My Top 10 Must-Haves for a Healthy, Happy Second Trimester
The second trimester of pregnancy is often the easiest, but I still find certain products and habits make it even smoother. Here are my top ten for the second trimester!
My second trimester for our sixth baby officially ended two or three weeks ago. It was a total blur!
As is pretty typical, I found the second trimester of this pregnancy to be easier than the first. I had no nausea (so long as I avoided Chipotle, which is crazy), and my energy is up a bit, though definitely not to pre-pregnancy levels. For me, that’s all normal.
Many of the must-haves that I relied on during my first trimester continued to be very helpful during the second. However, some new ones tend to become more important for me after those first 12 weeks or so, and this pregnancy has been no different.
Since you already know my 10 must-haves for a healthy, happy first trimester, today I’m sharing what I need for the second trimester of pregnancy!
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Must-Haves for a Healthy, Happy Second Trimester
As the body produces more relaxin, the hormone that allows for greater joint mobility (important for birth!), sciatic and low back pain becomes an issue for many pregnant women, myself included.
Along with the hormone, bellies start popping more during the second trimester, throwing off posture and aggravating the whole musculoskeletal area of the back.
I’ve found chiropractic care to be one of the best solutions for this common problem. Regular adjustments help prevent low back pain, and when some does flare up, I find so much relief from an additional visit. Chiropractic care can also help prevent headaches, which many pregnant women are prone to experience.
Herbal Pregnancy Tea
I still love my Herbal Pregnancy Tea Blend! I drink about 1 quart of it a day, now enjoyed hot since cooler weather has set in. This blend provides beneficial nutrients, promotes better hydration, and helps tone the uterine muscles. It’s a must-have for sure!
Milk Thistle & Astragalus Extract
Another supplement I continue to faithfully take is an extract of milk thistle (a liver support) and astragalus (an adaptogen). Liver function can become a bit sluggish during pregnancy, making a liver supportive herb beneficial. Adaptogens help our bodies deal with stress, and with five other children in the house to care for, I’ll take all of that I can get!
Natural Calm Calcium-Magnesium Supplement
I also still love using Natural Calm’s Calcium-Magnesium supplement. Many people are finding relief from various issues by using topical magnesium creams and lotions, and while I benefited from those before pregnancy, I feel much better taking this internal supplement now.
I rarely have muscle cramps, heartburn, or headaches when faithfully taking this, and I sleep well, too. When I forget taking it for a while, I quickly notice!
I will confess that once homeschool started up for the year again, my Fit2B workouts became rather inconsistent. Then, right as I was getting back into it, our girls got pretty sick for the whole month of October.
But, even though I didn’t do nearly as many videos during the second trimester, because I had faithfully worked out with Fit2B for many months before, I still benefited from the results!
I’m carrying higher and smaller this pregnancy than any of my previous ones. My belly muscles are doing their job by holding everything in, which leads to less back pain, better posture, and overall more comfort. I’ve never had so many people tell me how small my belly looks during a pregnancy before, but I know it’s all because of Fit2B getting my tummy muscles back into good condition.
Can I just say again how much I love this fitness program?!?
Pregnant women need protein like a body builder does, because, well, we are body builders! We’re just not building our bodies, though. We’re building someone else’s!
I try to eat some protein with every single meal and snack. I’m not always successful, especially during busy homeschool days, but protein is something I always try to keep in mind.
Along with being necessary for building the baby’s body, sufficient protein (80-100 grams a day) can reduce the risk of preeclampsia later in pregnancy. It’s really a vital nutrient at this stage of life!
Maxi skirts are my new best clothing friend. They have those delightfully comfy wide waist bands, and I don’t even have to find special maternity maxi skirts, either. I go up a size or so with regular maxi skirts, and I get to enjoy a stylish skirt that is so comfy it almost feels like PJs. I love these things.
A Quality Prenatal Vitamin
Along with my pregnancy tea, herbal extract, and calcium-magnesium blend, I do take a quality prenatal vitamin daily. If I ever knew my diet isn’t ideal, it’s now that I’m sometimes so wrapped up in life that I forget to eat lunch until later in the afternoon. (Bad, I know).
Vitamins don’t take the place of a good diet, but they do fill in some nutritional gaps. They also don’t provide the three necessary macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and protein), but they do boost vitamin and mineral intake for the day. I typically take Rainbow Light brand, though I also had great results with New Chapter brand.
A Good Belly Butter
As the belly grows, the skin can start to feel dry, tight, and itchy. That can be avoided by just washing with water, but a good belly butter is also a very soothing solution! There is some evidence that they can help prevent or reduce stretch marks, too.
I make my own with a recipe similar to this old one. Most belly butter recipes will be similar to a hard lotion bar, but with less wax, making them extremely easy to whip up at home.
More Water and More Snacks
Water and snacks. You just can’t go wrong when you’re pregnant!
It’s common for appetites to increase during the second trimester, making snacks an important part of the diet. Of course, whole foods are best to snack on so that those little in between meals actually provide that growing baby with real nutrition.
I typically munch on fruit or veggies with cheese or nuts for a snack, and I try to keep a water glass near me as a reminder to stay hydrated.
I saw a huge difference when I added herbs to my pregnancy routines. Love red raspberry, nettle, and alfalfa for starters!
Thanks for these tips! My second trimester starts on Sunday. I’m going to look into those magnesium supplements. I have two EO sprays that I love during pregnancy– one for sleep, and one for aching or restless legs. They both are really helpful.
Congratulations, Lisa! I also have a linen spray I made recently that is just lovely for helping with sleep. My kiddos like it, too! I haven’t shared it here, yet, but I should. Mental note for when I mix up a new batch!
And yes, definitely check out the magnesium! It can help with the restless leg stuff, too. I get that if I haven’t been taking it or haven’t been getting to bed early enough. Sadly, the latter reason is the most common.
Great list! I usually add a liquid chlorophyll, because my iron tends to take a dive in the second trimester if I don’t. There is a mint flavored one that I drop into my drink, so it isn’t bad at all, in spite of the frightening green color, lol!
That’s a great addition, Jessica! I’ve never dealt with low iron during pregnancy but it’s such a common issue for many mommas-to-be. Does the chlorophyll take care of any iron issues for you, or do you have to take other supplements for it, too?
Of course threatening anaemia should be taken care of, but if I was just slightly anaemic I wouldn’t panic much besides making sure I’m eating properly. I read somewhere that pregnant women tend to have lower levels of iron in the blood to make up for the slight depression of the immune system (since bacteria like iron, and that would give a sluggish immune system a little more time to react). Here is Chris Kresser’s take on the subject: http://healthybabycode.com/5-myths-about-pregnancy-nutrition-2-all-women-should-take-iron-during-pregnancy
It would be interesting to see by which standards they say iron is low at any point during pregnancy. If it’s low according to some global range that doesn’t take pregnancy into account, I would take it with a huge grain of salt. If it’s compared to some range drawn from data from pregnant ladies, then it will probably be more significant!
I haven’t read anything about a low iron and immune system connection during pregnancy. That’s an interesting idea, but I’d have to see more substantial evidence that low iron can be a good thing for expectant moms. As of now, it seems the evidence points more clearly to low iron putting moms and babies at greater risk for complications. Have you read this analysis from WHO?
Of course, food & herbs are always the best first line of defense against any health concern, including low iron. Simple dietary changes can sometimes bring those levels right back up to normal. One reason I love my cast iron skillets is the boost of iron we’re always getting! 🙂