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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...
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.
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:
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.
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.
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?
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