Pregnancy - The Second Trimester

Find out what's happening with your baby during the second trimester of pregnancy.

It’s all about hair now
Now the size of a small apple, your baby is constantly moving, his or her neck is getting longer and stronger, making the head stand more upright. Baby's first ultra fine, downy hair, is now covering their back, shoulders, ears, and forehead. It helps him or her retain body heat, but once they gain enough fat, this hair will fall after birth. If you are having a boy, the prostate begins to develop, and if you are having a girl, her ovaries are moving down into her pelvis.

Constantly kicking and flexing
Your baby is the size of an avocado. Babies practice breathing, sucking and swallowing and other skills necessary for survival. Your little one is constantly kicking, curling toes and moving those little arms and legs but you won't be able to feel the movements just yet. Also, facial expressions are your baby's latest tricks, they are now learning to flex all of their facial muscles, frowning, squinting, grimacing and wincing. By now, the ears are positioned properly on the sides of the head and the eyes are moving from the side of the head to the front of the face.

Baby can hear your voice
Your baby is now the size of an orange, weighing three to five ounces and he or she is four to five inches in length. Baby’s eyes are making side-to-side movements and perceive light, even though the eyelids are still sealed. Tiny bones in your baby’s ears are fully formed, making it likely that your son or daughter can hear your voice at 16 weeks pregnant. In fact, studies have shown that babies who hear a song while they are in the womb will recognise it after they are born.

Practicing more sucking and swallowing
Your baby weighs about three and a half ounces and is about the size of your palm. The heart is now regulated by the brain to beat 140 to 150 times per minute and fat stores that will keep the baby warm are now beginning to develop, Baby is also making great progress at sucking and swallowing in preparation for suckle at your breast or bottle. Within the next Week, your baby's unique fingerprints will take shape. As your baby’s hearing is fully developed, loud noises will actually startle your baby.

Feeling your baby kicking and punching
Your baby is about the size of a soda can, five and a half inches long and five ounces in weight. Baby is big enough now for you to feel him stretching and rolling his way around the womb. Yawning is your baby’s latest trick. Also your baby's nervous system is maturing at a fast pace. Nerves, now covered with a substance called myelin (which speeds messages from nerve cell to nerve cell), are forming more complex connections. Cells in the brain are specializing into the ones that serve the senses of touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing.

Baby has a protective coating
Your baby is now about a half pound in weight. Arms and legs are finally in proportion, neurons are now connected between the brain and muscles and cartilage throughout the body is turning to bone. All these upgrades combine to give your baby more control over limb movements. Your baby is getting a protective substance that will keep your baby's sensitive skin safe from the surrounding amniotic fluid. Without it, your baby would look very wrinkled at birth.

Girl or boy?
Your baby is the size of a mango and weighs about 10 ounces and has a height of about six and a half inches. Baby’s external genitals are still developing and it is not possible to say with certainty if you are having a boy or a girl, even on ultrasound scan. For some babies this might be the week when their eyelids are opening for the first time. As baby’s hair, nails and eyebrows continue to sprout, your child is looking more and more like his or her parents.

Baby gets taste buds
About the size of a large banana, seven inches in length and almost 12 ounces in weight, your baby sleeps as much as a newborn, perhaps 12 to 14 hours per day. At 21 Weeks pregnant, your baby swallows a bit of amniotic fluid each day, not only for nutrition and hydration, but also to practice swallowing and digesting. The taste of the amniotic fluid differs from day to day depending on what the mother is eating. Experiments show that babies who were exposed to certain tastes in utero via the amniotic fluid were more eager to eat foods with that same taste after birth.

Sharpening all the senses
At a full pound and eight inches, your baby is about the size of a large papaya. Baby’s lungs are developing rapidly, and they will begin making a protein called surfactant, which will help her or him breathe independently after birth. Eyelashes and eyebrows are also well formed now and more hair is sprouting atop the head. However, at this stage the hair has no pigment, so it's bright white. Other senses are getting more and more developed: touching, seeing, hearing. Baby's ears begin to hear and process sounds from inside mother’s body: breathing, heartbeats.

Serious baby weight gain
Your baby is as big as an eggplant. At eight inches and slightly over a pound, this week marks the beginning of some serious weight gain. Your baby should double the weight over the next four weeks. A thick, protective protein called keratin is being added to baby's skin cells, helping his or her skin to thicken. Also, baby's skin displays a red hue thanks to the developing veins and arteries right underneath. At this stage you will be able to hear baby’s heartbeat through a standard stethoscope.

Baby’s face is formed
Your baby is as long as an ear of corn, about eight-and-a-half inches long and weighs one-and-a-half pounds, gaining steadily at a rate of about six ounces per week. Much of that weight comes from growing organs, bones, muscle and accumulating baby fat. Baby’s tiny face is almost fully formed, complete with eyelashes, eyebrows and hair. All of the hair is white since there is no pigment yet. Also, baby’s nostrils are beginning to open for 'practicing breathing' and she or he will go through the same patterns of real breathing but inhale amniotic fluid instead of air.

Baby’s lungs closer to maturity
Your baby is the size of an acorn squash, nine inches in length and passing the pound and a half mark. Later this Week, blood vessels will also develop in your baby's lungs, bringing them one step closer to full maturity. But at 25 Weeks pregnant, those lungs are still working to mature. Though they are already beginning to develop surfactant, a substance that will help them expand with oxygen after the baby is born, the lungs are still too undeveloped to sufficiently send oxygen to the bloodstream and release carbon dioxide when baby exhales.

Baby’s eyes are opening
Your baby is the size of a turnip and weighs a full two pounds and measures nine-plus inches. Your baby's eyes have been closed for the past few months but are now beginning to open. At 26 weeks pregnant and your baby is able to see inside the uterus. Right now the iris, the coloured part of the eye, still doesn't have much pigmentation.Your baby's brain-wave activity is progressing fast at this stage of development, which means your little one can not only hear sound but can now also respond to them with an increase in pulse rate or activity.

Huge growth spurt
Your baby is now measuring nearly 14 inches and weighs over two pounds. This week alone your baby will grow an entire inch. Your little one is able to recognize familiar voices by now. His or her hearing is progressing as the network of nerves to the ears matures, though the sounds are muffled thanks to the coating of vernix covering those ears. Your baby's taste buds are very developed now as well, and although hiccups (which may feel like belly spasms for the mother) are quite frequent, the baby isn't bothered at all by them.

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