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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 trimesters.  The second trimester of pregnancy often brings feelings of relief and a sense of a renewed well-being. After the dreadful nausea of the first one, it appears like a stage of peace. However, dramatic pregnancy symptoms are looming on the horizon. Let discuss what to expect from the second trimester of pregnancy.

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Firstly, it is necessary to show the development of a 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 the 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 weeks, the 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 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 the baby’s mouth is completely formed. During the 15 weeks, eyebrows and hairs on the 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 a baby’s skeletal system are 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 weeks, the skeletal system and nervous system have made enough connections to coordinate limb and body movement. In addition, the baby’s facial muscles are now developed well enough to allow doing a variety of expressions. If a 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 weeks, hairs and eyebrows on the baby’s scalp are continuing to appear. In addition, brown fat is beginning to develop under the baby’s skin. This will help a baby to keep warm after birth. During the 18 weeks, the baby’s bones are beginning to harden. This process is called ossification. Bones in the 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 the baby’s brain now “hooked up” to the ears, a baby can hear sounds. A baby can also now swallow. During the 18 weeks, a slippery covers baby’s skin. Slippery is a white, fatty coating called vernix for short or vernix caseosa. It helps to protect the baby’s skin because it is very delicate. The Baby’s urine is also developed this week. Furthermore, this week's baby’s hearing is perfect, and it allows him or her to hear many different sounds. The main sound is mother’s one. That is why a mother must sing or talk to her baby during the pregnancy. A Baby’s muscles and brain can communicate now, because of further development of the brain, which develops millions of motor neurons. That is why a baby can make some conscious muscle movements. For example, moving his or her head and sucking a thumb. A pregnant woman may feel these movements. During the next 20 weeks, the Baby’s movements become quicker. In addition, the 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 weeks, the 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 their development. The mother on the ultrasound can see her baby playing with these newfound senses. For example, the 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, the vagina is developed, and the baby girl is provided with all eggs for her future reproductive life. During the 23 weeks, the 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 weeks, the last one of the second trimester, the 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. (HarmsRoger W 79-105)

Secondly, it is necessary to show what effects the second trimester has on the mothers-to-be. The second trimester is a period of close communication between a mother-to-be and her baby because a baby starting to seem more real. Between 16 and 22 weeks, the mother can feel the baby's movement for the first time. This movement is similar to indigestion. That is why it is difficult for the 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 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 in urination frequency and is not convenient for the mother-to-be. (Trimesters: Changes for Mother and Baby - Preconception/Pregnancy)

Finally, the mother-to-be needs to lead a healthy lifestyle. 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 the mother-to-be as well as for her baby. That is why this period has to be spent with good feelings, emotions, and pleasant care about new tiny life.

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