Congratulations! You've made it to your second trimester. Now that you're through the first trimester full of new symptoms and a mix of emotions, you can starting checking off items on your second trimester to-do list.
The second trimester is often referred to as the “honeymoon phase” of pregnancy because…well, it's the best. Most likely this is the trimester when you'll announce you're pregnant, find out the gender, start to show, start feeling your baby move, and so many more fun and exciting things!
At this point your energy levels are at their highest, your food aversions might be dwindling, and your starting to look less bloated and more pregnant. Yay!
Now that you're finally feeling better, it is time to get some stuff done! You might feel like you have unlimited time to get everything done, but what I can guarantee you is that no matter how long pregnancy feels in the moment, it really does fly by. You're going to want to check things off of your pregnancy to-do list before you're big, tired, and sore in the third trimester.
Second Trimester To-Do List
The second trimester is the prefect time to start checking things off of your seemingly never-ending to-do list. Wondering when exactly is the second trimester of pregnancy? Your second trimester starts at about 14 weeks and ends after the 27th week. You're in your second trimester during months four through seven.
Now that you're ready to start checking off items on your pregnancy checklists, this is the perfect place to start. I've compiled this list of 25 things you should get done between weeks 14 and 27 of your pregnancy.
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1. Find Out The Sex of Your Baby
Unless you were lucky enough to get the blood draw in the first trimester that let's you know what the sex of your baby is, the first thing on your second trimester to-do list will be finding out your baby's gender via ultrasound!
Typically you will find out if your tiny baby is a boy or a girl at your anatomy scan between 18 and 20 weeks pregnant. It is possible to find out via ultrasound as early as 14 weeks but if you want a more certain answer, waiting for your official anatomy scan is probably the best bet for a sure answer.
2. Gender Reveal
If you choose to find out the sex of your baby (either via blood test or second trimester ultrasound), then you'll have to figure out what you want to do with that information.
There are so many options when it comes to revealing your baby's sex that it's almost overwhelming. You can plan a gender reveal party, send out a gender reveal photo via social media, simply tell your friends and family the sex of your baby, or obviously you can keep the secret. Yikes! I couldn't ever keep that kind of secret. But if you can, good for you.
Gender reveal parties can be fun because you can include your family and friends to come celebrate with you. But on the other hand it's just a little more pressure to plan a party and entertain a group. Plus, if you have an obvious preference for girl or boy this time around, you might not want your entire family to be around you when you find out that it's the opposite.
Gender reveal photos to send out to the people you care about is my personal favorite option. You'll be able to find out the sex just you and your partner and then share the news via an adorable surprise photo for everyone to see at whatever time you prefer.
Another option that you might have is booking a large ultrasound room (that you typically have to pay for) that allows your family members to be with you when you find out the sex for the first time on a big ultrasound screen. Look it up to find out if there is an ultrasound service near you that will accommodate a large group for the gender reveal.
3. Pick a Name
By far my most favorite second trimester to-do list item – picking out a baby name!
Once you know the gender of your little nugget, you're naturally going to want to give that little angel a name. For some people, naming a baby comes as easy as 1,2,3 but for others, naming their children is a battle! I'm somewhere in the middle. Naming my first son was a total breeze but naming this baby has been a little more challenging.
Here are some of my absolute favorite baby names for so many reasons.
Once you have a name picked out, you can start personalizing your registry or your baby purchases such as blankets, swaddles, onesies, or other decor with your baby's name on it!
4. Start Your Maternity Wardrobe
This trimester is when your bump really starts to stand out and your pre-pregnancy clothes aren't as comfortable or flattering anymore. You don't need to fill your closet full of maternity clothes but there are a few essentials that every pregnant mama needs to have in their pregnancy wardrobe.
There are a few items that you should buy maternity.
- Maternity Jeans – these are absolutely life-saving. After my first pregnancy, I didn't believe I would ever wear regular jeans again because maternity jeans are such a dream.
