Your baby’s continuing to grow
- Your baby’s skeletal muscles become active and it can now move its arms and legs and even suck its thumb! These movements will get more and more noticeable in the weeks ahead, a fluttering feeling also known as a sense of quickening. Plus, its arms and legs are more proportionate to its body now and hair is starting to grow on the scalp.
- Tiny blood vessels are visible through your baby’s delicate skin and its ears begin to stand out from the sides of the head and baby can hear loud sounds. Baby’s lips, eyelids and eyebrows are also becoming more distinct.
- Your baby’s brain development is accelerating: it already has billions of nerve cells. The brain is developing centres of smell, taste, hearing, vision and touch. Its lungs are also maturing: baby is making increasingly frequent but irregular respiratory movements.
- Your baby swallows more and more amniotic fluid and that is good for its digestive system. After digestion, the amniotic fluid produces meconium – a black, sticky by-product – that accumulates in the bowels and is excreted soon after birth.
- If you want to learn the sex of your baby, your second ultrasound will happen this month and you may be able to see more of baby’s anatomy and, if you like, whether it is a girl or a boy.
Your body during the second trimester
- In week 20, you will officially enter the second half of pregnancy! Your body will start to change more on the outside. Your belly button may pop out and your breathing changes too, becoming more frequent and sometime you are out of breath.. This may be due to weight gain but also is a space issue, as your baby grows and your organs have less room. .
- Baby is growing and, while it sleeps a lot, baby is likely very active when awake and not on the same schedule as you. Try to gently caress your belly and talk to baby to calm them down as they move around restlessly at night so you can both get back to sleep.
- Your chest may begin to expand. Your breasts also may start growing. Some women notice small bumps – sebaceous glands – around their nipples.
- Varicose veins may appear, caused by the change in hormones in your body. For most women, these disappear after baby is born.
Tips to help get you and baby to the finish line:
- Though your body is doing its job almost on auto-pilot, there are still a few things that need to be taken care of externally. If you haven’t already, discuss with your healthcare practitioner how and where you want to give birth. They will also be able to provide you with information about prenatal classes in your community. For tips on choosing your birth team, see Choosing Your Birth Team & Location.
- Stay hydrated! Your blood volume has increased significantly to ensure you pass on the necessary nutrition for your baby. Drink lots of water every day, and even more in hot weather. Avoid sugary drinks and sodas and consuming caffeinated tea or coffee.
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