Going into the second trimester, aka the magical time between week 13 and week 26, I was simply happy to be out of the “danger zone”. This being my first pregnancy, I kept fretting throughout the majority of the first trimester – and once that was behind me, I didn’t really know what to expect or what to do. So before jumping into second trimester dos and don’ts, let’s quickly go through what you can expect from this trimester – it’ll help explain some of the points later on.
What Should I Expect in the Second Trimester?
For one, you can say goodbye to morning sickness! This trimester is also called the “honeymoon of pregnancy” or “golden period”, meaning you’ll have much more energy than before, so use it wisely. All my food aversions went away, and I was finally back to eating the foods I used to enjoy, not just those that didn’t make me nauseous. On the other hand, be prepared for indigestion/constipation, as that’s one of the most common complaints in the second trimester – and it’s no fun!
And now, let’s jump into…
Dos and Don’ts in Second Trimester of Pregnancy
Let’s start with the dos first.
What to Do During Second Trimester
Here are the absolute must-dos:
Now that your energy is back, and your morning sickness and other destroyers of fun (such as migraines) are hopefully gone, use the energy you have to stay active. While some weight gain is expected (in the second trimester, a pound a week is okay), if your BMI is normal, you shouldn’t gain more than 35 pounds by the end of your pregnancy. But with all the cravings bound to happen, and with the third trimester making it hard for many moms-to-be to go anywhere, you’ll want to use the second trimester to the maximum. You’ll have to add more calories to your diet, but counter adding too many with some exercise.
When it comes to what to do at second trimester, walking, yoga, and of course Lamaze are your go-to physical activities/relaxation techniques. If you love walking, just be sure to wear neither too high heels, nor entirely flat shoes – as your pregnancy progresses, your feet will be grateful to have just a tiny heel. As for yoga, make sure to only practice poses safe for the second trimester. Add to it some breathing techniques, and you’ll have an amazing practice day after day. To find stretches to do in second trimester, try these YouTube channels (I love them!):
If you’re lacking yoga clothes or equipment, visit YogaClicks and use the code YOGACLICKS5 for 5% off your purchase.
or find some local prenatal yoga classes led by a trained instructor. They should also help with back pain, sciatica, and help you get better sleep.
Finally, one of the most important exercises to do during second trimester is – Kegel exercises. The earlier on your pelvic floor gets strong to support your growing baby, the easier your labor will be, and the less likely you are to suffer from pregnancy incontinence. Trust me when I say it can happen far earlier than you’re expecting!
Start Shopping for Baby Essentials
You may think this is too soon (as did my husband), but just imagine running around buying dozens of things with a huge belly and painful feet! When it comes to things to do during second trimester, doing some initial shopping should be high up on your list. You can wait for months 5 or 6, but anything later and you’ll be suffering. That being said, buy things that don’t have an expiry date first, such as strollers, car seats, bottles, sanitizers, clothes…
Browse The Little Green Sheep – they offer quality, organic baby essentials.
Sleeping Baby has some lovely sleeping essentials as well, and with this link, you can get 20% off buybuy BABY’s Skip Hop Explore & More 2-in1 Activity Floor Seat until December 16th!
Not only will it be easier with a small bump, but, let’s be honest, baby stuff isn’t exactly cheap, either. So spending a couple hundred $ a month makes more sense than waiting for the last moment and spending thousands at once! And if you’re wondering how much baby clothes you need exactly, here’s a good read on that.
Pick out Some Maternity Clothes
I cannot stress this enough: as soon as you start feeling uncomfortable in your old clothes, go and purchase some stretchy ones! While tight clothes aren’t likely to hurt your little one, your growing baby bump will constantly make you uncomfortable, and why do that to yourself? There’s some wonderfully fashionable maternity clothing out there, so the lack of style isn’t a good excuse, either.
Check out Motherhood – they often offer great discounts, and their choice of clothing is great!
Visit Parenting and Pregnancy Classes
Again, this may seem too soon – but I know from women who went in their 8th month or so that they found it uncomfortable to sit for an hour or two in these. That’s why this tip made it to my second trimester dos and don’ts. Parenting classes are amazing for those who, like me, don’t have much experience with babies. But if you’re already a mom or an aunt who knows how to change a diaper and what it is that babies need, you may be able to skip this one. Those who have no kids yet and are wondering what to do during second trimester, will definitely benefit from breathing exercises taught in pregnancy classes. If this isn’t your first rodeo, though, you can probably skip them.
Take Care of Your Body.
This means not only having a balanced diet, but using some creams and oils to prevent stretch marks. That itching you feel is a clear sign it’s time to moisturize! As for food, be sure to have a high-protein diet, that diet should also contain lots of iron and calcium.
The Healthy Mummy is a community dedicated to helping busy moms with their diets, exercise, and much more.
Visit Your Doctor and Dentist.
Be sure to have regular check-ups so that your doctor can perform ultrasounds and track the baby’s growth and movements. They will probably have your blood and urine checked at least once during the second trimester. As for the dentist, due to a higher amount of blood in your body, your gums may be bleeding, and your teeth may be more susceptible to cavities. So make sure to add a visit to the dentist to your to-do list!
What Not to Do During Second Trimester
If you’re not sure what to stay clear of during the second trimester, here’s a short overview.
Don’t Exert Yourself
While staying in shape and staying healthy is a good thing during pregnancy, overdoing it can hurt both you and your baby. So if you used to do really demanding trainings, you’ll need to dial them down to something pregnancy-friendly. You can still jog and exercise, but not to the point you’re out of breath, nor in the poses that could hurt your baby. And for those who do weight-lifting, make sure you know how much you’re allowed to be doing.
Additionally, if you weren’t much of a gym-freak before your pregnancy, you’ll need to go slow. Start with the basics and work your way up – in short, know what feels good for your body, and what doesn’t.
Don’t Eat for Two
On the list of things not to do during second trimester, we’re debunking this gem! Contrary to the popular belief, when pregnant, you’re not really eating for two. Your baby weighs far, far less than you, so they don’t need nearly as much food as you do. Eat healthily (from all the major food groups), eat enough, stay hydrated, but avoid too much sugar, unpasteurized milk, and raw meat/fish. Take your prenatal vitamins (they’re good for indigestion, too), but don’t overeat – when your body tells you you’re full, it means you’re good!
Don’t Stick to Poor Lifestyle Choices
Quitting alcohol and cigarettes + lowering your caffeine intake is something you should do as soon as you realize you’re pregnant. But if you haven’t done that yet, now’s the time. I had no issue leaving alcohol, but personally, I’m a big coffee lover. Yet I still never drink more than one caffeinated coffee a day. Our little ones’ health comes first.
And that concludes our list of second trimester dos and don’ts. Let me know if you have anything to add – I’d love to hear from other moms to be!