The second trimester is a time for your baby to grow bigger and
By the end of the second trimester your baby will weigh about two pounds and measure about 12 inches from crown (top of the head)
to rump (buttocks).
Your baby's gender can be identified in the
fourth month. However, some babies don't provide a clear enough
view during an ultrasound to tell for sure.
Although you can't feel it, your baby is very active. She can
kick her legs, move her arms, turn her head and suck a finger or
thumb. Your baby is also swallowing amniotic fluid, the fluid that
surrounds her, and passing it as urine.
Although she is getting
oxygen through the placenta and umbilical cord, your baby practices
breathing movements. Her skin is now covered with a fine, downy hair
At about 20 weeks, earlier if you have already had a baby,
you'll probably feel the first flutters of your baby's movements.
This is called quickening. It will be several more weeks before
family members will be able to feel your baby's movements.
During the fifth month, your baby's activity grows more
coordinated. She can turn somersaults and make faces.
may show her frowning or grimacing. Your baby also has eyebrows and
is growing hair. Her skin becomes covered with a protective, white
coating called vernix.
By the end of the second trimester, your baby hears and responds
to sounds. Loud noises may startle her, making her move. She is
listening to your voice and will recognize it after she is born.
She will recognize the voices of other family members, too. Each of
you can sing or play a song that is "your song." Your baby will
recognize it after birth and quiet when she hears it.
Your baby is also opening and closing her eyes and reacting to
light. She can make a fist and grasp the umbilical cord. You may
feel her pushing her feet against the wall of your uterus as if she
is walking. The rhythmic movements you sometimes feel are
Hair and eyebrows are growing. Heartbeat is strong enough to
hear with ultrasound. Starts to drink amniotic fluid (the fluid
surrounding the baby).
Middle ear bones harden, so baby can hear.
Fine, downy hair called "lanugo" appears all
over body and face. External genital organs are developed enough to
be seen with ultrasound. Developing skin is transparent.
Baby can hear sounds outside the mother's body and will jump
when startled. Fingernails and toenails begin to appear. Baby may
Baby is moving much of the time now. Skeleton would be clearly
outlined if X-ray was performed. Baby measures 8 inches long.
Buds for permanent teeth begin to form. Baby drinks amniotic
fluid, which is filtered through the kidneys and excreted back into
the amniotic sac. Baby may get hiccups.
movements can now be felt by mother. Baby is 8 1/2 inches long and
weighs 8 to 16 oz.
Skin is becoming opaque. Tongue is fully developed.
Vernix, a greasy, white, cheesy-looking substance, is beginning
to form on the baby's skin to protect it (most of the vernix will
disappear before birth).
Heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope.
organs are developed enough for the baby to survive outside the
womb. Lungs are immature, however, and the baby would need
breathing assistance if born now. Baby measures about 14 inches
long and weighs 1 to 1 1/2 pounds.
Bone centers begin to harden.
Fat stores are beginning to form.
Allina Health's Patient Education Department, Beginnings: Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond, seventh edition, ob-ah-90026
Allina Health's Patient Education Department experts