Pregnancy is a three-part act, and each trimester has its own perks and pains. The first trimester is filled with the newness of pregnancy and the realization that oh-this-is-really-happening. (Not to mention the morning sickness!) The third trimester, meanwhile, is dominated by the impending birth and your desire to just have this baby already. But what should you expect in between those months and, more importantly, when does the second trimester start?
According to the Office of Women’s Health, the second trimester begins at week 13 and ends at week 28 of your pregnancy. It is a time of great change for both mom and baby. Your baby is continuing to grow and develop rapidly. Meanwhile, food cravings, a growing waistline, and increased energy are common during this phase of pregnancy. And is your Pinterest full-to-bursting with ideas for an adorable gender reveal party? Great! This is the trimester when you might find out your baby’s sex.
So if you’re ready for the second trimester — congratulations! You’re over one-third of the way to having a baby. You’re likely in the middle of a flurry of preparations, and you probably have about a million questions about the next few weeks. Here is a quick rundown of the common things that happen during this exceptionally exciting trimester. (Read on without worry — it’s mostly good news!)
1. You May Feel Better
The University of California San Francisco Medical Center assures new moms that morning sickness usually decreases during the second trimester. Not only will this make you feel better, but it may lead you to feel more energetic than you did in the first trimester. Which you'll need to prep for the arrival.
2. You’ll Start Showing More
As your baby grows rapidly during this time, the Mayo Clinic notes that your uterus will expand to create room – and you’ll start to show more. This might be the time to retire those skinny jeans for a bit and opt for more belly-friendly wardrobes. (Your breasts will also grow during this time — thanks, pregnancy!)
3. You May Have Gum Problems
Web MD notes that hormone changes send more blood to your gums during this time, meaning they’ll be more tender and prone to bleeding. Opt for a softer toothbrush and be gentle when brushing.
4. The “Pregnancy Mask” Might Appear
If darker patches of skin on your face appear during your second trimester, don’t worry. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, this is a completely normal phenomenon called melasma, also known as the mask of pregnancy. The AAD notes that this caused by a rise in melanin production stimulated by your rise in estrogen levels, and it is usually a temporary condition. Obviously, if you're feeling self-conscious about the skin change, you can fix it with a little cover up.
5. You May Experience More Food Cravings
Although the need for pickles and ice cream may just be a stereotype, pregnancy cravings are a reality. Psychology Today points out that cravings may peak in the second trimester due to hormonal fluctuations or even your altered taste and smell perceptions.
6. You Can Find Out Your Baby’s Sex
One highlight of the second trimester is being able to learn your baby’s sex. The Mayo Clinic notes that this happens around week 14, so if you’re planning on throwing a gender reveal party, keep this time in mind.
7. You May Feel Your Baby Move
According to the Stanford Children’s Hospital website, you may feel your baby’s movements around 20 weeks. Known as quickening, the American Pregnancy Association describes this phenomenon is often described as a fluttering feeling, and it’s an exciting moment for new moms. Then again, the whole pregnancy experience is pretty exciting.