Calling all my fellow natural mamas-to-be! This Second Trimester Pregnancy Survival Guide will provide you with tips, tricks and product recommendations (from books and workouts to style and fashion must-haves, and advice on what to eat during the second trimester to avoid excessive weight gain) to help you get through this exciting, and (let’s face it) symptom-heavy, time.
This post is sponsored by Redmond Real Salt. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for Root + Revel to provide free content and healthy living inspiration.
Holy moly, y’all. As I’m writing this post, I am 30 weeks pregnant. I’m past the second trimester. HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?
I swear, the first trimester dragggggggged on. Every damn day felt like an eternity of fatigue and dizziness that I’d never recover from. And then I blinked and I was in the third trimester.
Fortunately, I’m happy to report the second trimester was a freaking cake walk compared to the first–it was that perfect sweet spot of getting my energy and appetite back and showing in that cute aw-she’s-pregnant kind of way without being so huge that I was uncomfortable.
They don’t call the span from week 13 to week 27 of pregnancy the “honeymoon period” for nothin!
In fact, I almost hate to say it in fear of jinxing it, but the second trimester was actually pretty great.
Don’t get me wrong–I don’t prefer being pregnant to being, well, not pregnant. In fact, though I am completely and totally amazed by the miracle happening inside of me and there are some perks to pregnancy (i.e. not having to suck in, napping without guilt, not having to deal with having a monthly period, etc.), I’m going to just say it:
I don’t really like being pregnant.
I don’t like not being my normal self–I feel out of my element, out of my routine. And there are so many things I miss: hot yoga, having more than one drink, having energy, craving healthy foods (this baby is all about the carbs and sugar!), and just being me.
And this is coming from the girl who did the research and talked to the docs and decided she was still going to drink the occasional glass of wine and caffeine, still going to eat sushi and deli meat and soft cheese, still going to sleep on my back so long as I was comfortable.
I really don’t follow any of the traditional pregnancy “rules” (mostly because the science does not support them), and yet I still feel like I’m missing out. Pregnancy can be kind of lonely–especially when your husband is studying non-stop for the CFA.
That being said, I shouldn’t complain. I know how incredibly lucky I was to be able to conceive. And how fortunate I’ve been thus far to have an uncomplicated, low-risk pregnancy.
And when I feel my little guy kicking around in there, it is the absolutely coolest thing in the world and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
I’m just trying to be real. Pregnancy is not all rainbows and cupcakes (ooooh cupcakes!).
Pregnancy is hard. And so, just like I did after the first trimester, I wanted to share my pregnancy survival guide for the second trimester for all the other mamas-to-be out there who are in need of a little sunshine and support.
MY SECOND TRIMESTER PREGNANCY SURVIVAL GUIDE
Much like in my first trimester, there are a few staples that I’ve continued using regularly in the second trimester: Nutrigold Prenatal Vitamins. Midwife and Mum Tummy Butter. Glow Organics Prenatal Bath Bombs. The Motherhood Full Coverage Back Smoothing Nursing Bra. The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth.
But a few new issues have cropped up in the second trimester, and a few new needs (hello, expanding belly!). So here’s what got me through these last three months:
- Club soda with Bitters: Oh man, I had the worst acid reflux during the second trimester and sometimes nothing really worked. But then my mom told me to try club soda with bitters (I make sparkling water in my Sodastream and add Angustura bitters) and my world was rocked. I couldn’t believe how well this simple concoction worked. I also relied on apple cider vinegar shots in the morning and this Earth Mama heartburn tea at night, which alleviated that burning sensation, too.
- Redmond Real Salt: Throughout this pregnancy, I’ve really struggled with low blood pressure (back in April it was actually 87/56; ideal is between 120/80 and 140/90), which resulted in lots of dizziness, lightheadedness, fatigue and sometimes even depression, especially when standing still in place for long periods of time. Fortunately, low blood pressure can be effectively treated with diet and lifestyle changes, particularly by exercising, eating smaller, more frequent meals, and increasing your water consumption and salt intake. So in addition to drinking plenty of fluids (coconut water is particularly helpful because of the electrolytes), I really focused on getting high-quality salt into my diet and was amazed at the difference it made. Now, hear me, this did not mean loading up on processed junk chockfull of sodium. Rather, I added naturally salty foods to my diet like olives, bone broth, cottage cheese (I’m obsessed with Good Culture), salted nuts and organic tortilla chips cooked in coconut oil. I also focused on using unrefined sea salt in my cooking, as opposed to basic table salt. I know, salt is salt, right? Turns out, not so much. Many conventional salts contain anti-caking agents, dextrose (sugar) and other harmful additives like sodium chloride, calcium silicate or sodium silicoaluminate, and potassium iodide, and have been heat processed and stripped of their natural trace minerals. Redmond’s Real Salt brand sea salt is unrefined, free from any additives or chemicals of any kind, sourced from an ancient underground salt deposit in Utah that’s unadulterated by pollutants, and is chockfull of 60+ natural trace minerals and TONS of flavor. The high mineral content, especially from iodine and manganese give Real Salt its beautiful pink and black color. By contrast, other common “table salts” are white because of bleaching and refining. I’m obsessed with Redmond’s course salt grinder.
