Pregnancy is a new beginning — and it's also a time when a lot has to end. Moms have to make a lot of sacrifices to bring their little one into the world healthy, and sometimes it seems like the list of what they have to stop doing is endless. But it can also be the time to start some things.
The second trimester is a key part in the journey. It comes after a period where moms-to-be learn that they will welcome a new bundle of joy but have to deal with a lot of sickness and a very long list of foods that they can't enjoy anymore. The list of restrictions continues into the second trimester. But the good thing is that after the first three months, women can begin some other fun and exciting stuff.
Some say the second trimester is the least interesting of the three stages of pregnancy, but that doesn't mean that there isn't a lot going on. We know that it can be hard to keep track of all the things that moms need to give up, so we have a guide that might help. Here are 16 things moms should stop when the second trimester starts (and six things to do instead).
22 No Stomach Sleeping
Just about everything in a woman's daily life changes when she gets pregnant — in the second trimester, she even has to change how she sleeps. In the first 12 weeks, the baby is so tiny that the mom's sleep position doesn't matter, but pretty soon the fetus gets so big that sleeping on the stomach will squish it.
In fact, doctors recommend that women sleep on their left side as much as possible to keep pressure off of a blood vessel that could cut off the supply to the baby. The transition can be difficult for some women, but it's necessary, starting in the second trimester.
21 Stop Playing Tennis And Horseback Riding
Serena Williams won the Australian Open when she was pregnant — but that was in the first trimester. Doctors recommend that moms-to-be stop playing high impact sports like tennis and softball by the second trimester.
Other sports like horseback riding and skiing could also be dangerous because a fall could happen and the baby could be harmed or the placenta could detach. It's time for mom to be extra careful, and she might have to give up her favorite sport for a little while.
20 Stop Having Morning Sickness (Mostly)
This isn't something that a woman can do anything about. But most of the time the worst symptoms of the first trimester start to dissipate by the second trimester, and that includes morning sickness.
Some women continue to have nausea throughout the pregnancy, but for most, the rush to the bathroom stops when the hormones level out after about 12 weeks. Part of that happens because moms figure out a little more about how to handle the issues, such as eating snacks, but some moms can't do anything to stop the issues. We just thought we would add some good news about things that stop in the second trimester to the list.
19 Don't Take Cold Medicine
Getting sick while pregnant can be a big problem. But what makes it worse is that moms can't do anything about it. They need to know that taking over-the-counter meds can be really dangerous, including cold medicine.
The reason that we mention this in the second trimester is because a lot of women start to get stuffy noses while pregnant. It might not even be a cold — it could just be a pregnancy symptom. The medication won't help, and it could really end up hurting.
18 Stop Wearing High Heels
Some women might not like this part of our list — they love their shoes and don't want to give them up. But doctors say that the second trimester is the time to give up high heels, since moms-to-be can struggle with their center of balance as their baby bumps grow.
While a lot of women are aware of the issues of swelling that happen to celebrity moms-to-be who continue to wear high heels, that isn't the biggest danger. Falls can be devastating during pregnancy, so moms need to think about their footwear so that they can protect their little one.
17 No Heavy Lifting
Working out is really healthy when you are pregnant, but women have to think about the extremes. Although there are some Crossfit moms who successfully continue their workouts while pregnant, doctors recommend that most women cut out the heavy lifting by the second trimester.
Heavy lifting can come up at other times than just in the gym. But it's better to leave the furniture moving and big boxes to your man for about six months, since lifting can cause problems.
16 Stop Eating Sushi
This is a warning that moms need to pick up on as soon as possible — even before the second trimester, if possible. But for those who like to go out and enjoy some sushi, it's important to plan a meal that doesn't include raw fish by the time you are 12 weeks.
Moms-to-be are more susceptible to getting sick from raw foods (this includes undercooked steak), and when that happens, the baby's development could be hampered. Sushi shouldn't be on the menu at this stage in the game.
15 Don't Sit For Extended Periods Of Time
Moms might think that sitting is the best idea for the second trimester, especially when they are feeling a little tired and protective of the baby bump. But sitting for long periods of time can be a problem, beginning about 12 weeks after birth.
Because of the build up of blood in the mom, blood clots are a concern, so things like long car rides and even long periods of sitting at work can be dangerous. Moms-to-be should make a point to get up and walk around a bit every hour or two throughout the second and third trimester.
14 Don't Let Anxiety Set In
The second trimester can be a trying time — usually the physical issues are a little better at this stage, but the pregnancy can take a toll on a woman's mental health. That's why doctors want women to try to avoid letting anxiety settle in. For some, it's a matter of the hormonal changes that happen, and talking to a doctor might allow them to get some relief.
There are a lot of stresses during pregnancy that can set in during the second trimester. From starting to figure out how to pay medical expenses to going through prenatal testing and building a wish list for baby showers, the stress can start to mount. Moms need to do their best to stave off the anxiety, since it can be bad for the baby.
13 Stop Doing Hot Yoga Or Using Hot Tubs
Yoga is a great low-impact exercise for moms-to-be — hot yoga, however, can be really bad for the mom and the baby. By the second trimester, moms can get really overheated and dehydrated, so they need to avoid anything that comes with a high temperature gage, including using a hot tub.
Sometimes it's hard to avoid the heat, such as on a hot summer day. But moms should do what they can to stay cool, starting in the second trimester. There are also concerns about the bacteria in hot tubs, so avoiding that activity altogether is a great idea.
