So you’ve made it to second trimester of pregnancy. Hopefully with a lot more energy and subsiding symptoms from the first trimester.
Are you wondering what you should be doing in your second trimester to stay on track of the baby preparations? Do you feel like your to-do list is never ending and are wondering when to prioritize which baby-related tasks?
The second trimester is filled with a lot of the fun planning things! Couples often choose to announce their pregnancies now, host gender reveal parties, start working on the nursery and more. This is often when you are feeling your best in pregnancy. This makes it a great time to tackle a lot of the organization and logistical planning tasks too.
Let’s keep the ball rolling on the baby preparations by finding out exactly what you can do in the second trimester of pregnancy to get prepared. Ready for the ultimate second trimester checklist?
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What to do in the second trimester of pregnancy
Now that you’re (hopefully) feeling better, get ready for some pregnancy fun! The second trimester is when most mamas feel their best. This trimester is also full of so many fun pregnancy milestones.
Below, you’ll find your complete second trimester to do list. First, let’s glance at some of the exciting things that happen during weeks 14-28 of pregnancy:
- Announcing your pregnancy
- Gender Reveal
- Creating a Baby Registry
- Planning your Baby Shower
- Getting started on the nursery
In addition to these fun and well-known pregnancy tasks, be sure to stay on top of all baby-related things with the complete checklist below.
Second Trimester Checklist
1. Announce your pregnancy
One of the very first and most exciting things about entering your second trimester, or week 14, of pregnancy, is that the rate of miscarriage drops of significantly at this point. That means you can finally spread your news! Keeping such a huge secret is tough, and you finally made it.
Don’t go telling everyone and their brother yet though. Not without giving it some thought and planning first, that is. Before announcing your pregnancy, you’ll want to consider things like:
- Who do we want to tell in person?
- Who do we want to tell directly vs. finding out on social media?
- When do I want my co-workers and boss to know about my pregnancy?
- When do we want to do an announcement in social media?
- How can we make our announcement creative and memorable?
2. Learn about Second Trimester Prenatal Visits
Having an understanding of what to expect medically during each trimester is important. You never know when things might get lost in communication between providers or nurses at your appointment. Knowing when certain things should happen and keeping track of your own pregnancy timeline is smart.
Learn about prenatal appointments in the second trimester. At this point, you will continue having visits once every four weeks as long as things are progressing normally. Some of the notable prenatal care events in the second trimester are:
During that exciting 20-week ultrasound you will be able to find out baby’s gender! And you will also become more aware of baby’s development and how things are progressing.
Be sure to sign up for a weekly pregnancy series that will keep you up to date on baby’s growth and development in the womb, and will prepare you for a healthy and natural pregnancy and birth. We love Mama Natural’s FREE weekly email series. Enroll now for your best pregnancy and birth.
3. Get back to healthier eating
The first trimester is brutal. Especially if you had severe morning sickness. I know that during those first weeks you often need to eat whatever will stay down. But with your morning sickness subsiding, it’s time to start focusing more on healthy eating.
During pregnancy, you should focus on eating a diet full of real, whole foods. Try not to fall into the trap of “eating for two”. You really only need to increase your daily caloric intake by 300-500 calories throughout the second trimester (depending on your personal pregnancy weight gain goals). This is a great time to discuss prenatal nutrition with your provider. You should set a weight gain goal and be aware of your progress. You can easily start tracking your weight gain at home if you aren’t already.
Healthy foods for the second trimester?
During pregnancy it’s important to include a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in your diet. While your prenatal pill will definitely cover the gaps, focusing on eating lots of variety is never a bad idea.
Some nutrients that are especially important to incorporate into your diet during pregnancy are calcium, iron, and folic acid. Trina dives more into this in her week 14 bumpdate.
How to eat healthier while pregnant?
Bulk meal prep and cooking is a fool-proof way to eat healthier. When hunger strikes, you will have a variety of options already available in your freezer or fridge. This makes it easier to make a healthier choice that will satisfy your craving rather than going for the junk food or treats. I do this every month for my family using these freezer meal recipes. So healthy, easy and delicious.
I know for me convenience always wins when hunger strikes. So, make the healthy food convenient! Pack lunches and lots of snacks for your day at work. Throughout pregnancy, eating smaller, frequent meals will keep you more comfortable and full.
4. Continue or start a prenatal fitness program
On the note of healthy eating in the second trimester, I want to encourage you to get moving. During my first pregnancy, all fitness fell by the wayside for the first ~17 weeks because I was so sick and exhausted. But once I started feeling better physically, I found that prenatal yoga seriously helped my overall mood and energy.