- Maternity Bras– as your belly grows, so do your breasts. Your boobs are putting in a lot of work trying to prepare for breastfeeding a baby! I'm not surprised that they are so sore all of the time. Make sure you purchase maternity bras that give good support, are comfortable, and can have a dual use as a nursing bra.
- Maternity Workout Clothes– There are many clothing items that you can get away with just buying a size up instead of going full-blown maternity. Workout clothes are not always the case. Grab some comfortable tops to exercise in that aren't too tight around the middle.
- Maternity tanks– Again, these can be used while breastfeeding as well. It's always nice to have dual uses in these clothes that you won't be wearing very long. Maternity tanks were a life-saver for me for a long time.
- Special occasion dresses– Dresses for your baby shower, your maternity photo shoot, or any other special occasion are best bought maternity. Although you can sometimes find a great non-maternity dress, sometimes the maternity version will flatter the bump a bit more for photos.
For everything else, I encourage buying non-maternity clothes that flatter a bump. Shirts that are meant to be oversized and clothes that are stretchy are perfectly appropriate for accommodating a growing belly without feeling like you're spending an arm and a leg on clothes that you'll only wear a handful of times.
Remember, waiting until the last-minute to buy maternity clothes is just not productive for you at all. By the end of your pregnancy, you are going to need to buy a few maternity items no matter what. Why wait until you're desperate? You might as well start allowing yourself to be comfortable and feel good now.
5. Book A Prenatal Massage
Pregnancy can be really hard on your body…and your mind. Getting some relaxation during your second trimester is a great idea. Although the third trimester is more painful than the second, there are still aches and pains that can be relieved by a safe and effective prenatal massage.
Talk to your provider to make sure they are comfortable with you getting a prenatal massage in this stage of your pregnancy. Likely, it will be encouraged!
I received a few prenatal massages during my first pregnancy and regret not doing it more regularly. The massage therapists that specialize in prenatal massage know what they are doing and really hit all of the right spots to help ease the soreness of pregnancy. You'll have to lie on your side with a huge body pillow that they provide for you during your massage. Good luck not falling asleep!
6. Work Out
I'll admit that during the first trimester there was literally nothing that was going to get me out of bed or off of the couch long enough to be considered a “work out”. The fatigue and nausea are real in those first few months and I was not about trying to force myself to get moving when all I wanted to do was close my eyes.
Well, in the second trimester, those excuses no longer fly for most of us. It is important to start a safe pregnancy work-out routine that will keep your body and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about workouts that are appropriate for you during your pregnancy.
There is no need to over do it though. Keep your pregnancy work outs safe by keeping to what you already know and not trying anything extreme or uncomfortable. If you do it right, exercising can strengthen your body and help alleviate your aches and pains that are common in pregnancy.
I am a first hand witness that women who continue to strengthen their muscles throughout their pregnancies have an easier and faster labor. It makes sense because women who increase their strength and endurance in their pregnancy have just that in their labors.
- Related Read: The Insider’s Guide To Pregnancy Fitness Goals
7. Enjoy Your New Appetite
You'll be glad to hear that in this trimester, you'll be able to eat again. The first trimester is all about food aversions, craving weird things, and nausea that makes eating sound as appetizing as a palate of dirt. In the third trimester, your baby has taken up so much room in your belly that sometimes you'll feel like you can't eat because you're full before your meal even starts.
The second trimester is the sweet spot right in the middle of your pregnancy where you can eat again and actually enjoy your food. Congrats and dig in! Just keep in mind that you are not really eating for two. You only need a few hundred extra calories a day to maintain a healthy pregnancy. Don't double your intake for the sake of a tiny baby! Also, I highly recommend reading this book to get you eating as healthy as possible during your pregnancy.
8. Start Using Stretch Mark Prevention
This second trimester to-do list item is easily forgotten but very important.
There are many ways that you can try to decrease your chance of getting stretch marks. Although part of your risk is related to genetics, that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try! First things first, keep hydrated. Drinking lots of water will nourish your skin and increase your elasticity.
Although there is no proven way to prevent stretch marks completely, and part of your fate has something to do with genetics, moisturizing your belly daily certainly can't hurt. Keeping that adorable baby bump moisturized and soft will be good for your skin and help keep stretch marks and itchiness away.
