Watch your unborn baby grow - 2nd Trimester

By this point, your baby will have all of his essential parts and will start to move around in the womb - so watch out for those kicks!

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  • The Second Trimester

    Welcome to the start of your second trimester! This is the time of greatest activity for your baby – he can bend, stretch, twist, kick, leap, flex and make very complex movements with his hands.

    * Remember, all pregnancies are different and foetal growth rates vary, this is meant only as an approximate guide to development. If you have any concerns about your developing pregnancy then speak to your doctor.

  • Your unborn baby at 13 weeks

    As you move into the second trimester your baby will now be between 7.5cm long and weigh around 25-28g. She has a recognisable chin, snub nose and large forehead. Her head now takes up about half the length of her body and from now on will grow more slowly than the rest of her body. The eyes now move closer together, away from the sides of the head and the ears move into their normal position. Your baby’s intestines, originally developed in the umbilical cord, now withdraw into your baby’s abdomen. The genitals continue to develop.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 14 weeks

    By this week your baby is around eight to 10cm long and weighs 25-28g. Her fingernails have continued to grow and she already has the traces of her own fingerprints. Your baby’s neck continues to get longer and her chin has now lifted up from the chest rather than resting on it. Your baby’s mouth has developed and she is practicing her sucking and swallowing reflexes. Your baby has also developed everything she needs for speech in later life. Your baby’s sexual development continues apace, and if your baby is a little girl, then she will already have formed her ovaries.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 15 weeks

    Around about now your baby hears his first sounds and will listen to the sounds of your body, your heartbeat and digestion, and even your voice. He can yawn, blink, rub his eyes and suck his thumb (bless). He’s now around 10cm long and starting to gain weight. He’s developing soft, fine hair, called lanugo, all over his body to protect his very thin skin from the amniotic fluid. This hair will usually fall out before birth. Proper hair is now also beginning to sprout on the head and the eyebrows are also developing.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

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  • Your unborn baby at 16 weeks

    This is a very exciting time, as many women feel their baby's movements for the first time between now and week 20. This is called 'quickening' and usually starts with light flutters. (Don't worry if you don't feel anything yet, it's quite common for movement not to be felt before week 20, particularly in first pregnancies.)

    Your baby is around 12 cm long and very active. Her bones are becoming harder, and while your baby's limbs are now fully formed, they are fragile, as she has yet to put on her pre-birth fat stores.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 17 weeks

    Your baby is now almost 13 long and about the size of an avocado. He’s now going through another phase of rapid growth, becoming longer and beginning to form adipose tissue, a fat that will help him regulate his body temperature once he’s left the comfort of your womb.

    It’s around this time your baby’s intestines start to work as he starts to digest some of the amniotic fluid he’s been busy swallowing and expelling.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 18 weeks

    At this stage your baby can punch, kick, turn and wriggle. She’s now over 14cm long and weighs around 225g. She already has the protective covering of lanugo on her delicate skin and now begins to produce vernix, a white waxy covering, to coat her skin and keep it moisturised in her watery environment.

    The umbilical cord and placenta are continuing to develop to support your ever-growing child, and now your placenta and baby are now around the same size.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 19 weeks

    Your baby is now over 15cm long (the size of a courgette!) and weighs 225-250g, around half a pound. The nerves and spinal cord are now being coated with a fatty matter called myelin that protects the nerves and helps impulses flow smoothly along them. Teeth buds for your baby’s milk teeth have already formed.

    If your baby is a girl she will have developed all her sex organs and will be storing around 6 million eggs in her ovaries. By birth the number of eggs will have fallen to one million. In boys, testes will now be apparent.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

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  • Your unborn baby at 20 weeks

    Things are about to slow down a little growth-wise, but it’s a crucial stage in the development of your baby’s senses. She’ll be able to hear noises outside the womb and will gradually learn to recognise your voice and that of your partner. Noises she becomes familiar with now may be soothing for her after birth. So make sure you play music you’re willing to listen to over and over again!

    She now sleeps for the same amount of time as a newborn and is developing sleeping and waking patterns.

    Your baby is now around 16.5cm long and weighs about 255g.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 21 weeks

    Your baby is now around 18cm long and weighs about 300g. Her hearing is acute and she’ll jump at loud noises. She’s beginning to prepare her immune system by forming white blood cells, or leukocytes, to help fight disease and infections, and you are passing on your own immune cells to protect her from viruses you’ve already had for the first few months out of the womb. She’s continuing to put fat onto her bones in preparation for birth and her legs are growing – so get ready for her kicks to grow stronger over the coming weeks.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 22 weeks

    At this stage your baby will be somersaulting and hiccoughing, and you should feel it! He’s now about 19cm long and weighs around 350g. His brain has now entered a phase of rapid growth and deep in the heart of the brain the germinal matrix is busy producing brain cells. Brain cell production by the matrix will continue until around week 34.

    The eyelids and eyebrows of your baby have already formed, and he also has the finest of eyelashes. If your baby is a boy the testes will begin to descend to the scrotum.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 23 weeks

    Your baby is now around 20cm long and weighs around 400g, not far off 1lb. The eyes behind her eyelids are now fully formed. The pancreas is developing and your baby has started to produce insulin, which will help her regulate her blood sugar levels later on. Overall your baby is reaching her proper proportions and if she were born now would have some chance of survival. The best place for her continued growth is in the womb though, so let’s hope that she stays there for a while yet.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Continue slideshow >

  • Your unborn baby at 24 weeks

    This is an important week because your baby’s chances of survival if born prematurely have been increasing by 3-4% every day. He’s now about 21cm long and weighs about 500g or 1.1lbs. He’s rapidly bulking up now, with bone mass, muscle, organ growth and fat. His skin is wrinkled but will begin to smooth out over time as he develops more muscles and puts on fat. Permanent teeth buds are now appearing in his gums.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 25 weeks

    Your baby is now approximately 22cm long and weighs around 700g. This is the week when her nostrils will begin to open and the blood vessels in the lungs develop, preparing your baby for the time when she will need to breathe air. Your baby's brain is busy developing her vision and hearing and her finger and toenails are growing steadily.

    The complex structure of the spine is also developing: all 33 rings, 150 joints and 1,000 ligaments! Her skin is changing colour, taking on a pinky hue as the capillaries, tiny blood vessels, form beneath the skin.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 26 weeks

    The big news this week are the eyes. Your baby’s retinas are now developing and sometime around now he’ll open his eyes for the first time and start to blink. His eyes are developing the colour they will be at birth. This is also the time when brain wave activity starts for baby’s eyes and ears.

    Your baby is gaining weight fast and now weighs around 750g, or 1.6lbs. Spinal growth and strengthening is continuing this week. His lungs have begun to develop air sacs and now produce surfactant, a fatty-protein substance that helps the air sacs to inflate.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

  • Your unborn baby at 27 weeks

    As the neural network within the ear becomes complete your baby’s hearing is improving, along with her ability to recognise voices. You may be able to notice this yourself as your baby’s reactions to sounds become more predictable.

    Your baby is now nearly 27cm long and weighs about 900g, nearly 2lbs. Her lungs are continuing their rapid development and your baby is practising breathing - inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. Her brain is also growing very rapidly still, so good nutrition for you is crucial at this stage.

    Image from Your Pregnancy Day-by-Day by Professor Stuart Campbell (Carroll & Brown). Head to Carroll and Brown for more info on the book and other great pregnancy and parenting titles. www.carrollandbrown.co.uk

Last updated on 4 May 2010

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