2nd Trimester pregnancy symptoms

Find out what to expect during the 2nd trimester of your pregnancy symptoms. Below, you will find a wealth of information, which you can use as a resource.


Week 14

  1. From now on baby’s skeleton is firming up enough and becoming dense enough to show up on an X-ray.
  1. Baby’s hands can now touch each other as the arms are sufficiently long.
  1. Baby starts to pass urine into the amniotic fluid, but this isn’t harmful at all because it is a sterile environment.
  1. Baby’s ears have reached their final position this week.
  1. Baby’s eyes have moved closer together now.
  1. Pigments for hair colour now starts to be produced.
  1. Bone marrow produces vital stem cells and red blood cells.
  1. Unique fingerprints have formed on each of baby’s fingers.
  1. As there is very little fat under the skin, baby’s skin appears loose and wrinkled at this stage.
  1. Baby’s brain is developing rapidly and taking on the typical appearance of folds and ridges.
  1. Baby now begins to respond to bright light that penetrates the mother’s abdominal wall.
  1. A startle reaction by baby can be observed when a bright light shines on the mother’s abdomen.
  1. By this week baby’s kidneys have the typical kidney shape.
  1. The sweat glands begin developing.
  1. Baby and placenta are about the same size at this stage.


Week 15

  1. Baby’s feet from toe to heel measure 45 to 50 millimeters each.
  1. Meconium, baby’s waste products of pregnancy, start collecting in the intestines now.
  1. The hard and soft palates of the mouth begin to differentiate around now.
  1. Baby’s heartbeat may be able to be heard through a specialized hand-held stethoscope called a fetoscope now.
  1. Individually distinct footprints are forming on the soles of baby’s feet this week.
  1. At this stage, baby may change position as often as 20 times each hour.
  1. Baby’s arms and legs are still very thin as not much subcutaneous fat has been deposited yet.


Week 16

  1. Lanugo which is fine body hair, grows on baby’s shoulders, ears, back and forehead.
  1. Lanugo, the fine hair now covering parts of baby’s skin, will fall out toward the end of pregnancy or shortly after birth.
  1. Eyelashes begin to develop making baby look more and more like mom and dad.
  1. Baby’s eyebrows are being pencilled in by Mother Nature now.
  1. Baby’s head is very large in proportion to the body as development.
  1. The reason baby’s head is so big is so that brain tissue can grow unimpeded.
  1. Nervous tissue development remains exceptionally important at this stage.
  1. Baby’s heartbeat will show on a scan by now and looks like a flashing asterisk on the screen.
  1. One can mostly identify baby’s gender from about 16 weeks on sonar, if baby lies in such a way that the genital area is visible.
  1. Baby weighs around 80 grams now.
  1. Baby is 15 to 18 cm in length at sixteen weeks.
  1. Eyelashes and eyebrows begin to be quite visible around now.
  1. Hair on the head starts to be more abundant at this stage.


Week 17

  1. Baby is more active and movements are more vigorous in the womb from this week.
  1. Baby’s muscles are becoming increasingly strong.
  1. The very first hint of movement by bbay felt by the mother is called ‘quickening’.
  1. Some women feel movement as early as 16 weeks, but for most it takes a few weeks longer.
  1. A woman’s weight affects how soon she feels baby move and if rather overweight, it might take longer.
  1. How baby lies in the womb affects the sensation of movement.
  1. The more amniotic fluid there is, the less easy it is to feel early movements by baby.
  1. The less amniotic fluid there is, the more chance the mom has of feeling her baby’s movements at this early stage.
  1. Initially movement feels like air bubbles or butterflies and is not constant.
  1. Baby’s hands each have 27 bones, and they are all formed now.
  1. Baby can grip index finger and thumb together from now.
  1. The skin looks loose and wrinkled to accommodate the accumulation of fat that will soon start.
  1. Sensory systems develop in a specific order – touch, smell, taste, hearing, vision.


Week 18

  1. Arms and legs are now in perfect proportions.
  1. Baby’s immune system is producing its own antibodies.
  1. In female babies the ovaries have already formed millions of eggs.
  1. Baby can be noticed to have a pattern to sleep and wakeful periods.
  1. Eyebrows are showing quite distinctly now.
  1. Baby weighs about 200 grams by the end of the 18th week of pregnancy.


Week 19

  1. ‘Vernix caseosa’ is a waxy, white substance that protects baby’s skin during the long months in the amniotic fluid.
  1. Nipples have appeared over the breast area by this stage.
  1. Baby’s eyelids have been closed since about week 10, but now begin to open and close.
  1. Baby weighs about 200 grams by the end of Week 19.
  1. Baby’s head circumference is on average about 16.4 cm at this stage.


