I cannot believe how fast the second trimester of pregnancy went! Probably because it started with sharing the exciting news on Instagram and social media at Week 14. And I really did enjoy the ‘honeymoon’ phase of pregnancy and felt pretty great the whole time. In case you missed it you can read all about the First Trimester of My Pregnancy here and my First Trimester Favorites.
As I sit here typing this eight months pregnant I would love to go back to how I felt a few weeks ago, but more on that later. Lets get to all about the second trimester of pregnancy such as symptoms, favorites, and bump pics for weeks 13-27.
There were truly so few symptoms to report that I didn’t feel the need to do a week by week break down like I did for the first 14 weeks. It would just bore you because throughout weeks 13-27 I felt pretty great, definitely a growing belly but NO MORE nausea, food aversions, indigestion, round ligament pain, or tiredness like in the first trimester.
I did however deal with some hormonal acne. I noticed some tiny bumps around my chin around week 12 and they quickly developed to full on redness and pimples. I spent the entire second trimester trying to find products that were safe to use during pregnancy that would get rid of my acne with very little luck.
My skin was extremely dry so I was afraid to use anything too harsh like most acne treatments and also wanted to avoid unnecessary ingredients. I LOVE The Detox Market for finding natural skincare and make-up products. I emailed them about my situation and they recommended several cleansers, lotions, and toners. I have been using this Pai Rose Gentle Cleanser and can now say my acne has finally cleared weekssss later. So I’m not sure if it’s the cleanser or my hormones changing now that I’m in the third trimester.
I was trying some essential oils mixed with my lotion, but that just dried out my skin. So now my routine is just to use the cleanser and then I apply a Beauty Counter Day Lotion.
Early in the second trimester I also started to experience some forgetfulness, I was actually listening to a podcast one morning on the way into work and then suddenly noticed flashing red and blue lights behind me. I was caught going well over the speed limit on the parkway and knew I had just completely zoned out, luckily I got away with just a warning and didn’t even have to pull the pregnancy card. Other than that situation I would randomly find myself forgetting what I had just wanted to do, which is kinda usual for me, but I still think pregnancy brain is a REAL thing.
Numbness when Sleeping
I have always slept on my sides, so I feel very fortunate I didn’t have to get used to that since they don’t recommend sleeping on your back or stomach throughout pregnancy, especially in the second trimester. But I started noticing I would wake up on my right side and it would be completely numb and switch to the left, then wake up on the left to a numb side. My doctor said this is common, just due to blood flow, and recommended a pregnancy pillow to help with the aches. I sleep well but definitely was up a lot switching from side to side. And typically by 7-8 hours of sleep both sides were numb and I just needed to get up for the day.
This only happened twice, after a plane ride and day of sitting a lot. I woke up in the middle of the night with a leg cramp, usually only in one leg that went from my calf down through my foot. Each time I woke Tom up and had him help me rub it out and then all was good. I definitely think movement, stretching, and staying hydrated throughout the day can help prevent these at night.
One common symptom throughout pregnancy is a wide range of issues with number 2. Luckily I’ve been able to stay regular, but it definitely doesn’t come as easily as it used to. I’ve tried to keep lots of veggies and whole foods in my diet, consistently take my pre-natal vitamin and DHA supplement and I’ve using magnesium in this capsule or this powder form. They say your body is absorbing a lot more nutrients throughout pregnancy, so it doesn’t have as much waste, which easily leads to constipation and bloating. I often feel bloated after I first eat and it sticks around for most of the day. But I also think this is just due to a growing belly.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
It took me awhile to realize the tightening I felt in my lower abdominal wasn’t my stomach turning or muscles, rather most likely Braxton Hicks Contractions. These started around 22 weeks, I first noticed them when we were walking around on a trip to NYC and thought it was just my body reacting to all the walking. Then after reading more about the second trimester I realized they were most likely Braxton Hicks, which are contractions of the uterus preparing for labor and totally normal throughout pregnancy and much different from real contractions. Now I usually notice them when I start moving fast like walking or occasionally when I’m busy moving around the kitchen or have a full bladder. It just feels like my belly hardening and tightening, lasts for a little bit, then relaxes. Nothing like the round ligament pain I felt during the first trimester and not painful at all.
Baby Kicks: My absolute favorite of the second trimester was feeling my first baby kick. I definitely felt the ‘butterflies’ early on, but was never certain if it was my stomach or baby girl. Then around week 19 I knew they were most definitely kicks and Tom even got to feel one. Since then they have gotten stronger and stronger and there’s no mistaking a kick for my stomach.
