Second Trimester

Welcome to your second trimester! There is a lot to do this trimester to prepare for your baby during these weeks. The most important things to remember are to pre-register for your hospital stay and sign up for the classes you are interested in taking.

Your Health in the Second Trimester (Weeks 13-27)

The second trimester is an exciting time: you start to look pregnant, your energy returns, and hopefully morning sickness is a thing of the past. Even better, you can start to feel your baby move!

During the second trimester, you will visit the doctor about once a month. At these visits, you usually will have your blood pressure and weight checked, and you will leave a urine specimen. Your physician will listen for your baby's heartbeat and measure your abdomen to ensure your baby is growing appropriately. Most women get a comprehensive ultrasound around Week 20. If you choose, you can usually find out the gender of your baby during this visit.

Second Trimester Screening Tests

Many physicians offer optional tests like the quadruple screen test, which is used to find out if your baby is at risk for certain birth defects. If your baby is at risk for certain genetic abnormalities, you also may choose to have amniocentesis.

Toward the end of your second trimester your physician will likely order some tests, like a glucose tolerance test to screen for gestational diabetes, and an Rh incompatibility screening.

Your Growing Baby

During the second trimester, your baby grows very rapidly, and his arms and legs become well-developed and strong. You may notice these well-developed limbs in the form of kicks coming from inside your uterus. By the end of the second trimester, the baby is almost fully formed but the lungs need to develop further and the baby needs to put on more fat and weight before delivery day.

Illustration of fetal development in the second trimester

Mom's To-Do List

  • Register for and attend Great Expectations. We ask that all women planning to deliver at St. Francis attend this free, 30-minute session that includes a walking tour of the Labor and Delivery area and an overview of what to expect during your hospital stay.
  • Register for classes. We suggest that you register for any classes you are interested in taking by your fifth month of pregnancy (unless indicated otherwise) to ensure you have the best selection of dates and times to fit your schedule. All classes should be completed at least six weeks before your due date.
  • Consider signing up for text4baby - a new, free service that sends expectant moms weekly health tips during pregnancy