Second Trimester Guide: What to Expect, Key Milestones, and Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

Written by Tidewater Physicians For Women on .
Second Trimester Guide: What to Expect, Key Milestones, and Tips for a Healthy Pregnancy

As you transition from the first to the second trimester, you may find that many of the more challenging early pregnancy symptoms begin to subside. The second trimester, spanning weeks 14 to 27, is often considered the most comfortable and enjoyable part of pregnancy. It’s a time of significant growth and development for your baby, and many women experience increased energy levels and a more stable mood. Here’s a comprehensive guide from your providers at Tidewater Physicians for Women to what you can expect during the second trimester, key milestones in your baby’s development, and tips for maintaining a healthy pregnancy.

What to Expect

With the arrival of the second trimester, you might notice several changes that can make this period more comfortable and enjoyable:

  1. Reduced Nausea: For many women, morning sickness begins to taper off during the second trimester. This relief can make it easier to eat well and maintain a balanced diet.
  2. Increased Energy: The overwhelming fatigue of the first trimester often gives way to a newfound energy. This is a great time to engage in moderate exercise, prepare for the baby’s arrival, and enjoy social activities.
  3. Growing Belly: Your baby bump will become more noticeable as your uterus expands to accommodate your growing baby. This can be an exciting time as you begin to look and feel more pregnant.
  4. Less Frequent Urination: As the uterus rises out of the pelvic area, it exerts less pressure on your bladder, leading to less frequent trips to the bathroom.
  5. Skin Changes: Hormonal changes can lead to the development of the “pregnancy glow” due to increased blood flow and oil production. However, some women might also experience skin issues such as acne or dark patches (melasma).

Key Milestones

The second trimester is a period of rapid growth and development for your baby. Here are some key milestones to look forward to:

  1. Movement: Around weeks 18 to 20, you may start to feel your baby’s movements, often described as flutters or “quickening.” This is an exciting milestone that makes the pregnancy feel more real and connected.
  2. Gender Reveal: If you choose to find out your baby’s gender, this is typically done during the mid-pregnancy ultrasound around 18 to 22 weeks. This scan also checks your baby’s anatomy and development, providing important information about their health.
  3. Development of Senses: Your baby’s senses begin to develop during this trimester. The eyes and ears are forming, and by the end of the second trimester, your baby may be able to hear your voice and other sounds from the outside world.
  4. Growth Spurt: By the end of the second trimester, your baby will have grown significantly, reaching about 14 inches in length and weighing around 1.5 pounds. The baby’s organs continue to develop, and the lungs start producing surfactant, a substance that helps the lungs function after birth.

Tips for a Healthy Second Trimester

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle during the second trimester is crucial for your well-being and your baby’s development. Here are some tips to help you stay on track:

  1. Balanced Diet: Continue to focus on a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Ensure you’re getting enough calcium and iron to support your baby’s growing bones and blood supply.
  2. Hydration: Staying hydrated is essential for your health and can help prevent common pregnancy issues like constipation and swelling. Aim to drink at least eight glasses of water a day.
  3. Prenatal Vitamins: Continue taking your prenatal vitamins to ensure you and your baby are getting essential nutrients, especially folic acid, iron, and calcium.
  4. Regular Exercise: Engage in moderate exercise such as walking, swimming, or prenatal yoga. Exercise can boost your mood, improve sleep, and help prepare your body for labor and delivery.
  5. Sleep: Prioritize rest and aim for at least 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Use pillows to support your growing belly and find a comfortable sleeping position, ideally on your side.
  6. Routine Prenatal Visits: Keep up with your prenatal appointments to monitor your baby’s growth and address any concerns. Your healthcare provider will check your weight, blood pressure, and the baby’s heartbeat, and may perform additional tests as needed.
  7. Monitor Symptoms: Pay attention to any unusual symptoms such as severe headaches, vision changes, or excessive swelling. These could be signs of complications like preeclampsia, and it’s important to contact your healthcare provider if they occur.

Preparing for the Third Trimester

As you near the end of the second trimester, it’s a good time to start preparing for the final stretch of your pregnancy and the arrival of your baby. Consider taking a childbirth education class, creating a birth plan, and setting up the nursery. Discuss your maternity leave plans with your employer and ensure you have a support system in place for the postpartum period.

The second trimester is a time of growth, both for you and your baby. With the reduction of early pregnancy symptoms and the anticipation of feeling your baby’s movements, this period is often filled with joy and excitement. By focusing on a healthy lifestyle, staying informed about your baby’s development, and preparing for the months ahead, you can make the most of this special time in your pregnancy journey. Enjoy the second trimester and all the wonderful milestones it brings! As always, contact us at anytime with questions or concerns:

Further Reading:

Mayo Clinic:

Written By Tidewater Physicians For Women

Tidewater Physicians for Women
a division of Mid-Atlantic Women’s Care
VA Beach

828 Healthy Way Unit 330
Virginia Beach, VA 23462

Fax: 757-467-0301


880 Kempsville Road, Ste 201
Norfolk, VA 23502

Fax: 757-461-0836

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