Second Trimester: What’s New?
If you are just recently pregnant, congratulations!! You can check out my post highlighting my first trimester experience here. Or maybe you are chugging along in your pregnancy but you’re looking for some self-care ideas and inspiration; you can check out my favorite self-care strategies here.
Second Trimester Symptoms?
Second trimester I got to say goodbye to some of the not-so-fun symptoms of the first trimester (I’m looking at you nausea, food aversions, and extreme anxiety) and said hello to new ones! For the most part, I have loved the second trimester; from an increased appetite to more energy and the ability to stay active; it’s been a whole lot better than the first 12 weeks. However, to my fellow mamas out there who are struggling dealing with pregnancy hormones AND the stresses in the world (pandemic.. politics… you name it); I am right there with you. Every week is different.. heck, every day or even hour is different and has felt like an emotional roller coaster at times. You are not alone!
I somehow managed to escape COVID (still not quite sure how) while it was in my household. Took multiple tests (all negative) and never got symptoms but I waited out the CDC recommended 14-day window just in case and I’m thankful to have stayed healthy while my husband only had to struggle through a mild case. Thank goodness!
Below are some of my newer symptoms from weeks 12 – 28.
Luckily I have not had heartburn every single day or after every meal like some friends I know have experienced. It tends to come after eating spicy foods, eating too much too quick or going to lay down too soon after a big meal. Although not often, when it does hit it is NO fun! Peppermint tea or popping a Tum’s seems to do the trick.
WOW. I’ve always been someone who gets easily congested especially living in Georgia and spending lots of time outdoors, my allergies go crazy 75% of the year. However pregnancy has brought about a whole new meaning of congestion. Maybe it’s because I can no longer take my Sudafed DM or other medicine to help? Either way, it’s no fun ( just ask my husband, when it’s really bad and the snoring happens… sorry!). My only solution is using my neti pot daily but unfortunately no easy fixes.
I started writing this blog at the beginning of my 2nd trimester and I can actually happily say that my hormonal acne has improved a lot (even since pre-pregnancy) but I am not getting my hopes up too much since I’ve heard your hormones and skin can go a bit nuts after baby is born.
Disrupted Sleep and Insomnia:
YAY for this one. This is by far my most frequent and emotionally exhausting symptom of the 2nd trimester. I admit, I LOVE my sleep and I don’t run very well off no sleep. Whether it is getting up to pee 5x a night, waking up at 2:00AM unable to fall back asleep OR my favorite, not being able to fall asleep at all; there’s always something interrupting my Z’s. The lack of sleep leads to middle of the night tears and an overall emotional roller coaster the next day.
I miss the days I could drink all my herbal night-time teas or have some CBD tincture… but I’ve had to find new solutions. I guess this is God’s way of preparing me for the very little sleep I will be getting when Baby T arrives. A few things that help include a warm bath with magnesium bath salt right before bed, reading a good (non-stressful fiction 😉 ) book until I am extra sleepy, not drinking liquids within 1-2 hours before bed, taking magnesium glycinate (100-400mg) or L-Theanine before bed, and recently I invested in some Unisom sleep tabs for those desperate nights. I’ve also heard Benadryl can be taken but obviously always talk to your doctor first.
Likely because I am not getting deep sleep these days but my dreams are always extremely vivid and strange. Wish I could remember them but all I know is that they are weird and feel oddly real.
2nd trimester meant no more nausea or aversions and my appetite is full go! If the belly growing is any indication, then I have a very large and healthy appetite ( and so does baby T! ). On that same note.. I wouldn’t say I have any new cravings. I think I equally crave salty and sweet now so my theory of craving salty food (and it maybe being a boy?!) is a myth. I’m back to loving my sweets, especially chocolate ice cream.
I was VERY late to the game in feeling baby flutters or movement and even still going into the 3rd trimester, I would say it is very sporadic and not super strong movements at this point. I have ‘anterior placenta’ which essentially in simplest terms means my placenta is in the front and almost acts as a cushion so it makes sense that I didn’t feel the baby until later. Even though my doctor has reassured me many times that this is completely normal, I have still had my bouts of anxiety around the several day spans where I wouldn’t feel the baby move (so if you are in the same boat, you are NOT alone). My best bet to feel baby T is at night or better yet, in the middle of the night… the only gift of insomnia!
