Welcome to the second trimester, you are over half way on the journey to meeting your new baby! You might be glad to know that the second trimester is also known as the ‘golden trimester’. This is because, for many, things such as nausea and anxiety can subside. Check out our post on the first trimester for more on that.
As you go from week 13 to week 28, things will probably begin to feel oh so real. To help guide you and your partner through this next stage of pregnancy, here are a few of the second trimester symptoms to look out for, things you can prepare and some of your questions about the second trimester of pregnancy answered...
Photo by Amber Robertson on Reshot
Things you might notice in the second trimester
Some of the changes and symptoms you noticed in the first trimester may subside or may continue into the second trimester, with a few changes as your baby (and partner’s belly) grows.
- Your partner’s bump will get bigger and her body will continue to change. You can probably expect leaking nipples, thrush, nosebleeds, a dark vertical line on her belly, varicose veins and stretch marks (aka tiger stripes!) – this is all a natural part of growing an incredible little human in the second trimester.
- Your partner may seem a bit more forgetful than usual. This is sometimes called ‘baby brain’ and it’s due to her having less oxygen in her blood
- She may have more energy and an increased sex drive – woo!
- Your baby will grow from the size of a lemon to the size of an aubergine in the second trimester! They’ll have eyelashes, fingernails and you might even feel them move.
Similar to the first trimester, it’s understandable that you’ll have a lot of emotions about this experience. As it gets closer to your baby’s due date, you might:
- Feel more anxious as the big day approaches, but remember there are places you can reach out to, and talking to your partner about your feelings can help.
- You may even feel less anxious, as the chance of miscarriage reduces to about 1-5%.
- As your partner’s stomach grows, sex might become more difficult and put a strain on your relationship. But there are plenty of techniques you can try and it’s safe to still have sex (plus it can be great for your relationship).
Photo by Benjamin Balazs on Pixabay
How can you support your partner in the second trimester?
- Similar to the first trimester, just being there for her, helping her when you can and talking things through can mean the world during this time. Let her rest (with her feet up if they’re swollen!) while you get busy with housework, shopping, etc.
- Cook for your partner, but remember that there are some things that shouldn’t be eaten during pregnancy such as unpasteurised dairy, raw bean sprouts, high mercury fish, raw, seared or rare foods, etc. Opt for foods with lots of iron, calcium, protein and fibre. (Swap that sushi or swordfish for salmon with green leafy veg)!
- Give her a hand making a birth plan (if she wants your help).
- Start (or continue) moving. Exercise during pregnancy is super important for both physical and mental health. Plus working out together can make it even more enjoyable. Just remember that there are certain types of exercise that should be avoided during pregnancy. Check out our post on this for more.
- Book a little holiday. This might be your last chance for a bit of alone time, so book a vacation (or staycation) and do something fun (that is also safe, of course!). Check out our post on flying while pregnant if you have any concerns about this.
- Go along to the second trimester doctor’s appointments and scans:
- The anomaly scan at 18-20 weeks will check how your baby’s developing. They’ll look closely at their bones, brain, heart, face, spinal cord, kidneys and abdomen and check for any anomalies. And you can also find out the sex of your baby (if you want to)!
- There will then be further appointments with your midwife or doctor at weeks 25, 28, 31, 34, 36, 38, 40, 41 and 42. Chances are you might not be able to make all of these, but this lis will show you what happens at each one so you can decide which ones you might want to attend.
- Remember, you’re entitled to paid time off work for two antenatal appointments (6.5 hours each)!
Photo by Felipe Bustillo on Unsplash
How can you prepare for baby?
- It’s time to sort out your paternity or shared parental leave! You need to tell your employer you’re planning on taking leave, you’ll need to let your work know about it at least 15 weeks before your baby’s due date. Your employer might have a form you need to fill out, or you’ll need to fill out an SC3 form.
- Get learning! Continue reading books, articles, blog posts, etc. to swot up on baby knowledge before they arrive (when you’re likely to have less time).
- Join that antenatal class.. This is a great time to get hands on with your learning and join your partner for classes that will teach you things like birthing positions and locations, how to look after your newborn, post-birth health, etc. It’s a great place to meet other parents-to-be and you might even make some new dad buddies who will be going through all the same things as you. The NCT even does virtual courses if that’s a better option for you!
- You might want to start thinking about buying some baby bits. You’ll probably have a whole list of things, but it makes sense to focus on the essentials first: clothes, blankets, cot, pram, bath, breast pump, baby monitor, car seat, etc.
- One way of getting lots of these sorted in one go (and getting yourself some bargains) is to head to a baby event like The Baby Show.
- Get a head start on the nursery. Many couples choose the ‘golden trimester’ to crack on with the nursery as it means mum can help too (although leave the heavy lifting to dad)! Check out our post on gender gender neutral nurseries for some great inspo.
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels
Second trimester questions answered
Can my baby hear me?
Yes, probably! They generally start hearing from around week 15. They’ll hear lots of noises from inside mum’s body, but if you talk to them, they’ll also hear your voice. So awesome!
When can I feel my baby move?
They’ll start moving from around 18 – 20 weeks. Just place your hands on Mum’s tummy and you’ll probably feel a few little kicks (if they’re awake). These movements increase as they grow so if you don’t feel anything, try again another time.
What should I say to my baby in the womb?
It can feel a bit strange having a one sided conversation with a tummy. You could add a few baby books to your prep list and read some of those, or try singing to it. Even just conversations with mum will let them hear your voice.
Should the cot go in the nursery or our room?
For now, you could keep it in the nursery (just to keep it out of the way), but move it into your room when baby arrives. It’s advise that baby sleep in a cot in the same room as you for the first six months, so you’ll need to find space for it in your room once they start sleeping in it.