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And just like that, I've made it through the second trimester for the third time! Here is a collection of some of my favorite essentials and tips for this season of pregnancy...
Second Trimester Products
Some of my favorite products shared >> here in the first trimester are still my favorites and used into the second trimester--my chiseled cup (that I use for water and tea and smoothies), my planner, my gummy prenatals, and my yoga pants are all still essentials.
In addition to those, below are some other things I'm loving in the second trimester...
1. Coconut OilIn my first pregnancy I used Palmer's cocoa butter lotion for stretch marks. If you're prone to stretch marks, you're gonna get them whether you lotion up or not. But, it relieved the dryness and itching across my belly as I grew and my skin stretched. For over a year or so I've been using coconut oil to moisturize key dry areas after showers/baths. My skin is quite a bit less dry overall and I don't notice the need for it everyday like I did with lotion. Now, coconut oil is my belly moisturizer too and it is working great. I've heard good things about other oils, too, like Extra Virgin Olive Oil, or Jojoba for something lighter.
2. Caffiene-Free Cappuccino MixI got a bit of a frappuccino craving with my last pregnancy and I've noticed it reappearing with this one as well. I found an alternative that's quite a bit cheaper: 1-2 TBSP decaf cappuccino mix, 6 cubes ice, and 1+ cup coconut milk (or almond or chocolate almond). It definitely fills my craving.
3. Chocolate-Covered AlmondsI have a major sweet tooth, and it gets worse in pregnancy, if that's even possible. 6-9 dark chocolate covered almonds are just enough to fill my craving with not as much unhealthiness of a candy bar or cookie. I don't necessarily get strange cravings, but I certainly get unhealthy ones.
4. Prenatal Yoga/Pilates DVDI always have good intentions to work out regularly, but I frequently find myself out of the habit. Especially after surviving a debilitating first trimester due to exhaustion and morning sickness. Second trimester is a perfect time to take up prenatal yoga/pilates. I got this Parents DVD with my last pregnancy and I feel the breathing and some of the poses helped a lot in preparing for delivery.
5. Epsom SaltWarm baths with a cup of epsom salt are so soothing for shifting joints and muscles. Light a candle and lean back and relax. It also offers hemorrhoid relief, if that becomes an issue (see symptoms below).
6. Notebook + PenSecond trimester is when I start getting a boost of energy--physically and creatively. I keep a notebook handy to write down all of my lists and ideas--baby-related and not. I may not get them all done, but at least I can dump my brain so I can try and get good sleep at night.
7. BlenderEven with all that energy, cooking isn't necessarily where I'm motivated to use it. I care about being healthy, but just can't seem to get with the program at meal time. An easy way to get greens, berries, and oats is throwing them in a blender for a smoothie. I can even add peanut butter and chocolate almond milk to fill a craving at the same time. It sounds like a strange combination, but it's actually really good. We love our Vitamix blender, but before that we used a more affordable KitchenAid blender like this >> one that worked great.
Second Trimester Symptom Relief
Second trimester really is my favorite. It may not be as golden as all the books describe. (Lush hair, amazing sex, incredible energy?! Sign me up!) Still, the symptoms I feel are so much better compared to first trimester, and the energy is relatively great sandwiched between first and third trimesters.
I don't remember many symptoms in my second trimester with my first pregnancy, but these are a couple I've noticed more with my second and third pregnancies...
Back, Hip, or Pelvic DiscomfortSecond trimester is when that baby is starting to expand the belly, and hips and other things might start shifting. I especially noticed this more with the second and third--I guess my body remembered what to do and wasn't as tight as the first time. We have an ice pack holder that I put warm water in and can lay on my lower back while I lean over a pillow, or can lay it on my hip or lower belly. It offers some relief. Also getting my husband to put pressure on the area, or taking a warm bath with Epsom salts. And yoga/stretching can do wonders.
However you deal with pain now is a little glimpse into how you might deal with it in labor. If you find yourself doing a lot of whining and complaining about it, but not really addressing it, it might be a good time to get proactive. Read up on solutions (like the couple I wrote above) and actually do them. Think positively, breathe calmly, and do the best you can. Being able to do this with these everyday aches and pains is good practice to create good habits that will be more natural in labor.
Braxton-Hicks ContractionsI barely noticed these practice contractions in my first pregnancy. In my second, they were a bit stronger and started earlier. Now in this third, they can sometimes even feel a little achy or uncomfortable. As long as there is no reason for concern (baby is moving good, no blood or heavy discharge, no severe or ongoing pain, etc.), then I try to just use the ideas mentioned above--warmth, massage, change positions and stretch. When these practice contractions cause discomfort, then why not practice managing it well?
