Week-by-Week Highlights - Second Trimester

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Your Second Trimester: Week-by-Week Highlights
Week of pregnancy
Actual Sizes
Week 13
just 2 1/2 to 3 inches long, the fetus looks like a fully formed, tiny human now, albeit with a head what's still alien-big in relation to the body. The fetus will squirm if your abdomen is prodded, though you cannot feel the movement. The top of the uterus can be felt low in the abdomen.
2 1/2 to 3 inches long
Week 14
Already in place are its facial features and unique fingerprints.
3 to 4 inches long
Week 15
The parchment-thin fetal skin is covered with lanugo, ultra-fine down that usually disappears before birth. Eyebrow and hair on top of the head begin to grow, though this hair may fall out after birth and its color or texture may change. Triple-screen maternal serum screening tests are scheduled between 15 and 20 weeks. Amniocentesis is usually performed around 15 to 18 weeks.
Week 16
Whither thy waist? Most women need maternity clothes by now. Although you've probably gained a few pounds, the baby accounts for less than 3 ounces.
Week 17
All systems are go: the baby's lungs begin to exhale amniotic fluid, the circulatory system is operating, and the urinary tract works.
Week 18
Most mothers-to-be begin to feel their baby move, usually between 16 and 22 weeks. The baby weighs 5 ounces. The fetus's skeleton is mostly rubbery cartilage, which converts into hard bone later.
5 inches long
small hamster
Week 19
A mid-pregnancy ultrasound is often done around 18 to 22 weeks to assess fetal growth and development, screen for some defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, and verify the due date. You may see the baby kick, flex, roll, or even suck its thumb. The genitals are distinctive. If it's a girl, your potential grandchildren - in the form of eggs - are already present.
Week 20
Halfway to Delivery Day. The top of your uterus now reaches your belly button and will grow about 1 centimeter each week. The baby weighs 9 ounces. To get a senses of how much growth lies ahead compare that to the average newborn's birthweight of 7 pounds, 7 ounces and the average length at birth of 20 inches
6 1/2 inches long
Week 21
The fetus is steadily gaining fat (to stay warm) and has grown a whitish coat of waxy vernix (to protect skin during its long submersion in amniotic fluid and to ease delivery). Look into childbirth education classes, if you haven't already. You'll want to complete a course before your ninth month begins.
Week 22
Muffled sounds of you growling stomach, your beating heart, and your voice (albeit a distorted version) can all be heard in the womb. Loud bangs may cause a startle reflex in the fetus - the heart rate rises and the limbs flail.
Week 23
The fetus now weighs about 1 pound and is proportioned like newborn, though still scrawny. Its newborn "baby fat" hasn't yet developed. You'll begin to gain weight more steadily.
Week 24
At a little over 1 pound. Hearing is well established. Glucose screen for detecting gestational diabetes are given between 24 and 28 weeks.
box turtle
Week 25
If you feel repeated blips in your midsection that bring to mind the steady persistence of a drippy faucet, that's the baby having hiccups. (It's very common and doesn't mean anything.)
Week 26
The baby's weight is now about 1 1/2 pounds. It's extremely rare for a baby born this prematurely to survive, but each day after this point, the chances for a healthy baby grow exponentially.
9 inches long
small rabbit
Week 27
As your uterus expands to accommodate all the growth, stretch marks may appear. Most women have gained 16 to 22 pounds.
Week 28
The eyelids have opened, after being fused shut since their formation in the first trimester uterus. Light-sensitive, the fetus will try to shield its eyes with its hands if a fetoscope with a light is shone inside the uterus. If born early, the baby probably will survive now in a neonatal intensive-care unit, with a 50 percent chance of no serious complications. At 28 weeks, women with Rh-negative blood get an Rh immunoglobulin shot, which will be repeated within 72 hours of delivery if the newborn is Rh-positive.
11 to 14 inches long
Small kitten