Second trimester: amazing pregnancy facts

Your baby is growing quickly now that you're in the 'sexy' second trimester of your pregnancy – here's what to expect during the next 13 weeks!

If you had a window into the womb you’d see your unborn baby smiling & frowning.

Welcome to your pregnancy’s second trimester! Hopefully you’ve said goodbye to that intense fatigue and nausea of your first trimester and you’re ready to embrace your growing belly.

13 Weeks

Now that you’re 13 weeks pregnant your baby has her own unique fingerprints, and is about the size of a large plum.

Your baby has peachy fuzz on her head from as early as week 13. She also has eyebrows and eyelashes, and is covered all over in lanugo – downy hair that helps to keep her warm. This is usually shed in the third trimester, but some newborns, especially premature babies, still have traces remaining.

14 Weeks

If you had a window on the womb at 14 weeks, you’d see your unborn baby smiling and frowning.

Although your baby’s eyelids are still closed, she’s now aware of light and dark, and will see a warm red glow if you shine a torch against your bump.

15 Weeks

At 15 weeks, a skilled sonographer can usually tell whether you’re having a boy or girl.

20 Weeks

At your 20-week scan you’ll see a proper little person, fully formed and more or less in proportion. Her trunk and limbs will grow more slowly from this stage onwards, but she will start laying down fat at an amazing rate, in preparation for being born.

If your baby is a girl she already 3,000,000 eggs in her ovaries at just 20 weeks.

21 Weeks

Your baby at 21 weeks is the weight and length of a banana.

The foods you eat flavour the amniotic fluid – and your baby can taste them. One study showed that bubs whose mums eat garlic breastfeed longer as the strong taste, which passes into breastmilk, is already familiar to them.

Experts can now successfully operate on unborn babies in the womb to repair problems such as holes in the heart, fluid around the lungs and hernias of the diaphragm. Previously, this was done by cutting into the womb (a partial caesarean), but now surgeons use microscopic keyhole surgery.

In the latter half of pregnancy, your uterus will grow by 1cm a week.

24 Weeks

By week 24 your baby’s brain development is really taking off. Her brainwave patterns are similar to a newborn’s, and studies have suggested that she already has the beginnings of conscious thought and memory.

She can tell the difference between your voice and your partner’s, and research indicates that if you repeatedly play a piece of music while she’s in the womb, she’ll remember it after the birth. Apparently unborn babies respond best to classical music with a strong regular beat, and will react to it by increasing their movements and heart rate. So it seems it’s never too early to hone her musical tastes!

Week 24 is one of the major milestones of pregnancy. At this point, your baby is classed as ‘viable’ – in other words, she would stand a good chance (around 39%) of surviving if she was born now.

Feeling a regular tapping sensation? It’s probably just your baby having hiccups.

At 24 weeks, your baby has her own daily waking and sleeping patterns. Unfortunately they may not tie in with yours!

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