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est. 2016

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A Second Trimester To Do List: What To Get Done Between 14 and 27 Weeks of Pregnancy

These tips and tricks will help you make the most of your second trimester, and get you as prepared as you can be to have your baby! These are definitely the things you want to get done between 14 and 27 weeks of pregnancy. I can’t wait for you to dive into this to do list. What things will you start tackling today?

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Officially Announce Your Pregnancy

When, where, and how you officially announce your pregnancy is completely up to you. I think for most couples, waiting until the second trimester to make it “Facebook Official” is perfect. Spend those first few weeks of pregnancy focusing on getting lots of rest, eating what you can, and growing that little bean. Then, once you’re over the hump of the first trimester, the busiest month in your baby’s development, announce your big news to the world.

Book Your 20 Week Ultrasound

20 weeks will be here before you know it…your halfway point! Woohoo! This is the time you get to have a good long look at your little one in his/her anatomy ultrasound. This ultrasound is important to gaging how your baby is growing and how well he/she is developing. But, it’s also the exciting time when you decide if you’d like to find out the gender of your baby. So, most parents are anxious to schedule this special ultrasound, and anticipate it for weeks.

Some couples choose to find out together at the ultrasound, and others decide to make it an even bigger surprise. You can ask your ultrasound technician to write the gender down for you and seal it in an envelope so you can give the result to a trusted friend who can help you with your gender reveal party. Or you can choose to not find out the gender at all, and wait to find out on your baby’s birth day.

Plan A Gender Reveal

If you decide to find out your baby’s gender, you can reveal this big surprise to your family and friends at a gender reveal party. Here’s a ton of ideas to help you share the news. Or, you could simply throw yourselves a private “gender reveal” if you’d rather keep this news top secret and shared only between the two of you. Gender reveals are a fun way to celebrate your baby and begin planning even more for his/her arrival.

Related Post: 12 Unique Gender Reveal Ideas

Pick A Name

Whether or not you know your baby’s gender, the second trimester is a good time to start discussing names with your partner. I’d suggest going through websites online, like Baby Names.com, and searching for names you like. Sites like this will offer alternate names and spellings to keep the search going and keep things interesting. I’d suggest having at least a couple of names you both like for both genders that way you can choose what best suits your baby when he or she arrives.

Get Organized

The second trimester is also a good time to get all the things organized. Typically you feel your best during the second trimester, so start to tackle those organization projects that are lingering in your mind. Maybe it’s your kitchen drawers or cabinets, your pantry, your linen closet, etc. Purge your house of unwanted items to make more space for all that baby stuff.

Knock Out Those House Projects You’ve Been Putting Off

Along the same line, if you have any house projects that you’ve been putting off, now’s the time to finish them. I know “they” say that pregnant ladies nest closer to the due date, but it’s been my experience that I nest the entire pregnancy. Creating a cozy, beautiful, and functional home to bring your baby home in is a top priority. So, do what you can and get your home in tip top shape for your new little family.

Related Post: How To Prepare To Have Your Baby During The Covid-19 Outbreak

Get Your Finances In Order

Now is also the time to get your finances in order. Talk to your boss about maternity leave, and begin planning for the amount of money you may need to cover expenses during your time off. You may also want to contact your insurance company about what costs you may accrue during your delivery so you know what kind of medical bills to expect after your birth.

Some couples will even begin to slowly stock up on diapers, formula, and baby necessities like onesies, blankets, body wash, etc. so that expenses for their brand new baby aren’t as overwhelming.

Talk About Childcare Options

And, while you’re discussing finances and maternity leave, now is the perfect time to begin talking about childcare options. Will you return to work following maternity leave, or will one of you be able to stay home with the baby? Do you have family or friends that can assist with childcare? If you are seeking daycare options or babysitters, you may need to get moving on making those decisions. Some daycare or childcare centers have wait lists and it could take a little while to get admittance for your little one, so that’s why it’s important to begin touring them and find the right one for your family long before your baby is even born.

