What to Expect in the Second Trimester

The Benefits of Second Trimester

The second trimester is commonly known to be filled with more energy and less sickness than the first trimester, and less body aches and discomfort than the third trimester. Many clients describe it as the blissful trimester, and appointments for homebirth midwives often go from an hour or more to thirty minutes or less. 

The second trimester is most commonly when baby kicks are felt, and parents are more sure it is the baby, not just gas bubbles. Just because most pregnant people have an easy breezy second trimester does not mean everyone gets that experience.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG) in the Second Trimester

For individuals with Hyperemesis Gravidarum or HG, the second trimester can feel very similar to the first and, in many cases, more depressing. HG is when morning sickness lasts almost the entire pregnancy. Many of these individuals are fighting for their lives and babies, creating a scenario wherein the second trimester is not blissful.

The Discomfort of an Expanding Belly

Other individuals might start to feel some third-trimester body discomfort in the second trimester, especially if this is not their first or second pregnancy. Sleep might be far for these individuals, and few between, and regular life might feel like a lot. These are just two reasons why an individual might not blissfully enjoy their second trimester, and if that is you, we see you too.

Sponsored By: Ethos
Get Life Insurance with Extra Perks worth $898!

Second Trimester Milestones

What else occurs besides how someone feels in their body and mind during the second trimester? The big thing that most pregnant individuals experience is the twenty-week ultrasound or the anatomy scan. At this scan, a large portion of parents find out the gender of their unborn child. This scan also gives information on how the baby is growing and if there are any apparent abnormalities that the ultrasound technology can pick up on. For many, this anatomy scan is exciting because it looks like an actual baby, and they get to know more about this child they will meet in a few short months. For others, what could have been an exciting visit can become devastating. This anatomy scan is commonly where parents find out their child has a developmental condition or congenital disorder. Ultrasound technology is only about 60% accurate for detecting abnormalities, so if an abnormality is detected at your scan, it is likely that your care provider will want to run more tests to confirm and diagnose.

The glucose test is another scan you might be asked about in the second trimester. This test can be done in a few different ways, but most commonly, it is done by drinking a drink called Glucola and getting a blood test an hour later. During this test, they check to see if you have gestational diabetes. If results indicate gestational diabetes, your care provider will work with you to determine if eating a specific diet will help it or if insulin will be necessary. 

Braxton Hicks

During the second trimester, many pregnant individuals report feeling Braxton Hicks. Braxton Hicks are the uterus tightening and are mild contractions. These can be normal, but if you get many of them, try upping your hydration and letting your care provider know.

Often there are skin changes that take place in the second trimester. Most commonly, these occur on your belly and breasts and sometimes your face. Some of these skin changes might be brown spots on your face called Melasma, a dark line down your belly called the Linea Negra, Stretch Marks, and darkening of your areolas. All of these are normal, although sometimes a bit shocking. Upping your amount of moisturizer and SPF can help with some of these changes, while others are inevitable.

The ultimate baby box, worth over $60

Other Second Trimester Symptoms

Dizziness, nasal congestion, leg cramps, and dental issues are other things that can come with the second trimester. Most of these are caused by hormones and changes in your circulation, and they are all normal. If the dizziness impacts your life or occurs more than occasionally, letting your care provider know is a good idea. Although these are all normal symptoms of the second trimester, if they bother you, bring them up with your care provider. You never know when there will be solutions to help you better your pregnancy experience.


The second trimester is a great time to prepare for your birth and postpartum. Whether this looks like taking a childbirth education course, preparing your birth bag or birth space, setting up a meal train, or having a baby shower, get it done! While your energy is at an all-time high, get the things on your to-do list checked off. If you are experiencing a pregnancy where you do not get this nice break from ailments, gathering your people and asking for help can be a great alternative. Community is crucial for pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting. Begin cultivating that now so it can be there for you when you most need it.



If you enjoyed reading this content why not share it with others!
Articles shown are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of this site.