The second trimester is the “sweet spot” in pregnancy. In the first trimester you feel SICK, second trimester you get some of your energy back, then in the third you're feeling huge. So enjoy it while it lasts.
Like all things in pregnancy… the symptoms are like an ala carte menu that you don't get to pick from. Some women seem to have ALL THE THINGS, others very little (you can consider yourself lucky if this is you).
Anyway, I made a video in my first pregnancy about 18 practical things you need to know in your 2nd trimester and I figured I'd do a review on it to let you know what was total nonsense and what was super important.
This is that review.
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The second trimester is said to be the best and easiest. Although I agree, there are still struggles, here are a few and how I got through them.
1. Native Deodorant!
The video was sponsored by Native, I've been using Native for years (after trying SO MANY) so it was an easy collaboration for me. I'll be honest, some things will not beat that postpartum BO (fun fact: it's actually a guide for your baby to find your boob to feed!).
But really, when you become pregnant you may really start to reconsider all of the products in your house. This was a great switch for me. I love the cucumber mint, it's also been the most effective sent for me!
Code: SHAYLA will give you 20% off everything and 33% off a 3 pack of deodorant!
Other natural products that love now are Tubby Todd‘s all over ointment (after being recommended by EVERYONE). We use it every night after bathtime, and I even use it after my showers. We also use their leave in conditioner and body wash/shampoo.
And Earth Mama Organics is amazing for YOU ma, nipple cream, belly butter, sunscreen you name it. They have great options.
2. Second Trimester Must-Haves | Just buy the Bigger Underwear:
I LOVE laser cut underwear, why? Because it doesn't cut into our lovely lady lumps like other types do.
Do it, go get yourself some new underwear. I'm serious. The last thing our hormones need is underwear to make us feel fat. If they fit you nicely, (even a size or two bigger) you feel sooo much better. Do yourself a favor. Aerie is always having bundle sales on underwear.
3. Panty Liners:
I guess don't do this unless you know if it's something you need. I stated this one as law and learned not everyone deals with it!. Panty liners were a must throughout my entire pregnancy, there is more discharge going on than I want to admit. My midwife said it's the same reason we have the “pregnancy runny nose”! I used panty liners I could replace to stay dry. If you need it, you're not alone. If you don't, you lucky dog, you.
4. Second Trimester Must-Haves | MOISTURIZE:
I moisturized throughout my entire pregnancy and still do in my 2nd pregnancy. You really need to start as you begin to grow. But how do you know where you'll get stretch marks?
You don't. Just do it everywhere.
Some hot spots are boobs, belly (duh), love handles, and butt!
But honestly, yes, moisturizer and staying hydrated can be helpful stretch marks have a lot to do with genetics and body type. My mom got gnarly stretch marks and I have some in my inner thighs from just growing in my teenage years. However, I didn't get any in my first pregnancy, I also have a VERY long torso and I think that has a lot to do with it too. I did moisturize with Earth Mama Organics Belly Butter, stayed hydrated (with a filtered water bottle) and stayed active and gained 40 lbs.
5. PERINEUM STRETCHING:
I still have no idea how to say this. I was determined during my first pregnancy to do this and I just couldn't manage it around my big belly.
Some people wear by it. Here is a blog about it from Expecting and Empowered blog (also who I do my pregnancy and postpartum workout guides through HEYSHAYLA for a discount).
Essentially with perineum stretching, you stretch yourself “down there” with oil to lower the chances of tearing. Its recommended starting in the third trimester. I was ALL FOR IT, hello, I did NOT want to tear!
Unfortunately, by the 3rd trimester, it was straight up too uncomfortable to reach.
My midwife told me it was fine and she didn't believe it was very effective.
Some people said they asked their partner to do it… I told Seth this and he was completely silent… so, that was the end of that.
I still don't understand why pregnancy pillows are the greatest thing of all time… but they are. I've found partners are not typically fans of our new cuddle buddy. Toward the end of my pregnancy, I added ANOTHER pillow under my belly.
