The second trimester is the ‘honeymoon’ of your pregnancy. This is because the placenta and the baby are supplying the hormones your body needs and morning sickness, along with emotional outbursts, should be something of the past. You may even forget that you’re pregnant… until you feel the flutter of a butterfly in your belly and realise that you’ve just felt your baby move for the first time.
Getting things done
Now that your energy levels are restored, it’s time to do the things you’ve been putting off:
- Have your car serviced
- Visit the dentist
- Take the holiday you’ve been planning
- Paint and plan the baby’s nursery
- Tidy cupboards
- Attend to outstanding paperwork.
You’ll have your second scan to check for anomalies and your baby’s gender (if you want to know) along with a triple serum screen for Down’s syndrome (if you choose to have the test).
Make a point of exercising regularly. This can be walking, swimming or yoga, but if you’re a seasoned sportswoman you may need to start relaxing your exercise routine so it’s less demanding on ligaments and support structures when these begin to loosen up owing to hormonal changes.
The steady supply of hormones, fuller breasts and rich blood supply to the vagina all help to boost libido levels. Make the most of it while you can, because sex is likely to be the last thing on your mind after the birth.
Preparing the nursery
If you’re on a tight budget, borrow or buy second-hand nursery paraphernalia and spruce it up with a coat of unleaded paint, fresh covers and creative colours. Essentials are a cot, chest of drawers topped with a covered sponge cushion for nappy-changing, a shelf for baby care goodies and a comfortable feeding chair.
- You don’t have to buy expensive outfits – just be creative about how you put them together.
- As you get bigger, you tend to stand out in a crowd. Don’t highlight this by wearing bright colours and splashy patterns. Wear neutral colours and a blazer, jacket or scarf.
- A long jacket can be worn open as your bump grows.
- Buy at least two pairs of dark maternity pants and leggings.
- Dress up simple outfits with accessories like necklaces, scarves and earrings.
- Practical maternity underwear and bellyband supports are comfort essentials.
- Replace stilettos with flat, comfortable shoes.
- Buy one or two bras that are comfortable enough to sleep in.
- Swop those sexy nighties for practical pyjamas – a button-down top will be ideal for breastfeeding.
Look your best
- Have your hair styled.
- Enjoy the luxury of regular manicures and pedicures.
- Pay attention to your skin.
Research and book antenatal classes that include partners.
- Go shopping for the expensive baby items on your list, like a stroller and baby chair. While most things can be bought second-hand, the car seat must be new.
- If you know that friends and family are planning a baby shower for you, list the practical items you still need like a baby bath, bath towels, blankets, receiving-blankets, nappies and other baby care products.
Your hospital stay
- Book your bed. Bring documents like ID, medical insurance card, any correspondence from your healthcare provider (if you need to have a C-section or any other surgery such as tubal ligation or previous scar repairs).
- Go on the hospital tour with your partner. It’s important to know where the delivery ward and operating theatre are and what they look like. You will also visit the nursery and high care. This is your opportunity to ask questions and you’ll be given a list of what you need to bring to the hospital.
- Prepare for when you will be on maternity leave. If possible, prepare ahead for the months when you won’t be around. If you’ll have a replacement while you’re away, now is the time to start training her.
- If there is a backlog of filing, tidying-up or hanging commitments that you’ve neglected, make the effort to do a little bit every day so that office or work space is not chaotic when your temp takes over.
- Remember that from 26 weeks onwards, your baby can survive (with help) if you go into unexpected premature labour. Don’t leave everything to the last minute – this will only stress you out and deplete your limited energy levels.
- If this is not your first baby, make sure other children are taken care of while you’re away. Tell them about their baby brother or sister, give them the chance to ask questions and let them do things for the new baby like draw a picture or put a toy in the nursery.
- Stock up on non-perishable essentials.
- Start cooking double quantities and freeze half for meals after the birth.
- Take care of bigger items like window washing, carpet cleaning and laundering the curtains, covers and bed spreads, mattresses and pillows.
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