Don't forget to take care of other stretch-mark-prone areas of your body such as your breasts, butt, and thighs! Your belly might not be the only thing growing right now.
9. Start Sleeping on Your Side
You've been able to get away with sleeping any way you choose up until this point. Now that your baby and your belly is growing, you're going to want to put some effort into sleeping on your side. They say that your left side is the best for pregnancy because this is the position which allows the most oxygen rich blood flow to your uterus as possible. BUT the truth is, you should feel free to sleep on whichever side is most comfortable for you.
The reason why you don't want to sleep on your stomach is pretty obvious. Smooshing your baby and putting constant pressure on your belly throughout the night doesn't sound comfortable for you or the baby.
Sleeping on your back on the other hand, is frowned upon because the weight of your baby pressing down on your major blood vessels that lie behind your growing uterus and inhibits blood flow. You'll might know when you have been on your back for too long if you suddenly feel dizzy or nauseous.
It's a good idea to get your hands on a great pregnancy pillow at this point to keep you comfortably on your side as your body changes and grows. I love my pregnancy pillow for reasons related to sleep, back pain, and restless legs. I don't know what I would do without it!
10. Keep A Pregnancy Journal
This is absolutely on the first trimester to-do list as well. If you haven't started keeping a pregnancy journal yet, don't delay any longer! A pregnancy journal is the perfect way to keep track of all of your pregnancy milestones, your thoughts and feelings, and your pregnancy to-do lists for each stage of your pregnancy.
Looking back on my pregnancy journal from my first pregnancy is so special to me. I am so thankful that I kept one with my first and that I'm able to keep one with this pregnancy as well.
Get your hands on The Ultimate Pregnancy Preparation Journal to get all of the pregnancy checklists that you'll ever need, a calendar to keep you organized, and journal pages to help you document all of your precious memories.
11. Talk to Your Boss
I guess if I'm being honest, the second trimester to-do list isn't always all fun and exciting. There is also business to be taken care of in this trimester as well.
Informing your boss that you're pregnant will be the first step in getting all of the information that you need in oder to start planning your maternity leave. Not to mention, your pregnancy might start to get pretty tough to hide pretty soon. Help your boss understand how long you're going to be away from your position and make sure you are on the same page about what you can expect when you return to work.
12. Start Planning Your Maternity Leave
Maternity leave can be stressful and confusing for many new mamas. Start looking into your state laws, employer policies, and general maternity leave information ASAP because if you're anything like me, it will take you you're entire second trimester to figure out the ins and outs of what you need to do in order to get the time off that you deserve.
Talk with your boss, call the HR department, and visit the EDD website to get up to date on all of the facts before you're ready to go on leave.
13. Start Talking ABout Your Finances
Growing a family is expensive. Depending on your specific situation you're going to have to consider nannies or babysitters, daycare, private school, extra savings accounts, insurance policies, etc. You don't have to figure everything out right now, you really do have time, but it's good to get a head start and start making lists of the possible expenses you may run into once you're baby comes.
Part of going over your finances is considering what kind of delivery is covered by your insurance, what type of delivery you're expecting, and where you plan to deliver based on your insurance. You might also need to think about what “extras” (such as 3d/4d ultrasounds) you are interested in and if you can afford them.
14. Make a Dentist Appointment
Your pregnancy is changing the hormones in your body and putting you at an increased risk for periodontal disease, which is the most severe form of gum disease. When possible, it is a good idea to have a visit with your dentist before you get pregnant so you can take are of any pre-existing dental problems before you conceive because dental work during pregnancy is not recommended unless absolutely necessary.
On the other hand, having a cleaning during your second trimester is a good idea to keep up on your oral health and prevent infections or other gum problems from interfering with your healthy pregnancy.
15. Start Your Registry
Start early and make sure you get everything onto your registry that you need. Especially if it is your first pregnancy, figuring out exactly what you want and need can be difficult.
When people start asking about your registry, it's best if you have something to give them! Plus, when you start your registry, you start to really feel close to your baby and able to picture a new baby in your home.
