Pregnancy: The second trimester, weeks 13-28

What to expect when you reach your second trimester of pregnancy

As this trimester begins the symptoms of early pregnancy decrease or disappear (though for some women nausea and vomiting continue).

After 14 weeks your baby’s heartbeat can be heard with a sonic aid.

You will start to “show”/get a bump from about week 16. Expect to gain about 4-6kg during this trimester.

Your appetite is likely to increase, but you may develop constipation. Include plenty of water and fibre in your diet .


“Happy hormones” often kick in during this trimester making you feel good. Some mums-to-be, however, find pregnancy an anxious time. If your anxiety is increasing talk to your carer or family doctor

“The importance of exercise cannot be underestimated in any trimester,” says Paula Barry, a midwife at Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital in Dublin. “Getting out for a walks or joining a pregnancy yoga/pilates class is an excellent way to stay fit.”

Backache can begin as your shape changes, and hormones cause your pelvic joints to soften and your muscles to relax. You may also experience leg and foot cramps – particularly at night.

Expect skin changes. You may “bloom” or break out in spots.

Heartburn is a common feature of the second two trimesters. “Drinking milk or peppermint tea can help,” says Barry.

If this is your first baby you may feel movements around 18-20 weeks – a sensation like butterflies or bubbling inside you! If you have been pregnant before you may feel movement earlier.

By 24 weeks all your baby’s major organs work, but the lungs and digestive systems need further development.