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8 Second-Trimester Symptoms

happy pregnant woman sitting on bed at home / blog - second-trimester symptoms

Pregnancy brings a multitude of changes in your body and emotions. What those changes look like is often dependent on which trimester you are in. Week 13 through the end of week 26 are the defining points of the second trimester. With it, comes second-trimester symptoms. As certified nurse-midwives, we have seen them all.  

Second-Trimester Symptoms You May Experience

Here, we have provided a list of eight common second-trimester symptoms. As each pregnancy is unique, you could find yourself experiencing all, or even none, of the following symptoms. Even if it is not your first pregnancy, you could experience different symptoms with each one. 

Physical Second-Trimester Symptoms 

Cramps & Aches In Your Lower Belly 

Your uterus begins to stretch as the baby grows in the second trimester. During this time, the ligaments in your lower belly are also stretching out to support your uterus. As this occurs, it can lead to aches and pains down the sides of your belly. The baby’s growth requires all of these changes, but it does often become uncomfortable during this time.

Feeling Of Baby Movements

At this point in the pregnancy, your baby has developed the organs and systems. It then will begin to grow in its weight and length. Johns Hopkins Medicine defines 20 weeks as the time when your baby’s movements may first be felt. This is often referred to as quickening. The first time you feel your baby move might be a little overwhelming. It is unlike any feeling you have had before in your belly! 

Leg Cramps

The Mayo Clinic explains that leg cramps increase over time in a pregnancy. They often occur during the night. When the cramp strikes, stretching it and taking a hot shower can help the pain. By stretching, maintaining a healthy diet, and drinking plenty of water, these symptoms can be mostly resolved over time. 

Back Aches 

As your weight continues to increase, the pressure on your back does the same. This can lead to the feeling of back pain. Your back is not used to supporting that amount of weight, so it must work those muscles more than usual. This pain stems from that work. 

Increased Appetite 

As your baby grows, they need vitamins, nutrients, and calories to keep up with their changing bodies. This means you need it as well. An increased appetite is linked to the need for energy to support your body and the baby’s body changing. With the baby receiving all of that through you, it is important to make sure you both are getting the nutrients you need.  

Emotional Second-Trimester Symptoms 

Preparation Mode 

As your due date approaches, you may feel yourself shift into preparation mode. There is much to get done before the baby arrives, and you finally feel up for the challenge. At this point, you are beginning to feel better physically, which allows you to focus on the tasks left to complete for the baby’s arrival. You might even find the urge to start preparing your own materials closer to the end of your pregnancy. Take the time to do things for yourself as well. 


While you may be feeling more excited to get prepared, the impending due date can strike feelings of anxiety as second-trimester symptoms. The weeks continue, and you start to realize that it is coming sooner than you ever expected. It is completely normal to feel like this with a new baby on the way. One of our services is to monitor your overall wellbeing during this time, so reach out to City of Oaks Midwifery if you’re feeling overwhelmed. 


With the anxiety you’re already feeling, it is no surprise that your mood shifts more than usual.  Changes in your mood are something you’ll see through the entirety of your pregnancy, not just as second-trimester symptoms. The American Pregnancy Association explains how the physical stresses, changes in metabolism, and hormone changes can all contribute to your changes in mood. Experiencing these shifts is perfectly normal during pregnancy.  

Your pregnancy is unique but understanding common second-trimester symptoms can offer some clarity. With these eight, you have a starting point on what to expect. Looking for more resources regarding your second-trimester symptoms? Visit our website or give us a call at (919) 823-5394.

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