12 Don't Stand Up Too Quickly
Starting in the second trimester, even standing up can require some planning. Doctors warn moms that they need to take their time getting up, since rising too fast can make a woman dizzy and even faint.
The sensation happens because of the change in blood pressure that happens in pregnancy. A woman can feel light-headed if she gets up too quickly, and if she faints, she could fall and hurt the baby. Go slow and be careful, especially during the second trimester.
11 Stop Drinking Two Cups A Day
These days, one of the hardest habits for women to kick during pregnancy is their caffeine fix. But by the second trimester, the caffeine is said to be impacting the baby, so it's good to start cutting out the second cup of coffee.
Doctors say that a little bit of caffeine is OK for the baby during pregnancy, so moms can continue to have one cup of coffee or tea or soda, plus a little bit of chocolate, which contains caffeine. But they need to make it a once-a-day habit and no more.
10 Stop Cleaning The Litter Box
When women are getting ready to welcome a baby, they need to take extra care in taking care of their pets. That is especially difficult for cat moms, since there is a disease that can be really dangerous that can pass from the cat's dirty litter to the mom during pregnancy.
Moms need to stop cleaning the litter box by the second trimester. If they absolutely have to do the chore, then it's imperative that they use gloves and wash their hands very well afterward.
9 Stop Eating Fish Every Day
Fish is a really healthy protein for moms-to-be to include in their meal plans. It's also packed with great nutrition for building the baby's brain. But by the second trimester, moms need to make sure that they aren't eating fish too often.
There are certain fish such as swordfish that are too high in mercury for the growing baby. And most other fish has a level of mercury that can add up to too much if they eat it every day. Two servings to three servings of fish per week is the tops that moms-to-be should consider by the second trimester.
8 Stop Doing Fake Nails
Researchers aren't sure if gel nails or acrylic nails are safe during pregnancy. But they know that the exposure to solvents and chemicals at nail salons can be an issue. So doctors recommend that moms-to-be stop getting fake nails by the second trimester.
The good thing to know is that by the second trimester, most women won't need any help in the nails department. Pregnancy hormones tend to make nails thicker and more beautiful, so just add some polish and go with it.
7 Stop The Worrying
There is good news about entering the second trimester. By the time the mom gets through 12 weeks of pregnancy, she can stop worrying about losing the baby.
The first trimester can be a very scary time for a woman who isn't sure what is going on with her body. Up to one out of four pregnancies end in miscarriage, and most of those happen in the first three months of pregnancy. The possibility goes down dramatically after the first trimester is over, and that is definitely something to be grateful for.
6 Do Instead: Carry Tissues
When you are pregnant, you don't have to carry around tampons anymore. But we've got an item that moms might want to add to their purses to replace them by the second trimester — tissues.
There are a lot of times when tissues come in handy, including dealing with nosebleeds, which can happen frequently in the second trimester. Pregnancy mood swings can also cause women to frequently break down in tears, and it's nice to have some tissues handy by the second trimester.
5 Do Instead: Start Moderate Exercises
It's important for moms-to-be to be healthy, and exercise is a big part of that. That's why doctors recommend that women who don't have a regular exercise routine get started on one by the second trimester.
There are some women who might not be able to exercise while pregnant, but those issues usually don't arise that early in pregnancy. If the doctor has recommended bed rest, then be sure to follow doctor's orders. But if not, figure out a low-impact exercise routine that works to help mom and baby be healthy.
4 Do Instead: Go Maternity Clothes Shopping
There are a lot of things that women have to stop doing in the second trimester, but one fun thing that they can do instead is go shopping. For most women, it's about time to get a few maternity clothes, although some first-time moms might not need many clothes until as late as 20 weeks.
Maternity clothes have a bad reputation, but these days they are a lot more fashionable. While it might be a while until people are certain that it's a baby bump and not a food baby, it can be a fun excuse to go shopping and get a whole new wardrobe for the next six months.
3 Do Instead: An Epic Announcement
As we've mentioned, the risk of losing the baby can seem pretty daunting in the first trimester, but it decreases dramatically in the second trimester. That's why many moms-to-be choose to announce their pregnancy around the time the second trimester begins.
In the days of social media, there is pressure to go epic with the announcement. So while women have more time on their hands from skipping tennis matches and hot yoga and all, they can work on making sure that their pregnancy announcement breaks the internet.
2 Do Instead: Go To The Dentist
In the first trimester, the baby's features and organs are forming, and the mom needs to be especially careful about what she does that could impact it. That's why many doctors recommend skipping getting the hair dyed and such. By the start of the second trimester, it's time to take care of things before the third trimester begins.
At the top of the list is going to the dentist. A lot of women have dental issues during pregnancy, but it's not necessarily safe to get the work done in the first trimester. Instead, the second trimester is the time to get it done.
1 Do Instead: Plan A Babymoon
The second trimester can be a fun time for a mom and dad to be. After the worry and sickness of the first 12 weeks and before the anxiety of labor and delivery sets in, those few months are a great time to celebrate the family, and we think that a great way to pass the time is to plan a babymoon.
Traveling can be difficult in the third trimester — it poses health issues for the mom and it could be a big deal if the baby comes early. So most people recommend any trips happen before 28 weeks. That means the planning needs to be done early in the second trimester. It's something to look forward to before the big event, and it's a great thing to do instead of all of the things that moms have to forego by the second trimester.