The first twelve weeks of your pregnancy are finally over – Phew! For most mums-to-be, the fatigue and nausea that accompanies the first trimester usually subsides at this point. Most mums will also start to show shinier hair and glowing skin during this phase of pregnancy. Wondering how best to make the most of your second trimester? Well, read on!
Break the News!
This is the time you break the good news to family and friends, if you have been ‘keeping mum’ during the first trimester. I recommend finding creative ways of breaking the news and capturing the look on their faces when they find out. We had to let my husband’s parents know over Skype and we took a photo of their reactions the moment we spilled the beans!
At work, it makes sense to let your supervisor and co-workers know in a transparent and professional manner. This will save any potential awkwardness, if they found out from an indirect source. With my second pregnancy, I struggled at work for the first four months until I finally told my project director. I was afraid I would be judged for having a second baby so close to my first, so I tried to hold off the conversation for as long as possible. My project director realised something was off as I looked pale and ill on quite a number of days, but was not sure what it was! On hindsight, it would have been better to have the pregnancy reveal conversation as early as possible.
What Are You Eating?
From a nutritional standpoint if you are eating a healthy, balanced meal, and in small portions six times a day to keep your blood sugar levels consistent, you are doing well. I struggled with portion control (especially with carbohydrates) during my pregnancies and took the saying “eating for two” literally! As a result, I piled on 22 and 26 kgs during my first and second pregnancies respectively. Focus on eating for nutrition rather than for gratification.
Was there some place you wanted to go but never got around to it? There is no time like the present for travel whilst you have the energy, energy that may prove elusive in the third trimester. In addition to that, some airlines will not allow you to fly beyond 28 weeks. If you and your partner fancy a babymoon for a bit of rest, relaxation and romance, then this is also the best time to do it.
During my first pregnancy, at the end of the second trimester, I travelled with my cousin to Paris and it was one of the most memorable trips I ever had. One of my favourite memories was not having to queue for anything and being ushered to the front of the queue immediately.
Have (More) Sex
One thing I definitely regret was not having more sex during my second trimesters. My libido took a long raincheck after childbirth (must be the hormones and breastfeeding) and it was hard to feel sexy when I felt like a beached whale during my third trimester. So seize the moment ladies!
It helps to keep active during your pregnancy, as much as possible. Low impact exercises such as swimming, pregnancy yoga and hill walking really helped me relax and move at the same time. The stronger you are, the better you will cope with labour and childbirth. I am 100% convinced that my hill walking prepared my glutes and quads for childbirth.
If You Can, Plan
I am a proponent of planning ahead – if you are working and taking maternity leave, it makes sense to start planning your handover, exit and re-entry dates and other administrative tasks that need to get done before you have your baby. Leaving it until your third trimester is a no-no, given that you will be feeling more tired and less inclined to think strategically. Overall, childbirth is a life-changing event and it is comforting to face the challenge prepared. Even if it does not go according to plan, at least you would have thought it through.
Keep Up Your Beauty (or Pamper) Regime
More likely than not, you would not have been able to book a pregnancy massage during your first trimester for obvious reasons. Your second trimester is the best window to start pampering yourself again. Pregnancy massage is especially good for back and leg pain (which I had!) and I usually slept like a log after going in for a massage. Do not worry, most places make sure you are properly supported and lying on your side, rather than your back.
Also, if you have neglected your skin during your first trimester, now is the time to look after your skin by drinking lots of water and applying lots of anti- stretch mark cream all over. Your body takes quite a beating going through pregnancy and childbirth, and regular TLC goes a long way.
Make the Most of It!
Got great cleavage during your second trimester? Flaunt it! Love your glowing locks? Invest in a new hairstyle! Most importantly, enjoy and savour every moment with your growing bump (and take loads of photos).