What To Expect In Your Second Trimester Of Pregnancy

Picture of Robyn Rosenblum, MD, FAAP
woman in second trimester of pregnancy holding an ultrasound picture

With the morning sickness and exhaustion of your first trimester on their way out, you might be doing a little happy dance as you enter your second trimester!

In general, most women feel better during their second trimester. But, of course, there are still changes that will happen in your body as your baby belly continues to grow.

In this article, the experts at Newton Baby tell you when this trimester is, how your baby is growing, what you can expect, and how to care for yourself during these three months. Plus, we’ll give you a list of things to get done before your third trimester hits!

When Is Your Second Trimester?

The second trimester is in the middle of your pregnancy and lasts a little over three months, from week 13 through week 27. Your baby and your belly will both do a lot of growing during your second trimester!

Your Baby’s Growth During The Second Trimester

woman in second trimester touching her belly

The little one growing inside your tummy begins the second trimester weighing around .81 ounces (which is 0.05 pounds!) and is 2.9 inches long from their head to their tiny bottom.

By the end of this trimester, they’ve grown quite a bit, weighing about 1.9 pounds and measuring 14.4 inches from head to heel.

In addition to growing longer and fatter, your baby’s senses and organs are also developing. During the second trimester, they’ll start sucking and swallowing, responding to sounds (like the sound of your voice!), and develop fully-formed fingerprints — and those are just a few of the changes!

With all that growth, it’s no surprise that the second trimester is when you (and the rest of the world) will really begin to notice your baby belly.

And with that bigger belly (and pregnancy hormones), come a few new changes you can expect to see in your body over the next several weeks. Let’s jump straight in.

The Second Trimester: What To Expect And What To Do

A Baby Belly

What To Expect

While you felt the effects of pregnancy in the first trimester (hello, morning sickness), you probably didn’t notice much of a baby belly at all. That will change in the second trimester!

Every woman’s body is different, so pregnant moms can start showing at different times. But in general, most notice a baby bump around the very end of the first trimester or the beginning of the second trimester.

Regardless of how quickly your belly grows, the second trimester is when you’ll begin to look pregnant!

What To Do

As you develop your baby bump, consider shopping around for maternity clothes. Your belly will only get bigger from here on out, so it’s worth investing in some clothes that you’ll enjoy wearing.

Even though much of pregnancy is spent preparing for baby’s arrival, don’t forget to take care of yourself during these nine months! That can include stocking up on some cute maternity clothes that you feel great in, or it could be buying something to relax with at home.


pregnant woman holding belly during second trimester

What To Expect

As your baby grows, they’ll start spreading their wings and moving around inside your tummy. And you’ll be able to feel it!

Those first fluttery feelings of your baby moving are called quickening. This happens during the second trimester.

The American Pregnancy Association says:

“Some moms, especially those in their first pregnancy, may not feel movement until 18-20 weeks. Remember that each woman and every pregnancy is different, so you may not feel movement as early as another woman. There is a broad range of when the first detection of movement can be felt, ranging from 13-25 weeks.”

What To Do

Enjoy it! Be amazed at the miracle of being able to feel your baby moving inside you.

You don’t need to start counting or keeping track of your baby’s movements and kicks until your third trimester. 


What To Expect

During the second trimester, you’re carrying around a belly that gets bigger and bigger by the day, so you might start to have backaches.

What To Do

If back pain is bothering you, try following these tips to take good care of your back and keep pain to a minimum:

  • Say goodbye to high heels until your baby makes their appearance.
  • Always lift from the knees. If you’ve got other children, think about how you pick them up.
  • Avoid lifting heavy items altogether.
  • Practice good posture.
  • Sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees.

The Gender-Reveal Ultrasound

couple looking at ultrasound photos

What To Expect

This trimester is when you can have an ultrasound to learn the gender of your baby! It’s usually done around 20 weeks, although male or female genitalia can often be seen earlier.

What To Do

Discuss beforehand with your partner if you want to know if your baby is a boy or a girl or if you’d rather be surprised when they’re born.

