The Beginning of Life

Pregnancy Second Trimester

Your Pregnancy Second Trimester Weeks 12 - 24


Down's Syndrome Screening & Amniocentesis

Down’s Syndrome screening can be done between 16-20 weeks gestation via a blood test from the mother. For women above the age of 35, they have the option of a definitive test called amniocentesis, an injection into the baby’s waterbag to draw fluid for Down’s Syndrome Testing. Amniocentesis can diagnose Down’s Syndrome accurately as well as reveal the sex of the baby. It carries a small risk (< 0.3%) of miscarriage, bleeding, infection and early labour.


Detailed Fetal Scan

A detailed ultrasound is usually done around the 20th week to check the vital structures of the baby. It is an important scan as the findings can affect the management of the pregnancy. In addition to the size and gender of the baby, the placenta position is also assessed.


Weight Gain In Pregnancy

The average weight gain in pregnancy is 9-14kg. This is broken down to the following aspects:
❖ Birth weight of your baby is about 3000 grams.
❖ The enlarged womb and placenta together weighs about 1500 grams
❖ The extra fat during pregnancy for extra energy and enlarged breast for breastfeeding comes to about 3000 grams.
❖ The increase in blood volume in pregnancy adds an extra 1200 grams and water retention can come up to 2600grams

If you are overweight at the start of pregnancy, aim for an increase of 6kg in pregnancy. If you are normal weight, the weight gain is around 12kg and if you are underweight, it is up to 18kg. However, remember that no matter the weight change, the crucial factor is that the baby is growing well.


Constipation In Pregnancy
Many women experience constipation in pregnancy because pregnancy hormone reduces gut movement. To reduce constipation, eat lots of fruits and vegetables daily and include high-fibre foods such as cereals, whole-grain breads in your diet. Also drink at least 6 glasses of water/fruit juice each day to help prevent constipation. Exercises like yoga, walking and swimming all help ease constipation; they also keep you fit and build stamina for labour.