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Welcome to the second trimester — a whole new stage of exciting growth for you and Baby!
Baby’s growing like wild — they’re between 3 and 3.5 inches long, the size of a beet! Your baby’s weight is only going to start increasing even more as they begin to add fat to their skinny little frame over the next few months. And the fur-like lanugo that’s covering most of their body will keep your little one warm until their baby fat comes in.
Baby is also moving like crazy in there, though you probably can’t feel it quite yet. By week 14, your little one can squint, frown, and even suck their thumb! And your baby’s liver, spleen, and kidneys continue to develop and function better every day.
Another big development as you embark on the second trimester is Baby’S immune system. The beginnings of your little one’s immune system started developing weeks ago with early immune system cells, but while Baby is in your womb, they’re protected by the sterile womb environment — meaning that their immune system won’t need to protect against pathogens just yet. And They are now producing white blood cells too, which will come in handy when your baby needs to fight infection on their own after birth, when your immune system will no longer be able to send strong, adult cells along. Your baby’s immune system will continue to develop for several months or years after birth, but they’re well on their way! Once they’re here make sure to follow guidance from their provider to stay on a recommended vaccine schedule.
What’s new with you?
The second trimester is worth celebrating! Most folks report this trimester to be the most enjoyable of their pregnancy. There are, of course, some new symptoms that may be popping up, including headaches and dizziness. But sandwiched between the nausea of the first and adjusting to a very different, very pregnant body in the third, during the second trimester there’s a good chance you may feel more comfortable. Your breasts are going to continue to grow, but the soreness is likely to decrease, as will the fatigue. Doesn’t the second trimester sound a little more lovely?
Round ligament pain is common during the second trimester too, which occurs when your growing womb puts added pressure on the ligaments running from your lower abdomen to your groin. It sounds simple, but one of the best ways to deal with round ligament pain is to give yourself time to rest and to avoid sudden movement. In the longer term, performing pregnancy-safe exercises to strengthen your core can also help you avoid round ligament pain. If, however, you feel intense pain in your abdomen, or if your pain doesn’t go away after resting, you should call your healthcare provider.
As you move full steam ahead into trimester two, it’s important that you continue to care for yourself in ways that allow you to feel your best and promote a healthy pregnancy. It can help to stay active with movement or exercise that you enjoy, eat nutritious foods that help you feel satiated and good, and get enough rest. And it’s important to start taking a prenatal vitamin high in folic acid if you haven’t yet started doing so.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- A R Hayward. “The human fetus and newborn: Development of the immune response.” Birth defects original article series. 19(3):289-94. Web. February 1983.
- P Gurevich, I Zusman, M Moldavsky, S Szvalb, R Halperin, E Gurevich, H Ben-Hur. “Secretory immune system in human intrauterine development: immunopathomorphological analysis of the role of secretory component (pIgR/SC) in immunoglobulin transport (review).” International Journal of Molecular Medicine. 12(3):289-97. Web. 9/3/2015.
- “Development of the Immune System.” Vaccine Education Center. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. April 22, 2019. https://www.chop.edu/centers-programs/vaccine-education-center/human-immune-system/development-immune-system.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.