Janine Smith, Pregnancy
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Second trimester

pregnancy 2nd trimester

Second trimester: weeks 13-28
A second trimester guide to how you might be feeling, what is happening in your body and your pregnancy appointments.

How you might be feeling during your second trimester…

  • You could be blooming or still feeling blooming awful
  • Sleeping, eating and getting through the day without feeling like you’ve been drugged could become easier, you might even feel up to some exercise – yoga, pilates, aquanatal, aerobics are all great for you. 
  • You could start to feel your baby move – from fluttering to full on kicks as he gets bigger 
  • The sickness could go but the heartburn could start at some point in the second trimester – talk to your midwife if you are concerned about it. 
  • You might start to experience back and pelvis aches, or even pain, as your joints loosen and your body shape changes to accommodate your growing baby
    As your baby grows, you might start to feel breathless too – always check this out with your midwife if it concerns you. 
  • Some women get more headaches in pregnancy. Although you can take paracetamol, it can be worth looking at other ways of easing them – plenty of fluids, eat, rest, get some fresh air and some gentle exercise. You could also book yourself in for a pregnancy massage to see it that helps! 
  • By Week 26: Your baby’s growth will be rapid so you might notice some big changes in your bump – as such backache could start to kick-in at this point, along with heartburn and 
    an inability to breathe in deeply.

What’s happening in your body during your second trimester?

During your second trimester your baby will grow from about 8cm – 36cm long, he will learn to suck his thumb, have a wee and he might start playing with the umbilical cord too. As your baby grows, his hearing will develop, as well as his taste buds and he will become aware of light and touch to the bump – so it can be a great way to interact with your baby.

Tests and scans

Dating scan
You may have had this already or it may take place at about 12-13 weeks. The sonographer will check that your baby is developing normally. This scan will also check how many babies are in there! This scan can also help to confirm when your baby is due. It takes about 10 minutes

Nuchal scan
This can be included with the Dating Scan, although you don’t have to have this screening test. It estimates the risk of your baby having Down’s syndrome by measuring the fluid at the back of your baby’s neck. This may also be combined with a blood test

This is offered to pregnant women if there is a chance that your baby has a genetic disorder or chromosome problem and you should be able to talk it through with a midwife or doctor to find out more about it. A sample of amniotic fluid is taken via a needle – the amniotic fluid contains your baby’s cells so it can be used to diagnose genetic disorders and chromosome conditions, such as Down’s syndrome. It usually takes place at about 16 weeks but it is your choice – you don’t have to have one but you can discuss this with the fetal health doctor or midwife.

Anomaly scan
This scan happens at around 20 weeks. It takes about 20 minutes and it checks the shape and structure of all your baby’s organs and bones and how your baby is growing The placenta, umbilical cord and amniotic fluid is also checked. You can find out the sex of your baby.

 Your midwife appointments

You will see you midwife at about 16 weeks and, if this is your first baby, again at 25 weeks. This is your opportunity to ask any questions about how you are feeling and any concerns you have. Although if you are worried about anything in-between your midwife visits you can call to make an extra appointment, you can see your GP or you can call into your local Pregnancy Assessment Unit to get you and baby checked out.

At your midwife appointments she will:

  • Check your urine sample for bacteria, sugar and protein – your midwife wants to check for any infection, diabetes and signs of pre-eclampsia.
  • Measure your blood pressure – to check you are in good health. If you have high blood pressure, your midwife may want to see you more frequently to monitor it.
  • Listen to your baby’s heartbeat – which can be fantastic to listen to
  • Measure your bump – just to make sure your baby is growing as it should be. If your midwife has any concerns, you may be referred to the hospital for a growth scan.

Plan your antenatal classes

If this is your first baby, you might need an antenatal course. If you have given birth before, you may just need a refresher – a birth debrief session can also be beneficial.
Find out more about birth preparation options.


  • Think about where you want to have your baby
  • Drink plenty of water and eat well – this will help with any tiredness, headaches and constipation
  • If you are concerned about anything, see your midwife , GP or call into your Pregnancy Assessment Unit for a check-up
  • Treat yourself to some pregnancy massage sessions
  • Some pregnant women can experience stress and anxiety in pregnancy – you can contact my practice for more information about how to ease and manage this.

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This entry was posted in: Janine Smith, Pregnancy


An experienced specialist in pregnancy, birth & early parenting, I have worked with parents since 2002. I am based in the North East so I regularly work with parents from Newcastle, Northumberland, Gateshead and across North Tyneside. Face-to-face sessions will continue with North East parents but digital courses and online sessions means I can work with parents everywhere.

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