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This is the last week of your second trimester. You and Baby have come so far! Ready for what’s next?
Baby is measuring in at about 14.2-15 inches, about the size of a bunch of bananas, and weighs just over two pounds. And your little one is now opening and closing their eyes with ease! Baby’s brain continues to develop at a rapid pace, preparing to control their body and movements once they’re born. Their brain can even control their lungs and regulate their body temperature! And because Baby can hear you now, if you haven’t done so already, try talking or singing to your baby! It never hurts to familiarize them with your voice — they’re already your biggest fan.
What’s new with you?
We know that most pregnant folks can engage in exercise and movement right up until they give birth, but staying active when carrying around all that extra weight — and some of the side effects that can come with it, like aches, pain, and increasing immobility — can become increasingly difficult. There are enough safe options though that you should be able to find something that feels good for you. Swimming, or other aquatic exercise, can be a good way to stay active while also momentarily taking some of the pressure off of your body. Yoga can help with things including back and hip pain. And aerobic exercises and light weight lifting can help boost both your mood and your strength for the major workout of labor and delivery. Pregnancy-specific exercise classes can also be a great way to connect with other soon-to-be-parents! To keep things simple, try to stay as active as you can with activities you enjoy without overextending yourself.
It’s also time to get started on some of the more practical details of getting your home and life ready for Baby, like getting a crib, car seat, and other baby-related necessities. Getting Baby’s nursery or sleep space set up or figuring out how to install a car seat can be a great way to get your loved ones more directly involved in preparing for Baby’s arrival. And keep in mind that sometimes this preparation can be hard or frustrating (think confusing crib instructions or a car seat not fitting the way that it should), so leave yourself plenty of time and to be patient with yourselves and anyone you’re doing this prep with (whether a partner, parent, or best friend), especially if you’ve never done this before. Nobody is born knowing how to be a parent, or how to build a crib — there’s always a learning curve! In terms of other practical prep work, this may also be the time you may want to look into adjusting any insurance policies as you see fit in order to best protect your family.
Your skin, hair, and nails could be getting brittle at this point. Stronger, thicker hair and nails are the pregnancy symptoms that get the most press, mostly because they’re more fun, but between all the hormones in your body and the extra demand for nutrients that your growing baby needs, plenty of folks experience the opposite. This is totally normal, and it doesn’t last forever. If you experience any major changes to your hair and nails, they should return to just about where they started a few months after you give birth. In the meantime, you can combat some of these less than stellar changes to your nails by keeping your hands well-moisturized and wearing gloves when you’re doing dishes.
There’s also a chance you might develop symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD), or pelvic girdle pain, a disorder caused by the pregnancy hormone relaxin that makes your pelvic joint particularly unstable. SPD won’t hurt Baby, but it could definitely make your life more uncomfortable. There are treatments available, so if you start to experience pain around your pubic bone, lower back, or perineum, check in with your healthcare provider so they can determine if it’s SPD and discuss possible treatments.
Reviewed by the Ovia Health Clinical Team
- Sir John Dewhurst. Dewhurst’s Textbook of Obstetrics and Gynaecology. 8th ed. Keith Edmonds. John Wiley and Sons Ltd, 2012. Print.
- Mayo Clinic Staff. “Fetal development: The 3rd trimester.” Mayo Clinic. Web. June 30, 2020.
- “Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction.” Birthsource. Perinatal Education Associates, n.d. Web.
- Mark A Curran, M.D. “Fetal Development.” Perinatology.com. Perinatology.com. March 31, 2019. https://www.perinatology.com/Reference/Fetal%20development.htm#1.