Fundal Height Measurements

What To Expect

A few weeks into your second trimester is when your doctor will start taking fundal height measurements.

What is fundal height? It’s the measurement from your pubic bone to the top of your baby bump. It’s not foolproof, but it’s one way to check on your and your baby’s growth.

What To Do

If your fundal height measurement is too small or too large, your doctor will follow up with additional testing or another ultrasound.

Gum Sensitivity

woman in second trimester getting a dental exam

What To Expect

As strange as it may sound, gum sensitivity is something that may crop up during your second trimester.

Thanks to hormonal changes, you might notice that your gums are red, sore, irritable, and bleed easily. You might also develop gum disease or gingivitis, which is gum inflammation.

What To Do

Practice good dental care! If you don’t have a good home dental hygiene routine, now is a great time to start. Also, you’ll want to visit the dentist for a cleaning and checkup at least once during your pregnancy.

Consider going now, during your second trimester.


What To Expect

With your first semester (and the nausea that comes with it!) behind you, your appetite will probably return in your second semester. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of the woods!

If you begin to experience heartburn, you’re not alone. Pregnant women often deal with heartburn since the hormone progesterone, which is increased during pregnancy, relaxes the muscle between your stomach and your esophagus.

This means stomach acid can move more easily into the esophagus — hello, heartburn.

What To Do

Eat pregnancy-healthy foods and determine (and avoid) what bothers you — it could be caffeine, spicy foods, greasy foods, or acidic food like citrus.

Try eating smaller, more frequent meals. Also, make sure you eat slowly, chew your food well, and avoid eating before bedtime.

If you can’t seem to get a handle on heartburn, talk to your doctor to see what medicine you can safely take while pregnant.

Changes In Your Sleep

couple snuggling under newton baby's weighted blanket

What To Expect

Your sleep will change in each trimester. And in your second trimester, you’ll become aware of your quickly-growing belly when you lie down to sleep at night.

You might not be as exhausted as you were during the first trimester, but with a bigger belly, it can be difficult to get comfortable in bed.

What To Do

Sleeping on your back becomes more problematic the bigger your belly grows. If you can, start sleeping on your side (to increase blood flow to baby, sleep on your left side if possible!) and try putting a pillow between your legs.

Changes In Your Skin

What To Expect

As the rest of your body changes during pregnancy, so does your skin.

You might develop stretch marks. You could also notice darker skin around your nipples or a dark line from the pubic area extending upward to your belly, which is called a linea nigra.

What To Do

There’s not much you can do to avoid these changes in your skin. However, you’ll want to wear sunscreen when you’re out and about and consider using a stretch mark cream.

And the good news is that if you’ve noticed a linea nigra, it will go away after pregnancy.

More Energy

What To Expect

If your first trimester kept you in bed and on the couch, you’ll notice that you have more energy during your second trimester. Unfortunately, the fatigue will probably return in your third trimester, but for now, enjoy your get-up-and-go!

What To Do

Since pregnancy is usually bookended by tiredness in the first and third trimesters, take advantage of the energy you have right now to do some baby shopping and set up the nursery.

Create a cozy and safe nursery for your baby to play, sleep, and grow in. When purchasing the nursery essentials — like a crib and crib mattress — always keep your little one’s safety in mind.

mom putting baby to bed on a newton baby crib mattress

A breathable crib mattress, like Newton Baby’s Crib Mattress, will keep your baby cool and comfortable all night.

Plus, you’ll put your mind at ease knowing that your little one can breathe straight through the mattress and mattress pad if they roll over during the night.

Changing Breasts

What To Expect

You may have gone up a bra size or two in your first trimester and, for worse or for better, your breasts will probably continue to grow during your second trimester!

In the second trimester, your breasts may feel heavy and large. During this time, they will also begin to produce the first milk for your little one, called colostrum.

But just because you’re producing colostrum doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll notice it leaking from your nipples. You may or may not, and either way is perfectly normal!

What To Do

If your breasts have changed in size, do some shopping for new bras that are comfortable and fit correctly. Not sure what would work best? Consider going for a professional bra fitting.

