Congratulations on your second trimester of pregnancy. The second trimester runs from the 4th month through the 6th month of gestation. It is said to be the most enjoyable stage of pregnancy.
During the second trimester, most women start to see relief from the discomforts that they experienced during the first trimester. If you've had morning sickness, this should start to ease up. With time to adjust, your body's hormones are entering a more stable time. You will also have a little more energy.
Your baby is growing rapidly during this trimester, and so is your belly. If you haven't already, you'll want to begin wearing maternity clothes; Your growing tummy will need the extra room, and people will begin to notice that you are pregnant. It's time to show off that beautiful baby bump!
As your belly stretches, you may develop stretch marks. You can use creams and lotions to keep them from itching, but there isn't much you can do about keeping them away. Some women are prone to developing stretch marks and some aren't. If you are one of the lucky women to receive these badges of honor, try to think of them as a memorial of this special time with your baby growing inside.
During appointments this trimester, your care provider will be able to pick up on your baby's heartbeat with a Doppler or fetoscope. It's joyous to finally hear the life inside of you, and very reassuring.
Some people claim that you can tell the sex of the baby by the heart rate (beats per minute), but there is no research or evidence to support this. It's fun to guess, but don't count on it.
The First Kicks
Sometime between 16-22 weeks, you should feel your baby's first kicks. Your baby has been moving, kicking, and flipping around for a little while now, but has been too small for you to notice. As your baby gets bigger and stronger, her kicks become more noticeable. Read: Feeling Baby Move
The second trimester is a time of excitement. It's also when reality sets in. You are really pregnant; You are really giving birth to a baby, who will be all yours!
This is the best time to do any major planning or shopping for the baby's arrival. Your energy level is at it's peak, giving you the stamina you need for larger projects and the to-do list. Do what you can now, because the third trimester is likely to hit you with another wave of exhaustion and fatigue.
Other things to think about this trimester:
Options for Maternity Clothing