Exercise

Now that you’ve made it (hopefully) over the hump of the first trimester…the morning sickness, the fatigue, you name it…now it’s time to start focusing on your health once again. And, that begins with exercise. If you’ve never been a daily exercise kinda person, now’s the time to start. Begin with taking walks around the neighborhood to build up your cardio and your stamina, which will be priceless during labor and delivery. You may also want to look into taking prenatal yoga classes as well. These classes help with stretching your body which will also come in handy during labor, but yoga also helps with mindfulness, connecting to your baby, and de-stressing.

Bottom line is, find some exercise that you enjoy that will help you maintain your health and prepare you for labor and delivery and those first few weeks as a new mama.

Related Post: 50+ Tips For New Moms

Go To The Dentist

The second trimester is a good time to make a routine dentist appointment as well. Pregnancy hormones can wreak havoc on your teeth, and lead to periodontal gum disease. When possible, see a dentist prior to conceiving so that you can take care of any dental-related issues since dental work is not recommended during pregnancy. Then follow up with a routine cleaning during your second trimester to maintain good oral health.

Start Your Registry

Now is also the perfect time to start your registry. I’ve compiled all of the best baby gear on the planet for you here in this post. Make sure you register for anything and everything that you will need for your baby. If you end up not using an item, you can always return it.

You can’t go wrong with registering on Amazon Registries. Shopping with Amazon is super simple and convenient for your family and friends. But, you might also like Baby List since you can register for items on Amazon, Baby Depot, Target, and smaller mom and pop shops. You can even add prenatal education, like my Mommy Masterclasses, on your Baby List registry as well as photography sessions and prenatal massages.

Click here to see what I recommend registering for, especially for first time parents, and the top 40 baby products you’ll thank me for later.

Go On A Babymoon

Babymoons are kinda like a honeymoon, but with a baby bump and impending due date along for the ride. The second trimester is the prefect time to enjoy a getaway with the soon-to-be daddy, and enjoy some much needed R&R before life becomes less romantic. Click here to view my travel guides for some babymoon inspiration.

Related Post: 27 Gender Neutral Nursery Ideas

Start Decorating & Organizing Baby’s Nursery

Start thinking color schemes, themes, and overall design ideas for your baby’s first home. You certainly don’t need to have your nursery completely set up and decorated by the end of the second trimester. Likely you haven’t even had your baby shower yet. But, it is a good idea to begin planning for furniture pieces, and larger items to make this space super comfortable since you’ll be spending a lot of time in this space.

To help you prepare your nursery during this time, you could tackle cleaning out the space, measuring for furniture and other items, painting or wallpapering, and installing a closet organization system. Click here to see some of my favorite gender neutral nursery ideas that could easily transform into a cute little oasis for your son or daughter once you know the gender and start buying more specific items.

Take Prenatal Classes

The second trimester is also a good time to start preparing for your birth and postpartum life by learning all you can about this process. Prenatal classes are available online now, which is especially convenient for first-time parents. In this post I share with you 4 amazing classes that I think every new parent should take before their baby arrives, and they are all taught by registered nurses. Included is a labor and delivery course, postpartum/newborn course (taught by me!), a breastfeeding course, and a baby sleep course. You won’t want to miss these invaluable classes that you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home.

Do Your Research

While we’re talking about learning, now is also the best time to start researching some topics and decisions you’ll need to make in the early days postpartum. Now is the time to research topics like vaccines, circumcision, etc. As well as researching as much as you can about your feeding choice, whether it be breastfeeding or formula feeding or both. The more you can learn and discover now, the better. Often times your just simply too exhausted right after birth to make these decisions coherently.

Related Post: Best Pregnancy & Baby Gear of 2020

Build A Maternity Capsule Wardrobe

I’m just beginning to build my capsule wardrobe, which you can read about in this simple morning routine post. I even use a fancy app to track my outfits and help me keep my virtual and real closet clutter-free. But, during your pregnancy, do you really need to invest in several pieces of maternity clothes that you’ll only wear for a few months?

My suggestion would be to go through your closet, and set aside items that will most-likely continue to fit you as your bump grows. Take stock of what you already have, and then make a list of items you may need as your pregnancy progresses. Think about events you may be going to, and what season you should be buying for. And, then keep your eyes peeled for sales and stock up then.

