What’s it like?
Your baby is about the size of a clenched fist and is covered in a protective fluff called lanugo. Your morning sickness has subsided, and you’re not running to the toilet after few minutes. You’re starting the second trimester (weeks 13-27). Congratulations! This is known as the gestation period and it’s considered the most relaxing and easiest time of the pregnancy.
Your baby’s growth
- Body size
Your baby has grown since last week. Measured from head to toe, he or she is about 3.2-4 inches (89 -101 mm) in length, about the size of a clenched fist.
- Head characteristics
Thanks to the brain impulses, the facial muscles form some characteristics that allow your baby to change his or her facial expression. By the end of this week, the roof of the mouth will be completely formed.
- Body appearance
This week, the body, which occupies only a third of her total length, starts to catch up to the head. Her neck is growing too, and she will soon be able to hold her neck off her chest as her spine develops. A protective fluff called lanugo has begun to grow all over your baby’s body which will keep her warm until she develops a layer of insulating fat. Their hands can grasp at things and he or she can even suck their thumb!
- Internal organs
Your little one’s kidneys produce urine, which is released into the amniotic fluid around him. In boys, the prostate gland is forming, while in girls, the ovaries are moving into the pelvis. Your baby’s thyroid is working and making hormones.
What happens inside your body?
The good news is that the shifting of the uterus means that you probably don’t have to use the toilet every half hour. The fall in progesterone has probably eased your morning sickness and mood swings. But your blood flow has increased – it increases 50 % during pregnancy – and that can lead to headaches, increased sweating and vaginal secretions. You may find you bruise easily because of the extra pressure on your blood vessels from that additional blood volume, or have recurrent nosebleeds, which are caused by increased progesterone and estrogen dilating the vessels in your nose’s mucous membranes.
If you gently squeeze your nipples you might notice a white substance, a secretion of your breasts. This is colostrum. It is a highly nutritional liquid that will be secreted for a few days after birth before the actual mother milk is produced. Right now, the secretions aren’t much, but they will increase over the next few weeks, and some women find it helpful to put padding in their bra to stay dry.
How different will you look?
You’re sweating, you may have acne, hyperpigmentation patches or darker moles. Time for that facial! A honey face mask is great for acne, as it has antibacterial properties so it is great for disinfecting and healing minor blemishes. It is also gentle on sensitive skin. You can also try eating foods rich in vitamin A and zinc to help control acne. Vitamin A strengthens the protective tissue of the skin and actually prevents acne. It helps reduce sebum production, which clogs pores and reduces your skin’s ability to fight bacteria. Zinc is an antibacterial agent and a necessary element in the oil-producing glands of the skin. If your skin doesn’t get enough, it can disturb the internal balance of the epidermis, and cause a breakout.
Tips for fathers – How can you care for both of your loved ones?
Some men worry that they might hurt the baby if they have sex. While an understandable concern, fear not, her body will keep the baby well protected. The baby is well insulated by the uterine wall, the amniotic fluid, and the amniotic sac. The opening to the uterus, the cervix, is closed and has a mucus plug to protect the uterus and your baby. The second trimester is an excellent time to reignite your passions, as the morning sickness has subsided and she isn’t yet so big that you need to be resourceful to find a workable erotic position.
Tips for mothers – Tips to help you go through trimester
- Minimize heartburn: Heartburn is caused by increased progesterone which relaxes the valve between your stomach and esophagus. You can minimize it by anything that exacerbates it such as fried and high-fat foods, citrus drinks (because of the acid in citrus fruits) and sodas. Take your time when you eat — chew your food well and swallow it slowly. Eat less, but more often – it is easier for the body to digest.
- Eat protein: The second and third trimester are the time when you need the most protein your baby gains weight and adds muscle and fat. It is recommended that you consume about 70 grams of protein per day, or about 25 grams more than you normally eat. Don’t eat raw seafood or raw or partially cooked meat – they could be contaminated with harmful viruses and bacteria.
The second trimester – or gestation period – is considered the best time of pregnancy. It is a great time for shopping trips and vacations, for catching up with the friends and family. If you can, try to take advantage of this time of calm – it will help you prepare for the more dramatic final trimester.