Second Trimester Pregnancy Recap & Must Haves

My first pregnancy is flying by, and the countdown is officially ON for baby's arrival!

The second trimester was a big one- so much happened!  We had our 20-week anatomy scan, my belly (and BABY) grew so much bigger, we found out the gender & chose a name for our little one, and so much more.

Things are getting REAL!  I'm 32 weeks today, but this update will focus on the second trimester:  weeks 13-28 (roughly, because every trimester/month of pregnancy calendar I look at says something different- haha!)

You all know I'm far from an expert on this topic, as this is my first pregnancy.  But I'm learning so much as I go and happy to share what I've done & what I've experienced so far!  Pregnancy is so personal to every individual woman, and I know that no two pregnancies are the same.  Keep that in mind, and take my two cents for just that- my opinion.



WHAT WENT DOWN
(a rough timeline!)

  • 14 weeks:  "morning" (aka all-day) sickness really disappeared and my appetite was back to normal
  • 16 weeks:  I went through lots of light cramping/overall discomfort around this time- that I would mostly refer to as "growing pains" (but they worried me in the moment!)  At one point I felt almost like I was having super mild (but regular) contractions, so my doctor had me come in.  She recommended doing an ultrasound- which made me panic, as we have opted for the least # of ultrasounds possible.  Turned out baby was most likely treating my pelvic floor as a trampoline and that's what I had been feeling- no cause for concern & nothing unusual or worrisome to see.  What a relief, but also eye opening and made me so grateful that this was the only concern I had experienced.
  • 18 weeks:  consistent exercise became a priority for me again and helped alleviate sciatic back/hip pain so much (more on my exercise routine below)
  • 16-20 weeks:  I first felt the baby move noticeably at around 16 weeks;  by 20 weeks kicks were consistent, and my husband could feel them!
  • 20 weeks:  our anatomy scan!  Baby looked perfect, measured slightly big.  We got to see the sweetest little nose & lips and the cutest side profile with a little button nose.  We asked the technician to write down the gender & seal it in an envelope for us to see later.  My husband found out first (to have something special to himself for a few days), and I planned on waiting until the weekend for our gender reveal with our immediate family.  I made it until Friday before I forced him to tell me!  


  • WE'RE HAVING A BOY!!!  And we chose his name the day we both knew his gender (we'll share once he's here).  He will be in good company with all boy cousins and lots of uncles (both my husband & I have only brothers).  We are beyond excited to meet him, and my husband is already brainstorming toddler workouts & obstacle courses!  ;)  Of course my skeptic nature has me thinking "but what if 'he's' actually a girl?"  & in that case- we would be equally thrilled, seriously.  I am just so excited for our sweet baby to make us a family!
  • 20+ weeks:  we started work on the nursery-  paint by my husband, then fresh carpet, and lots of furniture ordering (why is all baby stuff always backordered...)  I will do a whole post on his nursery once it's finished!  Just waiting on a dresser now.
  • We decided on a birth class!  More on this below.
  • We purchased lots of things, and made our baby registry!  Another future post to come- stay tuned if you're interested (so much research went into this- it was overwhelming!)


NUTRITION

I am still taking all of the supplements listed in my First Trimester Recap- I take them nightly & am religious about it.  But I also strive to get the most nutrients in my food each day too!  Not every day is perfect, but I'm trying my hardest to get adequate protein, healthy fats, iron, and calcium- among all the other micronutrients from veggies & such.

One of the biggest changes for the 2nd trimester was adding in tons of SUPERFOODS to my diet- now that nausea isn't a thing and I can stomach them.  Here's what I've added in & why!