Lastly, if your breasts are sensitive, you may find it more comfortable to snooze in a sleeping bra.

When To Seek Medical Care

woman on second trimester calling doctor

We just listed some of the changes you’ll notice in your body. Most of them are nothing to worry about, and it’s true that many women sail through their second trimester feeling great!

However, at every point in your pregnancy, you should be aware of the signs that something may not be right.

Call your doctor right away if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Nausea or vomiting (more than usual)
  • Severe diarrhea
  • Vaginal Bleeding
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Smelly vaginal discharge
  • Your water breaking
  • Headaches that won’t go away
  • Signs of a urinary tract infection
  • Feeling dizzy or out of breath
  • Pain in your abdomen or back
  • Severe swelling
  • Blurry vision
  • Fever or chills
  • Quick weight gain

Keep in mind that this is not a complete list and if something doesn’t feel right, always listen to your instincts and seek medical care. If it turns out to be nothing, you’re still better safe than sorry!

The Second-Trimester Checklist

We’ve talked a lot about the changes you can expect in your body and what to do about them. But, as we said, usually women feel great during their second trimester.

Take advantage of that and make these the most productive weeks of your pregnancy!

To help you get things done, we’ve created this second-trimester checklist. For a more detailed checklist for the second trimester and beyond, read out our article here.

1) Create Your Baby Registry

If you have baby showers coming up, now is the time to create a baby registry so your guests know what you need for your little one.

Include a variety of items with different price tags as well as multi-purpose items, like our Organic Swaddle Blankets. When your baby’s small, swaddle them with this 100% organic, breathable muslin cotton swaddle. Later, use it as a burp cloth, nursing cover, stroller cover, or light blanket!

Crib sheets are another great item to put on your baby registry. Our Breathable, Organic Cotton Sheets are made with preshrunk organic muslin cotton and are completely breathable for superior airflow and comfortable sleep!

baby laying on back

2) Plan Your Gender Reveal Party

If you’ve decided to find out whether your little one is a boy or a girl, you can throw a gender reveal party to share the exciting news with your friends and family!

Your gender reveal ultrasound will sneak up on you, so begin party-planning now! If you’re not sure where to start, read our article How To Host And Plan A Memorable Gender Reveal Party.

3) Check Into Classes

If you’re going to take childbirth or breastfeeding classes, gather information now! It’s not too early to register.

4) Decide On Childcare

It might seem like a long time before your baby will be in your arms and even longer before you’ll need childcare.

However, some daycares have very long waiting lists! So it’s not a bad idea to do your research now and put your little one on the waiting list if necessary.

5) Research Pediatricians

Another thing you should start checking into now is who you want to be your baby’s pediatrician.

You don’t have to settle on one during your second trimester, but it’s a good idea to at least get a feel for what’s out there and what you’re looking for.

6) Travel

Pregnant woman at the beach during second trimester

For lots of expecting moms, the second trimester is the sweet spot to get some traveling done! If there’s a trip you want to take, consider going soon. Although guidelines say you can travel up to 36 weeks, you’ll be more comfortable during your second trimester.

That said, before making plans, ask your doctor if it’s safe for you to travel and if they have any special recommendations.

7) Write A Birth Plan

Toward the end of your second trimester, start thinking about your birth plan.

This is simply writing down your ideas and preferences for what happens before, during, and immediately after your baby’s delivery. Later, you can share it with your partner, doctor, doula, and family so that everyone knows what to expect.

If this sounds like something you want to do, check out our article with tips on how to write your birth plan.

Take Advantage Of Your Second Trimester

Couple hugging during second trimester

The second trimester is different for every expecting mother. But regardless of how you feel right now, in your third trimester, your belly will be even bigger and you may not have the energy to do many things around the house.

Use your second trimester to get ahead of the game and prepare for the quickly-approaching arrival of your little one!

Take some time for yourself and outfit your nursery with essentials from Newton Baby. Every day you’re getting closer to welcoming your precious baby into your home!

Browse all nurseries