Or if you are really ready to style that bump and want to fill your closet with maternity clothes, check out Stitch Fix Maternity. They’ll send you boxes every month with specialty curated clothes for the most stylish pregnancy ever! This service will really help you fill your maternity clothes capsule, which is especially helpful if you simply don’t know what to buy, what brands you like, and if you plan to have more babies.

Here Are A Few Maternity Pieces You Should Definitely Purchase

Even if you think you have enough pieces in your wardrobe to make it to the end of your pregnancy, here is a list of items you should consider purchasing. These are things that you’ll use for a while postpartum.

  • Maternity Jeans- for comfort and style, I love these jeans
  • Nursing Bras- these nursing bras are the most comfortable, plus check out their cozy pajamas and hospital gowns
  • Workout Clothes- cause squeezing into non-maternity yoga pants or leggings isn’t fun for anyone!
  • Maternity/Nursing Tanks- these make breastfeeding so much easier after baby is born and yet are comfy with your growing bump as well…check out this discreet bamboo tank
  • Special Occasion Dresses (for your baby shower &/or pregnancy photos)- don’t forget to shop for your baby shower dressing and special clothing for photoshoots and such. My favorite shops for fancier maternity clothing are Pink Blush Maternity and Seraphine.

Book Your Pregnancy Photo Shoot

The second trimester is also the perfect time to book your pregnancy photo shoot. I love pictures and capturing memories and moments in time, so pregnancy pictures are a must for me. If they’re not your thing skip to the next tip. But, if you are like me and want to plaster your walls with family memories, then now is the time to start researching photographers in your area. Ask your family and friends what photographers they’ve liked, and book your session.

Heck, if you like the photographer enough, book your newborn session as well. Now’s the perfect time to work with your chosen photographer and see if you mesh well and love their work before booking them for a newborn session that’s often really long and expensive. You’ll be glad you captured this time in your life, and did this research ahead of time. Photographers book up quickly, so start your search today!

Enjoy Your New Appetite

Now that that first trimester nausea is (hopefully, fingers-crossed) gone, now it’s time to eat! Hallelujah! Enjoy that new appetite of yours! Here’s just a few things to remember. You’re not really “eating for two”, so don’t go hog wild. You really only need a few hundred extra calories a day to sustain your growing baby. Drink lots and lots of water. Dehydrating can sometimes lead to early contractions and early labor, so you definitely want to drink drink drink…especially if you live in a warmer climate area.

I recommend reading this book for optimal pregnancy nutrition. Also during your second trimester, usually between 24 and 28 weeks, you’ll go through glucose testing to check for gestational diabetes. Typically gestational diabetes can be controlled through diet alone, but your doctor/midwife will walk you through how to maintain good blood sugars for yours and baby’s health. Sometimes treatments include frequent blood sugar monitoring, metformin, and/or insulin. If you happen to be diagnosed with gestational diabetes, check out this book for the best nutrition for you and your baby for the rest of your pregnancy.

Also, if you are looking for an easy way to meal plan during your pregnancy and after baby is born, check out Home Chef. You can pick your meals based on your preferences, and all of the ingredients are shipped right to your door. The recipes are easy to recreate, delicious, and nutritious. Click here to check out this weeks menu.

Related Post: 4 Classes To Take Before Having Your Baby

Start Stretch Mark Prevention

The second trimester is also the best time to start stretch mark prevention. Honestly, there’s really not a whole lot you can do to prevent stretch marks. Some people are just more prone to getting them than others, unfortunately. However, there are certain ways to help your belly stretch and grow, and hopefully prevent as many stretch marks as possible.

I recommend using this tummy butter &/or this belly gloss oil every day to prevent stretch marks and reduce itching and irritation as your skin stretches. Other things you can do is stay well hydrated. Drinking lots of water will nourish your skin and increase its elasticity.

Also don’t forget that stretch marks can happen anywhere not just your belly. You may see them popping up on your boobs, your arms, your bottom, and even your legs. So spread that lotion and oil everywhere. Your belly’s not the only thing growing these days. But, don’t worry, that precious bundle of joy will be worth every battle scar.

Start Sleeping On Your Side

If you are not already a side sleeper, now’s the time to get into the habit. They say that sleeping on your left side in particular is better for you and the baby as it promotes the most oxygen-rich blood flow to the uterus. But, truthfully, either side is fine.

