Thanks for joining me in the second of three posts on how to have your best pregnancy! Here are tips and tricks for having your best second trimester. The second trimester has been my favorite for both of my pregnancies, (the first trimester is the worst; you can find those tips here). This trimester is more of a break: no more morning sickness, no massive belly yet, hormones are pretty stable, etc! You can now enjoy your emerging belly, and prepare to have a comfortable, lovely, peace-filled labor and delivery!
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. This means that, at no added cost to you, I may receive compensation for products you purchase through links found on my blog. (Thank you, thank you!) This in no way affects the products I recommend (I only recommend the best)!*
*Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional, so please consult your physician before attempting any of these suggestions. Use your best judgment. What worked for me may not work for you. Each body is different and unique. Do what you feel is best at your own risk. I am not liable for any consequences. I am a blogger. This is a blog meant to provide opinions, suggestions, experiences, and information. Not medical advice. I am human and make mistakes, so information may not be 100% complete or accurate. Thank you, and enjoy!*
Things to Do in Your Second Trimester to Have Your Best Pregnancy
You have now hit your second trimester, so you know sleeping on your belly and back is unsafe. According to Spinning Babies, and other professionals, pregnant women should lean slightly forward while walking, sitting, laying down, and sleeping. Reclining is a huge no-no. This means you have to keep your belly button pointed at the ground, or straight forward. Don’t let your belly button point upwards.
Keeping your body inclined forward helps Baby float in the optimal birthing position: with their spine towards your front (Yay! for no excruciating back labor!). You also need to maintain good posture. I really missed hanging out on my tummy, so I relished the time at my massage therapist’s office. He had a maternity cushion!!! Pure bliss.
In your second trimester, you will probably only need an extra pillow under your belly, and maybe one under your knees, and one to hug. I tried to extend the amount of time I didn’t have an excess of pillows, but seriously guys! Why?? It feels so good! I woke up much less sore when I started sleeping with pillows. You can really only sleep lying on your side, so propping up your bundle-of-love prevents your uterus from stretching your muscles apart, as bad.
I’ll walk you through the whole nest of pillows in next week’s post. So if you are super uncomfortable in trimester 2, hold tight for next post! For most, a regular body pillow should suffice (it is long enough to be hugged, glide under your belly, and slip between your legs).
Go Clothes Shopping!
My first pregnancy I waited until the last possible moment to get maternity clothes. I just used sweats, hair ties around the pant buttons, and my husband’s t-shirts forever. The second time around, I whipped the storage bag full of my maternity clothes out pretty quickly. Maternity clothes are super comfy, and really make you look better than trying to squeeze into your pre-pregnancy outfits.
For my birthday during pregnancy #2, my family gave me a $100 gift card to Motherhood Maternity. I purchased a nice blouse and 4 dresses from the clearance rack with some money leftover. It was nice to splurge and get nice things. However, I got most of my maternity clothes from thrift stores, Ross, and I think I found a few gems on clearance at Burlington Coat Factory. I found a lot of nice things while I was not pregnant between babies #1 and #2 because I still loved maternity pants for comfort in my incision area. Keep your eyes peeled during your second trimester for sales and deals, and you will really appreciate it come trimester 3!
To Have the Best Second Trimester, You Need to Eat Frequently (Slight First Trimester Recap):
As explained in the first-trimester section, eat the moment you wake up. (The Secret to Eradicating Morning Sickness)
This is not as critical as in the first trimester, but it is still important to remember. A balanced breakfast is vital for a healthy pregnancy (protein AND carbs and fat).
Last post we also talked about the importance of eating EVERY 2-3 HOURS. (The Secret to Eradicating Pregnancy Fatigue and Daytime Nausea)
I will repeat that this is so important. Otherwise, you will feel tired, nauseous, grumpy, awful, and nowhere near having your best pregnancy. You need to eat protein-rich snacks and meals frequently. It helps combat morning sickness, helps you have a clear mind, and fuels your body and growing baby & belly.
If you are a mama on the go, I recommend meal prepping with boiled eggs, nuts, avocados, cucumbers and such. However, if you usually resort to granola bars, I would suggest you opt for protein bars instead. They are more balanced in nutrients. My favorite, so far, has been the G2G brand at Costco, but here is a nice visual of them from Amazon:
EAT RIGHT BEFORE BED.
Another food tip. This one is SO IMPORTANT. Eating a protein-rich snack (carrots and hummus, almonds and raisins, peanut butter with apple slices, half a cup of Tillamook ice cream, etc) will keep your blood sugars stable while you sleep, and will help you feel a lot less nauseous and sluggish in the morning.
Now is not the time to be worrying about how eating right before bed is supposedly bad for you. Pregnant women are different. Your health matters more than your weight. But please note, you are supposed to eat like a 100-200 Cal snack, not another meal. Another note: This also means eat a 100 Cal protein-rich snack, not a 50 Cal carb-heavy snack. You need to eat something that will get you through the night. If you wake up in the morning feeling ravenously hungry, cranky, or energy-less, you may need to up your night time snack intake, or make sure you are getting enough calories and protein throughout the day.
I was ordered by my diabetes specialist and dietitian to eat half a cup of ice cream. If ice cream is good enough for a diabetic, then it’s good enough for you!
