12-16 weeks pregnant
Congratulations, you have now entered the second trimester of your pregnancy!
Women often describe this trimester as a time when they feel more invigorated and energised, as any tiredness, morning sickness and nausea in pregnancy they may be experiencing usually starts to subside.
Here is an update on your baby’s development, and a checklist of things to think about and do during this time:
Your baby is fully formed. All their body parts, internal organs and structures are in place, and your baby now just needs to grow. You will probably have had your dating scan to determine your due date, and your midwife will have discussed any screening tests that are available.
Your baby’s lungs are developing and, although filled with fluid, will start to make the movements needed for taking their first breath. Your baby will start to swallow the amniotic fluid it is surrounded by and their kidneys will process this into urine.
Your baby is about 8cms long and is making lots of movements, but you will probably be unable to feel them. They are now capable of thumb sucking and hiccupping.
Your baby has begun to grow hair and eye lashes. Your baby will have a fine, downy hair over their body called lanugo, it acts to protect your baby’s skin and body and keep them warm in the womb.
They are now about the size of an orange, and their hearing is starting to develop well. Connect with your growing baby and bump by talking, singing or playing music to them.
If you have experienced morning sickness, you should find that this has mostly subsided now. You may now feel more “pregnant” as your bump is probably becoming more obvious and your clothes could feel much tighter.
Checklist for the second trimester
You may now feel as though you are able to do more exercise if you felt tired and sick in the first trimester. Exercise is important in pregnancy to maintain fitness levels and prepare you for the labour and birth of your baby. Swimming is an excellent low impact exercise during pregnancy. Yoga or pilates can not only be good exercise but also help you to gain skills that help you to focus and breathe well during labour and birth.
Now is a good time to give some serious thought around where you would like to give birth to your baby. The three main options in the UK are a home birth with midwives, a midwifery-led unit, and a consultant-led hospital unit. You can discuss your choices for place of birth with your midwife or visit the Which? website for more information.
Think about whom you would like as a birth partner. Most women take their partner, but you can choose not to, or you may want to have additional birth partners. Most hospitals allow you to have two birth partners, if you are having your baby at home, you can have as many birth partners and companions as you would like.
Focus on eating healthy whilst pregnant to provide you with lots of nutrients to help keep you and your baby healthy.
Keep a notepad handy. Write down any queries or worries you have so you can research them or ask your midwife about accessing credible information sources.