Cravings: My appetite increased slightly at the beginning of the second trimester. But with a growing belly and always kinda feeling bloated it’s definitely a different hunger feeling than I’m used to. And I’ve learned I definitely need to NOT overeat to avoid heartburn or indigestion. Luckily I was always craving my usual healthy meals with lots of veggies, lean protein, and healthy carbs.
And besides the usual things I would crave even if I wasn’t pregnant, hello pizza and ice cream, I started really wanting pancakes and love them from a local diner in town.
I also could not get enough Avocado toast and Halo oranges.
And around Christmas I wanted everything to be peppermint flavored or with white chocolate. This chocolate and peppermint crunch ice cream from Nice Cream really hit the spot, even in the December chilly temperatures
Humidifier: I read a common pregnancy symptom was feeling stuffy or congested even without a cold. So around week 14 when I felt a bit congested with a runny nose I immediately ordered a humidifier for our bedroom and also some tiger balm for my chest. Both have been life savers, especially in the winter when the heat can make your house feel very dry, the humidifier has helped a lot keeping the air cool. I plan to have one also in baby girls room, once she’s sleeping on her own.
Books, Info, and Podcasts: The Pregnancy Podcast is by far the most informative podcast I’ve found. They research and talk about the pros and cons of a wide range of topics about pregnancy, labor, breastfeeding, and postpartum. Episodes are around 20-30 minutes long so I can easily finish one on my way to and from work.
I also really like listening to the Bristow’s Made a Baby Podcast each week and hearing Becca’s pregnancy symptoms and what they did each week, not as informative but fun and interesting.
And as far as reading I finished Bringing up Bebe in the second trimester, I found it more of a story than informative, but did pick up a few things on the difference between how the French and Americans raise babies. You could probably be just fine reading the notes or a synopsis of the book. I have enjoyed reading each month of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and have a few other reads on my nightstand I hope to make through before baby girl arrives.
NYC trip: Instead of planning a full on Babymoon we had a NYC trip already planned before we found out we were pregnant, so decided to treat that as a little couples getaway. I honestly really didn’t have a desire to be anywhere warm and be in shorts or a bathing suit so I was just fine with a December NYC trip as a ‘mini babymoon’. We planned the trip with another couple, but had some time on our own. You can read a full recap of our NYC trip here, what we did and most importantly what we ate.
Teas: I started drinking a nightly tea early on in the second trimester. I usually have either a pregnancy or raspberry leave tea. Raspberry leave tea has been known to help prepare and strengthen your uterus for delivery if drinken throughout pregnancy. Willing to try anything for an easier labor! And I now honestly look forward to my evening tea as I wind down for the night. It also helps that it’s winter, so it’s cold outside and the tea warms me up a bit before bed.
Clothing: The only new piece of maternity clothing I ordered throughout the second trimester were these Spanx leggings. I was able to wear my regular clothes even as my belly grew and had previously ordered these maternity leggings and jeans. I’m very lucky, I wear workout gear to work and these lululemon leggings and a few older Underarmour leggings lasted me until about 30 weeks.
When I ordered clothes for the holidays or our NYC trip, I just sized up, hello oversize sweaters! 🙂
Baby Furniture: At six months pregnant I decided it was time to finalize some baby furniture. I searched many retailers and decided to order most of our furniture from Pottery Barn because of the quality and the green safe guard on their furniture. Then I ordered a few accent pieces from either Etsy, Wayfair, or TJMax online. I’ll share more on the nursery as my due date gets even closer.
And lastly many of these First Trimester Favorites continued into the next 14 weeks, especially sparkling water and collagen!
At the beginning of the second trimester I was able to keep workouts pretty much the same as the first few weeks of pregnancy. A mix of cardio (running or some HITT with modifications), weights, yoga, and walking.
Around week 22 I stopped laying on my back for long periods of time and started inclining my bench during BodyPump to easily get up and down. I also have not done many AB moves at all throughout pregnancy and absolutely no crunches. I’ve stuck with planks or standing ab exercises.
In the last few weeks of the second trimester I stopped running all together. I was doing a run/walk on the treadmill before, but it just started to not feel right. I know they make some support belts if you hope to continue running, but I didn’t try any of these. I decided to get my cardio in other ways such as walking or spin class.
I really started to notice my bump pop around 22 weeks, but it took until the end of the second trimester for me to get the first, “are you pregnant” comment from a co-worker who hadn’t heard the news.
I was really hoping to be better at taking cute bump pics, but they ended up being just a lot of selfies for my mom, lol. Oh well, life has been pretty busy planning for a baby!
And that just about wraps up the Second Trimester! We’re now about a month out from my due date so I hope to share about the Third Trimester with you soon before baby girl arrives.
Questions of the day:
What was a symptom, craving, or favorite you had throughout the second trimester of pregnancy?
Did your pregnancy go fast or feel slow?