Pregnancy Home > Second Trimester

During the second trimester of pregnancy, symptoms like nausea and headache should lessen, but you may have new symptoms, such as itching, tingling, or skin changes. Several diagnostic tests are performed during this trimester, such as amniocentesis, to make sure that there are no potential problems with the baby. This phase of pregnancy is a good time to be aware of signs that indicate pre-term labor.

Second Trimester: An Overview

You're adjusting to the precious new life inside of you. As in the first trimester, it's important to become a partner with your doctor in managing your care. Keep all of your appointments -- every one is important.
Pregnancy typically lasts 40 weeks, counting from the first day of your last menstrual period. The first trimester lasts 12 weeks, the second from 13 to the end of 27 weeks, and the third from 28 to 40 weeks. Your healthcare provider will refer to your pregnancy by the age of the fetus in weeks.

Changes in Your Body

Most women find the second trimester of pregnancy to be easier than the first trimester, but it is important to stay informed about your pregnancy in this stage, too. While you might notice that symptoms like nausea and fatigue are going away, you will see other new, more noticeable changes to your body. Your abdomen will expand as you gain weight and the baby continues to grow.
Before the second trimester is over, you will feel your baby beginning to move! Many of the other symptoms you had in the first trimester might also continue into the second trimester, like constipation or leg cramps, so it is important to keep doing all of the healthy things you have already learned to help prevent or treat those symptoms. Things you might experience during the second trimester include:
  • Aches and pains
  • Shortness of breath
  • Stretch marks
  • Other skin changes
  • Tingling and itching.
We explain each of these changes on the next few pages.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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