Yay we’ve made it into the second trimester! We are out of the horrible first few weeks, we’re able to tell people and soon we’ll start to look pregnant.
You’ll be told, now is when you get your glow, it’s easier, you’ll have loads of energy!
Hmmmm, I beg to differ.
I’m sure many pregnant ladies have a lovely time in the second trimester. But, what if you don’t? You are not alone! Pregnancy is hard, yet amazing. Here’s how the second trimester is for me, and what I’d recommend in order to get through it. Screw Emma and her perfect diary!
Sure, the sickness has gone. That all consuming nausea has said farewell and you can enjoy eating again. Soon you’ll be hungrier than ever and will want to stuff your face with all sorts of treats. But, remember, you don’t really need that many more calories at this point than someone who isn’t pregnant. Make sure you are eating enough though, not the 1200 calorie diet you were on before, and eating lots of fruit and vegetables with a good mix of carbs and protein.
If, like me, you’ve got an interest in food again, then start making lovely home cooked food: some home-made soup is really nourishing and good for the soul. I even found a brand-new hobby during this time; bread making! I find it quite therapeutic and also very rewarding.
Oh the tiredness. Anyone else sick and tired of being sick and tired?
For me, the tiredness has not gone. I’m sure this has something to do with running around after a toddler which means I do not sit down until 7pm. But when I say I’m tired, I mean I am exhausted!
I feel like I’m going to drop and my body aches. Cue sitting in joggers all evening zoning out at the TV or a magazine! I’ve been keeping up with exercise but have no energy in the evening, so the most I can manage at that time is a bit of yoga. All other exercise fits in during the day when, and if, I can. Most importantly I’m being kind to myself and resting when I need to.
Yes, this is happening! And as I’m on my second pregnancy, I’ve looked pregnant from around 16 weeks - thank God! With my first, I simply looked fat until around 20 weeks and so dressed in flowy tops to disguise it. But when bump appears it was good-bye shapeless clothes and hello tighter fitting - dare I say BODYCON - clothes!
So, at some point in your second trimester you can start showing off that bump, if you want to. Don’t get disheartened if it takes a while, everyone is different, every baby is different and your body does what it needs to do. Be patient. I know it sucks.
Where is this fabled energy we hear talk about? Apparently, you get it back in spades in the second trimester. I hope this happens for you as it isn’t happening for me.
Thinking back to my first pregnancy, I did feel so much better in the second trimester, and did get more energy. But, as above, every pregnancy is different and that energy is not making an appearance.
I’m tired all the time. My body is growing a baby for God’s sake!
What makes me feel slightly better is some fresh air, a walk and a proper cuppa. And sleep.
It’s important to keep active in your second trimester (as in all of them) but I have had to take it easier, 4-5 days at the gym simply isn’t working for me anymore. I’m not going to push myself or do anything that doesn’t feel right.
I’m doing pregnancy yoga, which I’d recommend to everyone at this point. Don’t worry if you’ve never done yoga, you can try it out from your second trimester (just don’t start any exercises you are unfamiliar with in your first trimester!).
I’m not running (sad face) but instead have got some cardio in through a 30 min spin class. Perfect for a lunchtime workout.
I’ve also kept the weights up, but have had to take it easier. I’m thinking if I stay active in some way it’s fine, it’ll help prepare me for the marathon that is giving birth!
Swimming is something I’ve rediscovered while pregnant. I always thought it was too boring and slow, but it actually is a great workout and really good ‘me time’ where you can have a good think to yourself.
In your second trimester you can get excited about all sorts of things as you’ll have another scan and may find out the sex of your baby! So you can start buying things!
If you haven’t already, look into some antenatal classes, I enjoyed hypnobirthing and natural birthing classes with my first baby and made some good friends. It’s always helpful to find people in the same stage as you to create a sense of belonging while your other friends are out doing non pregnancy world stuff.
Think about where you’ll give birth and use this time to look around birth centres and hospitals so you can choose the environment you want well ahead of time and start to visualise giving birth there.
SKIN, HAIR AND NAILS
You may be blessed around this time with beautiful glossy hair and nails. Don’t despair if not though.
My hair isn’t especially glossy or thicker, it’s still clogging up the bathroom plug hole.
My nails are growing quicker, so I’ll take that as a positive!
However my skin is dry and quite itchy, no one warned me about this! I’ve switched to non scented shower gel and body cream which seems to have done the trick.
My boobs aren’t getting bigger. Yes, they’ve got a bit bigger from before I was pregnant but, as with my first, I haven’t had this huge boob job worthy increase (cue sad face emoji). If you were hoping for bigger boobs - I do hope your wish has come true. But, if like me you haven’t, well you’re not alone.
There may be some big changes in the bedroom as during the second trimester. Pregnancy can wreak havoc on your sex life as you and your partner cope with your changing body and mood-killing symptoms like fatigue and nausea. Maybe you’ll get that awesome sex drive back, or maybe you won’t. Maybe you’re not that bothered about sex anyway - in that case all is cool. Although I have heard some women get an increase in libido at this time. Whatever you’re experiencing it’s important to keep talking and just enjoy yourselves in other ways.
BABYMOONS AND SHOWERS
Now is a fab time to organise a little babymoon while you are not too big. Go on holiday and enjoy the quiet, the sitting around, the sunbathing. Have a staycation and sit on your bum all week watching films. Whatever you do, put yourself first and enjoy some couple time. Things are going to change.
As we already have a child, we are taking two babymoons. One a holiday as our last holiday as a family of three where we are going to spoil our boy with lots of fun activities, and one a luxury hotel weekend for just the two of us. You’ll never appreciate time away as much as when you have children. But, you’ll also appreciate coming home so much more and seeing their little faces.
If you work for someone else you should start planning your maternity leave and get your MATB1 form to your employer. Use your holidays and remember you’ll likely accrue your bank holidays too. If you work for yourself, or don’t work at all then planning is just as important as its easy for times to get tough. Work out a budget at this time and realistically work out how you will manage. Make a plan, save and it’ll make those months when you don’t work, much easier.
Put yourself first. I’ve suffered with work related stress and anxiety quite badly during this pregnancy, and I had no choice but to take time out. If you need time, take it. Don’t try and do too much, yours and your baby’s health are the most important things.
Keeping a balance with work and home at this time is really important for your mindset, so be productive, take your lunch breaks and leave on time.
Well, that’s how I am finding and managing the second trimester. How about you?
We’ll be onto the final stretch soon and then our worlds are going to explode with love, exhaustion, confusion and amazingness. Well done mamas!