Well mama, you made it out of the first trimester! And hopefully that means you are feeling a whole lot better. For many the second trimester brings a boost of energy, a lot less pregnancy discomfort, and an adorable baby bump.
With the fog of the first trimester lifting, you might suddenly feel like there’s a lot to do before baby arrives. Sure, there’s still plenty of time, but if you’re like me, an organized to do list is exactly what you need to feel like you’re in control.
That’s why I put together this complete second trimester to do list. It’s an all in one guide to everything you can do, plan and organize now to make for an easier pregnancy and transition into motherhood later.
If you’re new around here, don’t forget to consult my first trimester to do list to make sure there’s nothing you missed earlier on to get you on track!
Start a prenatal fitness program
Whether you were a regular exerciser before pregnancy or not, the second trimester is the perfect time to add some movement to your day. In fact, the CDC recommends that healthy pregnant women aim for 150 minutes of aerobic activity every week.
That recommendation is rooted in a variety of benefits. Here’s a glance at just a few of the reasons to start a prenatal fitness program ASAP:
- You may have a short labor and delivery (source)
- Regular prenatal exercise is associated with less epidural use during birth (source)
- Will keep away pregnancy fatigue
- May lower your risk of prenatal and postpartum depression (source)
- Will help keep your weight gain in the healthy range
- Will ward off pregnancy discomforts like back pain, pelvic pain, and swelling
Plan your gender reveal
Somewhere between 50%-66% of expecting couples plan to find out the sex of their baby before birth. If that’s you, planning how to find out baby’s gender is a definite for your second trimester to do list.
Once you reach 20 weeks, your provider will schedule your anatomy scan. This scan is done by an ultrasound technician and is a chance for your provider to check on baby’s growth and development. Amazingly, at just 20 weeks gestation almost all of your baby’s major systems have developed.
Your provider will check their size, limbs, kidneys, heart, bowels, brain, spine, skull, and more. And yes, this is also the scan where they can usually see if it’s a boy or a girl!
So why is this on your to do list? Well, it’s important for you and your partner to discuss the gender reveal ahead of time and get on the same page.
Here are some questions to consider:
- Do you want to find out the gender or be surprised?
- Do you want the technician to tell you during the scan?
- Do you want to find out privately later on?
- Do you want to find out at a gender reveal party in front of family and friends?
Make your baby registry
One of the bigger second trimester tasks is completing your baby registry. So many mamas tell me that this feels like a bit of a daunting task––especially if this is your first baby!
A quick search will show you the thousand of baby products out there. How do you know which ones you actually need, and which ones are safest for baby? Beyond that, where should you register?
For all the details, head over to my complete baby registry guide. But for this article, here’s a quick start guide:
- Aim to start your registry around week 20 and have it completed before your baby shower invites go out
- When choosing where to register, look for registries that offer completion discounts, this way you can get a deal on items that aren’t purchased
- It’s totally fine to register at more than one place, in fact, there are sites (like MyRegistry) that can compile your registries into one place
- Choose high quality, nontoxic organic baby items whenever possible. Not only are these products safer for baby, but they will usually last longer and are well worth the investment
- Use my baby registry checklist to figure out what you need!
Plan your baby shower
I know that traditionally baby showers are hosted by a female family member or friend, but I figured a second trimester to do list wasn’t complete without this item.
Even though someone else is likely officially hosting your shower, you’re probably still going to be involved in some of the planning. Here are some baby shower to dos you’ll need to think about:
- Date and location for your baby shower
- Baby shower theme, decorations, and food
- Registry information for baby shower invitations
- Providing the host with a guest list and addresses for invitations
- Getting a guest book/gift log to make thank you notes easier
Invest in some maternity wear
Usually, your baby bump will start to pop out somewhere between week 14-20. Keep in mind that everyone’s body is different! Depending on your height, torso length, pre-pregnancy weight, and whether or not this is your first pregnancy, it may pop sooner or later than this window.
In any case, you’re probably going to reach a point where maternity clothes can’t be avoided. Investing in a few key pieces that can be utilized for different needs will keep you feeling cute and comfortable. Try to choose solid colors and basics that can be dressed up or down by switching out accessories and shoes.
