The Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Pregnancy is the most wonderful period in the life of every woman because it provides mothers-to-be with unforgettable feelings and emotions. Pregnancy consists of the first, second and third trimester. The second trimester of pregnancy often brings feelings of relief and sense of a renewed well-being. After the dreadful nausea of the first one, it appears like a stage of the peace. However, dramatic pregnancy symptoms are looming on the horizon. Let discuss what to expect from the second trimester of pregnancy.
Firstly, it is necessary to show the development of baby from week to week, during the first trimester. As a woman enters the second trimester, all of her baby’s organs, nerves and muscles are formed and just beginning to function together. Baby’s eyes and ears are easy to identify, although the eyelids are closed to protect the future development of eyes. Tissue (future bone) is developing around baby’s head and within the legs and arms. Baby is now able to move, flexing the arms and kicking the legs. During the 14 week, baby’s reproductive system is developed. If a woman has a boy, his prostate gland is beginning to develop. If a woman has a girl, her ovaries are moving into her pelvis from her abdomen at this week. In addition, because of the development of the thyroid gland, a baby starts producing hormones this week. Moreover, by the end of this week, the roof of baby’s mouth is completely formed. During the 15 week, eyebrows and hairs on baby’s scalp are starting to appear. Baby’s eyes and ears now have a baby-like appearance. The bone and marrow that make up baby’s skeletal system is continuing to develop this week. Muscle development is continuing, too. By the end of this week, a baby will be able to make a fist. During the 16 week, the skeletal system and nervous system have made enough connections in order to coordinate limb and body movement. In addition, baby’s facial muscles are now developed well enough to allow doing a variety of expressions. If woman has a girl, millions of eggs are forming in her ovaries this week. During the 16 weeks into the pregnancy, a baby is between 4 and 5 inches long and weighs a bit less than 3 ounces. During the 17 week, hairs and eyebrows on baby’s scalp are continuing to appear. In addition, brown fat is beginning to develop under baby’s skin. This will help a baby to keep a warm after birth. During the 18 week, baby’s bones are beginning to harden. This process is called ossification. Bones in baby’s legs and inner ear are the first to ossify. With the bones in the inner ear now well developed enough to function and the nerve endings from baby’s brain now “hooked up” to the ears, a baby can hear sounds. A baby can also now swallow. During the 18 week, a slippery covers baby’s skin. Slippery is a white, fatty coating called vernix for short or vernix caseosa. It helps to protect baby’s skin because it is very delicate. Baby’s urine is also developed this week. Furthermore, this week baby’s hearing is perfect, and it allows he or her hear many different sounds. The main sound is mother’s one. That is why it is necessary for mother sing or talk to her baby during the pregnancy. Baby’s muscles and brain can communicate now, because of further development of the brain, which develops millions of motor neurons. That is why baby can make some conscious muscle movements. For example, moving his or her head and sucking a thumb. Pregnant woman may feel these movements. During the next 20 week, Baby’s movements become quicker. In addition, baby’s skin becomes thicker. It includes the epidermis, the outermost layer and the dermis. A baby is now about 6 inches long and weighs about 9 ounces — a little over half a pound. During the 21 week, baby’s bone marrow is starting to produce blood cells. It works together with the spleen and liver. During the next week, the senses of touch and taste are making good progress in the development. The mother on the ultrasound can see her baby playing with these newfound senses. For example, child can suck a thumb or touch other parts of his or her body. In addition, a big jump in the reproductive system development can be seen. Baby boy has his testes descended from his abdomen and baby girl has her ovaries and uterus in place this week. In addition, vagina is developed, and baby girl is provided with all eggs for her future reproductive life. During the 23 week, baby’s lungs are rapidly developing, starting preparation for the outside life. Baby looks like a baby, although he or she is with a little body and wrinkled skin. That is why babies born at 23 weeks can sometimes survive. However, because the eyes retinas are not completely formed, babies born at 23 weeks can have an eye problem called retinopathy, which can cause impaired vision. On the other hand, with modern medicine a baby born even at 23 weeks can grow up to be a normal, healthy, well developed child. During 24 week, the last one of the second trimester, baby has a sense of place developed. He or she begins to feel, whether he or she is right side up or upside-down in the amniotic sac. Babies born at this week have a great chance to survive because all necessary for life organs are developed. A baby is 15 inches long and weighs about one and five pounds by the end of this week. (Harms, Roger W 79-105)
Secondly, it is necessary to show what effects second trimester has on the mothers-to-be. The second trimester is a period of close communication between mother-to-be and her baby, because a baby starting to seem realer. Between 16 and 22 weeks, mother can feel the baby movement for the first time. This movement is similar to indigestion. That is why it is difficult for mother to define it. (Department of Health 21) Talking about the mother-to-be state of health it is necessary to emphasize that the first month of the second trimester is the golden period of pregnancy because strong morning sickness has taken a back seat. However, women face with such difficulties as painless, irregular contractions of the uterus, hemorrhoids, heartburn, shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping. By the end of this period, breathing may improve because the uterus settles down into the pelvis. However, it may also cause an increase of urination frequency and is not convenient for the mother-to-be. (Trimesters: Changes for Mother and Baby - Preconception/Pregnancy)
Finally, it is important for mother-to-be leads a healthy life style. During the second trimester, a pregnant woman has to maintain a healthy diet, eat many vitamins, do regular exercises, practice good lifestyle habits, have a good sleep, take all worries easy and have time to relax and enjoy the tiny baby inside. (Your Second Trimester Guide)
To sum up, the second trimester of pregnancy is full of events for mother-to-be as well for her baby. That is why this period has to be spent with good feelings, emotions and pleasant cares about new tiny life.