Shortness of Breath
I swear I have been dealing with this since early on but thanks to increased blood volume and now as I enter the 3rd trimester, the baby is taking up more and more space; my shortness of breath is for real. Walking… Talking on the phone… If I am moving around, I can pretty much guarantee I will become out of breath in no time.
Second Trimester Prenatal Workouts
The above photo is just a nice little glimpse into the reality of working from home, working out from home, doing everything from home – you get the picture. Luckily I have found some awesome prenatal workout resources that I can do in a 10-40 minute span and I’ve been loving them!
ObeFitness was actually introduced to me during COVID times pre-pregnancy. I enjoyed the app but didn’t necessarily love it. However, now that I am pregnant I have really been enjoying their massive selection of prenatal workouts. Everything from 10-minute strength videos to 30 minute barre classes and 10-minute hip and back stretches; they have it all. Yoga, barre, sculpt, stretch, dance and strength classes are all available on the app. It cost ~$30/month.
I’ve shared about Melissa Woodhealth in my pregnancy wellness post here. However, she is worth bringing up on this post as well. Although not a massive selection, I have loved her quick and efficient (you will feel the burn) strength workouts, yoga flows and meditations during this second trimester.
Tone It Up:
- I’ve followed along Katrina’s journey with Tone It Up for years and have always loved her in-app workouts. They are typically quick, and efficient and the same goes for the prenatal program!
- There are Lifetime facilities all over the country so chances are, there is one near you! I have loved the class options at Lifetime and the fact that all instructors will happily give pregnancy-safe modifications. It’s also been a treat having access to the heated pool for days where I am looking for low-intensity or some therapeutic movement.
Kale and Krunches
If you don’t follow @kale_and_krunches on instagram, I’d highly recommend it. She also offers some free prenatal workouts (she is currently pregnant with her 2nd) and has a pregnancy workout program for purchase. Although I have only tried a few of her workouts, they have always left my legs (and bum) burning and I just enjoy her mama-content in general so check her out.
***Please note that this blog post uses affiliate links meaning that if you make a purchase via my affiliate link, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. ** I only share products that I have tried and loved!
Below is just a general list of supplements that I have been taking this second trimester. As always, I have to re-iterate that I am by no means recommending you go out and take all of these yourself without talking to your doctor but these are what work best for me.
- Magnesium Glycinate: I take this daily in the evenings to help with stress management and sleep. This is my go-to brand and I typically take anywhere from 200-400 mg.
- L-Theanine: I do not take this often at all but recommended by my doctor at CentreSpring MD to help with occasional spurts of anxiety or insomnia.
- DHA + Vitamin D: I get blood work done every trimester and it turns out both my Vitamin D and my DHA levels were low (even with the daily prenatal). I’m a big fan of this DHA + EPA vitamin that also has a dose of Vitamin D.
- Vitamin D: As mentioned above, because of my Vitamin D levels, I take an additional 5,000 IU of Vitamin D separately every day (especially during the winter months.. we will see what happens with my blood work and levels come spring / third trimester)
- Baby and Me 2 Prenatal: Same old, same old! I’m still loving my Baby and Me 2 Prenatal. I typically order this on Thrive Market for a discounted price and order the 2 pack to last me longer. You can also find on Amazon.
- Vitamin C: I added in some extra-strength Vitamin C this trimester as we are going through the winter months and more prone to colds, flu season and of coarse, the looming COVID. Love these chewables from Metagenics.
Prepping for Baby’s Arrival: Birth and Parent Classes:
Third trimester is when we really plan on jumping on the childbirth classes offered at our hospital. At this time, everything is online anyways so we have lots of flexibility but we plan on doing a virtual hospital tour, an infant CPR class, and a couple’s childbirth class to know ‘what to expect’ at the time of labor. I also plan on doing my own class offered by the hospital specific to breastfeeding. Will update on all of the above in my 3rd trimester recap!
If you haven’t heard of Robyn, it offers a ‘modern take on childbirth classes’ along with a host of other benefits. On their site here, there are helpful resources to connect you to services such as doula, lactation, physical therapy, acupuncture and more. There is also a host of real stories from real moms to help you better prepare. Whether it is for fertility, pregnancy, postpartum or parenthood; these stories have been educational and inspiring to read through.
As far as the classes they offer; I had the chance to take their Parentbirth class. This is a virtual class that you can take at your own pace and better yet, you can revisit later on as things through pregnancy and labor prep come up. Several physicians, midwives, etc. lead the different topics and you can take the course at your own pace / come back to lessons later on.
