10 Things That Helped Tremendously During My Pregnancy: 2nd Trimester
Woo-hoo Second Trimester! For a lot of expecting mamas, this is the time when your energy comes back, morning sickness wanes, and that pregnancy glow kicks in. All that considered, the second trimester doesn’t come without its own unique challenges. If you missed the first installment in this series detailing the first trimester, you can check it out here.
If you’re ready to roll into weeks 13-28, here are the 10 things I found most helpful during this season:
Soft stretchy bras
I have never been an underwire girl (especially since I have small breasts), but even my wireless bras became uncomfortable during the second trimester. As your womb expands, your ribcage likely will too just as mine did. Instead of using my sports bras I invested in and fell in love with True & Co bras. They are soft and comfy like sports bras but seamless and more discreet under clothes.
Movement and Exercise
At this stage, I had to modify a little to accommodate my growing bump but it’s important to keep moving. Regular exercise prenatally is beneficial for labor, recovery, and preventing common aches and pains. I loved doing Spinning Babies stretches and Tone It Up workouts on Youtube.
Hiring my Doula
It’s a common misconception that doulas are for only for unmedicated births, but that could not be further from the truth! It’s also thought that having your mom or spouse’s support is the same as having a doula. It’s NOT. Doulas are trained professionals and every birthing person can benefit from one. Research has actually shown that doula support increases positive outcomes and satisfaction with the birth experience. As a doula myself I have years of training and experience in different techniques, skills, and navigating various birth settings. A doula brings her expertise to the table, while your loved ones know you best and are able to support you tremendously in their own unique way. Our doula has helped my husband understand what to expect/how to support me during labor, both of us navigate the emotional transitions on our journey to parenthood, and so much more. Many doulas offer complimentary consults and various other services in addition to labor support (educational workshops, birth planning, postpartum help, etc.). Beginning with an interview is what I’d recommend to decide what type of support is best for you. DoulaMatch is a great place to start for finding someone in your area.
Sleeping started getting interesting around week 20 for me so instead of one of those huge, hot pregnancy pillows, I used this smaller one I found on Amazon. I found it gave just the right amount of bump support. I also bought a knee wedge which kept my hips level and square to prevent any extra strain on my hips and lower back.
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Plain water can get boring (especially when you have to increase your intake) so adding Red Raspberry Leaf with Hibiscus, lemon or oranges and a touch of honey helped me stay hydrated while breaking up the monotony. In addition to breaking up the monotony of plain water red raspberry leaf is also a uterine tonic that is beneficial for womb health and is full of essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and calcium. You can read up on more of the benefits from one of my favorite sources to purchase herbal blends, Euphoric Herbals.
Getting enough protein is also important! I loved these bars because mixed nuts get old and boiled eggs get stinky to tote around. The Turkey and Beef bars are my favorite and each offers 8-9g of protein!
Vital Proteins Collagen & Greens
Supposedly stretch marks are mostly hereditary but that didn’t stop me from doing all the things in an attempt to prevent them. I put a scoop of collagen in my coffee or in baked goods, and easily blended the greens into various batters and oatmeal. I’m happy to report that I am currently 34 weeks as I write this and I haven’t had any stretchies pop up just yet. It may be a coincidence, but I think the Vital Proteins products helped. If nothing else I got some extra protein and powdered greens into my diet.
Badger Belly Butter
Speaking of stretch marks, I randomly found this belly butter on Amazon. I love the pure ingredients and the fact that it’s a solid butter and not an oil. That makes it easier to avoid messes - especially for travel or those nights I laid in bed slathering it on. Even if I still have stretchies (which I already have on my hips. Women have them, it’s not a huge deal.) this helped keep my stretching belly skin from getting tight and itchy.
Birthing From Within by Pam England and Rob Horowitz
I have read a million pregnancy books as a doula and prenatal chiropractor, but somehow I never read this one! My midwife suggested it to help mentally prepare for birth and she was spot on. This was one of the few books I read, and helped me wrap my mind around what to expect as well as explore my beliefs about birth. I will say it is geared towards out of hospital/unmedicated birth in my opinion but regardless of where you are choosing to birth I would recommend it.
Yep, you read that right. I am not a beef eater but in the second tri, I kept wanting burgers like crazy! At the start of my third trimester, I did a blood test and turned out my iron levels were just a little bit low. (This is common as your blood volume increases during pregnancy). That considered, I believe my cravings were signals for what my body needed at that time. However, please note that if you are craving items that aren’t food, that’s called Pica. Pica can be serious, so if you experience this contact your midwife/OB!) Whether it’s your cravings, needing rest, or something else entirely, be mindful of your body's cues. Listening to my body has taught me a lot about tuning in to those cues, and knowing what my body needs during different seasons.
Next post will finish the series as we dive into the 3rd trimester!