Second trimester: weeks 13 to 28

The second trimester is the middle three months of your pregnancy. You will start to look and feel pregnant. 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.

Find out the effects of smoking on your baby

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  [accessed 12 March 2015] ‘Ultrasound scans’,http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/ultrasound-anomaly-baby-scans-pregnant.aspx 
  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 (ACOG):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 April 1st, 2015. Next review date April 1st, 2018.

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Comments

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 16 Sep 2017 - 09:25

    I feel strong pain the next day i had intercourse wth my husband, and it last for two days. I went to the hospital and ciprotab and metronidazole was prescribed i'm scared because birth defect as i am five months pregnant. help

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 11:57

    Hello - Thank you for your message. I'm sorry to read you've been experiencing some pain and feeling worried. Please contact us on our Pregnancyline 08000147800 or email us at [email protected] to discuss your concerns further.
    If you are still experiencing pain it is is important that your doctor or midwife sees you soon.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Sep 2017 - 13:13

    I have recently had a cervical stitch. The reason was i lost my first baby at 27 weeks. I am currently at 20 weeks.
    I am on strict bed rest, taking progestorone twice a day. What will total bed rest do to help my cervix and baby?
    Thanks x

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 18 Sep 2017 - 12:44

    Hi - Thank you for your message.
    I'm sorry to hear of the loss of your first child and the complications you've had in this pregnancy - I hope you had good care and support throughout.
    I'm a little unclear on what treatment you've had so far but
    doctors may recommend bed rest as part of your treatment. This has not been proven in research trials to be very effective but it is sometimes recommended as a safeguard. Bed rest can happen at home or in the hospital.
    If you email us on [email protected] or call us on the Pregnancyline 08000147800 we can offer more detailed advice.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 10 Sep 2017 - 19:02

    I am almost 12 weeks pregnant and have suffered terribly with a constant nausea feeling, tiredness and generally feeling awful. The nausea has calmed down but I am just constantly hungry! I eat and eat but there is just no filling me and if I don't eat, I feel awful. I was hoping that once I hit 12 weeks, I would start to feel normal again but I'm 12 weeks in 2 days and it doesn't seem to be getting better. I have already put on around 10 pound and I am worried that this isn't going to go away and I'm just going to get bigger and bigger. Do you have any suggestions? Thanks

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 11 Sep 2017 - 15:51

    Congratulations on your pregnancy.
    I'm glad to read you're feeling better after experiencing the tiredness and nausea that so many women struggle with.
    Getting your appetite back is very normal, however if you are concerned that you are eating more then you should or interested in healthy eating in pregnancy please have a look at our nutrition in pregnancy information pages which provide great alternatives for snacks and healthy meals.
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/weight-management/healthy-eating-tips

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 Aug 2017 - 02:40

    Am in my 24 th week of pregnancy and I haven't taken any medication or supplements but I got one check up and the baby's heart beat was ok. Am feeling very ok thou my diet is not good. Is their anything to worry much.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 23 Aug 2017 - 16:39

    Hi, it is good to eat a balanced diet and increase your green leafy vegetables. If you're finding it hard to eat well you can take a pregnancy supplement. Attending regular antenatal visits and starting to monitor your baby's movement is also recommended from 24 weeks.
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/im-pregnant/nutrition-pregnancy/having-healthy-diet-pregnancy
    https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/symptom-checker/baby-moving-less/movements-matter-raising-awareness-fetal-movements
    Take care
    Anna -Tommy's Midwife

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 7 Jul 2017 - 11:40

    sometimes having a hard bump on d left side of my lower abdomen and seriously gives me discomfort.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 7 Jul 2017 - 15:04

    Hi, I am unsure how many weeks pregnant you are however it would be worth just having this reviewed by your GP, especially if it is causing you such discomfort. Tommy's midwives.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 22 May 2017 - 10:33

    Been in nur esterate injection for 6 yrs and on pills for 2 years now been on TTC for 5 months still nothing

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 May 2017 - 11:01

    It is not unusual to take many months to conceive. Have you seen our page about advice for those wanting to get pregnant? There are top tips to follow for you and your partner. https://www.tommys.org/pregnancy-information/getting-pregnant/are-you-ready-conceive?gclid=CL2B_Omdg9QCFQbjGwodb4AMLw

    Hope this helps

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 20 May 2017 - 00:57

    Wondering what I can do for dryness I am Wanting to Be intimate with my partner but its not as enjoyable or exciting.

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 22 May 2017 - 09:33

    Hi
    There are many products on the market that you can buy at most chemists. Try a water based product called 'play' made by durex.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 26 Apr 2017 - 11:21

    Am in my 14th week of pregnancy and my husband is pestering me for sex but I refuse for the fear of miscarriage, please I need ur advice

  • By Midwife @Tommys on 27 Apr 2017 - 11:14

    This is a good question and one that concerns many couples. There is no evidence that the baby will be harmed during intercourse. The cervix and thick mucus plug is protective and the amniotic sac will protect against infection. You should however, never feel pressured to have sex and should discuss your concerns with your partner.

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 6 Jul 2017 - 16:33

    Hi there,
    I am replying to your post regarding having sex during pregnancy.
    I am just a person and not a doctor.
    If you don't have any issues in pregnancy, there is no reason to not have sex! In fact all the hormones released during sex can be beneficial for the baby like oxytocin. Also beneficial to you and husband! It is a win for all!

  • By Anonymous (not verified) on 24 Apr 2017 - 12:51

    Hlw,I can't wait for my beautiful Queen to deliver our precious Angel I'm so excited.

  • 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 Anonymous (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 Anonymous (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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