Pregnancy week by week - 13 to 28 weeks pregnant

The second trimester is the middle three months of your pregnancy. If you have been suffering from morning sickness - nausea and vomiting - you will probably start to feel better.

Pregnant woman in bed

Illustration: Johnér Bildbyrå AB

Weeks 13-16

Your womb is now the size of a grapefruit. It grows and moves upwards and presses less on your bladder from now on. Weight gain varies, and women have typically gained between one and four kilos by this time.  

See your doctor if you notice any pain when you urinate. It is important to treat urinary infections quickly to reduce the risk of kidney infections. Be aware that it is easier to get vaginal yeast infections. The symptoms are itching and vaginal discharge. 

Getting headaches during pregnancy is common. If they are severe you should inform your midwife or GP.

The blood volume increases, and this causes increased perspiration. Your heart has now got a twenty per cent greater capacity to get the extra oxygen you need. The belly will usually be showing by now. Some women will feel their baby moving. If this is your first pregnancy, it will often take longer before you feel the first signs of life.

Weeks 17-20

By this stage, you may have gained between three and six kilograms in weight and you can now feel the added body weight. Your weight will continue to go up, and the expected weight gain during pregnancy is from 11 to 16 kilograms. 

How much weight you gain depends on several things, first of all your weight before you got pregnant. If you were underweight (BMI<20) it will increase more than normal and if you were overweight (BMI>25) it will be less than normal.

You may develop a dark line in the middle of your belly. This is pigmentation as your belly expands to make room for your growing womb. It is common that hair loss slows down, and your hair may look thicker and shinier. If your navel bulges out it is harmless and it will go back after you have had the baby.

At week 20 you are halfway through your pregnancy. You have probably felt your baby move for the first time by now. Women who have had a baby before typically feel it earlier than first-timers. Foetal movements may feel like gas trapped in your stomach or bowels. Gradually the movements become more noticeable and you have no doubt that your baby is moving.

If you follow the recommendation to exercise daily and at least 150 minutes every week, the risk of gestational diabetes will be reduced.

There are some warning signs you should be aware of:

  • Bleeding from vagina may indicate a serious problem, so seek help.
  • Severe itching may indicate a rare disorder, get it checked.

Weeks 21-24

At this stage your belly is not very big yet, but tiredness and nausea may have eased off and you have less mood swings. Many women may find that this is the best stage of their pregnancy.

As the pregnancy progresses there are hormonal changes which help your body to get ready for labour. Connective tissues soften and the ligaments in your pelvis become more elastic. The new stretchiness may cause pain in your back, generally in lower back or hips. If you suffer a lot of pelvic girdle pain you should seek advice.

Try to stick to a balanced diet even though you can feel hungrier than before. Carry on with good lifestyle habits: no alcohol, no cigarettes or snuff, eat healthy, keep active and exercise.

Weeks 25-28

You may now feel and see your baby moving daily. The baby responds to touch, sound and loud noises by jumping or kicking.

You may suffer cramps in your legs or experience swelling in your feet, hands and face. If you experience water retention and swollen feet try to rest and lift your feet up. When you see your midwife or GP, inform her/him about it.

The mammary glands in the breasts are growing and sometimes they can leak some fluid.

When you lie flat on your back can you occasionally feel dizzy. It happens when the womb is so large that it puts pressure on the main vein to the heart. You should change position and lie on your side. You can use a cushion for support to reduce the pressure on your spine.

If you haven't informed your employer yet, you should do it now and bring up the question about maternity leave.

Application for parental benefit, maternal or paternal quota for a birth has to be sent to NAV (your midwife or GP can now give a confirmation of your pregnancy).