As mentioned above, I haven’t taken these classes yet but my hospital offers everything from “daddy boot camp”, to breastfeeding, to childbirth classes.
Expectful Pregnancy Meditations:
I talked in more depth about meditation in my de-stressing during pregnancy wellness post. However, a quick reminder if you are pregnant and interested in focusing on your breathing, reducing anxiety and being present; I would highly recommend Expectful! There are meditations tailored for each week/trimester, mothers healing from loss, postpartum and so much more.
Books + Podcasts:
Bringing Up Bebe:
A look into French parenting. This book is a fun and different type of “parenting” read. I take all advice with a grain of salt since every parent and every baby is so different but it’s definitely insightful and eye opening to learn how other cultures bring up their children!
Another fun read that I started before getting pregnant and have enjoyed throughout. Expecting Better debunks some of the pregnancy myths. Think rules on drinking coffee/caffeine, alcohol, exercise, and so on. Once again, I take the advice with a grain of salt. Personally I have been making my decisions during this pregnancy based off my gut instincts, advice from my doctor and although some things might be “okay” during pregnancy (i.e. the occasional glass of wine), I just don’t find it necessary and I have enough worry and anxiety as it is. No reason to add more!
The First-Time Mom’s Pregnancy Handbook (A Week-by-Week Guide from Conception through Baby’s First 3 Months)
This book is written by Bryn Huntpalmer – the point person on The Birth Hour Podcast. It’s an easy read; quick and to the point. I love that it’s broken out week by week and includes that weeks milestones (baby stats, mom stats, not-to-miss appointments), weekly goals (what you should be preparing for) and key advice.
The Birth Hour Podcast:
As much as I love reading (if you could only see my collection of baby and parenting books that have stacked up), I also love a good podcast! Birth Hour has been the perfect quick listen for me as it highlights various mamas birth and labor experiences from all different walks of life. Everything from unmedicated to epidurals to hospital versus at-home births and c-sections; it’s been a great way to prepare for all the different things that could potentially happen during labor.
Second Trimester: Mama Must-Haves
At first I did not understand all the hype around pregnancy pillows. I ordered this one back around week 15 and it just seemed so HUGE and somewhat unnecessary but I completely take that back now that I am about to enter the 3rd trimester. This pregnancy pillow can separate and become two parts which I prefer for sleeping since I flip back and forth quite a lot. You have to find a style that fits your sleeping but for me, this pillow has become a lifesaver.
Magnesium Bath Salts or Oil
- I’ve highlighted these in my pregnancy wellness post. This bath magnesium oil can be a game changer to wind down at night and fight pregnancy aches and pains or insomnia.
Belly Butter / Oil
- Rumor is, belly butter and oils don’t REALLY prevent stretch marks and it comes down more to genetics. However, I’ve always felt better when my skin is moisturized and at a minimum it helps decrease the itchy skin that comes from the stretching belly ( and stretching everything ). I switch between a few different brands including this for fully body, this kit specific for areas prone to stretch marks, and the new Summer Fridays babymoon belly balm.
- These leggings have been everything the last couple of weeks. I’m sure I will only appreciate them more and more going into the third trimester. The best part is, they are super affordable and they stretch ALL the way over your belly. At first I felt a little silly since they go so high and my belly is not quite that big yet but the material is amazingly soft. I’ve heard the Lululemon Align leggings are great for pregnancy but I have been trying to stay on the lower end of the budget for maternity clothing. (These Colorfulkoala yoga pants have been great too for working out but I have a feeling I won’t be able to wear them the entire pregnancy)
Maternity / Nursing Bra
Everyone’s different but I can officially say I grew out of every single one of my pre-pregnancy bras already and I’ve heard it only goes up from here (ha!)… I have had no choice but to start investing in some good maternity / nursing bras. This 3 pack on Amazon is affordable and will be great for nursing; they aren’t super “cute” but they get the job done since I just work from home in comfy clothes. I’ve also had good luck with the maternity/nursing sports bras at Target but I can’t find them to link unfortunately.
I’ll be back at the end of the third trimester with more updates! I have a feeling as I enter week 28 that there will be a definite belly band arriving on the doorstep soon as I begin to deal with back discomfort. Who knows what else is to come in the next 3 months?! All I know is baby T is getting that much closer to being here and we could not be more excited.
Thanks for following along!