Second Trimester of Pregnancy Week by Week
Second trimester is simply the second phase of pregnancy. It includes middle three months of pregnancy from 4th to 6th. Weeks 14 to 17 are included in 4th, 18th to 21st in 5th and 22nd to 26th in 6th month of pregnancy.
Second trimester of pregnancy brings different set of body changes although the baby during this period continues in his growth and development process. Even risk of miscarriage drops as nearly 80% of them occur during first trimester.
As nausea and morning sickness eases a bit, it is likely that cravings for certain food items increases. It is the time to enjoy food but in moderate quantities. A pregnant lady needs 300 to 500 excess calories in a day and ideally her weight gain should be half to one pound every week.
Second Trimester of Pregnancy Symptoms
Second trimester is mostly the best trimester of pregnancy. During this time excessive and unpleasant symptoms of first trimester begin to subside. Levels of hcg hormones gradually decreases and better balance between progesterone and estrogen levels result in easing of symptoms like morning sickness and tiredness. Following are some important symptoms during this trimester-
- Frequent urination
- Cramps in legs
- Itchy skin
- Occasional dizziness
- Mood swings
Towards the end of second trimester a woman starts feeling pregnancy aches as uterus keeps on growing and it results in pain in Round ligaments and back area. Many women start feeling Braxton-Hicks contractions after 20th week of pregnancy.
What to Eat During Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Eating a balanced diet of fresh fruits and green vegetables is vital for a mother and her baby in second trimester. Actually food that a mother eats is the only source of nutrients and nourishment for a baby and hence it becomes doubly important to consume healthy items that will promote development and growth in baby. Healthy food includes proper dose of minerals, vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates and plenty of fresh liquids and water. Calcium is especially vital for a baby as it helps in development of teeth and bones in a baby. It is better to eat home-cooked meals as they are fresh and healthy.
Following are some food items rich in nutrients-
- Pumpkin seeds
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruits
- Dairy products like milk, cheese and yoghurt
- Baked potato
Second Trimester of Pregnancy Ultrasound
A doctor generally recommends an Ultrasound during 18th and 20th week of pregnancy. This scan helps in evaluating physical features and size of a baby. Sonographer measures circumference of a baby’s head to determine proper development of brain and skull.
During first half of second trimester it is possible to see fetal skeleton through its skin as it is transparent. It is also possible to determine sex of a baby after 18th week as his reproductive organs are visible in ultrasound.