Parents, you’ve got questions, we’ve got answers.

Or just as likely, we’ve got questions and you’ve got answers.

Challenge: Pregnancy and Infant Loss

Second Trimester of Pregnancy: Changes in your Body

Vote up!
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email this article

When does the 2nd trimester start? The second trimester of pregnancy begins from week 13 and will span out to week 26 of your pregnancy. It is referred to as the honeymoon period since it is the most exciting among the trimesters of pregnancy. The adverse effects of the first trimester, such as nausea, are over while the discomfort of the third trimester is yet to begin. You can enjoy your pregnancy journey most during this second stage. Let’s look at some of the changes that happen to your body during the second trimester.


A Growing Baby Bump

One of the more noticeable changes during the second trimester of pregnancy will be a baby bump. People will start realizing that you are pregnant and you will feel good about it. Some women may need a wardrobe change since the abdomen is growing and their clothes no longer fit.

Skin Changes

Your skin will enlarge as your baby grows especially around your belly. This is normal and should be expected as the pregnancy progresses. Stretch marks may cause some itching, which can be reduced by applying a moisturizer. The stretch marks and a noticeable dark line running down your abdomen will disappear soon after delivery. Remember to use sunscreen when you step outdoors.

Perhaps more of a concern to some women is skin changes around the face characterized by acne and changes to skin tone. This is caused by hormonal changes that are prevalent in this trimester. Melanin production is increased, leading to the darkening of your face or brown patches. Don’t lose sleep over these. These are just some of the changes that come with pregnancy and disappear after pregnancy.

Nasal Problems

Quite a number of women report having nasal problems during the second trimester. These problems include bleeding, congestion, swelling, stuffiness, among others. The problems are caused mainly due to hormonal changes. Hormones and blood increase in supply to support the pregnancy. The increased blood supply in the veins can lead to nosebleeds as the veins in the nose are fragile. To avoid this problem, drink a lot of fluids. You can also apply petroleum jelly around the edges of the nostrils. Avoid second-hand smoke as it may worsen the problem in addition to being harmful to your unborn baby. If the puffiness and congestion become uncomfortable, apply a warm moist towel on your face to relieve the symptoms.


Emotional Changes

According to NetParents, you won’t experience a similar emotional roller-coaster like in the first trimester. Here, you’ll feel more in control of your emotions. You will have more energy to run around preparing for your baby. It is the best time to attend prenatal classes and to look at your options before and after birth. The doctor will mostly focus on monitoring the development of the baby to determine if everything is okay.

Probably you felt nauseous and lacked appetite during the first trimester; this is about to change. The second trimester will lead to an increased appetite as demands on your body increase. This increased appetite will be accompanied by greater food intake and leads to more energy. It is advisable to get most of the things you need during this trimester. If you are a working mom, look at the various options available to you. You can talk to your employer regarding maternity policies at the workplace.

Legs Cramps and Leg Swelling

During the second trimester, you will most likely experience leg cramps. Cramps during pregnancy second trimester will continue up to delivery. Leg cramps will be most severe at night. Hormonal changes and weight gain are likely causes the leg cramps. It is also suspected that a shortage of magnesium and calcium may play a role. To prevent from waking up at night with a painful cramp, stretch your calf before getting into bed. Being physically active will also help with minimizing the leg cramps. Hot showers, ice baths, and muscle massages are some other ways to relieve this pain. Along with leg cramps, leg swelling, especially at the ankles, will start during this trimester.

Bleeding Gums

About half of women will suffer from tender and bleeding gums during this trimester. Just like many other bodily changes, this is caused by hormonal changes. Increased blood flow to the gums causes this problem. The problem will disappear after giving birth. To avoid aggravating it, use a soft toothbrush and floss gently. You may be tempted to skip your dental hygiene routine in fear of the bleeding but you will be highly susceptible to cavities due to the baby depleting your calcium stores found in teeth and bones. It is advisable to visit your dentist even if your gums are not bleeding.


One of the most exciting second trimester symptoms is quickening. This is where you feel some quick movements in your belly. Your baby is making these movements. However, the movements may be so subtle that you may not feel them. For women who have been pregnant before, it can be easier to notice these movements.

Breast Enlargement

You should be able to notice some enlargement in your breasts. The tenderness from the first trimester will likely be gone. You might try getting a bar one size bigger. A good support bra is recommendable.

Hair Growth

Hormonal changes may lead to increased hair growth. Hair may get thicker in places where you already have hair and start appearing in other places where you may not want it.


Braxton Hick’s Contractions

It is possible to get Braxton Hicks contractions towards the end of this trimester. These are minor contractions that you may feel as your body is getting ready for the delivery and has first time mothers confusing them for a stomach ache during pregnancy.

The second trimester is an exciting time for a pregnant woman. By now, you are getting used to the idea of a baby growing inside you. This trimester is the easiest compared with the first and the third. This is the best time to enjoy your pregnancy and prepare for the delivery.

This post comes from the TODAY Parenting Team community, where all members are welcome to post and discuss parenting solutions. Learn more and join us! Because we're all in this together.