Hooray, you’ve made it to the second trimester! After a rocky first few weeks, your nausea will hopefully have settled down as you leave the first trimester behind and your energy may have returned so you’re feeling more like your old self.
While the first trimester is momentous for all the work your body does in creating a tiny baby from a cluster of cells, the second trimester is pretty special too. Have you any idea of the wonder that’s going on inside you right now?
Here are nine mind-blowing things happening to your body during the second trimester:
1. Your uterus is on the move
No longer able to contain itself in your pelvis, your growing uterus will move up and out of the area so your baby has more room to grow. You’ll notice an increasing roundness of your stomach as a fully-fledged bump begins to take shape! If you haven’t already, moving into maternity trousers will help you feel more comfortable with your changing body shape.
2. Feel your baby’s first kick
Your baby’s little legs have been practicing their kung fu moves for a while now and during the second trimester, bub will finally have enough power and strength to give you a kick you will notice. The first time you feel your baby move inside you is freaking amazing. Suddenly going through all that sickness and waiting during the first trimester makes sense and is totally worth it. You’re growing a real live baby, lady!
3. Your breasts are in business
From early pregnancy, your body has been busy getting things in order to begin producing milk for when your baby is born, and by around 20 weeks your breasts are likely to be storing colostrum, which will become your baby’s first very important drink. As your pregnancy progresses, you might notice some leaking from your nipples. This is nothing to worry about – and actually a very good sign that your body is primed and ready. If leaking colostrum becomes a nuisance, a breast pad should help.
4. Practice contractions
Around halfway through your pregnancy, you might notice Braxton Hicks contractions, where your uterus tightens up for a few seconds at a time. As your uterus gets bigger, you’ll notice these more and more. Some experts say this is how your uterus muscles stay toned and in shape, while others suggest that as your pregnancy draws to an end, these mini contractions help to gently prepare your cervix for dilation and early labour.
5. Heads up: your baby is listening to you
From 18 weeks gestation, your baby’s ears are fully developed and can hear what’s going on in the outside world. This means you can sing and talk to your baby in utero and know that he can hear the sounds of your voice. After the birth, you’ll notice your baby turns to your own and your partner’s voice when you speak, and if you’ve been singing a regular song throughout the pregnancy, he may recognise it when you sing it once he’s born.
6. A mini reproductive system is inside your uterus
At round 20-23 weeks, your baby boy or girl’s reproductive system will be complete. A baby boy will already be making sperm (and having erections!) and a baby girl will already have her lifetime supply of eggs. Amazing, right?
7. Lustrous locks – yes please!
During the second trimester you might notice your hair starting to thicken up, which is a major plus of pregnancy. The reason for this is that during pregnancy, your hair is mostly in the growth stage, rather than having periods of ‘rest’ (falling out) as you would do if you weren’t pregnant. You’ll be able to enjoy those thick locks throughout pregnancy until the growing/resting phase kicks in a few weeks after the birth and you’ll notice lots of it falling out again.
8. Noticed your Linea Nigra?
You might notice this dark line trailing down the middle of your stomach around the second trimester. This line is where the connective tissue of your muscles meet in your abdomen and is actually always there, only it’s normally white-coloured and called the Linea Alba. The extra estrogen in your body during pregnancy produces melanin, a pigment that causes your skin to darken and hence, the Linea Nigra appears. The same pigment causes the skin around your nipples to darken.
9. Your baby is enjoying your meals
By around halfway through your pregnancy, your baby has developed taste buds and can taste the food going through the placenta, developing a preference for the food you eat. If you eat a wide and varied diet now, your baby will be in good stead to follow in your footsteps down the track.