The ultimate second trimester checklist, full of things to do in the second trimester of pregnancy! Learn how to take your 2nd trimester week by week so you don’t overwhelm yourself as your due date approaches.
Congrats, you’ve made it through 13 weeks of pregnancy! While you’re busy learning what not to do in the second trimester of pregnancy, and dealing with 2nd trimester pregnancy pains, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you need to do to ensure that you’re totally prepared for the big day.
The beginning of the second trimester of pregnancy is usually a breath of fresh air for most moms-to-be. Most people find that their morning sickness tends to ease up around this time, and by week 15 of pregnancy, you may feel energized and ready to write a list of things to buy and things to do!
If you haven’t already, you should check out my baby checklist to get an idea of everything you need to buy before your baby is born. It’s extensive, but I also go over the products you actually need, and I even provide free printables!
The second trimester is typically the best! Most symptoms tend to calm down, and you’re not huge and uncomfortable like you will be in the third trimester. If there’s ever a time to knock out some pressing matters, it’s now!
Are you ready to get motivated? Let’s go over the top 30 things you should do in the next 3 months!
Scroll to the bottom of this post for my free printable checklist!
Second Trimester Checklist
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1. Catch Up on The First Trimester To-Do’s
If you’re a procrastinator like me, you may still have a few things to do from your First Trimester Checklist. It’s okay! You’ve likely been too busy battling morning sickness and other pregnancy symptoms in the first trimester to get around to everything. Don’t worry, there’s still plenty of time.
2. Officially Announce Your Pregnancy
If you’ve made it this far without announcing your pregnancy, good for you! Sadly, there is a reason it’s recommended that you wait until the second trimester, and I think we both know why that is. Let’s not dampen the mood.
You’re past that super scary hump, and the chances of miscarriage have gone down quite a bit by now!
You can finally shout it from the rooftops! Or, make a sappy Facebook post announcing your pregnancy. You decide. Either way, now is the perfect time, especially since your britches are likely starting to get pretty tight.
3. Find Out The Baby’s Gender
If you want to know your baby’s gender, you can most likely find out now! Your doctor or midwife can take a peek via ultrasound, or you can schedule a special trip to an ultrasound clinic.
The biggest concern with trying to tell the baby’s gender too early is that they’re not fully developed down until the second trimester rolls around. Now all you have to worry about is whether or not your baby is going to cooperate and give the ultrasound tech a clear shot.
4. Plan The Gender Reveal
If you’re going to do a gender reveal, whether it be a full blown party, or a quick get-together with family, now is the perfect time to start planning that out. Remember, the ultrasound tech can take a peek and put the results in an envelope so you’ll never know.
5. Finish Your Registry
While you could have started your registry in the first trimester, many of us want to know the gender before finishing it up. After you find out, you can!
I always recommend creating an Amazon Baby Registry. They’ll send you a free welcome baby box, and the setup is just too easy to pass up. Instead of waddling around a big store with a scanner, you can simply scroll through Amazon on your phone, adding the things you want.
You’re not as limited to certain brands, and it’s so nice being able to easily see what people have ordered. For pricer items, your friends and family can pitch in smaller amounts to help out, or send you Amazon gift cards instead.
6. Start Getting The Nursery Ready
Now that the exhaustion of the first trimester has passed, put that energy to good use by getting the nursery together!
Unless you’re a super-mom, you probably won’t have all of your baby items together yet, but you can start mapping and planning out the space and hanging up whatever clothes you have.
7. Pick A Photographer For Maternity, Birth, and Newborn Photos
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to pay for photos, I say DO IT! It’s worth it! These are photos you’ll cherish for the rest of your life, and your kids will hold on to once you’re long gone.
The sooner you pick a photographer the better. You’ll need to find someone who’s available around your due date if you plan on having them there for the birth, and many photographers offer a package deal for maternity, birth, and newborn photos. This will also give you an idea of how to fit it into your baby budget.
8. Sign Up For A Breastfeeding Course
If I could go back in time and do anything differently with my first pregnancy, it would be enrolling in this breastfeeding course from Milkology. It’s only $19 and it covers everything you need to know about breastfeeding and pumping.
It could have saved me money paying for visits with doctors and lactation consultants, and most importantly – it could have saved me a lot of heartache and tears. There is plenty of free advice available on the internet, but even after breastfeeding and pumping for my son, and 3 years of experience and research, I still learned more from this course than anything else. Best $19 I’ve spent, hands down!