What you don’t want to do is spend a great deal of time sleeping on your back. The weight of your growing belly, placenta, baby, etc puts pressure on your main blood vessels cutting off blood flow to you and the baby. You may have noticed by now that if you spend anytime on your back you may start to feel dizzy or nauseous, and that is why.

Don’t worry too much about this. Your body and your brain are very smart. If you’re doing something in the night that’s uncomfortable for you or for baby, most likely your body will wake you up and prompt you to turn on your side. Don’t lose precious sleep over this. Invest in a quality pregnancy pillow to snuggle at night, and you’ll never think about sleeping on your back ever again.

Tour The Hospital

This is also a great time to tour the hospital before you deliver. Talk to your doctor/midwife about what to expect at the hospital for delivery, and schedule a tour if you’re able to. The second trimester is the best time to do this before you get too uncomfortable for all of that walking.

Learn about what to ask and what to look for here, as well as some other important ways to prepare for delivery day in my FREE Baby Bootcamp course where I talk more about what to expect during your hospital tour. Also, if you are preparing to have your baby amidst the cover-19 pandemic, click here to learn how you can take an alternate hospital tour and other ways your delivery day may be different.

Related Post: 50+ Pregnancy Announcement Ideas for Your Husband

Consider Birth Options

There are a few birth options that you should start thinking about as well during these weeks to give yourself enough time to get information and book with these services. These are all optional, but services that some moms and dads-to-be love having at their birth.

Cord Blood Banking

Cord Blood Banking is where you decide to store your baby’s umbilical cord blood and possible even tissue in a registered bank for however many years you choose. The stem cells found in your baby’s blood can be used to treat >80 different diseases and counting, and may even help you and your partner in the future as well.

There are three main banking facilities, Cord Blood Registry, Americord, & ViaCord. You can click on each to learn more about each registry and the science behind saving your baby’s cord blood. They also include pricing guides and financing to help you make this possible.

If you decide you want to save your baby’s cord blood, you’ll need to bring a kit to the hospital during your delivery. It’s imperative that you bring the kit with you, so that your labor and delivery nurse and team can collect the specimens required. Then, a courier from your chosen cord blood registry will come to the hospital to pick up your baby’s cord blood kit. It’s certainly an option to look into.

Doula

A doula (AKA birth coach) is another great option for your birth. Some women love to have this extra set of hands to coach them through delivery, assist them during their pregnancy, and even make home visit postpartum. Check your local area for doulas, talk to friends and family who’ve hired one for their labor, and do some research. Doulas can be especially helpful if your husband’s a bit squeamish around blood, or if you don’t have any other support with you.

Birth Photography/Videography

And, lastly, another great birth option is a birth photographer. These photographers are basically on call for when you go into labor. They arrive at the hospital and capture the birth, those last moments of pregnancy, and the first moments of your baby’s life. This is an especially important option for me, because I love to have pictures of everything (well…maybe not everything…ha!) and I’m usually the one taking the pictures. I could just see me now barking at my hubby to get pictures of the baby on the scale, or getting his first footprints, or of me holding him. Do yourself a favor and hire a birth photographer if these pictures are that important to you, that way you can both enjoy this time together.

Here’s an example of a beautiful video put together by a birth photographer using videos and photos shot during Caleb & Kelsey’s birth of their second sone. And, they’re singing the song in the video. They’re my favorite singers and I have them on replay constantly…but that’s a post for another day.

Begin Interviewing Pediatricians

Did you know that you need to have a pediatrician for your baby when you arrive at the hospital to give birth? The second trimester is the perfect time to being interviewing pediatricians for your family. Here are some things to look for in a pediatrician…

  • a physician on call 24 hours a day 7 days a week– for those middle of the night pressing questions and concerns
  • a sick and healthy waiting room or hours– to keep your newborn healthy and safe during visits
  • a physician that has admission privileges at your chosen hospital/health system– so he/she can round on your baby/child should they ever need to be admitted to the hospital (including during the first 24 hours of life)

Ask your family and friends for recommendations, and make sure that your pediatrician is located close to your house. You’ll be seeing your pediatrician quite regularly during your baby’s first few weeks of life, and packing up a baby for a trip outside the house is already overwhelming. So, be sure you choose a pediatrician that’s not too far away.