You cannot go wrong registering with Amazon Baby Registries. There are awesome perks for you AND it makes it super simple for your family and friends who are ordering gifts for you. No hassle = every mother's dream.
Registering can be so overwhelming sometimes. Between figuring out what you need, reading a plethora of reviews, and getting advice from all off your mom friends, knowing what you really need and what you'll actually use isn't always just fun and games. It can be stressful and expensive! I've created this FREE Baby Registry Printable Checklist to make your planning a lot easier. Relax and enjoy this time without the stress! I've laid out all of my baby registry advice for you in this post.
16. Start Planning Your Baby Shower
Start talking to your closest family and friends about your baby shower. Do you know who will be hosting your shower? Where it will be located? What the colors and themes will be? Start getting your guest list in order so that when the time comes in the third trimester, you will be organized and ready and won't have to stress about the details you already have in place. I promise, getting as much done during the second trimester will help you tremendously when your tired and out of breath in the third.
17. Take a Babymoon
You wouldn't believe how many people have asked me “what's a baby moon” when I talk about planning mine. What?! How do you not know what a baby moon is? It's the best excuse to get out-of-town and plan a vacation all about pampering yourself before the baby comes and you don't have any opportunities to do that anymore.
A baby moon is a special get away – just you and your hubby – to make sure you get the R&R you both need before the arrival of your new bundle of joy. Believe me. Quality time together is important, much-needed, and well-deserved at this point in pregnancy.
Having kids isn't always easy on a relationship. A baby moon is a chance to keep the spark alive between you and your husband before things start to get increasingly un-romantic. Postpartum anyone?
Start planning ASAP because there is only a short window that you'll want to travel. During the first trimester, you're just too sick and tired to go anywhere fun. In the third trimester you are at a higher risk of pre-term labor. It's best to take your baby moon between 21 and 32 weeks. This way you have a cute little baby bump for your pictures, you're feeling great, and you're not risking delivering in some strange location.
Keep in mind that you need to avoid any destination that has the Zika virus. Talk to your provider about places that you're interested in traveling to while pregnant and make sure that they are approved. Zika Virus is no joke during pregnancy – you don't want to risk it!
18. Start Planning Your Nursery
By no means do you need to have everything or make sure the nursery completely set up by the end of the second trimester. Likely, you won't even have your baby shower until a few weeks into the third trimester. But that doesn't mean you shouldn't start planning! Shopping and putting together large nursery items gets more and more difficult as your pregnancy progresses.
Start thinking color schemes, themes, and the general set- up of your nursery. It would be a good idea to have a room already cleared out to put all of your nursery furniture, baby stuff, and shower gifts, even if you don't have it completely put together just yet.
Once I started to see my son's nursery come together, it became my favorite room in the entire house. I absolutely adore nurseries! How could you not? They represent such an exciting time to come. Make it comfortable and something you will want to spend a lot of time in because those four walls will become verrrry familiar pretty soon.
19. Start Educating Yourself
Before you know it, you're going to be in the labor room with no idea what is happening to you and no idea how to survive this…unless you prepare yourself ahead of time.
It is essential that you read up on what to expect in labor and delivery. Figure out what kind of birth you desire and how you're going to make that happen.
You're going to want to look into hospital policy at the place that you plan to deliver, ACOG guidelines, and advice from mom's (that you know and trust) who've been there to get an idea of what to expect and figure out what you want.
Read these essential posts to get you started:
20. Research Prenatal Classes
You definitely have time, but you don't want to wait until the last minute to start looking into these things. If you are taking an in-person prenatal class at a hospital setting or somewhere within your community, you'll want to start the class somewhere around 26-28 weeks to make sure that you complete all of the sessions before the baby comes.
If you are taking an online course, you can start going over the information now and continue to review information and learn about childbirth all the way up until you deliver.
The classes that you should start looking into are labor & birth classes, lactation classes, infant CPR and parenting classes. The dates, times, and durations of each of these courses may vary. If you're interested in taking advantage of any of these courses before the baby comes, you want to start looking into your options now so that you don't miss the boat.
