Yay! You’ve made it to the second trimester of pregnancy! For most people, this is the best time during pregnancy so you’ll want to take advantage and knock out as much of this second trimester checklist as possible.
The second trimester (weeks 14 through 27) is usually the easiest trimester.
Hopefully your morning sickness is subsiding and you’re getting some of your energy back. But you aren’t yet feeling all of the pressure and aches of the final trimester. It is prime time to get stuff done.
If you haven’t started with this first trimester checklist, I highly recommend reading it as it sets the groundwork for the second trimester.
This middle section of pregnancy is so exciting! This is the time that most women start to feel their baby move and start to show!
It is also likely when you’ll feel your best so take this opportunity to cross things off your to-do list.
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Here is the Best Second Trimester Checklist:
Focus On Your Health
Keep taking your prenatal vitamins and going to your doctor’s appointments. You’ll likely see your doctor every 4 weeks throughout this trimester. Also, continue avoiding the pregnancy no-no’s.
Try to Eat Healthy
If you’ve been doing this all along, congrats! Unfortunately, during the first trimester, eating may be strictly for survival. You might have been eating whatever you could keep down which for me was usually french fries, pop tarts, and cheese.
Now, hopefully, the nausea is subsiding. It’s a good time to start trying to make healthy food choices.
You want to make sure that you and baby are getting the appropriate nutrition. As a plus, you may be able to keep excess weight gain in check.
You can find comprehensive recommendations for healthy eating during pregnancy here.
Get Some Exercise
For healthy and low risk pregnancies, moderate exercise is generally considered not only safe, but also beneficial. There are certain complications that may mean you should avoid exercising, so it’s best to consult your healthcare provider.
It is usually fine to maintain the level of physical activity that you did before becoming pregnant. If the first trimester knocked you on your butt, you may find that you have to ease back into your workouts.
Walking, swimming, and prenatal yoga are great, low impact ways to get some exercise.
It’s also important to listen to your body and drink plenty of water.
Go To The Dentist
Between vomiting, sweets cravings, and hormone changes, pregnancy can be hard on your teeth so it’s recommended that you keep up with your regular dental cleanings.
Also, if you need any dental procedures, generally the second trimester is considered the best time to get them done.
Announce Your Pregnancy
Many moms-to-be choose to wait until the second trimester to announce their pregnancy. If you’ve been waiting to share, now is your time!
You may be bursting with your news or hesitant to tell yet. When you decide to announce your pregnancy is totally up to you. If you’re unsure, we have a great article of pros and cons to help you decide.
Keep in mind that your pregnancy will probably start to show during this trimester and you likely want to tell everyone before your bump does.
Sign Up For Birthing Classes
If you want to take childbirth classes, you’ll want to look into signing up now.
Not sure if birthing classes are right for you? We go into all of the pros and cons to help you decide here.
It’s usually recommended to take classes during the third trimester. Taking them towards the end of pregnancy will make sure all of the information is fresh in your mind, but waiting too long could mean that baby arrives before your finish.
Depending on the course, they may range from one single session to several weeks. Also, some classes may fill up quickly. So it your heart is set on taking a childbirth class, it’s best to figure out your options early and get it scheduled.
Buy Maternity Clothes
During the second trimester you will likely start to outgrow a lot of your clothes. It’s time to find some clothes that will fit your growing body.
You don’t have to buy an entire new wardrobe. For instance, shop your own closet for loose and stretchy clothing that can accommodate your belly.
Also, using the hair tie trick or a Belly Band can help extend the use of your pre-pregnancy jeans.
Unless you have a lot of oversized clothes or gain very little weight, you’ll probably need to supplement.
While it can be tempting to put off buying maternity clothes until later in pregnancy, getting them earlier means you get more use out of them. Also, they’re usually insanely comfy, so you may never want to go back to your old clothes.
Start with some basic items, like jeans and a few shirts.
You don’t have to spend a ton on maternity clothes. In fact, I wrote all about finding cheap maternity clothes on a budget for Thrifty Guardian and you can read it here.
Find Out The Gender… or Not?
More and more often, moms are given the opportunity to find out their baby’s gender with a blood test around 10 weeks. If you did not find out at then, your next chance is your ultrasound performed around 20 weeks.
Do you want to find out the baby’s gender prior to birth and if so, how?