- Second Trimester Maternity Clothes: With my ever-expanding belly, I wore exclusively maternity clothes during the second trimester. And honestly, this is a HUGE perk of pregnancy. First of all, they’re SO comfortable. Going back to slip-on jeans that don’t come up all the way up to your boobs is not going to be fun. Secondly, because I didn’t want to overdo it buying a ton of clothes I wouldn’t wear after this season of my life, I kept my maternity wardrobe pretty minimal, just stocking up on a few essentials and a few fun pieces. It’s been like doing the capsule wardrobe thing and I have to say, it’s been amazing. Getting dressed is so much easier, packing for trips is a breeze and I couldn’t be happier with the pieces I picked. Some favorites during the second trimester include Boob Design’s Fast Food T-Shirt Bra and their Simone Sleeveless Dress. I’ve also been loving Ingrid & Isabel’s Active Leggings, this chic Shirred Tank Dress (I also adored their Kimono dresses), and thanks to Georgia’s merciless heat, I’ve been living in their lounge shorts. I also buy a lot from Destination Maternity. Second trimester faves included: their Button Front Maternity Shirts (I’m wearing Chambray in these photos), these Maternity Hipster Panties and this Knot Shoulder Maternity T Shirt. Oh I also loved this maternity tankini that I rocked down in Florida back in May.
- Weekly Chiropractor Visits: It could just be luck, but other than an occasional tight tailbone, I actually felt super comfortable during the second trimester and I can’t help but think it’s in large part to my weekly chiropractor visits. I love that not only is chiropractic care a completely natural and drug-free way to help prevent and relieve back, neck and joint pain associated with pregnancy, but it also boosts immunity, improves nervous system communication, and even helps position baby correctly for birth by establishing pelvic balance. If that weren’t enough, did you know that getting adjusted can help shorten labor and make the birth process easier? Yep, definitely going to keep up those weekly chiropractor visits–and the occassional prenatal massage doesn’t hurt either! I go to The Joint and The Aviary for prenatal massage.
- Second Trimester Supplements: In addition to my Nutrigold Prenatal Vitamins, I also take a probiotic (currently I’m trying Dr. Axe’s SBO probiotic with soil-based cultures). But during the second trimester, I also added in fish oil, specifically Carlson The Very Finest Fish Oil Lemon. Not only are omega-3s super important for your growing fetus’ brain development, but with all the progesterone surging through your body right now, things tend to get a little backed up. Taking a teaspoon of this at breakfast and dinner every day really helped alleviate any constipation.
- HealthIER Sweets: Like I said, this baby is a sugar fiend, which is really weird for me because most days pre-pregnancy I ate less than one tablespoon of sugar, with the exception of fruit and grass-fed dairy. By the second trimester, I couldn’t get enough, but I knew I had to really reign it in. So I try to get most of my sweet tooth fixings from whole fruit, green smoothies, probiotic-rich yogurt, whole grain cereals and granolas, and natural sweeteners like dates, raw honey and maple syrup. HOWEVER, mama needs some candy like whoa and to take away some of the guilt, I relied on Wholesome Organic candy (their Swedish fish and sour worms are my jam). It’s still refined sugar, so I’m not trying to pretend this is healthy, but compared to conventional candy, there’s at least no artificial colors, no artificial flavors, and no high fructose corn syrup; and they’re at least made with organic, clean ingredients, plus gluten-free and non-GMO. I also had a habit of picking up a box of vegan donuts from Atlanta’s much-loved Revolution and at home, many a breakfast started with Immaculate Baking’s Organic Cinnamon Rolls, which contain no preservatives, no artificial flavors, and no hydrogenated oils, and are easily the best cinnamon buns I’ve ever had at home!
- Ice Cream: Speaking of healthier sweets, my ice cream addiction only grew stronger these past three months, and I started by going to Bruster’s for an old favorite from my high school days: graham central station. But then I made the mistake of reading the ingredients label and was so disgusted I couldn’t bring myself to go back. So I started making it at home in my Vitamix. I switch up the proportions every time but it’s always a combo of Organic Valley Grassmilk, frozen bananas, organic dark Chocolate Chips, Gluten Free Graham Crackers, Vanilla collagen and Molasses.
- Food Delivery: My aversion to cooking and anything healthy from the first trimester thankfully went away during the second, but I still didn’t have TONS of energy to meal plan, grocery shop, cook and clean. So I’ve been relying on my favorite meal kit delivery service, Sun Basket (get your first 3 meals free when you use my link). I’ve also continued doing a lot of UberEats, Instacart + Thrive Market to deliver my groceries to my doorstep. And in the morning, quick and easy breakfasts like this superfood strawberry chocolate oatmeal have been staples!
- Second Trimester Personal Care: I mentioned how this Earth Mama heartburn tea helped alleviate some acid reflux symptoms, but they also have a whole line of organic, natural prenatal care that I absolutely love. From moisturizing belly oil to this refreshing ginger-laced Morning Wellness Body Wash, raspberry leaf tea (which has been proven to tone the uterus to prepare for childbirth) and all-natural deodorant that actually works, this line has definitely eased the pains of the second trimester. Their A Little Something For Mama-To-Be gift set is the perfect way to try out a bunch of different products.
- Second Trimester Books: I took a bit of a break from reading pregnancy-related books during the second trimester, but I did happen to pick up two audiobooks on Audible and really loved them both. The Fifth Trimester, was actually written by a classmate of mine at UGA, and was really great at helping me think constructively about maternity leave, childcare and how to be a working mom. The book is definitely more geared to employees, rather than entrepreneurs, but there was a ton of great advice regardless! Matt and I also listened to Bringing Up Bebe on a recent road trip and absolutely LOVED the calm, opposite-of-over-protective parenting style the book promotes. Want your kid to be a good sleeper, adventurous eater and well-mannered, no-trantrums-style child? This book has lots of ideas that can help!
Are you pregnant? What got you through the second trimester? Share in the comments below so we can all help each other during this exciting, overwhelming, joyful and complicated time!
Photo Credit: Heidi Geldhauser
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