How to Survive the 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy in 12 Steps

The second trimester is a time to enjoy the pregnancy and get ready for the third and last trimester.

  1. Baby's growth: The baby is growing fast now with skin developing, taste buds form, and the lungs beginning to practice the art of breathing. The obstetrician will track the growth of the baby by measuring mom's belly. The centimeters will match the weeks of gestation in most cases. If there are multiples in the womb, these numbers will not match.
  2. Keeping those appointments: With the changes happening at lightning speed, it is important to keep every appointment with the doctor. The second trimester is often the most fun. The baby begins moving, the first ultrasound is planned and the baby bump really begins to take form.
  3. Gestational diabetes: At about the 20th week of gestation, the mom will be sent for glucose tolerance testing. This test will determine if there is an increased chance of gestational diabetes during pregnancy. If mom has undergone gastric bypass or suffers from diabetes already, this test will not be performed.
  4. Feeling baby for the first time: During the second trimester, mom and dad will be able to feel the baby move for the first time. As the baby is still relatively small, the kicks may not be noticeable at first. During the ultrasound, if the baby kicks mom may be able to relate the feeling with the motion so the kicks are more noticeable until the baby grows.
  5. The first ultrasound: The limelight of the pregnancy is scheduled during the second trimester. The ultrasound is the first meeting mom will have with the baby. If the pregnancy is high risk or a multiple pregnancy, the first ultrasound may happen well before the second trimester.
  6. To tell or not to tell (the sex): At the ultrasound, the baby's sex may be able to be determined. Some parents are willing to find out the sex before the birth while others are not. This is a personal decision.
  7. Pregnancy clothes: During the second trimester, the baby will begin to grow enough to affect the way clothing fits the body. While buying pregnancy or maternity clothes may not be needed during the second trimester, moving out of tight-fitting clothing and into a looser fitting waist will often feel better for mom.
  8. Telling family: Some parents choose to wait until the first trimester is over to reveal the pregnancy to family members. This is a personal decision that will have to be discussed together. The first trimester is often associated with the chance of spontaneous miscarriage and thus the wait to reveal the baby to the family.
  9. Telling boss: Before the pregnancy begins to show, mom may want to discuss the pregnancy with her boss. The boss will need to prepare for the pregnancy leave of absence and cover the job functions of mom while she is out during the first 6 weeks or so with the baby. In the case of high-risk pregnancies, telling the boss may happen before the second trimester as bed rest may be ordered.
  10. Testing for baby's health: There are a variety of tests that will be scheduled during the second trimester. The most important/controversial is the Quad screening.
  11. The quad screening: The Quad screening is a chromosomal test that determines the baby's risk of having Down syndrome and other chromosomal problems. The test is controversial because the results are not 100% accurate. This test is not mandatory.
  12. Planning for baby at home: After the rush of the first trimester, the second trimester is a breeze. Mom and dad often begin preparations at home for the baby including buying diapers, wipes, crib, car seat, and stroller.

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