Now this is where the fun begins. In your second trimester, you start experiencing what it really feels like to be pregnant - from the pop of your belly to feeling your baby’s first little kicks and punches. At this point, the fatigue and nausea should start fading away and you’ll be welcoming that lovely pregnancy glow you often hear about (thank you hormones!).
In your second trimester, you’ll reach the halfway point in your pregnancy and things start getting real.
Second Trimester (weeks 13-27)
- Monthly prenatal visits. Talk to your doctor about second trimester tests and screenings. Again, there will be a series of blood tests and ultrasounds, so it’s nice to have a complete view of what needs to be done ahead of time.
- Track your weight gain. Average weight gain during pregnancy is about 25-35 pounds. Underweight women should gain 28 to 40 pounds. And overweight women may need to gain only 15 to 25 pounds during pregnancy. By the start of your second trimester expect to gain around 5 pounds and 1 pound a week during the rest of your pregnancy. If you are expecting twins you should gain 35 to 45 pounds during your pregnancy. Mom tip: don’t stress about weight gain - it’s not like all that weight is going to your hips and boobs. Check out a breakdown of where all those l-b’s go:
- Baby: 8 pounds
- Placenta: 2-3 pounds
- Amniotic fluid: 2-3 pounds
- Breast tissue: 2-3 pounds
- Blood supply: 4 pounds
- Stored fat for delivery and breastfeeding: 5-9 pounds
- Larger uterus: 2-5 pounds
- Total: 25-35 pounds
- Consider a doula. I was under the impression that doulas were for home or natural births only, and this is so not true. The purpose of a doula is to provide the support and knowledge to help you through your pregnancy, labor & delivery, and even breastfeeding. Most will take the time to understand you and your partner, and be the voice of comfort once the action starts. If you’re on the fence, talk to a few doulas. They are some of the nicest people and can give you a sense if their services are right for you.
- Sign up for birth and parenting classes. A lot of classes fill up early with anxious new parents, so it’s best to plan ahead. And, from my experience, don’t feel pressured to take classes offered by your hospital. There are so many great classes available with a curriculum from this era. There are also online classes available if you have a busy schedule. Mom tip: you don’t need to attend a class to understand how to have a baby or how to be a good parent, mother nature has you covered, trust me. What’s most important is the knowledge and information to approach this next phase of your life with confidence...knowledge is power!
- Start moisturizing. Moisturize everywhere! Your skin is stretching every which way, so keeping your skin nice and moisturized will alleviate itching and stretch marks.
- Your baby’s gender. Talk to your partner and decide whether you want to know your baby’s gender ahead of time. There is no right way or wrong way. This is your time, so do what your heart desires and don’t feel pressured by excited family and friends :)
- Eating for two? Sadly, no. Doctors suggest a pregnant woman really only needs to consume about an extra 300 healthy calories a day. But don’t be so hard on yourself, if you’re craving sweets, indulge. You’re growing a human being - I think you deserve it.
- Keep healthy snacks handy. Something that always helped me is having fruit and low calorie popsicles or ice cream in the house. It satisfied my sweet tooth and kept me away from midnight runs to the store for donuts.
- Stay moving. Join a prenatal yoga class. Even swimming is really good and takes some of the pressure off your joints.
- Walk. Walking is great for pregnancy and will help with feet and ankle swelling. Where you can, try to walk 30-60 minutes a day.
- Know your limits. It’s important to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right or you are straining to keep up, take it easy. And this should go without saying, but you should avoid activities and sports that could cause physical harm to your growing belly.
- Time to start shopping for maternity clothes! There are so many great options out there today, so you won’t be stuck wearing a preggo moo-moo.
- This is the time you’ll really start noticing a change in your body, so treat yourself to something that makes you feel good. New workout clothes, new jeans, a new jacket or hat.
- We’re no longer in the day and age where you need to disguise your belly. You’ll reach a point where that’s no longer a possibility, so just embrace it...everybody loves a good preggo belly!
- Prep the family. Start talking to family members (grandparents, older siblings and pets) for new baby. If you want grandparents to babysit, start talking to them about it now. Talk to older siblings about the new baby daily and brainstorm together fun activities and ways they can help with the new baby . Worried about pets? Talk to your vet and plan ahead of time for making your fur baby feel comfortable when you bring a new baby into the house.
- Take a breather. Take the time to think about yourself, and your relationship with your partner. It’s good to have a solid foundation mentally and with your partner before adding another layer into your life.
The Fun Stuff
- Gender reveal. Enlist friends and family to help with a gender reveal party.
- Nursery decor. I stalked Pinterest for all sorts of ideas. Also, keep an eye out on local community forums like nextdoor.com - you can score some really great hand me downs.
- Plan a babymoon. You deserve it!
Tip: This will likely be the first time in your pregnancy where you’ll really start to feel and look pregnant. Creating a little human being is a lot of work, and you’ll start to feel like your body doesn’t belong to you anymore. Do something for yourself - whether that’s a spa day, getting your hair or nails done, spending some quality time with girlfriends (not thinking about babies), or going to the movies. Whatever it is - take some much needed time for yourself, and don’t think twice about it.
To get 10% off your next Hello Baby purchase, enter code HBBLOG16 at Amazon's checkout page.