Constipation and/or HemorrhoidsI have heard of hemorrhoids causing problems during pregnancy and after birth, but haven't experienced it until this pregnancy. Warm baths, avoiding sitting long periods especially on hard surfaces, and witch hazel provided relief within a couple days. Of course eating a good diet of high fiber foods and drinking lots of water can help prevent constipation that could lead to hemorrhoids. As baby grows, our digestive system slows, so foods that didn't used to bother might now cause problems. Err on the side of healthier than normal to prevent problems.
When Everyone has an Opinion
Every woman who goes through pregnancy will likely have a list of ridiculous things that people--friends, family, coworkers, strangers--have said. Often it's related to belly size. ("Wow, you're huge!" or "Do you have a big event coming up or are you just fat?" Both actually said to me.) The best I've found is to reply nicely and calmly, then just move on. I've even found myself saying something to a pregnant woman that I should know not to say--sometimes it just slips without thinking of how the other person will take it. Give the person the benefit of the doubt, and try not to take it personally.
What can be even more of a challenge is when everyone wants to share their advice--how you should deliver your baby, whether you should swaddle or use a pacifier, cosleeping and baby-wearing, and products you "absolutely need." If this advice comes from a trusted source, then go ahead and look into it or give it consideration. For everything else--smile and nod and move on.
No need to get bogged down with how everyone else thinks you should birth and care for this baby. Only you know what will work for you and your family. If you're afraid people will judge your choices, just don't advertise them. For example, if you want to cloth diaper, just do it. You don't have to hear everyone's negativity or disapproval of your choice. Then, seek out those people who could actually understand and support your choices. It helps to have a source to go when you have a question.
Second Trimester Fashion
A lot of what I shared about first trimester fashion >> here still holds true into the second trimester. That's the benefit of trying to stick with versatile staples. The only difference is that those loose shirts that hid the bump might no longer be able to hide that growing belly. This is a good time to start wearing more ruched/fitted shirts, and belts above the belly to define a new waste line. Here are a few of my second trimester clothing essentials:
1. Adjusted Waist BandsAs my belly grows, my waste isn't exactly where it used to be. This is when I've liked having an empire waste skirt and dress (like the one I'm wearing in the first photo in this post). I'm able to adjust the waste above my belly, then add a belt if I wish. If it's not a maternity specific item, then I won't be able to do this much longer. But it works through most of the second trimester.
2. Loose Tunics and DressesLoose shirts, tunics and dresses may not look as loose anymore. But they can usually still be worn into the second trimester. And of course, maternity specific tunics and dresses work great. If the belly shortens them up, then wear leggings underneath and boots or sandals depending on the season. Of course, a belt thrown over top can look cute too.
3. LeggingsWorkout clothes (basic yoga pants, capris, shorts, etc.) are still a must beyond the first trimester. I like having a pair of fitted black leggings no matter the season, then yoga pants, capris or shorts depending on the season. I especially focus on buying these cheap so that I can get the right size and not care if I only wear them a couple months. They can look nice or casual depending on the choice of shirt, shoes, and accessories.
4. Layering TopsI finally have a good mix of cardis--a long one that covers my bum when worn with leggings, a short black cardi that looks nice with anything, and a colored cardi to add life to an outfit. A basic chambray or white button-up is also a great layering option. It can be left open with a tee or tank underneath, paired with a dress or skirt, or even tied over a dress or shirt. If it's cool out, keep the sleeves long with a sweater over, and in the summer, roll the sleeves up.
5. Maternity StaplesIf I didn't buy maternity staples in the first trimester, then this is when I fill in those basics--tanks, tees and skinny jeans. These end up being my uniform of sorts, and can be mixed up with the layering, accessories or shoes I pair them with.
6. AccessoriesI recently added two skinny belts to my wardrobe--one neutral and one colored. These can be worn with tees, sweaters, dresses. They're a really easy way to complete an outfit when I don't want to look so plain, and they help make the bump look a little cuter. And of course basic stud earrings are low key but cute.
7. UnmentionablesI still use the wire-free bras and cotton undies that I bought in first trimester. If I find myself starting to get bigger than expected (hey, it happens; let's blame swelling), then I don't hesitate to buy a new package in a larger size. That's the perk of buying cheap--no worries if I stretch them out or have to buy a couple packages throughout the pregnancy. Still cheaper than one pair of maternity underwear! I also find the low-rise more comfortable. Even though cotton is more breathable, I really like the microfiber panties. They're a little smoother and silkier, so a cotton dress isn't as likely to stick to them.
What are your second trimester tips and essentials?
Related Posts:First Trimester
New Baby Checklist
Saving Money on Baby
*Note: Amazon affiliate links used in this post. Any purchases made through these links could earn me a small commission with no extra cost to you. Thank you for your support!
A good pair of sandals! I didn't invest in supportive shoes my first pregnancy and my feet really suffered. I got a great pair o. Sale at the end of last summer that I can wear all day now and not have extremely painful aching feet. Thank you for the posts, I enjoying reading them :)ReplyDelete