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Second Trimester

Weeks 13-15

Week 13

Your baby's hands have 27 bones connected by ligaments, which are structurally complete. The feet, with separated toes and developed heels, are also nearly formed. Fetal development parallels the developmental stages of infancy. Because your baby will use his hands before he walks on his feet, hands develop earlier in utero than feet do. Your baby can suck her thumb, strengthening and filling out the cheek and jaw muscles.

To do:
Week 14

Your baby's eyes have moved forward and ears have moved upward on the head. The neck is straighter and strong, and the head is able to turn. Now your baby can move around in her amniotic bath, although you cannot yet feel these movements.

Week 15

This month your baby will double in length to six inches in a sitting position and quadruple its weight from one to four oz. The curled fetus now begins to straighten out, as the back grows stronger and the head becomes proportionally smaller than the rapidly lengthening body.

Weeks 16-18

Week 16

In the second trimester, your baby's fetal brain develops folds on its surface, signaling the advancement of its many regions, especially in the forebrain that controls the intellect, motor control and memory. Brain development continues years after birth. The fingertips already have ridged patterns unique to each baby. Even identical twins have different patterns.

To do:
  • Schedule your 20-week prenatal visit with your doctor
  • If you plan to breastfeed or want to learn more about breastfeeding to help make a decision, attend our Breastfeeding Class. This class provides information on the benefits of breastfeeding and techniques including pumping and storing breast milk. Spouses/partners are encouraged to attend
Week 17

By the middle of the second trimester, your baby is about eight inches long and weighs half a pound. Your baby's bones are hard and the joints flexible. Now you may start to feel the baby's kicks and rolls. Even hiccups can be felt on occasion. Eyelashes begin to appear.

To do:
  • Decision point: Will you find out the baby’s sex?
Week 18

Your baby's heart pumps 144 liters of blood a day, creating enough percussion to be heard faintly through a stethoscope. Your baby's skin is loose and wrinkled, without yet a layer of fat underneath.

Weeks 19-21

Week 19

Your baby begins secreting vernix, the waxy coating that protects the skin from the amniotic fluid and cushions it against scratches from its own toes and fingers as it kicks and rolls. Newborns arrive coated in vernix, which is cleaned off immediately after delivery. Your baby's circulatory system is fully functional, as the umbilical cord thickens to carry liters of blood and nourishment daily from you to the baby.

To do:
Week 20

Your baby is approximately 10 inches long and weighs 12 ounces. Your baby moves around a lot, but you will just begin to feel faint movements called "quickening" and maybe some hiccups, small spasms or twitching in the lower abdomen. Your baby's brain is beginning to grow rapidly during this week. If the fetus is a girl, her uterus has completely formed. If a boy, his testes will begin to descend. The hair on the baby's head is starting to appear.

To do:
  • You’re halfway there
  • See your baby’s heartbeat. Usually around your 20 week an ultrasound will be performed
  • Boy or girl? Find out the baby’s sex if you’re dying to know
  • Schedule your 24-week prenatal visit
  • Create your birth plan. Every birth, like every baby, is unique. Though no one can predict or plan all the details of any labor and delivery, some women choose to write out their preferences in a birth plan
Week 21

Though your baby has no body fat at this point, it will gain more weight in the next few weeks, and by week 25, it will weigh almost twice as much. The motions, or "quickening," are increased leg and arm activity because of muscular development. Your baby's respiratory system is still immature and requires much more development. As your baby swallows amniotic fluid, its body will absorb the water from the fluid and the rest will go into its large bowel.

Weeks 22-24

Week 22

Your baby is approximately 10-11 inches from crown to rump and weighs 15 ounces. Though you are aware of your baby's movements, it may be a few weeks before someone else can feel these movements by putting a hand on your abdomen. Your baby is most active in the early mornings and after a nightly meal. The sugar content in some foods usually gets her moving! Your baby is growing steadily and will gain more than six ounces this week.

