Growth and development happens swiftly during the second trimester. The baby continues to change and develop almost daily.
During this stage, the focus of development is to increase in size and weight. In addition, the umbilical cord continues to thicken as it carries nutrients to the fetus. The baby can also taste the foods you eat through the amniotic fluid. Keep in mind that harmful substances may also enter in the umbilical cord so it is must to avoid substances like alcohol and tobacco.
At the beginning of the second trimester, the baby’s head is bigger compared to the rest of the body. However, other body parts continue to grow and will be able to catch up by the end of the second trimester.
Because the baby’s digestive system has been fully formed at the end of the first trimester, the baby is starting to suck and swallow during the second trimester. This is in preparation for life outside of the womb.
Baby’s waste systems are working hard as well- meaning the baby is peeing about every 40 minutes.
Highlights of the Second Trimester; Week by Week
The baby begins to form urine. It will then be discharged into the amniotic fluid. Bone tissues also start to develop.
The neck is more defined. The baby’s arms have fully grown. Most importantly, during this week the baby’s sex becomes evident.
Baby’s first tiny hairs are starting to sprout and the skeleton is developing bones.
The baby’s eyes begin to move slowly. The baby’s movements are now more coordinated. Baby might be able to suck through the mouth.
Baby’s heart is no longer beating spontaneously; the brain is now regulating the heartbeat. Fat begins to accumulate under the baby’s skin.
The baby now has fingerprints on the digits as well as, can hiccup and yawn. The ears begin to stand out on the sides of the head.
At this time, the baby is covered by vernix caseosa. This greasy, cheese like coating helps in protecting the baby from abrasions or chapping that could result from exposure to amniotic fluid.
Baby’s heartbeat can be heard using a stethoscope. The baby can now recognize your voice.
You should feel your baby’s little jabs and kicks. Also, the baby is able to swallow.
Baby is covered by lanugo. The lanugo helps hold the vernix caseosa on the baby’s skin. The baby got eyelashes and eyebrows and the eyes are beginning to open. Baby is also developing senses which mean the baby is starting to smell, see and hear. Conversations, reading, talking or music can be heard by the baby.
The baby starts to gain more weight. Baby begins to have rapid eye movements and the tongue develops taste buds.
At this time, the baby is regularly awake and sleeping. Real hair grows on the head.
The brain is growing rapidly. The capillaries start to carry oxygenated blood through the baby’s body. The hands and startle reflexes begin to develop. And, your baby responds to your voice.
Baby’s lungs start to produce surfactant. Surfactant permits the air sacs to inflate. It is also responsible in keeping the air sacs from collapsing. The baby now has fingernails.
The baby is likely to double the weight in the next four weeks.
This marks the last week of the second trimester. The baby’s nervous system and lungs continue to mature. By the end of the second trimester, the baby may weigh 2 pounds.