(click the name to go to the product)

  • Salmon Roe  (DHA in a super usable form for baby that supports brain development;  I first learned about this from Dr. Rhonda Patrick- read this post here for more!  I thaw in the fridge and eat in a "sushi bowl" with coconut aminos, kimchi, spinach, and avocado, on Simple Mills crackers, or by the spoonful if necessary)
  • Magnesium  (I add a spoonful of this to my tea every night, and it helps SO much with any leg cramps and gives me the best sleep.  I notice a huge difference if I go without it!  I also have a topical spray option linked below)
  • Red Raspberry Leaf Tea  (thought to tone the uterus & shorten labor-  it's worth a shot!  Read this article from Mama Natural.  I drink 1-2 cups per day, hot at night or iced throughout the day with a little coconut milk.  It tastes like a cross between green & black tea- I love it!)
  • Kombucha  (I drank lots of kombucha prior to pregnancy so felt comfortable drinking during second trimester & beyond in small amounts.  I drink it for the probiotics!  There are very small amounts of alcohol, so I stick to around 2-4 oz at a time a few times per week; and I mix with mineral water to dilute.)
  • Kimchi  (also for probiotics, because baby's healthy gut comes from mama!  And is SO important for a well-functioning immune system.  I like the spicy one from Sinto.  I add cashews & avocado to balance the flavor and add healthy fats)
  • Collagen  (read about my thoughts on collagen in pregnancy in this post here.  I add a total 2 scoops per day into my coffee, smoothies, and tea)
  • Bone Broth  (contains collagen and protein for a healthy gut and lots of nutrients for baby.  Also helps so much with inflammation and any joint pains.  I buy at the store or make my slow cooker version)

When it comes to diet, I've been sticking to Paleo about 80% of the time.  The other (roughly) 20% consists of me adding good quality cheese to some dishes or a scoop of peanut butter in my smoothies, indulging in a gluten free cookie or pizza here & there, or nights where I eat Mexican food and don't worry about the chips or tortillas.

I'm happy with the balance I've got going right now!  I take things one meal at a time and focus on as many nutrients as possible- eggs at breakfast, veggies every chance I get, lots of protein, and plenty of healthy fats.

All my motivation has been coming from the little guy I can feel getting stronger inside of me- but I don't feel bad if I indulge a little here & there too.  :) 

EXERCISE

Staying active has been a game changer for increasing my energy levels and keeping me feeling like "myself".  I've honestly been more consistent with exercise now than maybe ever.  I've mapped out 2 and 3 mile loops around my neighborhood in the hills, and save my favorite YouTube videos, podcasts, and audiobooks that I'm looking forward to for my walks.  I take the dog, so it's a win-win (because wearing that guy out is always a goal!)  We go at a moderate to fast pace so my heart rate is up- and it feels amazing.  I focus on breathing & posture, and it's really addicting!  I can't wait to continue this with baby in the stroller or strapped on my chest!


For strength & mobility, I've been bouncing around between a few things:

  • movements on the exercise ball (I do these throughout the day- nothing super structured, just keeping the hips loose & posture in check)
  • pilates with Robin Long from The Balanced Life:  she has free videos on YouTube and an amazing Prenatal Pilates program available for purchase on her website HERE
  • yoga with Sarah Beth Yoga:  she too has paid programs, but so far I have stuck to what's available on her YouTube channel.  She has routines for morning & night, stretching, and strength- all with modifications for different levels and stages of pregnancy.
  • gym workouts made by my husband:  using body weight, light kettlebells, plates, and dumbbells.  He has been awesome at making these super functional for me, and tailored to what I'm "up for" that day as well as where I'm at in pregnancy.  Try searching Pinterest or YouTube for prenatal workouts & find what feels good for you!


