Updated: Mar 29
We are now into the third trimester (oh my goodness!!) so here is my personal experience of the second! This is from week 13 to week 26, and they say it's the easiest of the 3 trimesters 🤍 I'll be covering symptoms, resources, medical expectations, pregnancy pillows, baby's first movements and having colostrum come in, bras and underwear, an extensive list of my favourite baby brands I've found, post partum preparation and more.
So, I barely even felt pregnant for 95% of this time! I had so much of my energy back, more and more as time went on, and I experienced practically no symptoms. It was so incredible to feel human again and as if I'd emerged from a little cave I was in for my first trimester. I signed up for the gym, I started eating many more foods and was much more relaxed about my diet (eating intuitively and what I felt like rather than drastically limiting myself with should's and shouldn't's, I did stay as raw and organic as possible though and increased my protein intake), and my sex drive came back a few weeks in after what felt like forever! God, the expectations we put on ourselves to be a good woman, regardless of how loving and supportive our partner is whether we pleasure them and are intimate frequently or not. I certainly missed having that connection with Sam, but we both knew that my body and hormones were changing so much and my natural drive would come back in time. The only discomfort I had during this trimester was a dull, tight pain similar to period cramps at the start of the second trimester, and the very top of my abs feeling tight and as if I was unable to fully stand tall and stretch, but my body was rapidly changing and adjusting for that growing uterus so I just accepted the process and trusted that I would be okay (which I was completely!)
Throughout this trimester I did still get tired quite easy though it isn't as prominent as your first trimester so try to keep self awareness about you and rest when you feel the need to. I had about 80% of my normal energy and would go to bed at 8pm every night (which isn't too different from when I'm not pregnant!). Going out for dinner is a bit of a stretch and I would much prefer breakfast or lunch for outings so that I can come home, snuggle up and have a relaxed afternoon. Please give yourself permission to rest and take a nap if you feel you need it, although these weeks/months are much easier than the first and third trimesters, you are still growing an entire human!
Medical wise, you still have a bit to do. I had my first midwife appointment at a hospital, which is an antenatal appointment that your GP refers you for around 13 weeks. It goes for 2 hours (even mine was and I have zero medical conditions) and they ask every question imaginable about your health history, family, relationships, if you feel supported by your partner, how your mental health is, what your childhood was like, and questions about domestic violence and sexual abuse. Know that all these questions are completely for your wellbeing and to ensure you are safe when you go back home and also that you feel comfortable and safe when you do go into labour if you’re having a hospital birth or end up in hospital. Some of these questions were triggering for me, but my midwife was so incredibly excellent (we vibed so well, I’m so sad she doesn’t do home birth) and I was okay to tell her about my experiences (whilst holding a wet tissue). At the end of your antenatal appointment/interview, you’ll book in an appointment with a doctor at your hospital, and continue these hospital visits every 4 weeks, up until when you are 28 weeks which the visits then increase to fortnightly. I had one hospital appointment, then (thank the lawwwd) found my private midwife and haven't had to go back since, as I now get to have them in the comfort of my own home, in my cosiest clothes, wrapped up in a soft blanket on my lounge. It's so incredibly worth investing in a private midwife.
So with ultrasounds, if everything goes smoothly, to plan, and there are no complications or risks, then you'll have 3 scans — your dating scan when you find out you're pregnant, the 12 week scan to make sure he/she is healthy, and then the 20 week scan. This is the last time I saw my baby before she comes in June, and look at how damn beautiful her profile is! People do have the 3D scans to see the face, but Sam and I are happy to just wait until she comes out. We don't need to know absolutely everything and are happy to leave it as a beautiful surprise.
Every persons experience is unique, but I felt our baby girls first movements when I was 17 weeks. They felt like strange little flutters which I couldn't be sure about, but I intuitively knew they were her movements. At 18 weeks, on the first day of the new year, I felt 3 big kicks up near my belly button which Sam was so lucky to feel as well! 19 weeks was when my colostrum first came in (the milk before milk, known as 'liquid gold' and will nourish baby greatly for the first 3 days of life) and it was a big surprise to be laying in a comfy bed of our hotel room and feel great big drops of liquid onto my thigh! I actually looked up at the ceiling to see if it was leaking but it turns out my right nipple was leaking 😂 19 weeks is very early for colostrum to come in, and again remember all our experiences are unique, but that's when it came through for me and it's been like a tap since 🙃 I purchased a box of sustainable bamboo breast pads from Priceline and take them everywhere. Occasionally I'll sleep with a flannel ("face washer" for you weirdos) instead just so I can be bra-free, but it does become annoying when you're already changing side to side throughout the night then having to take the flannel along with you as well.
I may have mentioned this in my first trimester blog post, but I really encourage new mumma's to join the Facebook groups "Homebirth Group Australia" and "Wild Pregnancy And Freebirth Australia" if they resonate for you. They will provide an immense amount of sources for you during this journey, all from personal experiences, blog posts, recommendations, birth stories and lots more. Also follow doulas and birth keepers on instagram to be further informed!
I really feel that increasing my vitamin D intake had a lot to do with how healthy and vibrant I have been this whole pregnancy, and you can do this by having your breaky out in the sun, doing stretches on a mat or towel outside on the grass, laying on a sun lounge and reading a book, having an early morning walk by yourself or with a friend. Keep in mind that as glorious as it feels, sitting next to a sunny window will not benefit you with vitamin D as it cannot penetrate the glass. Get your butt out into that fresh air! Your baby, skin and body will thank you for it.