7. STAY HYDRATED:
I use this Clearly Filtered water pitcher every day for… EVERYTHING. My water, my rice, my toddler's water, diffuser, humidifier, I fill it up multiple times a day. I chatted with one of the founders (because I'm an affiliate and ambassador) and they answered a million questions for me about their product here if you're interested.
8. Second Trimester Must-Haves | MEDITATION:
I use a meditation app called HeadSpace. The app is around $70 for the year, which in my opinion is worth it. Pregnancy (covid or not… but especially during covid) is a crazy time to be pregnant and to be able to plug this in my ears and take 10 for myself has been a game changer. Headspace has an entire pregnancy section. You choose if you want to meditate for 10, 15, 20 minutes and it just guides you through the whole thing.
My Hypnobabies tracks also helped to keep me sane.
9. Pregnancy and Postpartum Pelvic floor workout guide!
YES, we can now move without feeling totally nauseous! But it was so confusing what I could and couldn't do until I found Expecting and Empowered's workout guides!
They have week by week guides for pregnancy and postpartum and holy crap was it a game-changer. It's created by a nurse and a physical therapist so I feel good knowing whatever I'm doing is safe.
PLUS each workout includes pelvic floor work to help with labor and recovering after the baby is born.
I am an ambassador for them and LOVE their program. They also just created an app that includes core postpartum and a running guide (if you're into that)
Discount is HEYSHAYLA!
10. Second Trimester Must-Haves | MAGNESIUM + ELECTROLYTES:
Anytime I work out, my muscles locked up, and now in this pregnancy sometimes just when I wake up!
My midwife suggested I start taking electrolytes during or after workouts, magnesium before I go to bed and Calcium! She said most people need potassium when they have locked muscles but pregnant women need calcium!
I used to be an ambassador for LiquidIV (HEYSHAYLA25 still gets you 25% off) but my midwife wasn't down with the amount of sugar and told me to start taking Nuun instead. I switched, and I love.
This is the magnesium I use before bed. Magnesium is ALSO great for keeping your stools soft, muscles cramps and for better sleep, WIN WIN WIN.
11. SQUATTY POTTY:
Hemorrhoids (I have a video about it here lol) are terrible and are fairly common in pregnancy (and postpartum). There are a few things that made them more manageable. The Squatty Potty… which are cute but kinda expensive. I just grabbed my yoga blocks and called it a day. You can also treat hemorrhoids with witch hazel, or a “padcicle”. Which is simply putting witch hazel on a pad and then throwing it in the freezer (do this for postpartum healing regardless of hemorrhoids.
Oh, and also keep taking your stool softeners postpartum longer than you think… trust me. I stopped a bit short and cried when I had pooped.
12. Second Trimester Must-Haves | 3 BOOKS TO READ FOR LABOR:
1. I recommend Ina May’s guide to childbirth to every pregnant woman. Well, pregnant women who are more inclined to natural options, as Ina May is a bit of a hippie… which is also why I loved it.
It has two parts, the first part floods you with POSITIVE labor stories. Ina May is a midwife on “The Farm” in Tennessee and she says people always share their traumatic or difficult labor stories, movies glamorize and we've grown up fearin git. So she gives us good, healthy stories to show us it doesn't have to be that way.
The second half explains labor and some of the options available. Taking some of the fear out of labor, which is huge for most of us.
I may or may not have skimmed through a few stories and moved to the meat and potatoes of the second half!
2. The other book I read was “HypnoBirthing“. When I told my midwife I wanted to try hypnobabies she told me to read the book first. So I did, and afterwards I was even more interested in doing the course.
The Hypnobabies course helped me to feel calm, and confident about labor.
So, I took the hypnobabies course, and am so glad I did. If you’re interested in hypnobirthing I have 3 videos about it:
– My positive hypnobirthing story
– How to prepare for a natural labor
– What is hypnobabies?
