Surviving the 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy- MY TIPSDec 11, 2018
The second trimester of pregnancy runs from around 12 or 13 weeks of pregnancy until 28 weeks.
It’s that period right in the middle when you’re not bursting with the same crazy level excitement and disbelief that you were right at the beginning, but you’re still several months away from your due date. Maybe you’ve told friends, loved ones and colleagues your happy news, and maybe you haven’t.
You’ve come so far yet there’s still a long way to go.
For me, it was during the second trimester when that horrible sickness disappeared and my fatigue eased up too. Result!!! I’d also just seen my healthy baby at the 12-week scan, felt overwhelmed with the relief that my dream was actually happening, and realised that we’re really going to have a baby!
However, the second trimester wasn’t without its challenges too. I suffered a lot of bump shaming, I suffered the worst possible pain, and I’ve felt overwhelmed with all the baby stuff I need to buy. On the flip side, I’ve also travelled, felt like a VIP and taken great care of myself and my growing baby.
So here’s what I have learnt in my second trimester plus my tips on how to survive.
1. Don’t compare the growth of your growing baby to others
We’re all different body shapes and sizes. This means that no two women will look the same throughout their pregnancy. Do yourself a favour and just try to enjoy the process. This is often harder than it might sound, especially when everyone is making you feel bad about your changing body.
I’ve had a lot of bump shaming throughout my pregnancy which has been hard to deal with especially as I teach Pilates and Barre and I’m constantly on display. I’ve really had to work hard at not letting it bother me too much.
I’ve even been told that the reason why I suffered so much with morning sickness in my first trimester was because I was old! Thanks, Grandma!
When she first said it, I was so mad but then I had to realise she’s from a different generation from me. In the West Indies, where she is from, they had children young. I believe she was in her late 20s when she had her fifth child!! Nowadays people are having children in their late 40s and 50s. Take Brigette Nelson for instance!
What matters is having a healthy body and a healthy baby. Love your bump!
2. It’s OK to travel
Yes! You can keep enjoying trips abroad when you’re pregnant without worrying about the baby.
As long as you’re not having a complicated birth, airlines will provide you with their guidelines and as long as you meet them you are good to go.
I took my first pregnant trip to Cyprus at 14 weeks. We went for my cousin's wedding and that's when I announced to my close family that I was pregnant. The flight was only four hours so it was bearable.
We then travelled to Venice for our babymoon at 23 weeks. I would highly recommend you take a trip like this with your partner before Baba arrives. It’s such a lovely experience and it’s a great chance to break away from the busyness of everyday life and concentrate on the two of you. The flight to Venice was just over two hours and we stayed in the most wonderful newly opened hotel called Santa Croce Boutique Hotel on the resident side of Venice which is great for me as it wasn’t so crowded.
More recently, we took a trip to Paris at 25 weeks for my brothers 25th birthday. It was so nice to get to treat him to the magic of Paris!
3. You’re treated like a VIP
Ladies, this was all new to me but I had no idea that I didn’t have to queue for a lot of things!
When we were in Paris, we didn’t queue for any of the attractions such the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower and to be honest I was so grateful. When you’re out, it’s OK to use the disabled toilets. Who knew? This has saved me so many times because, as they say, when you need to go you need to go.
Even some shops will let you jump the queue if it’s busy.
But my overall biggest tip for all of you growing mamas is to park in the ‘with children’ spaces in the car park because they’re so much bigger. I’ve been caught out far too many times trying to get out of a normal space, it’s not pleasant.
Have a peep at the vids I shared on Instagram stories...
4. Keep on moving!
Even when you’re feeling exhausted, resist the urge to lie on the sofa all day. Instead, stay as active as you can and try to mix up your movement. Aim for 25-30 mins of activity per day.
I know that it’s so easy to succumb to the tiredness but trust me, it’ll do you no good when it comes to recovery on the other side.
Now, nobody is telling you to go and start aerobics- you can stick to something more gentle if you prefer, but it’s much better if you can raise your heart rate.
I’ve stuck to a combination of Pilates and Prenatal Yoga so far, and I’ve really fallen in love with the latter, even though it’s not my usual practice. It has been great for my mind as well as my body.
I’ve also enjoyed walking. Walking has been fantastic because not only am I getting the exercise I need, but I’m also getting in my vitamin D which pregnant women sometimes lack.
Keep active and remember that doesn’t have to be all at once!
5. If you’re in pain, seek help!
The worst week I’ve had in my pregnancy was week 15-16 when I was struck with round ligament pain and pelvic girdle pain. These are common complaints during pregnancy and happen mainly because of your growing and stretching ligaments and the extra weight your baby is placing on your pelvis.
Here are few tips that will help you ease the pain if you’re also suffering:
- Tell your GP or Midwife as soon as possible. It needs to be documented in your notes for future reference. I was referred to a physio.
- Buy yourself a support belt. The pain could be caused by your pelvic joints moving unevenly from the back or the front, and the expansion of your uterus. I found the support belt helped to keep my joints in place which then eased of the pain. Here’s the one I was recommended, which I ended up ordering in the middle of a painful night.
- Have a warm relaxing bath. I found this really helped soothe the pain. Don’t make the bath too hot though!
- Buy a pregnancy pillow. This was a real game-changer and I just love the one I got! I’ll likely continue to use it once the baby comes. Sorry husband but unlike you, it doesn’t get too hot!
- Stretch! I know it may feel uncomfortable but do continue to exercise and stretch. Here are a few exercises I did that really helped
- Seek help from an osteopath. If you still don’t get any pain relief, a good osteopath will be able to help.
- Believe it won’t be forever. It might not seem like it at the time, but the pain will go. You won’t suffer forever.
I didn’t have to go to an osteopath but I did follow all the other steps and I haven’t had any pain since.
6. Be prepared to be overwhelmed with all the big ticket items you may need!
Babies can be expensive, so try not to get scared when you see how much all your baby stuff is likely to cost. Remember that babies actually need very little, so don’t get persuaded into buying more than you really need.
When it comes to pushchairs, car seats and cots, I’d recommend that you go to a large department store or shop that specialises in baby nursery purchases and go and have a look at the ones you want. Try out the pushchair you’re most interested in, think about the style and the size and weight of it, then mentally add the baby’s weight.
I’ve made a decision about what we’ll buy but I still ask people about the ones I see when I am out. It’s a big investment, so go back to the shops as many times as possible until you feel you have made the right decision. Don’t let anybody rush your decision!
7. Try and enjoy this part of the journey as much as possible!
Having a baby is exciting, so make sure you’re really enjoying the anticipation, getting ready for your baby’s arrival and also making the most of the energy you have during this part of your pregnancy. I really couldn’t believe how much energy I had in my second trimester!
Now that I’m in my third trimester, I’m ready to dedicate more time to getting everything ready for the little one's arrival. I still can’t believe we are having a baby sometimes, especially as I was told it wouldn’t happen naturally for me.
So there are all my tips for surviving the second trimester of pregnancy. As ever, I hope you found them really useful. If you haven’t read my pregnancy blog I would highly recommend it, especially if you’re having any type of fertility setbacks.
Please contact me if you would like any further details on how I overcome my fertility challenges and got pregnant naturally.
Bye for now,
Jenna and I on the Gold Digger podcast
When Jenna told me the date my episode was going to air, I shrieked and got to work to implement the podcast strategies she shared.