You should decide prior to your 20 week anatomy scan whether or not you want to know the gender. If you don’t want to find out yet, make sure to tell your healthcare provider up front.
If you’re planning a gender reveal, you can ask them to write the gender and place it in an envelope for you to be surprised later.
Along those lines, gender reveal parties have become a whole thing. If you want to throw a party, start planning early.
Prepare The Nursery
It’s a great time to set up a nursery for baby.
Plan for where the baby will sleep, where you will change diapers, and where you will feed your baby. By starting now, you have time to clear out the office or redecorate the guest room.
Do you want to repaint?
Do you need help moving furniture out or in?
Figuring this out now will be a huge help. You have the time and energy now. And if there are tasks or major projects that you need help with, you should line that up now.
Depending on space and budgetary limitations, the “nursery” might not be elaborate, but planning can still help you get the most bang for your buck and utilize your space efficiently.
By preparing and planning now you can identify items that you still need and get things organized.
Make Your Baby Registry
Setting up your baby registry can feel overwhelming. There’s so many baby things, how do you know which you actually need?
You can spend hours researching the best cribs, bottles, and car seats, reading hundreds of reviews, and end up feeling completely confused.
Making your baby registry should be fun so we’ve tried to help make registering as easy as possible with comprehensive guides.
Start with deciding where you want to register. Here is a great comparison of common places to register so you can decide which is best for you.
We also have registry guides which include products recommendations and reviews for baby items divided by category:
- Baby Feeding
- Baby Sleep
- Baby Bath
- Transporting Baby
- Toys and Activity centers
Take A Babymoon
This is your best time for traveling. If you want to get in one more vacation before your baby arrives, the second trimester is ideal.
A babymoon is a great way to connect with your partner and have some fun! You won’t regret taking this time together to relax and celebrate.
This may be your last chance for a getaway for a while. Taking vacations with babies has unique challenges. It certainly becomes more complicated and expensive to pick up and go with young kids.
If scheduling during this trimester doesn’t work out, you can usually still travel in your third trimester. Take into consideration that you may not feel up to long trips in your last trimester and some cruise ships and airplanes put limits on passengers late in pregnancy.
Second Trimester Checklist: Planning For Your Last Trimester
Here are some tips to get your prepared for the final twelve weeks of pregnancy. You can also jump over to the third trimester checklist here.
Taking care of these things now, will make your life easier during your third trimester:
Prepare for Maternity Leave
For working moms, planning for maternity leave often starts early. It’s important to know what to expect at work.
You will likely be telling your boss about your pregnancy during the second trimester, unless you announced earlier. This is a good time to figure out your maternity leave. It gives you time to get things organized to hand off in your absence.
Find out what your employer needs from you regarding paperwork and preparation.
Also, it’s important to figure out how long you’ll be able to take off and whether or not you’ll be paid during that time.
Make a Baby Budget
Regardless of your financial situation, you can always benefit from a budget. Having a baby adds a lot of additional expenses and it will definitely help to be prepared for them.
If you’ve read my first trimester checklist, then this isn’t new to you. I went into more detail there on everything that you should consider in a baby budget because I like to start thinking about this early.
Essentially, you need to take into account the costs of your medical bills and baby expenses like childcare, diapers, and formula, as well as save for your maternity leave which is often only partially paid or entirely unpaid. You can read more about that here.
Start Planning A Baby Shower
Though baby showers are most often during the third trimester, starting to plan now will make it easier.
Ideally someone will offer to host making this almost effortless for you, but some moms opt to throw their own shower. Either way, even just gathering addresses for a guest list takes some time.
If someone is throwing the party, hopefully you can just sit back and relax. If you want to be involved in planning and give input in themes, games, and food, you’ll be glad you started early.
Schedule Maternity Photos
If you want to have maternity photos taken, look for your photographer now.
Most people want their photos during the third trimester, often between 30 and 36 weeks is recommended. You want to have an obvious bump, but may not feel very photogenic or comfortable by the end of your pregnancy, not to mention that your baby could decide to arrive a little early.
Great photographers schedules can fill quickly, so get on their calendar now.
Congrats! You’re done, at least for these twelve weeks. Head on over to the third trimester checklist to see what’s next.
Did I miss anything? What else is on your second trimester to-do list?