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Overview of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy
MEDICAL ANIMATION TRANSCRIPT: Pregnancy is the time period during which a baby develops inside your uterus. It usually lasts about forty weeks starting from the first day of your last menstrual period. These forty weeks are grouped into three segments, called trimesters. The second trimester goes from week fourteen through the end of week twenty-seven. At the beginning of the second trimester, your baby, now called a fetus, is around three inches long from head to rump. Around this time, your baby’s eyelids close, and the sex organs begin to form on the outside of the body. By week sixteen, your baby grows to be about five inches long. Fine hair, called lanugo, begins to develop on the head, and the mouth begins to make sucking motions. At twenty weeks, your baby can hear and swallow. And, the baby is more active. You may feel this as a “fluttering” in your lower belly. In the middle of this trimester, you may have an ultrasound exam. It will check your baby’s movement, heart rate, and size. Sometimes, the baby’s sex may be visible. At twenty-four weeks, the lungs are formed but aren’t ready to work outside of the uterus. The heartbeat can be heard with a stethoscope. By the end of the second trimester, your baby has gained more weight and is about a foot long from head to rump. You may find that you feel better during this trimester than you did during the first three months. Some of the changes you may notice include less nausea and fatigue, darker skin around your nipples, a dark line on your skin from your belly button to your groin, called the linea nigra, stretch marks on your belly, breasts, thighs, or buttocks, swelling in your face, fingers, and ankles, and feeling your baby move. If you have any questions about how your baby is developing, or concerns about how you’re feeling, talk to your healthcare provider.

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