Benchmarks for the Second Trimester

The second trimester of pregnancy is crucial for overall fetal development, as this is when the fetus starts taking on newborn-like features and gains a good amount of weight. The maximum amount of fetal brain development also happens in the second trimester.

Here are a few important milestones of fetal development in the 2nd trimester:

14th Week: This is the time when internal organs like kidneys start functioning and the production of urine gets started.

16th Week: In the 8th week of pregnancy, the external genitalia start taking on a proper shape, and by the 16th week, these organs are completely developed.

23rd Week: Around this time, the fetus starts developing a better sense of motion, and the hearing also continues to improve.

24th Week: In this week, the taste buds of the fetus are in their development stage, and the hairs also start growing at a faster rate.

27th Week: This is the most important week of this trimester, as lung development takes place around this time. However, they need some more time to start functioning. In addition to that, the baby can open and close the eyes and has developed his/her own sleeping schedule by this time.

When Should One Visit Their Doctor?

Since a major part of the overall development of the fetus takes place in the second trimester, regular doctor visits are really important. The schedule of these prenatal visits can vary from one female to another, depending on their health condition. This helps keep track of the mother’s health as well as the fetal development during the second trimester.

However, there are a few warning signs that one needs to look out for, such as:

· Vaginal bleeding
· Excessive watery discharge
· Severe nausea
· Abdominal pain
· Blurry vision
· Constant, painful contractions
· A change in the baby's movements

If anything like this happens, it is important to visit the obstetrician immediately.

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