I will start with the fact that it is so much more enjoyable than the first trimester! If you read my previous blog, you’ll know I suffered with all day nausea and ate very little colour! But the 12 week mark was a real turning point and although I have had occasional headaches and fatigue, my body started to feel more alive again in the second trimester.
Things I am eating
I have had so much interest in regards to what I am eating right now! The truth is (since entering my second trimester), my diet hasn’t really changed. I still eat pretty much how I did before falling pregnant and am of course taking prenatal supplements. The only thing that slightly differs is I fill up much more easily in the evening and I like to make sure that I am not going to bed uncomfortable so I have been eating dinner pretty early to give my tummy enough time to settle after a big meal. Foods I am particularly loving right now are fresh fruits, chocolate (obvs), cheese, savoury snacks and kombucha! I know there are mixed opinions around drinking kombucha in pregnancy but it is my own personal choice to include it – I drank it lots beforehand and my body really enjoys it. There have definitely been days where I feel I need more food and I am genuinely just listening to what my body wants. I am making sure I include lots of nutrient dense foods (like I was before anyway) and I still enjoy chocolate everyday too!
Things I love
Feeling my little boy kicking around inside of me is a feeling like no other. I feel more and more connected to him every day! I started to feel him move around 18 weeks (Ash started to feel his kicks at 20 weeks) and I can almost predict when I will feel him awake now. I love the trust that my body has in me and I have never felt more confident in regards to the fact that I am looking after my wellbeing in the best way (for me). This will look different for everyone but I have dedicated years after recovering from an eating disorder to make sure I do everything I can to support my physical and mental wellbeing.
I loved my workouts pre-pregnancy and have continued throughout. Thanks to my gorgeous friend Georgie and her GS method, I tend to workout 4-5 times a week, mixing low impact cardio, Pilates, strength and pelvic floor exercises of course. I also make sure I get a walk in every day. This is just the type of movement that MY body loves. I don’t thrive off of high impact and you won’t catch me on a run. We know that movement is so important whilst pregnant and it really does keep me in a positive place physically and mentally.
I am so lucky to have an incredible Husband, amazing family and friends! They have all been such an important and helpful part of this journey so far in different ways. I am also superrr excited and lucky that my best friend of 15 years is also pregnant (just 7 weeks behind me) and going through this journey with someone is just magical. I find it imperative to talk to people. Talk to people who have experienced pregnancy before, ask for advice, seek support, you need it! Yes, pregnancy is a miracle but it can also be tough, so speak up and use your support system.
Things I struggle with
I know everyone’s pregnancy journey is so different… some people love it, some people don’t, but I personally feel so grateful to have the opportunity to carry my own baby. If you know my background you will know that I was always unsure if pregnancy would be a possibility for me so the fact that this has happened, kind of helps override any negatives that have cropped up. That being said, I have had my struggles. In all honesty, there have been days where I felt uncomfortable in my body. Some people love the free boob job but I am not feeling it! I was quite content with small boobs and not having to wear a bra. But hey, I’ll get over it and hope they reduce to their normal size in the future. The growing tummy, although of course necessary, has also been a struggle at times. Like I said when these negative feelings crop up, I address them and then remind myself how lucky I am that my body is growing my baby. But I don’t want to sugar coat anything and these feelings are normal regardless of size and history of body image issues. I also used to love having big meals, particularly at dinner – since hitting week 19 I started to get terrible discomfort if I ate too much in one go and this would trigger heartburn too! So I have had to spread out when I eat a little more to cater to this.
Other unwanted symptoms that have cropped up are back pain, occasional headaches and I have to admit my mood can go from feeling on top of the world to crying for no reason!
These are my personal tips for anyone in their second trimester…
I drank a lot of water any way but have realised I really do benefit from drinking more now that I am pregnant. Because I feel like I need to pee every hour still, it sometimes deters me from drinking more water but I notice I feel like I haven’t drank enough when it gets to the end of the day so just make sure you stay hydrated. I use a litre water bottle to keep track and make sure I am refilling it at least 2-3 times a day.
Get your vaccines
I know there are mixed opinions here but I personally believe that with the research that we have, it is a safe way to protect your baby. I had both the flu and whooping cough vaccine and have no regrets. The last thing I would ever want is to be terribly ill whilst nurturing a baby in my tummy.
Like I said this can really help support your mental and physical health so find something you love and commit to it when you can. I feel so empowered after a good workout!
Although it is important to stay active in pregnancy, it is also important to relax. I found benefit from an acupuncture session as like I said my back has been pretty achy for the last few weeks. I also have a facial, pregnancy massage and reflexology appointment booked – if now isn’t the time to pamper ourselves I don’t know when is! I have also been prioritising at least 8 hours of sleep every night. I also use a lovely pregnancy safe belly oil to keep my skin supple whilst its stretches out to grow my little boy!
Get a Swiss Ball
If like me you are struggling with back pain or even achiness (some people also suffer with cramps), try not to sit in awkward positions that may make this worse. I spend at least 70% of my working hours sat on my swiss ball which I feel really helps keep any discomfort at bay!
Listen to your body
I will say it again – every pregnancy is different and you know your body better than anyone. If you think something might be wrong or something feels out of the ordinary, call your midwife. If something makes you feel good, go with it. People will offer their advice and opinions whether you ask for them or not – you don’t have to listen. Stand up for you and your body!