So I urge all you mama’s-to-be to invest in this course and make it a priority if you’re seriously interested in breastfeeding. There’s so much more to it than putting baby to the breast. You can work through it at your own pace, and it totals to about 90 minutes of valuable advice and information, from how to get a proper latch, to keeping your supply up.
9. Narrow Down Where and How You’d Like To Give Birth
You still have time to figure out the specifics of your birth plan, but by now you should know where you want to give birth. This means you’ll at least need to know whether you want the option of an epidural available to you, as well as any other major accommodations.
Do you want to have an unassisted birth? Or do you want to go to a birthing center or hospital? What kind of care are you looking for during labor and postpartum? Birthing centers don’t (to my knowledge) offer epidurals, and should something go wrong, you’ll want a hospital nearby. Some hospitals offer tubs for a water birth, while others don’t. If you’re interested in an unassisted birth, props to you! You definitely have your work cut out for you in terms of research.
It’s important to nail some of the bigger aspects of your birth down now, so you have time to make payments towards the birth, as well as some sense of stability.
10. Get Rid of Clutter
Now is a great time to get started on decluttering and downsizing for the baby. You aren’t as big as you will be in the third trimester, and you probably aren’t too sore yet either. Of course, you might be, but the majority of women feel pretty good in the second trimester.
So get to organizing and decluttering! You’ll have a ton of baby stuff taking up every corner of your house in a few months, so you’ll definitely need to make room.
11. Apply Belly Butter Every Day
Applying belly butter in the first trimester is good prep for your skin, but don’t worry if you haven’t started. You’ll want to start now, though!
12. Plan Your Maternity Leave
If you work, it’s time to start planning out your maternity leave. You’ll need to get things in order before your bundle of joy arrives! Even if you’re already a stay-at-home mom, you still have a lot of planning to do to get ready for the first few weeks home with the new baby.
Plan out meals, how you’re going to tackle chores and errands, and everything else in between! That way you can spend time healing and bonding with the new baby.
13. Go To Your 20 Week Anatomy Scan
At around 20 weeks, you’ll go to the most important ultrasound of the pregnancy! It’s an exciting and nerve-wracking time. The ultrasound technician is going to take all of your baby’s measurements to see if he or she is on track, and to check for any abnormalities.
If you weren’t able to find out the gender already, you should be able to find out at your anatomy scan!
14. Buy A Pregnancy Pillow
Okay, pregnancy pillows aren’t a necessity. Regular old pillows will do. But nothing beats a pregnancy pillow, trust me.
You can invest in a fancy full-body pregnancy pillow, or even one of these little pregnancy wedge pillows. Both make a huge difference. It’s hard to get good sleep as your belly grows, and these are total lifesavers!
15. Take Weekly Baby Bump Photos
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The weeks seem to be flying by around this time, but you should make it a point to take weekly bump photos. You’ll treasure them forever! Some weeks it feels like a huge chore, but it’s worth the effort.
There are so many cute ways you can document your pregnancy and your growing bump, so make the most of it while you can.
16. Keep Searching For Baby Names
If you still haven’t picked a baby name, let the hunt continue! There are fun baby name books and blog posts to help you narrow down you list of names. Once you know the gender of your baby, you can start narrowing it down even more! Have fun with it, and try not to stress. There’s still plenty of time to decide.
17. Begin Looking For A Pediatrician
Now is the time to start looking for a pediatrician! If this is your first baby, it might take a while to find someone you trust and respect. Try asking in local Facebook mom groups, or ask friends with babies who they like. Of course, you’ll have to figure out if they accept your insurance and ensure that they’re accepting new patients. It’s definitely a daunting task that you don’t want to put off.
18. Find Creative Ways To Cut Costs
As your pregnancy progresses, you might start feeling the pressure to cut costs and budget for your baby. There are many things you can do to spend less and earn more, even from home. Some options to consider include:
- Paying attention to your expenses and cutting back where you can
- Taking online surveys
- Selling old clothes
- Searching for gently used baby items at discounted prices
- Making and selling crafts
- Make your own products at home
- Buying in bulk
19. Switch To Non-Toxic, Natural Cleaning Methods
I recommend switching to natural cleaning methods whether you’re pregnant or not. It’s a good idea, no matter what stage of life you’re in. It’s best to limit the amount of chemicals you’re exposed to while pregnant, and because of the life changes you’re going through, you might feel the urge to switch. If you’ve ever considered going green with your cleaning methods, check out my natural cleaning hacks for a chemical-free home.