Week 23

Blood vessels develop in his lungs, and her plugged nostrils begin to open. By this week, his hearing will be developed enough to respond to outside sounds and voices, and she may jump at sudden noises. Capillaries are starting to develop underneath her skin, giving her a more pinkish color. Her hiccups will become stronger and more frequent in the coming weeks. They do not bother him in any way or cause her discomfort.

Week 24

Your baby is approximately 12-13 inches long and weighs 1.25-1.5 pounds. She still has no fat on her body yet, but her arm and leg muscles are well developed. Her eyelids are sealed, but she makes facial expressions: frowning, squinting, and pursing her lips. Her nostrils are opening and preparing to draw air into her lungs. The alveoli ("air sacs") in the lungs are forming, but not enough that she can breathe outside the womb.

To do:

Weeks 25-27

Week 25

Your baby will grow rapidly during this week and gain about half a pound. His brain and nervous system continue their rapid growth as they become more complex. By this time, rapid bone formation is occurring, requiring more calcium for bone development, especially during the third trimester. She is making breathing movements, but she would not be able to fully take in air at this point.

Week 26

Your baby is approximately 14 inches long and weighs 2-2.5 pounds. Babies will kick most frequently in the seventh month, usually at night and early morning. Her eyelids have opened. Her lungs are capable of breathing in air. The alveoli begin secreting "surfactant," which keeps them from collapsing. At this point, she is only taking in small breaths of fluid in the womb, but she could survive and breathe outside the womb with medical assistance.

Week 27

He has eyelashes on his eyelids, his eyes can move in their sockets, and he can tell light and dark, but he cannot discern specific objects yet. His senses are becoming fine-tuned and more responsive to light, sound, taste, smell, and touch. His skin is becoming smoother as body fat accumulates beneath the skin. His brain is developing further, and he can direct breathing movements.

To do:
  • If you haven’t done so already, create your birth plan. Every birth, like every baby, is unique. Though no one can predict or plan all the details of any labor and delivery, some women choose to write out their preferences in a birth plan
  • Practice labor exercises
  • Learn about pain-relief options. Begin thinking about your preferences for pain management during childbirth. Our Essentials of Childbirth class includes information on pain management and epidurals. If you plan to go through childbirth without an epidural or other pain medication, we also offer an Advanced Breathing and Relaxation for Childbirth class

To Dos During Your Second Trimester

Create your Birth Plan

See your Baby's Heartbeat

Usually around your 20 week an ultrasound will be performed. In high-risk pregnancies, a maternal-fetal specialist may be consulted.

Learn about Breastfeeding

If you plan to breastfeed or want to learn more about breastfeeding to help make a decision, attend our Breastfeeding Class. This class provides information on the benefits of breastfeeding and techniques including pumping and storing breast milk. Spouses/partners are encouraged to attend.

Sign up for Childbirth Education Classes

There are a variety of classes to help you prepare for your new baby. We suggest you sign up to attend classes during the seventh month of your pregnancy, and that you sign up early to get the class that works best for you. Sign up online or call 402-481-5646. To learn more, you can also download our childbirth education brochure.

Tour Childbirth Facilities and Meet Staff

Bryan Family Birthplace offers in person tours Tuesdays at 5:30 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. No registration needed, just meet in the Bryan Medical Plaza lobby, 1500 S. 48th St. You can take an online video tour now.

Essentials of Childbirth Class

Begin thinking about your preferences for pain management during childbirth. Our Essentials of Childbirth class includes information on pain management and epidurals. If you plan to go through childbirth without an epidural or other pain medication, we also offer an Advanced Breathing and Relaxation for Childbirth class.

CPR for Family and Friends

This class helps you recognize and treat life-threatening emergencies. The class includes CPR for infants, children and adults. We recommend you take this class during your seventh month. Learn more and register online, or call 402-481-5638.

Maternity Locations

bryan medical plaza

Bryan Medical Center
Use the Bryan Medical Plaza
entrance door for your
quickest 24/7 access to the
Bryan Family Birthplace.

1500 S. 48th Street
Lincoln, NE 68506
Use Entrance B

Phone: 402-481-7444



crete area medical center

Crete Area Medical Center
2910 Betten Drive
Crete, NE 68333



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