Things are moving fast now! The baby is about 18 cm and weighs around 200 grams. It still has almost no subcutaneous fat – but from this point, it will start storing fat in the body. A certain kind of fat, called brown fat, serves as a bit of a survival reserve for the baby, helping it to retain warmth once born. The arms and legs are thin – most of the bones still consist of soft and malleable cartilage. Brain development is intensely underway during the second trimester. The brain is protected by a loosely composed skull, which gradually closes up, but the fontanelles – the big, soft areas between the skull bones – will linger a long time, often until around age two. The eyelids cover the eyes, which won’t open until week 26, but the baby still perceives its surroundings and can react to what’s going on outside of the belly by startling at a sudden, loud noise. It is still able to move fairly freely inside the sac. The baby now weighs more than the placenta and the pregnancy is very likely visible now.
Being pregnant doesn’t always have to mean bags under your eyes, terrible skin and other maladies – on the contrary, your second trimester may bring a boost for your hair, skin and well-being. That glow that people talk about may very well come, and many people start sleeping well at this point as a sort of calm settles into your spirit. It’s also quite possible that your sexual desire will increase due to increased blood flow, because this also affects the pelvic area and the mucous membranes of the uterus. If you haven’t a clue what we’re on about, that gorgeous hair, smooth skin and incredible sexual desire may not be a reality for everyone. Fairness isn’t evenly divided when it comes to the advantages of pregnancy.
Are you thinking about taking a trip before your baby’s arrival? If the pregnancy has been fairly breezy, without too many side effects, it might be wise to take this opportunity soon. You can travel by land or by air, but airlines may have rules about how late into a pregnancy you can fly with them. It could also be smart to check with your insurance company about what happens if you need medical care abroad – home insurance might not cover medical costs after week 28. You and your partner may need to think a little extra about what to pack. If you’re flying, compression socks and saline solution nose drops could be practical. And if you’re headed for sunshine, it’s always wise to bring sunscreen. Since pregnant people develop pigmentation more easily, it’s important to be extra thorough with it now.