20. Buy New Bras
By now your bras are likely starting to get a little tight. If you plan on breastfeeding, try to invest in some light, stretchy nursing bras.
Personally, I don’t buy padded bras anymore. There just doesn’t seem to be a point when my breasts are changing shape and size constantly. Pregnancy, and especially while breastfeeding and weaning, your boobs will be doing some wacky things.
It’s not uncommon to jump several sizes and drop back down over the course of a few months! Take that into consideration before investing in new bras!
21. Knock Out Some of The Things on Your Pre-Baby Bucket List
If you followed my first trimester checklist, you might have created a pre-baby bucket list! And if you haven’t you should do that now!
Sure, you should add some chores and important things to do, but don’t forget to add some fun stuff as well! Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never made time for? Write it all down and start working your way through the list.
22. Start Researching Some of The Hard-Hitting Topics
Maybe you have an idea of how you’d like your birthing experience to go, but you haven’t worked out all of the details. There are a lot of things to consider, so it’s best to start researching now.
Do you want to have a natural birth, or a medicated birth? It doesn’t hurt to look up c-section recovery on the off-chance that you have to have an emergency c-section. Knowledge is power, so read up! The more you know about birth and the options available to you, the better you can advocate for yourself when the big day comes.
23. Begin Making Birth Arrangements
If you already have older kids, you’ll need to begin making arrangements for your birth. Many hospitals don’t allow children in the delivery room, so you may need a babysitter. If you’re delivering at a birthing center, they’re usually more open to having children present, but it also comes down to personal preference.
If you don’t have any other kids, there are still arrangements to be made. Do you have pets or a garden? Are there any bills due around your due date that aren’t set on auto-draft? Don’t forget, you may have to stay in the hospital or under supervision for a few days!
24. Go on A BabyMoon
Once the third trimester rolls around, its not recommended that you travel too far from home. If you’re hoping to take a babymoon (or a vacation before the baby is born), you’ll need to do it sometime this trimester. If your budget is tight, you don’t have to go too crazy. Rent a hotel room or Airbnb in your own town, or have a romantic weekend getaway with your partner!
Have you been feeling round ligament pain? It’s not fun! One of the best things you can do to ease the pain is stretching. This can help with leg cramps too, which is another common symptom during the second trimester. Do some yoga in the morning, or simply spend 5 minutes stretching every day.
26. Sign Up For Birthing Classes
Does your hospital or local birthing center offer birthing classes? Sometime during the second trimester, you’ll need to sign up for one! And if you don’t have the time for one reason or another, there are plenty of online options available to you. You can even check Youtube for free videos!
One of my favorite resources to share is this new natural birth course by a labor and delivery nurse! It was launched in early February 2019, and she’s helped many women from all over the world prepare for natural birth.
27. Start Reading Parenting Books & Blogs
There isn’t much to know in terms of parenting methods when it comes to babies, at least when compared to toddlers and older children. But there are still things you should start looking into now. It’s never too early to start learning and forming opinions about what kind of parenting style you want to adopt.
As far as babies are concerned, the main goal is to make them feel loved, and to care for them. Lots of diapers, feedings, and cuddles. As they grow, there will be more topics to explore, from baby-led weaning, to sleep training and when to move them to their own bed. All in due time!
I’ll let you in on a little secret though – there’s no formula or how-to guide on how to be a good parent. Everyone’s opinions vary, and you probably won’t agree with anyone else on every single topic. It’s still nice to read other people’s ideas to help you form your own.
28. Keep An Eye on Your Symptoms
Get in touch with your body and pay close attention to your symptoms. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate between what’s normal and what’s not. Swelling can be a normal pregnancy symptom, or it could be a sign of preeclampsia. Pay attention to everything, and try not to worry. Just talk to your doctor or midwife about anything you think may be concerning.
29. Call Your Insurance
You’ll need to notify your insurance company of your pregnancy. Not only do many companies offer free resources and services to pregnant women, but most will cover the cost of a breast pump! This can save you up to a couple hundred dollars!
30. Get In Tune With Your Body
Aside from paying close attention to your symptoms and feelings, you should strive to feel like you’re in tune with your body. Listen to it’s needs and start watching for little flutters in your tummy. You’ll start feeling the baby kick soon if you haven’t already.
Sometimes you can get dehydrated without realizing, and someone who is listening and paying attention to their body will be able to tell what’s going on faster than someone who’s drifting through the day. I’ve caught myself on several occasions.
Second Trimester Checklist (PDF Printable)
I hope you found my to-do list helpful! What’s on your second trimester to-do list? Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear from you!
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