Consider trying out some prenatal yoga or exercise. Eric Ziel’s online prenatal fitness program is a great option for busy expectant mamas who can’t get to in-person classes. The membership has a ton of workout options and can be used by anyone, regardless of their fitness level before pregnancy. As an expert prenatal fitness coach, her program will ensure you are working out safely and correctly.
5. Host a gender reveal party
If you decide to find out baby’s gender, why not have some fun with announcing it! You can do something creative on social media or host a gender reveal party. Before your 20-week ultrasound you and your partner need to know what your plans are on finding out.
- Do you want to find out during the ultrasound?
- Would you rather wait to find out privately at home?
- Would you like to find out in front of everyone during a gender reveal?
Think it through, and be sure to follow us on Pinterest for a ton of great reveal ideas.
6. Plan your baby shower
Usually, mamas like to wait until the third trimester for their baby showers, but the bulk of the planning happens in the second trimester. You’ll want to figure out who will be hosting your shower, and what the date, venue and theme will be. You should also plan to get your baby shower invites out during the second trimester too. Find details and a complete planning checklist and timeline to plan the ultimate baby shower.
As you start to plan the details of your shower, some other things go hand in hand with this task. You should work on the nursery and create your registry, which leads us to points 7 & 8 🙂
7. Start planning the nursery
Most of the setting-up and actual organization of your nursery won’t happen until the third trimester. This is largely because by then you’ll have had your shower and received all the baby things you need! However, you should start planning the nursery theme and layout now so that it can inform your registry choices.
I also love the idea of having a baby shower theme that matches the theme of your nursery. This will allow you to use decorations for the shower in your nursery, and people can get you extra gifts that match your color scheme or theme. Win, win!
8. Create your registry
This might be one of the most important, and for me, daunting tasks of the second trimester. I was completely overwhelmed by all of the choices out there. I also made a lot of decisions based on popularity instead of really considering my family’s lifestyle. Don’t fall into this trap! Get advice on the registry that is perfect for your family and lifestyle.
Also take your time and don’t be afraid to register at more than one place to get exactly what you want. You can easily sync your registries using MyRegistry.com. Then your friends and family can see everything you registered for in one easy to navigate place. This allowed me to get a bunch of cute and unique Etsy items, a few furniture specifics from Wayfair and the more practical stuff I wanted from Amazon.
9. Tell your employer about your pregnancy
At some point in your second trimester, you should let your employer know about the pregnancy. However, I do think it’s a good idea to wait until you have a game plan in place regarding maternity leave and your eventual return to work. When you decide to let your employer know you should first:
- Investigate your maternity leave benefits
- Get creative with your leave plan using vacation and sick time
- Consider easing back into work part-time and let them know about this idea
When I went to my supervisor to discuss maternity leave, I was met with really receptive and caring ears. I did get some no’s regarding specific requests, but on the whole they were willing to work with me. The thing is, in the end, I didn’t wind up returning to work. I found a work from home option that allowed me to stay home.
Even if you think you may not return to work, or want to find a way to stay home, I highly suggest playing your cards like you plan to return. I know from experience that you can stay home and make money if you want to. BUT you also don’t need the added stress of no job waiting should things unfold in a different way.
10. Start researching childcare options
On the note of an eventual return to work after maternity leave (I know, seems like ages away), you should REALLY start looking into childcare options now. You wouldn’t believe the waitlist at good daycares or the time it takes to find a nanny that you really love.
Daycares have pretty limited spots available for very young infants which is why it can be hard to get a spot somewhere. Give yourself plenty of time. This will allow you to do visits and choose a place that you really love for your precious baby.
11. Get organized
Are you noticing a theme here? The second trimester involves a lot of planning and tracking. Figure out a way to keep everything organized. I find checklists organized chronologically to be the best tool in getting things done. I also like to do visual planning and brainstorming with pen and paper.
You can find these tools and so much more to keep you organized and on track in The Nesting Planner. It’s an organizational system that will help you through all of your pregnancy-related tasks from the parties and logistics of childcare, to planning your birth, and beyond.
12. Narrow down name choices for your baby
If you chose to find out baby’s gender, your name choices just got cut in half. It’s time to start narrowing down name choices. There’s a lot to consider when choosing a name. Get the ball rolling with a fun name game. Put a whiteboard or piece of paper on the fridge. Create a column for you and your husband. Write three names. If they like the names circle it, and for every one they cross off, they need to write a new name in their column. Continue until you come to an agreement 🙂
13. Show off your bump
The second trimester is when your bump will finally pop! I can actually vividly remember at about 23 weeks, in an airport, having a stranger confidently ask me when I was due. It was so exciting to me to finally look pregnant 🙂
If you haven’t yet, invest in some key maternity clothes pieces to have a wardrobe that can grow with you and your bump through the seasons. Accent your bump with form fitting clothes or shirt and dresses that cinch above your belly. This is also a great time to shop for a dress to wear to your baby shower or your eventual maternity shoot. Stitch Fix Maternity is a great option because you can let your stylist know exactly what you’re looking for.
