Second trimester: weeks 13 to 28

The second trimester is the middle three months of your pregnancy. This is a time when lots of women tell the world they’re pregnant and begin to feel like the pregnancy is more ‘real’.

weeks 13 - 28 infographic

The second trimester of your pregnancy is from week 13 to week 28 - roughly months four, five and six.

As well as feeling and looking more pregnant during these weeks, you may also have more energy than you did in the first trimester. This will come as a great relief if you have been struggling with sickness, tiredness or anxiety about getting through the first trimester.

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As you go through the second trimester, you’ll gradually see your 'bump' grow and later you'll start to feel your baby moving.

Choices and decisions in the second trimester of pregnancy

You'll be offered blood tests and your second ultrasound scan at around 20 weeks. This scan looks at how the baby is growing and whether there are any causes for concern.

You have the right to say no to any test or scan that's offered. It is always your choice and the team looking after you will respect your decision.

If you haven't already thought about it, it’s a good time to start thinking about where and how you would like to have your baby. From home birth to hospital birth, you may have to make a decision. If this all seems a little scary, don't worry. Your midwife will be there to support you and tell you what your choices are. You'll go from beginner to expert in just a few weeks!

You may want to consider whether to ask if you’re having a boy or a girl when you have your scans. This is a very personal decision – some parents are excited to find out and others prefer to be surprised at the birth. Keep in mind, though, that a scan doesn’t always show the sex of the baby and sometimes what you are told could turn out to be wrong!

If you are still smoking – even if it’s just the odd cigarette – check out your local stop smoking options. If you stop smoking before the 15th week of pregnancy, the health risks for your baby go down. Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for the health of your baby.

Experts agree that staying active in pregnancy is good for you and your baby. You can prepare your body for the challenges of labour and being a mum by keeping yourself healthy and active during your second trimester.

Find out more about the second trimester

Sources

  1.  Lee KA, Zaffke ME (2006) ‘Longitudinal changes in fatigue and energy during pregnancy and the post partum period’, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic, and Neonatal Nursing, 28 (2): 183–91
  2. NHS Choices. Ultrasound scans. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/ultrasound-anomaly-baby-scans-pregnant.aspx (Page last reviewed: 30/11/2017 Next review due: 30/11/2020)
  3. England LJ, Kendrick JS, Wilson HG, Merritt RK, Gargiullo PM, Zahniser SC (2001) Effects of smoking reduction during pregnancy on the birth weight of term infants’, American Journal of Epidemiology 154(8): 694–701:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11590081 
  4.  ACOG (2010) Smoking cessation during pregnancy, Committee Opinion 471, Washington DC, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists:http://www.acog.org/Resources-And-Publications/Committee-Opinions/Committee-on-Health-Care-for-Underserved-Women/Smoking-Cessation-During-Pregnancy
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Last reviewed on June 28th, 2018. Next review date June 28th, 2021.

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Comments

Please note that these comments are monitored but not answered by Tommy’s. Please call your GP or maternity unit if you have concerns about your health or your baby’s health.
  • By Midwife @Tommys on 24 Apr 2017 - 13:17

    What a lovely message and sentiments. Best of luck to all of you for the birth and the days ahead.

  • By Miranda (not verified) on 9 Apr 2017 - 16:27

    My abdomen hardens a lot mean while am in my second trimester, does it mean my baby has started kicking?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 10 Apr 2017 - 09:42

    Hi Miranda, it sounds as if you are having mild tightenings/braxton hicks contractions. It might be worth going in to the hospital to be reviewed by a midwife and an obstetric doctor as these don't tend to start until the third trimester. So it would be good to understand what is causing this to happen and to ensure that all is going well with the pregnancy - baby's growth/placenta etc. Kicks would not cause your abdomen to become hard, so I feel that it would be best to get reviewed as soon as possible, remembering to take along your pregnancy notes.
    Please take good care of yourself.

  • By Karen gervier (not verified) on 19 Jan 2017 - 22:04

    At what age can a baby take there first airplane

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 20 Jan 2017 - 10:37

    There are no set rules or guidelines regarding this. As long as the baby is well and there are no medical concerns then you can bring them on the plane with you. Many parents choose to wait until the baby has had their immunisations, however this is parental choice.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 Nov 2016 - 13:12

    Hi,

    what is the latest i can fly?

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 17 Nov 2016 - 15:58

    The recommendation is that you can fly up to 36 weeks or 32 weeks if you are carrying Twins. Check out our advice on https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/i%E2%80%99m-pregnant/antenatal-care/antenatal-care-qa/can-i-fly-pregnancy

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