Unilever logo
Cleanipedia ZA logo

What to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy

Find out what happens in the second trimester of pregnancy and prepare for the baby’s arrival.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

What to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy

The second trimester of pregnancy is very exciting! Things are really starting to get moving now, and your baby is developing more and more with each week that passes. But, of course, there’s still an awful lot that’s going to happen and things you need to think about before you can hold your little one in your arms. That’s exactly why we’ve put together a handy guide on what to expect during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Find out your body’s second trimester symptoms so you can be prepared! It’s common for expecting moms to suffer from sensitive skin or acne due to hormones. When washing your clothes, make sure to use a kind-on-skin laundry detergent like Sunlight washing powder to help ease these reactions.

When does the second trimester of pregnancy start and end?

The second trimester starts when you hit week 13, so about 3 months into your pregnancy. It ends at week 28, which is when you’ll enter the third - and final - trimester.

Second trimester pregnancy symptoms

When you hit your second trimester, symptoms of pregnancy definitely start to become more obvious. To give you a better idea of what to expect, here’s what happens in the second trimester of pregnancy:

  • Growing belly and breasts - that bump will be starting to appear!

  • Braxton Hicks contractions - these mild contractions sometimes occur during the second trimester of pregnancy. If this is your first pregnancy, it is normal to mistake these for early labour so always speak to your doctor or midwife as soon as possible, or visit the hospital if you're unsure. It's best to be safe.

  • Skin changes - brown patches on your skin and even acne might appear due to hormonal changes in your body. To help control this you can use cleaning products that are delicate on your skin when washing your clothes. We recommend Sunlight washing powder or Comfort Pure fabric conditioner.

  • Leg cramps - especially at night.

  • Baby kicks - you might just feel your first little baby kick - probably one of the more exciting parts of what to expect in the second trimester!

Second trimester checklist

Now that you know what happens in the second trimester of pregnancy, let’s take a look at what you’re going to have to do!

The Poll

What triggers you the most when kids get messy?

0 Votes

To stay organised, try our checklist:

  • Join a prenatal exercise class

  • Find out about all the prenatal visits and tests

  • Start putting together a maternity wardrobe

  • Start putting together your baby’s wardrobe

  • Set up a baby registry

  • Choose whether you want to know the sex of your baby

  • Start putting together a birthing plan

Last but not least, treat your body right! Eat healthily, get some gentle exercise, and don’t do anything that’s going to put you or your baby in harm’s way. It’s super important to get plenty of rest, too, so don’t be afraid to put your feet up now and again!

Hitting the second trimester is a big milestone for moms-to-be, and there’s a lot to do. Don’t get too caught up in your to-do list. You’ve got the rest of your life to be busy taking care of your little one! So, for now, take the time to really appreciate your pregnancy, and remember to take it easy.

  • Getting plenty of rest, even when you’re very busy.

  • Joining a prenatal exercise class to keep your body up to the challenge of pregnancy.

  • Avoiding dangerous activities, such as climbing ladders or ice skating.

  • Eating healthily to keep your baby growing strong!

Originally published