Week 20

  1. Only about 6% of the total body weight is fat at this stage.
  1. Baby weighs about 250 grams at this stage.
  1. At week 20, the placenta covers about half of the lining of the uterus.
  1. Baby hears maternal heartbeats, breathing, and even intestinal sounds.
  1. Baby can hear sounds from the outside world in a muted fashion.
  1. Baby can sometimes be seen or felt to move to the sound of its mother’s voice.
  1. Quiet music has been found to soothe and settle babies in the womb even at this stage.
  1. Lively, rhythmic music makes a baby more active in the womb.
  1. The inner ear which contains the vestibular system helps baby’s balance and is mature enough to help regulate its own position in the womb now.
  1. Baby’s vestibular system develops by this time.
  1. Babies are seen to put their hands to their faces frequently from now on.
  1. Baby is growing in leaps and bounds, but life outside of the womb is still not possible
  1. Scalp hair continues to grow.
  1. Baby’s unique fingerprints have completely formed.
  1. Baby weighs around 250 grams.
  1. Baby has reached about half its birth length at this stage.
  1. Baby’s head circumference is 17.6 cm.


Week 21

  1. Baby weighs about 280g now.
  1. Baby is all of 17cm in length now.
  1. Baby’s blood circulates completely, from placenta and back again in about 30 seconds.
  1. Babies in the womb often grasp and touch the umbilical cord.
  1. Babies constantly swallow amniotic fluid in the womb.
  1. Basic digestive metabolism begins in the womb where sugars in the amniotic fluid swallowed, are broken down.
  1. Many babies hiccup in the womb and it is believed that swallowing amniotic fluid is a possible cause.
  1. Sucking and grasping are the two most commonly practiced reflexes in the womb as both are much needed for survival of newborn babies.
  1. By moving, a baby helps its skeleton and muscles grow.
  1. Eye movement becomes more sophisticated, sometimes darting, sometimes slow scanning.
  1. Babies eyes may move separately from each other.
  1. Practice breathing movements of the chest and diaphragm can be seen quite easily from now on.
  1. Sebaceous glands are forming.
  1. The breast bone has become stronger.
  1. Iron stores are being deposited for use by the newborn.


Week 22

  1. Baby weighs a little more than 340g now.
  1. Baby’s length at this stage is about 18cm.
  1. Bones are developed and all in place, but are soft and flexible at this stage.
  1. Many babies regularly suck their thumbs in pregnancy and are born with callouses.


Week 23

  1. Baby is growing so well he or she is now 450g already.
  1. Baby is somewhere around 20cm in length now.
  1. Fine, silky hair called lanugo develops all over baby’s body from now, grows in whirling patterns and helps insulate and protect the baby in the womb.
  1. Rolling up and down of baby’s eyes begins around now.
  1. Amniotic fluid is a pale, straw coloured liquid consisting 99% of water.
  1. Baby sheds skin cells, lanugo and vernix into the amniotic fluid.
  1. The umbilical cord contains two arteries and one vein.
  1. The umbilical vein carries blood rich in oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to the baby.
  1. The umbilical arteries return oxygen-poor blood to the placenta.


Week 24

  1. Baby now weighs 630g to 650g.
  1. Baby is 22cm long on average.
  1. Baby’s eyes open and are light sensitive.
  1. Vernix, a waxy white emollient cream, covers baby’s body protectively.
  1. Baby can be seen to cough at times in the womb from around now.
  1. Baby opens and closes his fists.
  1. Baby’s eyelids open at the end of six months in the womb.
  1. Baby blinks when startled by loud noises.
  1. Baby perceives dark and light in the womb.
  1. Baby’s body and head are far more in proportion to each other by now.
  1. Baby’s skin looks less transparent at this stage.
  1. Baby’s eyes are complete structurally around weeks 24 to 26.
  1. The liver takes up most of the abdominal cavity at this stage of development.
  1. The liver produces red blood cells until about this time.
  1. Testes are present close to the inguinal ring of the groin.
  1. The unborn baby’s immunity is now far stronger and there is resistance to diseases the mother has immunity against.


Week 25

  1. Baby weighs about 700g now.
  1. Baby is about 26cm long now.
  1. From about 25 weeks, one should experience at least ten periods of movement a day, although these could still be gentle for another week or two.
  1. The bone marrow and spleen take over formation of red blood cells from now on.
  1. Meconium, the sticky, dark green substance found in baby’s colon and expelled as the first few bowel movements after birth, forms in the alimentary tract.
  1. Digestive juices break down swallowed substances and intestinal lining cells to make meconium in baby’s colon.
  1. The structures of the spine are evolving really well at this stage.
  1. Baby’s nostrils have formed and may open by the end of this week.
  1. Blood vessels in baby’s lungs are developing well at this stage.
  1. Most development from now on is about maturing of organs and structures and growth.
  1. Dad might be able to hear baby’s heart by placing his ear on mom’s abdomen.
  1. A baby’s eyes are almost always dark blue or black in the womb and only change from several weeks after birth.


Week 26

  1. Baby weighs about 800g on average at this stage.
  1. Baby is about 30cm long now.
  1. Baby’s sense of smell develops around week 26.
  1. The structure of baby’s eyes is complete around weeks 24 to 26.
  1. It takes about 30 seconds for foetal blood to make one full cycle to and from the placenta.
  1. Babies can nod and shake their heads from this stage.
  1. Baby’s toenails have now grown.
  1. The position of the placenta is best established by ultrasound around now.