The second trimester is the middle stage of pregnancy, typically spanning from weeks 13 to 28. During this period, symptoms like morning sickness often ease, and the expectant mother will start to show a larger belly as the baby continues to grow. It’s also when detailed ultrasound scans are typically performed.

Key Takeaways

  1. The second trimester refers to weeks 13 through 27 of pregnancy. This period is often considered the most comfortable stage for many pregnant women because morning sickness subsides, and energy levels may increase.
  2. During the second trimester, the baby’s major organs and systems continue developing. Around the 20th week, an ultrasound scan may be performed to check the baby’s development and gender.
  3. Even though the discomfort of the first trimester subsides, new pregnancy symptoms can appear including backache, skin changes, and movements of the baby may start to be felt. Regular antenatal checkups are essential for the health of the mother and the baby.


The second trimester, often spanning from week 13 to 28 of pregnancy, is a crucial period as it brings significant developments both to the mother and the baby.

It characterizes the stage where the risk of miscarriage considerably decreases, and the pregnancy becomes more evident as the baby bump begins to show.

For the baby, this period is vital for the development of organs, muscles, and bones; the baby’s sex becomes identifiable, and the mother can feel the baby’s movements.

Women usually experience alleviated first trimester symptoms, like nausea, during this time and tend to have more energy.

Hence, understanding the importance of the second trimester is vital for anticipating these changes and ensuring proper care for both mother and baby.


The second trimester of pregnancy, roughly spanning weeks 13 through 28, is often recognized as a unique period during the pregnancy journey where significant milestones are marked and critical fetal developments occur. This stage serves an essential purpose in terms of both maternal adaptation to pregnancy and fetal growth and development.

This period is often used to make important health evaluations and necessary preparations as the mother-to-be gets closer to childbirth. In terms of fetal development, the second trimester is when the baby’s organs become fully formed and start to function.

The baby’s physical features, like hair, skin, and nails, also start to develop. This is the time when the mother begins to feel the baby’s movements, reinforcing the bonding process.

In terms of maternal health, the second trimester is often used for important screening tests and routine pre-natal visits to monitor the health of both mother and fetus. This period also serves as an opportune time for parents to begin preparing for childbirth and baby care, such as planning for maternity leave and setting up the baby’s nursery.

Examples of Second trimester

Pregnancy Check-ups: During the second trimester, which typically begins at week 14 and lasts up to week 27 of pregnancy, the expectant mother will have more frequent prenatal appointments. These usually involve detailed ultrasound scans to monitor the baby’s growth and development, perform checks on the mother’s health, blood tests, and often tests for gestational diabetes.

Physical Changes: The second trimester is also when the mother-to-be may start showing a more prominent baby bump. This is also a period where many women report less nausea and enhanced energy levels compared to the first trimester. It’s not uncommon for expectant mothers to experience changes in weight, skin, hair, and nails during this period as well.

Emotional Adjustments: In real-world terms, the second trimester can also be when the reality of impending motherhood begins to sink in more deeply. Anxiety and excitement may intensify as the mother-to-be plans for the baby’s arrival. This could involve preparing the baby’s room, purchasing essential baby items, and studying up on infant care.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Second Trimester

What does the “second trimester” mean in pregnancy?

The second trimester refers to weeks 13 to 28 of pregnancy. It is often considered the ‘golden period’ of pregnancy since it is typically when many uncomfortable symptoms of early pregnancy can lessen or disappear and before the final, heaviest weeks of pregnancy.

What physical changes can you expect during the second trimester?

During the second trimester, your belly will start showing more as your baby continues to grow. You might also notice changes like darkening skin around your nipples, and you might start to experience things like pregnancy “glow”.

What tests are usually conducted during the second trimester?

During the second trimester, your healthcare provider might conduct tests like amniocentesis, glucose screening, ultrasound, and triple screening to monitor your and your baby’s health.

What should you eat during the second trimester?

It’s important to eat a healthy and balanced diet during your second trimester. This includes plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy products. You should also ensure to drink plenty of water and avoid food and drinks that may harm your baby.

What are the common challenges during the second trimester?

Some common challenges during the second trimester include back, hip, or pelvic pain, rapid weight gain, and stretch marks. Difficulty sleeping, respiratory discomfort, and dizziness can also occur.

Related Motherhood Terms

  • Fetal Development
  • Ultrasound
  • Maternity Clothes
  • Gender Reveal
  • Prenatal Vitamins

Sources for More Information

  • Mayo Clinic: Includes a broad range of health related topics including the second trimester of pregnancy. Mayo Clinic features advice on symptoms, prenatal visits, and lifestyle changes during the second trimester.
  • Healthline: A trusted resource with detailed guides and articles related to pregnancy stages including the second trimester. Features nutrition guides, exercise tips, and changes to expect in your body.
  • WebMD: Provides wide-ranging health information. Its pregnancy section covers all aspects of the second trimester, from baby development to handling common pregnancy issues.
  • American Pregnancy Association: A national health organization committed to promoting reproductive and pregnancy wellness. It has extensive resources and information on the second trimester.