Tips for Your Second Trimester

woman holding her pregnant belly on hiking trail

Congrats, mama! You made it to your second trimester of pregnancy, or as some of us call it our favorite trimester. Hopefully, you’ve made it past the sickness and fatigue part of early pregnancy. You should have more energy. You should be more upbeat. You are hopefully enjoying eating again and embracing that cute belly that’s starting to pop.


Now that being pregnant is really setting in, you may be wondering, “What should I do in my second trimester?” Well, wonder no more. This second trimester checklist has you covered, providing ways you can feel more prepared for the third trimester and baby’s arrival, as well as tips to take care of yourself and your baby.


Pregnancy To-Do List During Your Second Trimester


Get started on the nursery.Woman sitting in nursery with baby

Few things are more fun while pregnant than planning and decorating the nursery. You don’t have to have the nursery finished this trimester, but get started on it now. Having a nursery theme and decor ideas will help you know what to register for.


Decide the logistics of your baby shower.

It’s also time to start thinking about your baby shower. Get together with whoever is throwing you a baby shower and decide the date, location, guest list, invitations, theme, etc. Help them decide the important details, and then let them do the heavy lifting of planning and throwing one.


Create a baby registry.

Since you’re having a baby shower, you need to register for all the baby gear. Look up or ask veteran moms for baby registry ideas. You can also browse Amazon or just walk through baby aisles. I suggest doing the latter with your partner. This way both of you are involved. Some stores may even let you test things out, like ergonomic baby carriers or strollers, so you know you’re registering for baby gear you like and will use.


Get things that make being a new parent easier.

Parenting is hard. Luckily there are some parenting and baby products to help make the transition into parenthood a little easier:

Mom holding baby in Ergobaby Aura Wrap


Research and plan out your prenatal classes.

Check with your doctor and local hospital for labor and childbirth education classes. Many couples choose to take a childbirthing class to help ease their anxiety of having a baby, while others choose to take one class or courses spanning several weeks to help them prepare for the type of labor and birth they want. It’s also not a bad idea to look into CPR or lactation classes now.


Tell your employer and plan your maternity leave.

If you work, tell your employer you’re pregnant (if you haven’t already), and start planning your maternity leave. Learn your maternity leave options and benefits beforehand, though. In my personal opinion, as well as other moms I’ve talked to, it’s best to tell your employer once you know your options and have a plan in place for your maternity leave and return to work if that’s what you want to do.

mother shopping with baby in wrap

Plan out your post-baby budget.

Budgets aren’t fun, but it’s the responsible adult thing to have one. Your expenses going up isn’t fun either, but that’s what happens when you have a baby. You need money to pay for diapers, wipes, diaper rash creams, formula, unexpected doctor or ER visits, etc., while still paying for your current expenses. You’ll also need to consider health insurance, life insurance, and maybe setting your kid up with a savings account. And if you’ll have to pay any out of pocket costs for having your baby, you may want to add that into your budget now as well.


Mom-focused Second Trimester Checklist


Get up and get moving.

Now that you have some energy back, it’s time to take care of your body. Don’t try anything new or do anything extreme. And always check with your doctor first. But some healthy pregnancy exercise ideas include:

  • Walking
  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Swimming
  • Prenatal yoga
  • Prenatal workout class.


woman carrying baby on beach in Ergobaby carrierInvest in healthy, simple eating.

You may not want to cook every day—and that’s OK—but you don’t want to eat out all the time either. I believe in eating (most of) what you crave while pregnant, but I also know you and your baby need lots of nutritious foods. So if you need to sign up for a healthy meal delivery service or buy fruits and veggies that are already cut up because that’s how you’ll eat healthily, then do it. The convenience is worth the little extra money and better than getting things off a fast food $1 menu every night.


Moisturize morning and night.

Some women like to use a stretch mark oil in the mornings after showering and then a body butter or stretch mark-specific cream at night before bed. Nothing is 100% proven to prevent stretch marks, but keeping your growing belly, thighs, and bum moisturized will help reduce itchiness that comes with pregnancy.


Visit your dentist.

No one ever told me, but pregnancy can wreak havoc on your mouth—just another thing to thank your hormones for. Approximately 60-70% of pregnant women experience pregnancy gingivitis, which is most common during the second trimester. So make an appointment with your dentist if you don’t already have one, and follow a strict home care dental routine to help keep your mouth in check.


Update your wardrobe.

This trimester is when you probably want to start thinking about getting new clothes because your go-to jeans and tops won’t last much longer. Buy clothes that fit and you feel comfortable in. Or you can borrow someone’s maternity clothes. But maternity clothes aren’t the only option. Thankfully for women, there are plenty of cute, comfy clothes made to lounge and go out in that are in style. Loose dresses and jumpsuits were a favorite of mine when pregnant. Just treat yourself to some comfy, stretchy outfits, and remember to dress like you’re pregnant, not fat.


Get a prenatal massage.

If your partner is like mine, they might rather pay for you to get a massage than have to rub your back and feet—so take them up on it. Even if your partner does rub your back, book a massage with a professional. Prenatal massages will help you relax and relieve common pregnancy aches and pains. Be sure to use a massage therapist who’s trained to massage pregnant women to keep you and baby safe.

Mom and dad on vacation with baby

Plan a babymoon.

Last but not least on this second trimester pregnancy to-do list is planning a getaway for you and your partner. This doesn’t have to be as elaborate or long as a honeymoon, but taking a babymoon is great for expecting parents. It’s a chance to get away from the busyness of normal life. It’s a chance to really connect with your partner before the baby comes. Whether you can manage an overnight, weekend, or week-long getaway, take it! And enjoy it.


My last tip is to get as much done as you can during your second trimester of pregnancy. That way, when you enter the third trimester, the longest and most uncomfortable from my personal experiences, you won’t have a bunch of little things to do. You can simply rest and get mentally ready to have a baby.

Kirsten Metcalf is a writer, editor and mother to a hilarious but very strong-willed toddler and a beautiful baby girl. She started writing short stories in elementary school and years later became a sports reporter and editor. Now, she mainly writes marketing, religious and parenting-related blog posts. Even before she knew she wanted to be a writer, Kirsten knew she wanted to be a mom. She knows being a mom is one of the most rewarding but hardest jobs out there, which is why she loves being able to share parenting knowledge and support to other moms through her writing. When she actually wins negotiations with her toddler, Kirsten likes to reward herself by watching KU basketball, eating cheesecake, or going on a Target run by herself.

October 20, 2019