Mother and Baby

Your second trimester

Section: Pregnancy
Your second trimester

Your second trimester is the three months in the middle of your pregnancy, between weeks 14 and 26. This is an incredibly important time in your baby’s development. You might be able to find out your baby’s sex at your scan – which is normally at 20 weeks – if you want to find out, that is. By the end of this trimester your baby will grow hair and become able to swallow and hear things around her. She will even have tiny fingernails and fingerprints.

Choose your week: 

14 weeks pregnant

15 weeks pregnant

16 weeks pregnant

17 weeks pregnant

18 weeks pregnant

19 weeks pregnant

20 weeks pregnant

21 weeks pregnant

22 weeks pregnant

23 weeks pregnant

24 weeks pregnant

25 weeks pregnant

26 weeks pregnant

Your plan for your second trimester

It’s time for a few important decisions. Do you want to know your baby’s sex or would you prefer to keep it a surprise? Who do you want as your birth partner? Where would you like to give birth? Don’t rush, and give it all a lot of thought.

Remember to keep up with your antenatal appointments this trimester - you will have a few. At week 16, you’ll be told about the anomaly scan, which you’ll be offered at 18-20 weeks. The anomaly scan checks the physical development of your baby.

If you work, you must tell your employer about your pregnancy at least 15 weeks before the beginning of the week your baby is due. You will need a MAT B1 form – find out more here.

Even though it may seem ages before baby will arrive, start looking for good childcare and decorating your baby’s nursery.

Do some maternity clothes shopping. Maternity clothes can be stylish as well as practical – check out our Maternity Fashion section to see for yourself. Stay active – check out our section on exercise during pregnancy for top tips and advice, including the best pregnancy fitness DVDs.

Bond with your bump. This is an amazing time when you start feeling the life inside you moving and reacting to your voice. Make the most of it and encourage your partner to do the same.

Your body changes

Hopefully during your second trimester your morning sickness has stopped. Your growing bump will start putting some extra pressure on your back and you are going to feel it. To sooth any aches, try sleeping on your side.

You might experience bleeding gums, so make an appointment with your dentist. You may also start seeing varicose veins – that is because of the extra blood flowing in your system. This can be helped by having a more active lifestyle and regularly lifting your legs above your heart level. The now-familiar heartburn and constipation are likely to remain, however they can be helped by physical activity too.

The second half of your pregnancy is the time pre-eclampsia can strike. Watch out for its symptoms and call your midwife or GP in case you have any of them:

  • High blood pressure
  • Problems with vision
  • Severe pain under ribs
  • Rapidly increasing swelling of the face, hands or feet
  • Strong headache or heartburn that don’t go away with usual medicines



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