By the second trimester, your baby’s organs begin to mature, and baby develops a skeleton, skin, hair, toenails, and fingernails. From around the twentieth week, you might start to feel the baby moving, but if it isn’t your first pregnancy, you may notice the movements earlier than this. An exciting event in this trimester is that you would be able to determine whether the baby is a boy or a girl from about the seventeenth to the twentieth week (unless the baby’s positioning at the time of the scan prevents this), so you can start to plan for baby things.
For most people, nausea, and vomiting begins to subside and you feel much better. As baby grows, your belly starts to get bigger and show, and your breasts also get bigger; you would need to start adjusting your wardrobe from now. Also, skin changes can begin to show, some of which are –dark patches on the face, darkened skin, oily skin, a dark line from the navel down to the pubic area, and stretch marks. You are also at a higher risk for a urinary tract infection.
Your urine will be checked at every antenatal visit, but you must inform your doctor if you have painful urination or a fever. Some ladies start to have ‘false contractions’ called Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are painless, weak, and infrequent. However, you must inform your doctor if they become painful and/or regular, to be sure it is not a sign of preterm labour.
Here, your antenatal visits are scheduled for at least four weeks apart, and you will be prescribed daily routine multivitamin supplements. During your routine scans, the doctor will monitor the length of your cervix closely, to ensure that it is not opening, so that if there is any issue, it can be detected early and managed appropriately. At 20 weeks, you will have a scan called the anatomy scan, during which the doctor will take a comprehensive look at baby’s organs to ensure that they formed normally without any defect and the placenta is in the right position.
Detailed measurements will be taken to ensure that baby is growing well, and also to check for the baby’s sex. You will be given immunizations at 20 weeks and 24 weeks to protect you from a Tetanus infection. You will also get a drug to prevent you from getting malaria at 16 weeks, and this will be repeated in the third trimester at 28 weeks.