3. Mindful Pregnancy: This book was created by the man who created the Headspace app (see #8). It's hard to find time to read, I listened to it. This book, again, puts you in a positive headspace (no pun intended) for labor!
13. GOOGLE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND:
Stop Googling things. Seriously, Google is where I turned for every weird pregnancy symptom. Every time it would say you’re either having a miscarriage… or your not. It’s better to just call your doctor or midwife and see what they think.
14. Second Trimester Must-Haves | MATERNITY CLOTHES:
I was legit anti maternity clothes. Why would I buy something I'll only wear for a couple of months? Plus I was working from home! But when my sister gave me some to try I was forever changed. I realized they fit so much better and comfortably, and honestly showed my bump better because they were more fitted below my belly!
1. I LIVED In my Blanqi maternity leggings. Theycompress in the legs, which felt so good to me, and are nice and loose in the belly! I bought two and wore them… well always.
2. The other place I grabbed some was from Pink Blush Maternity, enter your email and wait, they send out discounts practically every day!
3. AND my sister’s Boutique, Boone Clothing. She doesn’t have pregnant specific clothing, but there are a few options that would look so cute with a bump! HEYSHAYLA for 15% off!
15. Second Trimester Must-Haves | ITS OKAY TO REST:
I know the nesting is REAL, but I promise you need to do way less than you think. Just ask any second-time mom.
I have an entire blog about what you'll need for baby when they first get home spoiler alert it's not a lot. YOU are the one who needs things to recover. So I wrote a blog about that too.
For example, I stressed about having the crib ready and she didn't even sleep in it for the first 3 months. She slept wherever she fell asleep and in her bassinet in our room.
16. HORMONES ARE A B*TCH:
The second trimester is supposed to be smooth(er) sailing and I agree for the most part. I felt pretty energetic and my appetite was good, except I was super HORMONAL.
The worst part was I could tell I was being irrational (I'm not usually that crazy) but I couldn't stop! The second time around I now know what it feels like, and Seth knows it's temporary.
SLEEP is a huge factor for me. It was a very clear and direct correlation, if I got less sleep I'd have a worse day.
17. Second Trimester Must-Haves | BABY KICKS!:
Most people don't feel baby kicks until week 18-20. My placenta was on the front in both of my pregnancies, which means it's even harder to feel those first kicks. So, it took me until our 20-week ultrasound to see her moving and associate the feeling BOTH times.
What does it feel like? For me, it felt like I had gas. I literally waited and see if I actually had gas, if I didn’t, I assumed it was a kick! A lot of people say flutters, I wouldn’t describe it as flutters but maybe that's what you feel in the very beginning.
18. BABY APPS:
- Ovia When we first found out that I was pregnant, I was on the baby app… every day. I reread it a million times over and over and shared it with Seth. My mind was blown by how big the baby was!
As my pregnancy went on, I barely checked the app. I used the Ovia Pregnancy App because it has a food and medication search option to tell you if things are safe, as well as telling you your baby is the size of a pineapple.
- The Bump: This app gives me more detailed information (and a 3D image of what my baby looks like this week.
- Channel Mum: The other thing I LOVED to watch a YouTube channel called Channel Mum. She does a video every single week of pregnancy. It includes baby updates, mom updates, and then has other moms in the same week as you talk about their symptoms and show their bumps. I always just googled “Channel Mum Week X”!
19. Second Trimester Must-Haves | BE SELECTIVE WITH ADVICE:
Everyone wants to give it and everyone does it differently. Ask people for advice who have kids you enjoy being around, or that have ideas that align.
The same goes for choosing a doctor. It's important to trust your doctor's advice and be aligned with them.
There it is! There is my list of 19 things you need to know in your 2nd trimester (in my 2nd pregnancy)
If you're in your second trimester, CONGRATULATIONS. I hope some of this information was helpful for you. If it was helpful please share with anyone you know who is pregnant or who you think would enjoy!