Pregnancy: The Second Trimester

At the beginning of the second trimester you may wake up to realize that something is missing -- nausea. Not only can you down a meal, but your long-lost energy returns.

Your uterus is not yet big enough to cause some of the uncomfortable symptoms that may happen in the third trimester. On the other hand, it may be depressing that you feel huge and your clothes don’t fit, but no one seems to know that you are pregnant. Don’t worry, this stage is short-lived: Sometime during this next month, a total stranger will make your day by inquiring, "When are you due?"

One reason for the return of your energy is that the arduous work of fetal organ development is mostly complete. By week 14, your baby is four and one-half inches long from head to toe and weighs about 45 grams. He or she is quite active, doing somersaults in the amniotic fluid. You will probably feel these movements as a fluttering sensation that begins between weeks 18 to 22.

The second trimester of pregnancy may involve test-taking anxiety for some women. If you are over age 35, or had disturbing results from other tests, your practitioner will recommend amniocentesis, which checks for conditions such as Down syndrome. While one in 200 women experience problems as a result of the amniocentesis which could, potentially, lead to miscarriage, the odds of having a down syndrome child are higher. By making sure the technician performing this procedure has solid experience with good results, you can further lower your chances of complications.

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