The period between 4th and 6th month of pregnancy is called as second trimester. Most women feel incredibly energized during this period and begin to put on weight as the developing fetus grows rapidly inside the uterus.
Around the 20th week of pregnancy, the uterus, the muscular organ that holds the developing fetus, can expand up to 20 times its normal size during pregnancy.
The umbilical cord also becomes thick as it carries nourishment to fetus. It is during this period that mother firsts experiences the movements of the fetus, often referred to as "quickening".
The weight of the fetus grows more than seven times, as the fetus becomes a baby. The baby's muscles and skeletal system begins to grow fast. The baby also develops certain reflexes such as swallowing and sucking. The baby also starts responding certain stimuli. The skin of the baby becomes thick and translucent. The baby also develops hair above the scalp and eyebrows. The brain undergoes most important period of development from 5th months onwards. Gender starts taking shape at this stage and it distinguish the baby as male or female child. During this period unborn baby's sex is apparent and it can be easily detected with ultrasound.
By the end of second trimester, the baby will be about 13 to16 inches long and weights about 2 to 3 pounds. At this stage, the baby produces urine through fully developed kidneys and starts putting on fat under his skin. Baby born at this stage may have 85 percent chances of survival, provided it is immediately put into the neonatal intensive care unit.
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