As you enter month four and the second trimester of pregnancy, some exciting changes are beginning to take place. By week 14, your baby has grown to about three and one half inches and is now approximately the size of a lemon.
During the second trimester of pregnancy, which lasts through week 27, prenatal visits will continue every four weeks. At these visits, your weight and blood pressure will be monitored and your urine tested for protein and sugar. Fundal height may be determined by measuring the area from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus to help monitor fetal growth.
Other tests that may be offered during the second trimester include:
- Screening tests for birth defects
- Glucose screening test
Many expectant mothers find the second trimester of pregnancy the most enjoyable as first trimester symptoms subside and your energy returns. If you are in good health, this is also a good time to settle into an aerobic exercise routine such as walking, swimming or cycling. Second trimester exercise can reduce back pain, help maintain blood sugar levels, increase energy and help you sleep better.
You should continue to eat a balanced diet that includes grains, fruits, vegetables, proteins and dairy. The average woman requires only 150 additional daily calories during pregnancy – about the same number of calories in one cup of whole milk. If your weight was normal before pregnancy, you should gain around 1-2 pounds per week during this trimester and between 25 and 35 pounds throughout your entire pregnancy.
By the end of the second trimester of pregnancy your baby has:
- Formed external sex organs
- Developed a sucking reflex
- Fully formed lungs (although they aren’t yet functional)
- Developed hearing
- Formed eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails
- Learned to recognize and respond to your voice
By week 20, if you haven’t already, you will probably begin to feel your baby move. At the end of the second trimester of pregnancy, your baby is growing rapidly and could be around 9 inches long and weigh approximately 2 pounds.
Contact your neighborhood Texas Health Care Obstetrics & Gynecology clinic in DFW for more information about your second trimester and pregnancy care.