It doesn't matter whether you want a fully medicated, partially medicated, or 100% natural labor and birth. Prenatal classes are ALWAYS a good idea.
These are the online Labor and Birth courses that I absolutely recommend.
- The Online Prenatal Class For Couples by Hilary Erickson is an extremely popular online birth course that has proven it's worth time and time again. Hilary is an experienced Labor and Delivery nurse with over 16 years of service under her belt. She has created this birth class to fit into the schedules of busy couples that want to get excellent birth education on their own time. You'll never regret taking this course before your baby makes his/her entrance to the world!
- Birth It Up by Liesel Teen is an amazing birth course at an even more amazing price. If your budget is on the smaller side but you still want a labor and birth education, this will be right up your ally. Liesel is also a labor and delivery nurse and a mother. Her birth course focuses mainly on an epidural-free labor and birth experience because that is what she did with her son! How incredible is she?
21. Start Writing Your Birth Plan
No need to finish it quite yet, but get an idea about what you're birth plan is going to look like.
All I ask is that you keep in mind that your labor and birth rarely goes EXACTLY how you plan. Something will surprise you. Something will go awry. But even if you don't have exactly the labor and birth that you dream of, it can still be an incredible experience.
It's wonderful to have a plan and know what you want. It's NOT a good idea to be dead set on exactly what you want to happen with no wiggle room. What matters is your safety and the health of your baby. Make sure that you are going to be ok with plans B, C, D, E, and F. BE FLEXIBLE.
If you're interested in the birth plan that I recommend for my family, friends, and patients, THIS BIRTH PLAN is everything you'll ever need in a birth plan. It's customizable to you and your needs, it's visual, and it's complete. Click the image below to check it out.
22. Get Organized
Bringing a baby into the home doesn't only require a space for the crib and the changing table. You're going to need a kitchen cabinet cleared out for bottles, sippy cups, baby bowls, plates, and utensils. You need a place for the burp clothes, the bibs, and the pile of diapers that you'll need…the list goes on.
Start spring cleaning now, no matter what season it is. Get rid of what you don't need and what is cluttering up space in your house.
De-cluttering your entire home before you have a baby can reduce your stress level and help you feel in control and comfortable in your space.
23. Contact a Photographer
Now is the time to start booking your professional photo shoots with your favorite maternity photographer. Getting maternity pictures done between 32 and 36 weeks is a great idea to keep the memory of your bump alive.
If you have a little bit larger of a budget, you can look into labor and birth photography, newborn photography, and family photography along with your maternity shoot.
24. Get a Baby Book
You might have one already if you're anything like me and you felt the need to start document all the sentiments ASAP. BUT, you may have not even opened it in the first trimester because you didn't have the energy to think let alone do anything important.
This one is the one I have for my son and I absolutely love it. It's cute and it's complete with all of the fun memories inside that you'll never want to forget about your new baby.
25. Enjoy The (Arguably) Best Trimester of Pregnancy!
As you can now see, the second trimester is packed full of fun. You're counting down the days until your baby is done cooking, you're getting everything ready and in order for his or her arrival, and you're (hopefully) taking good care of yourself in preparation of the difficult times to come.
Girl, relax and enjoy the energy, the sleep, and the excitement that comes with the second trimester of pregnancy. Have fun, mama! Remember to make the most out of every moment. Treasure this pregnancy, document every moment in your pregnancy journal, and take way too many pictures of your baby bump.
What's on your second trimester to-do list? Is there anything that is on your pregnancy checklist that you want to share? Let me know in the comments!
What to read next:
- What To Do When You Find Out You’re Pregnant
- 13 Of The Absolute Best Pregnancy Tips For First Time Moms
- The Ultimate Pregnancy Preparation Journal
- 16 Indispensable Pregnancy and Labor Tips from A Labor and Delivery Nurse
- Baby Must Haves For The First Year: Baby Products Experienced Moms Swear By
- Qualities of A Good Father Before The Baby is Even Born
- Understanding The Fourth Trimester- Before You Let It Slip Away