I haven't so much had 'cravings' throughout my pregnancy, just moments of feeling like my body needs something for it's own reasonings and trusting that. Cravings are usually a sign of a lack in nutrition! In my second trimester I ate cottage cheese, GF organic corn chips dipped in avo, would always have fruit tingles on hand, loved hash browns, and strawberry milk. I was pretty much completely off steak and mince at the start which is strange for me but again I just trusted my body, and my love for meat came back about halfway through. Near the end of my second trimester I became obsessed with drinking juice that was 1/2 bickford's super berry juice (pomegranate, grape, cranberry, strawberry, raspberry) and 1/2 apple juice, and also with rich dark red plums (the queen garnet antioxidant ones). Maybe it's the vitamin C, folate or antioxidants, but my body absolutely craved this and it's a must have to constantly have stocked in my fridge.
I bought a pregnancy pillow early in my second trimester and started to train myself to only sleep on my side, which you should do from 24 weeks onward. The pregnancy pillow really helped to keep space between my legs, though mine was a huge whole body one that took up half the bed (pushing poor Sam out and creating physical distance between us), and never really 'fluffed up' - it just stayed flat even though I left it out for 48 hours like the box said (it was a grey one from Baby Bunting and I do not recommend it). Look into a very supportive pregnancy pillow that will prevent you from rolling onto your back, and has the ability to both go between your legs and support your belly. I'm now temporarily just using normal, firm pillows at my back and front until I find a new one!
I also had to start buying new underwear, and definitely bras. I now live in seamless underwear that are 2 sizes up, feel like thin swimwear material, boylegs for home and g-string for out, and usually from Bonds (I think they're called invisi freecuts!) but I also found some great ones that are practically identical from Target! For bras it's recommended that if you wear one at all, to ensure it's wireless to not affect your milk supply. I wear a crop style from Bonds and have my bamboo breast pads fit neatly in them all day and night (one time I did have a mishap where my boob fell out the side and I woke with colostrum pouring into my freakin' armpit 😂). I've also have bought more soft bamboo pants from Cotton On Body in size M (usually XS!) to live in at home. Comfort is soo key when you're pregnant, relish it and treat yourself!
Emotionally and mentally, I had to process being pregnant and the immense shift from maiden to mother before I was able to even think about the nursery, baby outfits, prams, baby shower, and everything else for when she arrives earthside, which I mention in the Birth Affirmations blog post. I didn't even want to pick a room in the house for her nursery until I had come to terms with becoming a mother and bringing a new life into this world with my partner, and personally it took me about 5 months. I especially had to get my head around all the doctor, hospital, blood test and ultrasound appointments at the start, and secure my private midwife and doula so I could have a homebirth, so once that all settled in then I started to plan the nursery and baby shower. I used Baby List for my baby registry (which is a wish list for your baby shower), and holy heck it is brilliant. Open it on your computer and add the bookmark to your favourites as you're prompted when you make an account, and you can add any item from any website onto your list for whoever you'd like to see! When someone buys you something, they tick "purchased" so that everyone else knows it's already been bought for you. It's also laid out into sections such as "clothes", "feeding", "bath time", "for the parents" etc and you can filter it to be by store too, so when someone is buying you something, they can get a few items and pay the same shipping.
Important qualities I looked for in baby products are sustainability, eco conscious and friendly, organic (such as clothing), small boutique styles, and Australia made/owned. These are some of my favourite stores I added items to my baby list from:
Chekoh - my favourite baby carriers and swaddles
Birdie and Me - lots of beautiful eco friendly products
EveEco Baby - natural rubber products, bath mats, feeding accessories, towels
The Memo - I had a field day on this site (46 items!!), it. has. everything.
Ergo Pouch - sleepwear and sleeping bags
Fox & Fallow - beautiful swaddles, stationary and milestone cards
Lion & Lamb - eco conscious label with pretty clothing and accessories
Metro Baby - all my Leander cot gear and accessories
The Muse Edition - play mats, pram liner and change mats
Tula Baba - toys, accessories, post partum panties, loungers etc
Physical preparation can have a lot to do with your birthing process, as well as post partum healing, so I've listed plenty of essentials that I feel not every mumma may be comfortable talking about! (You can always rely on me to be that big sister figure who will speak on any topic no matter how taboo or uncomfortable it may be to others). Here's what I'll be using.
Pre-birth: Perineum oil, Elle TENS machine, raspberry leaf tea
Post partum: Perineal foam, herbal infused post partum pads, postpartum briefs with reusable cold and warm pad inserts, partum panties (basically adult nappies), maternity ice/heat set for both underwear and nipples, mama milk nursing tea, "restore" postnatal bath soak, Mere birth kit (so many must have's in one place)
I will also be sharing my list of my homebirth essentials as the time comes closer (it's already well established, but I keep adding more and want it to be complete before I share it!)
And I think that's about it for my second trimester! I've already been putting together resources and notes for my third trimester post, and am keeping in mind to try to have it drafted by the end of my pregnancy because I may not have the capacity to be writing in such detail as this post when my little angel comes earthside! So it may be on time, it may be delayed 🙈 But I'll be including the next steps of my pregnancy such as acupuncture, private health insurance, birthing list, how my baby shower went and what we did, podcast episodes, baby expos, our Calm Birth course experience and more! 💕 I'd love to know if these posts have helped or impacted you at all as I really do put so much of myself into them, so please send me a DM letting me know what you thought or comment it below!