Refocus on prenatal nutrition
During the first trimester you probably fell into the habit of eating whatever you could keep down. For many that’s bland carbs. Luckily, your body is able to adapt and your prenatal vitamin is really good at picking up the slack when it comes to nutrition.
However, now that you’re in the second trimester it’s a great time to get focused on your prenatal nutrition! Eating a balanced diet will boost your energy, give baby everything they need for their development, and help keep your weight gain in the healthy range.
Looking for help with this? A pregnancy cookbook or pregnancy nutrition guide is exactly what you need!
Apply stretch mark cream daily
If you aren’t already doing this, go ahead and put it on your daily to do list, mama! Applying stretch mark cream will help lock in your skin’s natural moisture and improve its elasticity. While research doesn’t prove that cream will help you avoid marks entirely, it should help reduce the amount or depth of your stretch marks.
When choosing a stretch mark cream, look for something made from all natural, non-toxic ingredients. Our skin easily absorbs toxins found in conventional personal care products and can potentially expose baby to unwanted chemicals, hormone disruptors and more.
Start preparing for birth
Believe it or not, you can start your birth preparations now. While the third trimester is when you’ll really need to focus on things like making a birth plan and regularly doing breathing exercises, there’s a lot to do in the second trimester!
To begin preparing for birth now, I recommend daily stretching, hip opening and pelvic floor strengthening. You can also start researching different types of birth and decide what will be right for you. If you decide you want to plan for a natural birth, finding a natural birth course will be essential for your preparations.
While it might seem silly to literally put hydration on your second trimester to do list, I’m going to do it. Because hydration is super important during pregnancy. And if you’re like me, you have to be intentional about your water consumption or it just doesn’t happen.
Water is especially important during pregnancy because it’s how your body produces amniotic fluid, flushes out toxins, creates extra blood volume, carries nutrients to your growing baby, and it aids in digestion. Can’t argue with that, am I right?
During pregnancy, its recommended to increase your water intake to 10-12 8 oz. glasses per day. It should go up even more when you begin nursing in order to keep your supply up (source).
To help meet your daily water needs during pregnancy, get yourself a big, insulated water bottle. You’ll lovehaving it once you begin breastfeeding too.
Work on your nursery
Working on baby’s nursery is something you’ll do over the course of your pregnancy. Usually, mamas get a lot of their nursery essentials at their baby shower which isn’t until the third trimester. However, it’s a great idea to kind of prep the nursery space before then so that you can easily get to the organizing and the setting up once you do have all the stuff.
This means doing things like emptying the room if it’s currently functioning as another space. Maybe painting the room if you plan to change the color, and updating the flooring, lighting, and window treatments if you wish.
Having the nursery set up as a blank slate during the second trimester will make it so much easier to get to the fun part during your third trimester. Plus, it’s also a whole lot easier to paint before your belly gets really big 😉
Think about maternity leave
Usually, the second trimester is the time when women tell their workplaces about their pregnancy. I usually recommend waiting as long as possible because sadly, pregnancy discrimination is a thing. I don’t want you to miss out on opportunities at work because of pregnancy.
When you do feel ready to tell your boss, I recommend going into the conversation with a loose plan of what you’re thinking for maternity leave. You don’t need to have anything set in stone, but an idea of how much time you’d like to take off and steps for how you’re planning for that transition will go a long way in your continued positive relationship with your workplace.
Research childcare options
Next up on your second trimester to do list is childcare research. Yes, you really should get a start on this now. Depending on where you live, wait lists for daycares (especially for young infants) can be months long. You want to give yourself plenty of time to research and tour facilities, and then get on their lists.
If you are leaning towards a nanny, that’s another thing you’ll want to have plenty of time to line up before baby is born. Believe me, you won’t want to be interviewing nanny candidates at 6 weeks postpartum.
Enjoy the second trimester and be present in your pregnancy, mama
We’ll wrap up your second trimester to do list with a reminder to enjoy, be present, and be grateful for the amazing life that’s growing in your belly. Your pregnancy is going to fly by, mama!
Take time each day to be present with your bump, consider starting a daily meditation. Remember to be in wonder and awe of your growing baby. They’ll be here before you know it!
Looking back and looking ahead, don’t miss out on my first trimester and third trimester to do lists! By using all three, you’ll be totally prepared before you’re due.