PRODUCTS

BATH, BODY, & MORE



  • For keeping my skin soft & moisturized while it stretches (and doing my best to avoid strechmarks), I've been using a combo of body lotion + a heavy balm over top at night.  I use the Countermatch Body Lotion all over, because it sinks in SO well and really nourishes my skin.  I layer the Baby Daily Protective Balm over top, which is designed for babies but just as good for mamas with its ultra-moisturizing shea butter base (it's also amazing for cuticles, dry elbows, knees, or feet, or for spot treating dry patches/healing blemishes).
  • Magnesium Spray has been an easy way to supplement my system when I forget magnesium citrate (Natural Calm) in my tea that night or want to double up with a topical dose.  This lives in my nightstand, and I spray onto my legs and feet right before bed.  I notice it helps with leg cramps, overall muscle relaxation, reducing tension, and improves my sleep.
  • The exercise ball has become my new BFF and I don't know what I'd do without it.  I use it daily to keep my hips open and moving, and prefer it to a chair when sitting down to work.  It forces me into a better posture and is great for baby positioning- I lean forward while sitting on the ball, or kneel and rest my upper body on it.  Google movements with the exercise ball- there's tons of info out there!
  • My pregnancy pillow is still such a game changer for bedtime, especially as my belly has grown!  I even dragged it along with me to my parents' house last time I spent the night.  It helps keep your spine & hips in alignment when sleeping on your side, and reduces neck & hip pain for me.  You can also use it sitting up as a nursing pillow with baby!
  • With the extra blood flow & fluid retention happening, congestion has been a little bit annoying- especially at night when I lay down.  This Breathe Vapor Stick by DoTERRA is a natural alternative for something like Vick's VapoRub.  My husband loves it too- it just opens your airways and feels great rubbed under your nose or over your chest before bed.
  • These maternity / nursing tanks have been the perfect layering piece under any top, and wear well as a tank on their own!  Button down flannels & comfy, lightweight cardigans have been my favorite with one of these underneath- comfortable and easy when my belly is *just* too big to button a top over.  I also love that these totally take the place of a bra.
  • Blood pressure monitor-  I had a phase of low blood pressure and could feel the effects, plus a racing heart that was concerning me.  My doctor said these were both okay but for my own sanity I grabbed this easy-to-use wrist monitor to track at home when I was feeling anxious about it.  Luckily the low blood pressure only lasted for a couple of weeks, but this brought me lots of peace of mind and has been handy since then!



BOOKS & WEBSITES

  • The Mama Natural Week-By-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth has still been a favorite for breaking down weekly developments and giving me things to focus on- building a non-toxic registry, incorporating certain superfoods into my diet based on what's developing in baby, and more!  We loved Genevieve's (the author) style and approach so much that we signed up for her online birth class!
  • The Mama Natural Birth Course has been amazing and SO convenient and low-pressure that we get to do it online!  My husband and I are both introverts and thrive in the comfort of our own home, so this was huge for us to feel comfortable so we could really focus and have the option to pause videos, talk things out, practice movements, etc.  We are over halfway through the course now and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a more natural approach to birth.  They talk about home & birth center births, whereas we are going for a hospital birth, but I still feel like everything is totally applicable- we just take what we need from it and leave the rest.  The course also comes with membership to a private Facebook group for pregnancy (and another for postpartum) which is super awesome to scroll through and connect with other women.
  • Speaking of Facebook groups, the Whole30 Healthy Mama Happy Baby group by WholeMamas has been another great place to get feedback from other mamas and just feel less "alone" seeing the questions that other women are asking.  Like the Mama Natural supports, I love the more natural perspective but without any judgy-ness.  Just a super supportive zone for women before, during, and after pregnancy.
  • Becoming Babywise:  Giving Your Infant The Gift of Nighttime Sleep is one of the books I've been listening to and reading, and it came highly recommended to me.  It has some great info about feeding schedules and styles of scheduling (e.g., fixed vs. parent directed) and gives actual sample schedules to follow which I love.  I have another sleep/scheduling book on my list too but will wait to share once I've dove into it!
  • The Vaccine Friendly Plan by Dr. Paul is my favorite book I've listened to thus far (on Audible!)  The author's outlook on whole body nutrition and clean living resonates hard with me, and I love his balanced approach- not all or nothing.  I got tons of hate when I shared this book on Instagram, but also tons of love from the people who had actually read it.  Dr. Paul weighs the risks and benefits of each vaccine and provides a schedule that spreads things out a bit and makes sense to me.  Highly recommend if you're interested in a balanced, logical perspective- as he truly isn't one-sided in either direction on the topic (which can get 'heated').

I hope this helps you, or is at least interesting for you to read!  To shop the post, click on the product names in the lists above, or scroll through the pictures down below.





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