Begin Creating A Keepsake Baby Book &/or A Pregnancy Journal

Are you a keepsake, journaling, scrapbooker kinda person like me? Well, if so, you’ll be glad to hear that the second trimester is the perfect time to start journaling in a baby book or pregnancy journal. If you haven’t already grabbed a baby keepsake book, I really like this one from Artifact Uprising. I love its simplicity and the ability to print archival quality pictures to adhere in the book later on.

I also love the baby and pregnancy journals from Write to Me. These give you a beautiful place to record the ups and downs of pregnancy and new-mom life when you’re able to jot them down so you never forget this precious time in your life.

Related Post: The Best Pregnancy Apps For Expecting Moms

Take Pictures Of Your Growing Bump

And on that note, don’t forget to take pictures of your growing belly. It can be a bit intimating if you’re not used to being on the other side of the camera lens, especially if you’re feeling conscious about how your look. But, trust me, you’ll be thankful you have these pictures later on. These will be absolutely precious to you and you won’t care if you look swollen and disheveled.

Treat Yourself To A Prenatal Massage

Now we’re talking. Yep, the second trimester is the perfect time to schedule a prenatal massage. Reward yourself for making it halfway through your pregnancy with a day of beauty and relaxation. This is just about the time that the aches and growing pains start to kick in, so you’ll be glad you set this time aside for yourself.

If you are local to the southeast Michigan area, check out Woodhouse Day Spa where you can enjoy a prenatal massage, rejuvenating facial, and lavender sugar scrub pedicure in their Great Expectations package. Perfectly named, don’t ya think? Sound Heavenly to me.

Start Planning Your Baby Shower

Let the planning and partying begin! The second trimester is the perfect time to start planning your baby shower. Talk to the hostess/hostesses about what dates work for you, and you can even begin picking a theme and location for your shower. Now is also the perfect time to begin your registry and shop for your shower dress like we talked about above.

Thankfully, this is one party that you don’t have to plan all by yourself and one where you can kick your feet up and relax and nobody will think twice about it. Click here for a really cute Bunny Baby Shower Theme that features beautiful elements like rose gold runners, peonies, and cotton candy bunny tail favors.

Related Post: A Rose Gold Bunny Baby Shower Theme

Tackle A Few Things From Your Pre-Baby Bucket List

Are there still a few things left on your bucket list that you’d like to tackle before baby arrives? Maybe you’re thinking you want to organize your pantry, go on a weekend trip with your mom and sister, complete a 5K, go hiking in Yosemite, or catch a few shows in Vegas or New York City. These are all still possible during your pregnancy. Make out a list of some things you’d like to do or complete before baby arrives, and set out to do them.

Remember, the second trimester is the best time to travel, so if your bucket list includes some getaways now’s the perfect time to do those. Take it easy and don’t push yourself too hard. Now’s probably not the time to complete the Boston Marathon or go Skydiving…right? Yikes! But, you certainly can purpose to enjoy your pregnancy and make memories during this special time in your life with your family and friends. What’s at the top of your bucket list? Now’s the time to do those things, cause once your baby is born your time will be sent snuggling and kissing your bundle of joy.

Enjoy The (Arguably) Best Trimester Of Your Pregnancy

So, as you can see, the second trimester is packed full of fun! You’re counting down the days until your baby is ready to be born, you’re getting everything prepared for his/her arrival, and you’re (hopefully) taking really good care of yourself.

Remember to make the most of this time in your life. Record all of your milestones, feelings, joys, and pain in your pregnancy journal, and fill your photo reel with pics of that precious bump. Enjoy this uniquely special time.

Related: The Most Unique Baby Girl Names

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Hi, I’m Stephanie

Your newest BFF & Simplicity Guru, if that’s ok with you

Fueled by equal parts cold brew and dry shampoo, I spend my days inspiring and encouraging women to find joy and rest, even in a season full of chaos and overwhelm.  Your story, your family, your journey is a beautiful one and I can’t wait to help you create memories you will treasure for years to come.  

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