How Does the Mother Feel in the Second Trimester?

Reviewed on 6/8/2021

The second trimester of pregnancy spans from week 13 to 26. During this time, the baby will grow rapidly and the mother can usually look forward to feeling better compared to the first trimester symptoms. There will also be many changes to the mother's body, skin, breasts, weight, and more.
The second trimester of pregnancy spans from week 13 to 26. During this time, the baby will grow rapidly and the mother can usually look forward to feeling better compared to the first trimester symptoms. There will also be many changes to the mother's body, skin, breasts, weight, and more.

In the second trimester of pregnancy, weeks 13 through 26, the baby continues to grow and develop rapidly and the mother will notice a number of changes. 

Second trimester symptoms typically include:

  • Feeling better
    • Most women who didn’t feel well during the first trimester often start to feel better in the second
    • Nausea and vomiting from morning sickness tend to lessen over time
    • Women may have more energy and fewer mood swings as hormones even out 
  • Gaining weight
    • Weight gain occurs more rapidly in the second trimester
    • Women may need to start wearing maternity clothes
  • Breast changes
    • Breast tenderness may decrease, but breast size will increase 
    • Skin around the nipples darkens, and small bumps may appear around the nipples
    • Colostrum (a yellowy liquid that is the first form of breast milk) may begin to leak from the nipples
  • Skin changes
    • Skin on the belly and breasts may become stretched and tear (causing stretch marks) as the baby grows and breasts swell
    • Dry, itchy skin, especially on the belly
    • Increased sensitivity to the sun
    • A dark line (“linea nigra”) down the middle of the belly from the navel to the pubic hair
    • Patches of darkened skin on the face (“mask of pregnancy”)
  • Body changes
    • Some pregnancy symptoms that started before the second trimester, such as heartburn and constipation, may persist, or start if they were not present before
    • Leg pain and cramps, often during sleep
    • Swelling ankles, hands, and face due to fluid retention and slower blood circulation
    • Aching back, pelvis, and hips due to supporting the growing baby in the belly
    • Stomach pain or cramps due to stretching of the muscles and ligaments that support the uterus 
    • Loose teeth
    • Nasal congestion, nosebleeds, and bleeding sensitive gums 
    • Urinary tract infections (UTIs)
    • Dizziness 
    • Round ligament pain, which causes aches in the lower abdomen as the ligaments that support the belly stretch to support the belly’s increasing size
    • Varicose veins and/or hemorrhoids (a type of varicose vein
    • Braxton Hicks contractions (also called “false labor”), a tightening of the uterine muscles as the uterus prepares for labor and delivery
  • Increased sex drive
    • Sex drive may have decreased during the first trimester, but many women find their libido returns in the second trimester
    • Sex during pregnancy is fine unless your doctor says not to
  • Feeling the baby
    • Toward the middle of the second trimester, many women begin to feel the baby
    • May feel like fluttering movements deep in the belly
  • Emotions
    • Women may feel apprehensive, irritable, and forgetful 
    • Mothers-to-be may even feel frustrated at looking heavy but not quite yet looking pregnant

These symptoms are all normal during the second trimester and many will disappear after delivery. See your doctor regularly for ongoing prenatal appointments and discuss any concerns you may have. 

Also contact your doctor right away if you have unusual changes or symptoms, especially vaginal bleeding, leakage of clear fluid, burning with urination, leg swelling, or abdominal pains.

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Reviewed on 6/8/2021
References
https://familydoctor.org/changes-in-your-body-during-pregnancy-second-trimester/

https://www.whattoexpect.com/second-trimester-of-pregnancy.aspx