Go you! You survived the first trimester of pregnancy and you’re onto the next one. This when reality really starts to set in if it hasn’t already, and when some major changes start to happen in your belly (like your baby looking less like a little gummy bear or alien, and more like an actual human). You’re really, actually going to have a baby, and you are one-third of the way there. Whoa!
There is so much to take care of during this stage of pregnancy, from setting up important appointments with your OB/GYN to starting your work on exciting things like your baby registry and nursery.
With so much to do and think about, it’s fortunate that this stage is also when you are likely to get a burst of energy, feeling the best you will over the course of these long months… so take advantage! After a (possibly) rough first trimester, I am sure you will appreciate the absence of any negative symptoms you may have experienced thus far, like morning sickness.
When is the second trimester of pregnancy?
If this is your first pregnancy, you may be wondering, when does the second trimester start? Well, pregnancies are split up into three periods, or trimesters. The first trimester runs from week 1 to week 12. The second trimester starts at week 13 and lasts until week 26. And the third and final trimester is from week 27 to week 40, or when you go into labor.
Second Trimester Checklist
Create Your Baby Registry
Putting together your baby registry is a lot of fun. It’s your first chance to really visualize what this baby will be all about, while politely ensuring that the gifts you receive are things you truly want and need for your baby. While obviously any gift is generous, thoughtful, and appreciated, there will certainly be things that you will want to pick yourself. Especially when it comes to some of those bigger ticket items that some family members or friends may want to get for you.
The second trimester is a good time to get your registry squared away because people WILL start asking you where you’re registered, pretty much as soon as you announce you are pregnant.
10 Second Trimester Must-Haves
We went with Babylist because you can literally put anything you want on your registry from any store, rather than being limited to just one. If you’re indecisive like me, or if you have a particular taste, this is a really excellent option. Even better, most items will display with various price points if an item is carried at more than one store (i.e., Target, Buy Buy Baby, Walmart, and Amazon), so shoppers can choose where to buy from.
Look Into Classes
While you do still have a third trimester ahead of you, I would highly recommend looking into birthing classes earlier than later. The fact of the matter is that you are given a due date, but that doesn’t mean you will definitely go into labor on that date. Many women go into labor as early as 36 weeks, so don’t save your education for the last minute!
This is not to freak you out or anything – just to put a little perspective into what can happen and when.
The last thing you want to do is let time pass you by before you realize that you don’t know the first thing about breastfeeding, labor, delivery, or childcare essentials like CPR.
Your hospital or healthcare provider will most likely have recommendations on classes, but if you are looking for an easy and affordable option that you can take with you anywhere, consider Tinyhood.
Start Imagining & Shopping For Your Nursery
I am a firm believer in not waiting until the last minute. Where my husband is of the, “don’t worry, it’ll get done” mindset, I keep more of a long-term vision and like to have a plan (and more importantly, follow said plan). When it comes to the nursery, I have had a vision since long before we ever got pregnant.
When it comes to getting the nursery together, I would much rather purchase things over time than wait until we are a month or two before we are due to start purchasing everything at once, especially since there is no guaranteeing that your registry will be fulfilled. *All I see is dollar signs* you know what I’m saying? While we may not put the entire room together until we are a bit closer to our due date, it still gives me peace of mind to know that we’ve gradually collected what we will need, spending in small installments rather than all at once.
Additionally, getting the nursery together is a lot of fun, and can help new mamas feel prepared and less anxious about this drastic upcoming life change. It’s called nesting, which can ease anxiety and nerves before your little one arrives.
Get Important Prenatal Appointments on the Calendar
Your second trimester prenatal care is crucial, so be sure to schedule in all of the necessary appointments at your earliest convenience.
If you are experiencing a complication-free pregnancy, your appointment schedule will likely include:
- Once a month prenatal check-ups until 28 weeks
- 20-week fetal ultrasound to listen to your baby’s heartbeat, take measurements, determine gender (if you haven’t already), etc.
- Glucose screening test to check for gestational diabetes, typically between week 24 and 28.
- Blood tests to screen your hormone levels and check for an iron deficiency (anemia)
Talk About Parental Leave & Childcare
Does your job offer maternity leave? Is it paid? How much time do you get off? Does your partner get parental leave as well? What does your combined leave look like, and will you take it at the same time, or stagger your time off to prolong mom and dad’s time with baby? If your parental leave is unclear, the second trimester is the time to get this straightened out with your employer. While most are required by law to at least offer unpaid time off with job security, this is not always the case.
After you know what your parental leave will look like, you’ll need to consider your childcare options for when you and your partner have to go back to work.
While some people have their families help with childcare, others opt for nannies or daycare. Unfortunately, childcare centers and daycares tend to be booked up very far in advance and often have long waitlists. This is particularly so when a center has an excellent reputation or is in a great location. Don’t wait until you’re halfway through your leave to figure out what happens next! You’ll want to be extremely comfortable with whatever decision you run with, so the more time you have to discuss this matter, the better.
What’s His/Her Name?
I know, I know. You’ve probably been thinking about names since long before you even started thinking about starting a family. But this is now your reality!
My partner and I had a running list that we would keep of our favorite names (almost all girls name, too, so much easier than boy names!). Over time, we would narrow down the list until we had our mutual top three chosen. We’d simmer on them for a while, then reconvene and test each other on what our gut instincts told us was the right name.
Go On Your Babymoon
Travel will become much more difficult once you have a baby on board, from the time they are a newborn up until they can function a bit more independently. The likelihood of you and your partner getting the opportunity to get away, relax, and spend some quality one-on-one time together after you give birth are slim. And you won’t really want to for a while anyway.
Make a point to go on a vacation or stay-cation with your partner during your second trimester, even if it is just for a quick weekend getaway. Taking the time to appreciate each other, take a break, and enjoy your final moments as a twosome will feel amazing. It is not recommended that you go away during your third trimester, so if you’ve got it in your wheelhouse, now’s the time!
A babymoon was unfortunately not in the cards for my second trimester due to being pregnant during a pandemic, but if we could have, we most certainly would have!
Don’t Hesitate to Nest
You’ve got your baby registry, and you’re planning out your nursery, but what about organizing? What about doing a little bit of your own personal shopping for your little one? Things such as clothes, toys, and books can be so fun to shop for, especially as you start to get your space organized. One of the first things I did when I found out I was pregnant was bought a baby outfit. It may have felt “too soon” to some, but not to me. It was my way of feeding my excitement. A little here, a little there never hurt anyone.