I’m saying it again: DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. Every time you eat a snack or meal, you need to have downed another 16 oz (2 cups) of water (in the 2-3 hours between eating times). This totals about 10-12 cups of water per day. If you think plain water is getting distasteful, try drinking coconut water, an electrolyte drink, or munching on organic 100% juice popsicles. Another alternative is to eat more soups & smoothies, or fruits & veggies with high water content, such as melons, citrus, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes.
Staying hydrated keeps headaches and other issues away. Coffee, some teas, sodas, and alcohol are bad for you and Baby, so please refrain.
We talked about other exercises in the Trimester #1 post, so we are just going to focus on the benefits of walking in this post.
I started walking during my third trimester to try to encourage labor, and by then I think it was too late to reap the full benefits of walking. It’s never TOO late, but you definitely get more benefits the earlier you start.
We moved to my husband’s grandma’s basement in Utah in March, during my 2nd trimester. I absolutely loved living in Kansas, but it is very windy there, and we had a bigger apartment with giant windows, so we would only go on the occasional walk- maybe once a week.
In the Utah basement, we only had a (big) bedroom and adjacent (big) walk-in closet that my toddler slept in. This basement only had one tiny little (non-egress) window, therefore no sunlight. I was getting the blues pretty bad. I also started feeling guilty because I was keeping my active little one-year-old boy shut up in such a small space. In addition, I had stopped doing yoga, because I felt too depressed, and there was not a lot of space, so I was getting no exercise. My son and I started going on walks, and he loved them so much, it became a daily routine.
Night and Day Difference
I stopped having hip pain, I was happier, and I just felt all around better. We even started going on extra walks with my husband when he would get home from work, and over the weekends. Later, when I learned I had gestational diabetes, we would go on those extra walks if I ate too many carbs. I probably had excellent blood sugar levels due in part to my frequent “exercising”. (It didn’t feel like exercise, I just wanted to keep my toddler happy).
Near the end of my pregnancy, I learned that Spinning Babies is a big believer in daily walks. They say to not push a stroller, but I did. If you can, have a family member or friend push a stroller, or consider purchasing a kid “leash”? My son would want to walk next to me sometimes, but it never lasted long, so I don’t recommend having your child walk if they are very young. Unless you enjoy lugging children back home while you are massive pregnant.
I thought that Spinning Babies was a program only for women with breech babies. I was so wrong! Spinning Babies is for every pregnant woman who wants to encourage their baby to settle into the ideal birthing position! This means less discomfort throughout pregnancy, faster labor, and easier delivery.
In my last post (first trimester) I did not have a very positive attitude about yoga. Let me clarify by saying that the only yoga I can 100% recommend to you is the Spinning Babies prenatal yoga video. I am not endorsed by them or anything. You can be sure that I am honestly a huge fan. Definitely look into them, get their yoga video, and take the parent class if you can! I was too late, but am looking forward to next pregnancy.
Labor and Delivery Education
During your second trimester, you should start considering where you want to give birth and begin attending child-birthing classes at a hospital or birthing center. These courses provide valuable information about your body, the labor & delivery processes, various methods of pain relief, in addition to providing excellent opportunities to get comfortable with the location’s parking lot, layout, and policies. These courses vary by location.
Whether or not you want to give birth at home or in a birthing center, it is a good idea to take a child-birthing class at the local hospital. This ensures that you are somewhat comfortable and aware of interventions and practices if any concerns or emergencies arise.
In our current area (Utah County), I have only found classes ranging from a single 2-hour lesson to 4 weeks of prenatal (epidural) OR Lamaze lessons. Which I think is weird. In Kansas, we had a 2-hour class for 4 weeks and learned about all the forms of pain relief offered at hospitals (from different birthing positions, medications, and even recommendations for doulas). This is why I think it is important to find a hospital and doctor that is on board with your birth plan.
I highly recommend midwives, and wish I had known this was an option during my first pregnancy! I thought midwives were ancient history, or just in Europe. If I could go back, I would have gone with a midwife monitored water birth at a birthing center or hospital. However, I am grateful that my OBs would not even consider induction until week 42 of pregnancy. They also were huge advocates for natural, unmedicated births, immediate skin-to-skin, and breastfeeding. Find people who jive well with you.
Hypnosis and “Alternative Medicine”
The second trimester is also an excellent time to locate a HypnoBirthing practitioner in your area. Most of them only offer their courses at certain, limited times, so you want to be aware and reserve your spot. This is also usually a 5-week course, so make sure you schedule it with plenty of time to practice.
I have no personal experience with HypnoBabies, the Bradley Method, the Alexander Technique, but I wanted to make you aware of them for your own research. I am currently looking for more information about the Alexander Technique (it is a lifestyle thing, not just a pregnancy thing!).
To sum up:
The second trimester is the best trimester! Not as much nausea and fatigue. Energy levels are higher. You can officially start wearing maternity clothes. More family and friends are aware of the upcoming baby! It is just a magical time.
The third trimester is bearable. Come back next week for helpful ideas on how to have a more comfortable time!
What did you find helped improve your pregnancies? Look for me on Instagram @bearfootmamablog and don’t forget to subscribe!
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