What your partner should know about the second trimester

Get ready for what most consider the most enjoyable trimester.


Congrats! You and your partner are past the first trimester. Take a moment to pat yourselves (and your pregnant partner) on the back for making it through what is literally the most nauseating part of pregnancy, and get ready for what most consider the most enjoyable trimester.

Here is what you need to know about the second trimester:

When does the second trimester start?

The second trimester starts at the beginning of week 13 and ends at 27 weeks and 6 days.

What's happening with baby in the second trimester?

While all your baby's major organ systems were formed during the first trimester, the second trimester hosts some major milestones for your growing little human. At the start of the second trimester, your baby is the size of a lemon and has closed eyelids—but their eyes are already able to sense light.

By 17 weeks: Your kiddo's arms and legs are starting to move regularly as they explore the womb.

By 18 weeks: The genitals are developed. Soon you'll be able to discover if you're having a little boy or girl!

By 20 weeks: Around this time your baby is able to hear and has started to grow fine hair on their tiny head.

By 24 weeks : One of the biggest pregnancy milestones occurs. Your baby reaches viability, meaning if they were born at this point they might survive with proper NICU support.

By the end of the second trimester: Your baby's eyes are open, they are developing a sense of smell and taste, they have regular sleep and wake cycles and they weigh nearly 2 pounds.

Psst: For week-by-week updates on what your sweet baby is up to throughout pregnancy, check out The Motherly Guide to Becoming Mama.

What's happening with mama during the second trimester?

The second trimester is often a welcome relief for a lot of mamas. Around this time, those exhausting early pregnancy symptoms start to disappear, or at least greatly wane. Your partner will hopefully have much less nausea and increased energy, and will likely start feeling more like herself again.

This is also the trimester where the physical changes really start to kick in, and you will start to notice that adorable baby bump.

At around the 17 week mark, your partner may feel the baby move for the first time—but reassure her that most first-time moms often don't feel any movement until 20 to 23 weeks. Your partner may be noticing her breasts are getting bigger, as well as her waist size.

How to support your partner during the second trimester

This is a really fun and exciting trimester for both you and the mama-to-be, filled with opportunities for you to shine as a supportive partner. Here are a few ways to show her how much you appreciate all that she's doing for your growing family:

1. As your partner's energy starts returning, offer to exercise with her and encourage healthy food choices as her appetite returns to normal.

2. When her pants start to get too tight, reassure her that she is beautiful and send her on a shopping spree for some new maternity clothes.

3. Get a couple of books to read to your baby, as they can now hear your voice!

4. Plan a few extra date nights or even a weekend away to soak in these moments together.

You've been doing a great job at being the supportive partner that she needs you to be. This is a great trimester in which to celebrate the two of you and your little one on the way.

14 sweet 'just thinking of you' gifts for every mama

A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs.

Who says you have to wait for birthdays or holidays to give your bestie a great gift? A sweet surprise that tells her you've been thinking of her might be the pick-me-up she needs in these more-than-trying times. We've rounded up some of our favorite go-to gifts that are certain to be a bright spot in her week. But be warned, you may want to snag a few for yourself. (You deserve it, mama.)

Here are some our favorite "just because" gifts to give our hardworking mama friends.

New Mother face + body care duo

volition face + body care duo

This correcting oil and stretch mark minimizer is perfect for the pregnant mama looking to keep her pregnancy glow. The correcting oil brightens the skin while reducing dark spots, and the stretch mark minimizer works to smooth her ever-growing belly.


Allover roller

esker allover roller

This jade roller goes beyond your typical face roller and can be used anywhere on the body. It works to increase stimulation and reduce puffiness and is perfect for applying any oils to the face or body. Plus, it feels like a mini spa treatment.


Kombucha making kit

farmsteady kombucha making kit

What could be a more perfect gift for the health-obsessed friend? This kombucha making kit comes with everything you need to brew your own homemade green tea kombucha. They'll think this is the tastiest gift ever.


Laetitia lipstick

cupid & psyche laetitia

This red lipstick is perfect for your makeup enthusiast bestie who is looking to spruce up her life in quarantine. Crafted in the United States, these bee and vegan-friendly and cruelty-free lipsticks are created to flatter all complexions. Cupid and Psyche Beauty makes finding the perfect red lip way too easy!


Jigsaw puzzle

inner piecec jigsaw puzzle

Mamas need to destress now more than ever during quarantine. This adorable jigsaw puzzle is perfect for the mama who needs a brain break! The 500-piece puzzle designed by artist Ray Oranges features an abstract gradient design that fits a standard frame when completed. Bonus: It's printed on recycled paper and the company donates $1 from every puzzle sold to youth mindfulness programs.


Matilda's Bloombox

matilda's bloombox

If we have to be stuck inside, we might as well have some gorgeous florals to brighten up the space. Matilda's Bloombox locally sources blooms, delivers them to her door and provides simple tips on how to arrange it into a beautiful bouquet.


'I Am Enough' bracelet

I Am Enough bracelet

Let this dainty bracelet serve as a constant reminder to your bestie that she is enough. She'll wear this on her wrist and read this daily oath to herself, "I Am Enough."


Glow assorted teas

vahdam low assorted teas

This tea gift box set covers the entire spectrum of flavors from sweet to spicy. Individually packaged in beautiful tins, your gal pal will feel like a queen sipping her morning tea. Originally $40, this set is currently on sale for just $24. We'll take two, please.


Find your voice journal

find your voice journal

Journaling is a great way to ease anxiety and will slow your bestie's racing mind before bed. This gift is perfect for first time journalists and includes prompts, daily quotes and coloring pages to help her unlock her potential and find her voice.


Premium frother

shore magic premium frother

This gift is fitting for your latte-sipping bestie who can't go a day without her coffee. All she has to do is add two scoops of collagen to her favorite drink, and she'll have a perfectly foamy drink ready in seconds. Skipping the drive-thru line has never been so easy!


Bath soak infusion kit

maude bath soak infusion kit

Say hello to hydration! She'll be feeling smooth and relaxed as ever after a long bath soaking in these salts. This vegan + cruelty-free set incorporates dead sea salt and dehydrated coconut milk powder for an ultra hydrating experience.


Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

Tiny Tags 'mama' necklace

It's a hard-earned title she answers to a hundred times per day. Whether she's new to the club or a seasoned professional, this delicate script 'mama' necklace is guaranteed to be a perfect fit.


Superfood honey

Beekeeper's Naturals B.Powered honey

With a lack of sleep and jam-packed days, getting through the afternoon can be a real challenge. Send her a powerful pick-me-up in the form of a therapeutic blend of royal jelly, bee pollen, propolis and raw honey. It makes the ideal companion for tea, smoothies, yogurt or even on its on.


Calming midnight mask with melatonin

Who doesn't deserve a reminder to pamper themself every once in awhile? Even better, this mask does all its work at night while you're sleeping with no extra effort needed. It's an amazing plant-powered antioxidant-packed mask that has melatonin, wild dandelion leaf and hyaluronic acid to rehydrate, repair and reset facial skin. It's so good, you might want to gift it to yourself. We won't tell, mama.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


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My heart feels the ache of loneliness right alongside hers. Because I remember. I remember the confusion and uncertainty and love and messy beauty of the fourth trimester so well. After all, it's etched in our minds and bodies forever.

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