If the first trimester of pregnancy is a whirlwind of change, and discomfort for both you and your partner, the second trimester represents perhaps the eye of the storm. During the second trimester that little one is going to continue to grow and develop. This is the time you’re going to learn cool things about your baby, and it’s also the time your partner is likely to feel her best.
There are some ways you can make the second trimester even better for the both of you, and things you need to know about what’s going on during this stage:
Your Baby's Changes
You’re probably not going to be able to feel it from the outside, and your partner won’t feel it until well into the second trimester, but during those first few weeks, your baby’s going to be flexing its arms and legs, kicking and more. The lungs will grow and begin to inflate and deflate regularly by around week 20. Your baby is going to weigh about two pounds by the end of the second trimester and become viable around 23-24 weeks.
Your Partner's Symptoms
The first trimester tends to be marked by morning sickness, mood swings and the overall emotional adjustment to becoming pregnant. During the second trimester many of those early pregnancy symptoms are gone, yet your baby is not so big yet that he or she is interfering with your wife’s daily activities.
During the second trimester, you’re going to have several prenatal visits. During the visit around week 18 or 20, you can learn the sex of your baby. During the second trimester it’s time to finalize a birth plan, if you and your partner have one. You need to continue to study up on the labor and delivery process and your role in it. It’s also time to be thinking about parenting, and having some important discussions with your partner about the kind of parent you hope you’ll be.
Gestational diabetes – diabetes that occurs due to pregnancy – usually is usually diagnosed at the end of the second trimester. Even if your partner isn’t showing signs of gestational diabetes, she’s likely to be screened for it at the final pre-natal visit of the second trimester for diabetes with the GCT, the Glucose Challenge Test.
Your Baby's Progress
By the end of the second trimester, your baby’s odds of survival increase dramatically. Even if your baby is born prematurely, the odds that your baby will survive are greatly improved by the time you finish with this phase of pregnancy. By 22-24 weeks the baby is "viable" which means it has the potential to survive. Every week beyond 22-24 weeks improves the baby's survival chance and decreases it's risk of complications.
Quality Time With Your Partner
Take a deep breath, this is the calm before the storm. Once you hit the third trimester, the rest of pregnancy seems to pass quickly (except, of course, for those last few restless nights before delivery). Enjoy some quality time with your partner, and encourage her in the activities she enjoys. Now is a good time for travel, exercise and doing things you both love to do.
For many couples, the second trimester really is the golden age of pregnancy. Enjoy it while it lasts, and do what you can to continue to prepare for the big event.