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As I’m about a week away from wrapping up my 2nd trimester, I can definitely understand why most agree that this is the best trimester of pregnancy. My energy level has returned almost to normal, and my body still feels pretty good as I’ve started to gain some weight.
But the best part of the 2nd trimester… I finally felt my baby’s kicks! And a 2nd bonus for me, I first felt the kicks during my birthday weekend. This was seriously the best present ever 🙂 For me, there was something about feeling my baby move that made the pregnancy seem even more real and exciting.
If you have any house projects you want to do to prep for baby, the 2nd trimester is definitely the time to do them. My husband and I used this time to paint the nursery, and it was a great way to not only spend some quality time together but also feel more prepared for the baby’s arrival.
And while I’ve painted a very rosy picture of the 2nd trimester (which it mostly has been), there are still some struggles that come along with the 2nd trimester of pregnancy. There are a few things that have made things the last few months a smoother transition for me as my bump has grown significantly. Keep reading to find out a few of the items that I’ve found to be clutch to help me through my 2nd trimester.
essentials for the 2nd trimester of pregnancy
During the first half of my 2nd trimester, my bump was still pretty small, and it was tough for others to even tell if I was pregnant or not. The latter half of my second trimester was a whole different story, though. It was right around 22 weeks when my belly really seemed to pop, and it became evident to others that I was pregnant too. Once my adorable bump showed up, I also started having a bit more trouble sleeping. I’d wake up in the middle with sore back and hips and have a hard time finding a comfortable spot to fall back asleep.
Enter my sleep saver… a pregnancy full body pillow!
Being able to curl up with this pillow and have it support my body while sleeping has made a huge difference for me. It has made me infinitely more comfortable during the night, my back and hips are not nearly as sore. The pillow also helps keep me in the best sleep position for my baby, propped up on my left side. My sleep is much-improved thanks to my pregnancy pillow.
These are absolutely wonderful for the weeks when your pre-pregnancy clothes are a little snug, but it seems to early too invest in maternity clothes yet. Especially when you know you still have a lot of growing left to do! I found that investing in a belly band helped me put off purchasing maternity clothes for a couple of months.
Some types of belly bands are designed to offer support to your growing belly. However, during the second trimester, I did not find that I was looking for any extra support. So I stuck with neutral-colored belly bands that were designed to help extend how long I could wear my pre-pregnancy wardrobe.
Your feet will absolutely thank you for investing in a comfortable pair of shoes. Between the Relaxin hormone that can make your feet grow and the extra weight that you are carrying around, your feet will be fairly sore at the end of the day. If you do not own a pair, it is worth it to invest in a quality pair of shoes that are both comfortable but offer support as well.
I find that running shoes are frequently the most comfortable since they are lightweight but still supportive. This is the pair I’ve been wearing for most of my pregnancy, I even wore them for a half marathon I did at 19 weeks pregnant (read more about that here). My other go-to shoe has been my All Birds. These are especially great as the weather starts to turn warm.
Over the belly leggings
As my belly really started to grow, I found that the over the belly maternity leggings were much comfortable than my other leggings that sat below my bump. I found this pair from Tupelo Honey that I would recommend a thousand times over. My husband bought me my first pair for my birthday and after wearing them a few times, I went and bought every other color that they offered.
I’ve also found that these leggings have worked really well for continuing my yoga practice while sheltering at home. The give enough freedom of movement to work into the pose, but still offer enough support to make me feel comfortable.
I never thought this would be a topic I would discuss, but finally getting some maternity underwear was a game-changer for me. As my belly grew, my pre-pregnancy underwear started cutting into my lower belly and leaving an itchy indentation mark. Maternity underwear has a cutout area for your belly to grow, that makes it infinitely more comfortable. I bought a few multi-packs from both Intimate Portal and Giftpocket and will be only wearing these throughout my pregnancy and postpartum.
nighttime nursing bras
I did not add these to my daily routine until significantly later in my 2nd trimester. As all parts of my front side grew substantially more, my back was getting fairly sore while sleeping with the extra weight pulling me in directions that I was not used to. Having the support of a bra while sleeping has actually led to significant improvements in easing the soreness of my back.
One thing to note about me though, is that one of my favorite parts of the day is taking off my bra, so for me to find one to sleep in, it had to be extremely comfortable. Enter the Kindred Bravely maternity nighttime nursing bras. These have a ton of positive reviews on Amazon, and now I know why. I would be happy to wear these all day every day. Side note, if you are starting to experience some leaking from your breasts (like I recently started to), wearing a bra during the night really helps with this to make it less visible and more comfortable.
Before working remotely and sheltering at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, my job required frequent travel by both air and car. There were quite a few days where I would need to spend 6+ hours driving to and from my meetings for the day. Spending this much time in a seated position led to some swelling in my feet and ankles at the end of the day. Since the swelling was mild, I wasn’t concerned about it being a sign of a problem with the pregnancy, but I did want to avoid it as much as possible. Along with taking more frequent breaks while driving, compression socks really helped minimize any swelling I would have after these long days of travel.
This is also true if you plan on taking any long flights during your pregnancy. Compression socks can help with circulation in your legs as long as you are taking frequent walking breaks with them on. We were originally planning to travel to New Zealand for our babymoon, so I had bought a few pairs of these socks for the travel days. But, we ended up canceling our trip due to the evolving coronavirus situation, so I will save these socks for more travel in the future.
workout pregnancy ball
You may also have heard of this as a birthing ball. This is an amazing tool for helping to relieve lower back pain. When I’m working at my computer the ball helps me position my back to relieve a lot of the stress and make me more comfortable. There are also a lot of great exercises that can be done with the birthing ball. This website runs through how to properly perform the exercises using your ball. As always, check with your doctor before starting any new exercises to make sure your pregnancy is appropriate for these types of exercises.
Let me know in the comments if there was anything else you found to be a must have during your second trimester of pregnancy.