14. Try to make a new mom friend
Now that you’re starting to show, you can strike up conversations with other pregnant women more easily. I really encourage you to try to make a mom friend. Bonus points if she’s due around the same time as you. I met four other women in a group prenatal care class that I am still in touch with over two years later. We were all due within a month of each other and it’s so fun to get our little ones together.
During pregnancy it is so beneficial to have a friend that is going through it in real time with you. Someone to talk symptoms and remedies with. Someone who can relate to the emotional side of pregnancy, and someone to, well, complain to (that actually gets it!). Don’t be shy to spark a conversation in the waiting room at an appointment, at a prenatal fitness class, or in a childbirth class.
15. Research and sign-up for a childbirth class
If you’re on the fence about taking a childbirth class, go for it! Nothing can help alleviate the unknown related to birth better. You WILL approach birth with more confidence and have a better shot at the birth you want with the proper education.
I hoped to deliver without pain interventions, and ended up needing an epidural. Yes, I have come to terms with this and know it was the right decision then. But, I firmly believe had I taken a childbirth class specifically aimed at my goal of a natural birth, I may not have needed one.
One thing you may want to skip, doing it at your hospital. It can be really hard to fit into your schedule, make it each week with your partner, and absorb all of the information. I had no idea online childbirth classes even existed. But will definitely be doing that as a refresher the next time around.
16. Plan a Babymoon
The second trimester of pregnancy is the perfect time to plan your babymoon. The sweet spot for going on your babymoon is right around the time you transition from second to third trimester. You’ll still have energy and be generally feeling good, and your bump will be nice and popped for photo ops J
Don’t think that it has to be some expensive and elaborate trip. Even an overnight getaway, or weekend in a nearby town or city is perfect. It really is nice to have a time away from the busy-nes of life and baby prep to be fully present as a couple.
17. Get dad excited
You know the saying; a woman becomes a mom from the moment she finds out she’s pregnant. But a dad might not feel like a dad until baby is born. It can be hard for dad to bond with baby. However, there are ways to get him more involved and excited about that growing baby.
Try some expecting date nights, let him join in the nursery planning, and ask his opinions on baby gear he’ll actually use. These are just a handful of ways to get him involved. Read the full list of ways to get dad involved in pregnancy for more ideas.
18. Capitalize on your nesting instincts
Nesting instincts are real! And you are probably starting to feel them kick in during the second trimester of pregnancy. Take advantage of your desire to clean, organize and prepare. Tackle household tasks and DIY projects now, while you are feeling physically up for them.
Start organizing and decluttering your home in preparation for all of the new baby gear you will be acquiring in the next few months. Get mentally organized and ease stress with checklists and planning sheets in our Nesting Planner, too.
19. Take weekly photos and journal through your pregnancy
It’s never too late to start taking weekly bump photos. I so wish I had done this in my first pregnancy. I love the idea of having a keepsake from pregnancy. I want to look back and remember exactly how I was feeling during such a special time.
In addition to weekly photos, I encourage you to journal, write letters to your baby during important milestones and hold on to keepsakes and mementos from your pregnancy too. In our Bump Smart email series, you’ll receive FREE weekly journaling sheets and other worksheets to help get you started with this.
Crush your second trimester checklist!
These 19 tips are sure to have you organized and on track throughout your second trimester. All of this important planning and legwork now will mean that your third trimester can be focused fully on preparing for birth.
Have fun accomplishing the tasks on this list, and don’t forget to include your partner along the way. Enjoy the baby parties and milestones that the second trimester includes. Revel in the energy and that glowing bump <3
How are you preparing in the second trimester of pregnancy? Anything I forgot? Leave a comment below!
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Alli Wittbold is a wife, mama, blogger, and online teacher. She feels passionate about connecting expectant mothers with childbirth class educators, and supporting them to achieve the birth they desire. After having her first baby delivered by a Certified Nurse Midwife, Alli is an advocate for midwifery prenatal care. She has learned so much about labor and delivery by attending and reviewing dozens of birth classes to help mothers learn and explore options. Alli co-authored the Week-by-Week Bump Smart Course, the Nesting Planner and the Breastfeeding Handbook, resources she is proud to share with as many expectant and new mothers as possible. Read more about Alli.