On Monday, I shared a few favorite first trimester essentials, and today we’re doubling down with my must-haves from over the past few months.
While the initial few weeks of pregnancy might be more about survival, the second trimester is typically the light at the end of the tunnel. This is when things start to get real. It’s the “sweet spot,” so to speak, where energy has returned, appetite is up and girth is, well, growing.
Again, each experience is different, but there are just a few of the things that have helped get me by while Baby H is hard at work building him/herself!
1. Maternity Undies
I’ll never forget the first time I ventured into a maternity store and saw the ‘Mommy’ panties (I’ll refrain from calling them Granny). Slightly horrified, I backed away and vowed not to go there.
But then I got curious and tried them on. After months of my body slowly expanding, this new frontier is women’s underwear is, quite simply, a revelation. I happened to find a few pair that were made of silky-smooth technical material — on clearance, no less — and they’ve been on heavy rotation ever since.
2. Protein Shakes
Getting enough protein when all you want to do is crash on the couch and eat carbs is always a struggle. I was bemoaning this fact when my friend Corey introduced me to the Arbonne Daily Essentials line, which has a lot of good stuff (20 grams of vegan protein, plus more than 20 essential vitamins and minerals per serving) with none of the crap (i.e. chemicals) found in some protein products.
Since it’s also got a low glycemic index, which has little effect on blood sugar levels and does not cause a spike in blood sugar, I feel way less guilty about using a quick shake as a grab-n-go meal on busy days. Or, more often than not, a snack between meals. Because, who am I kidding?
3. Belly Butter
Ah, yes, there’s nothing quite like slathering some Booda Butter on that itchy, stretched-out belly post-shower. Sharlene, my Team LUNA Chix Portland Run teammate and a fellow mama-to-be, shared a tin with me and I’ve been raving about it ever since. Mostly because it works, but also because it smells like chocolate.
Another favorite? The Spoiled Mama’s Tummy Butter for Stretch Marks, which came in the mail as another prenatal gift from my wise sister. Between the cocoa butter base and the 11 nourishing oils, it feels heavenly on…and — surprise, surprise — the rich orange-chocolate scent isn’t too bad, either.
4. Nursing Sleep Bra
Trust me on this, even before you’re nursing it’s nice to have a little help wrangling the ‘ladies’ at night when you’re tossing and (laboriously) turning. Especially when the number of comfortable positions available in bed are rapidly dwindling.
A quick Amazon search landed me on the VEAMI Nursing Sleep Bra, and it’s been love at first wear ever since. Silky-smooth and breathable, with just the right amount of support, this will quickly become your new ‘breast’ friend for the next few months…and beyond.
5. Full-Panel Pants
Take the advice of pretty much every pregnant woman ever, and start wearing these before you think you need ’em. Sure, you need a little bit of a bump to hold up the elastic panel, but once you make the switch, you’ll wonder why you waited so long.
Test the waters with a reasonably-priced pair from Old Navy, or take the plunge with my favorite full-panel workout pants from Ingrid & Isabel (recommended by my friend Anabel). Not only are they great for hitting the town and breaking a sweat, respectively, but I’m also considering tossing all of my other pants, even after Baby H is born. Just kidding…kind of.
6. Body Pillow
Ok, so I might have been a bit overzealous when I bought my Leachco Snoogle pillow about a month into pregnancy (and I thought I was uncomfortable then – HA!), but ever since I started using it regularly this trimester, it’s treated me well.
The c-shape design is helpful because you can contort yourself into multiple positions without using a gazillion pillows. Because, let’s face it, it’s all about supporting hips, back and tummy for a
good barely adequate night’s sleep at this point in the game.
7. Stability Ball
Even if you’ve never played around with one at the gym, it’s well worth investing in a stability ball for use during pregnancy and labor. Not only does using it help ease back pain and open the hips, but you’ll also (fingers crossed!) start working the baby into the proper position come delivery day.
The great news is that they’re relatively inexpensive, considering all the potential uses (I found this one on Amazon for about $25); I use it during evening TV watching, for example. And I dare you to keep a smile off your face as you bounce up and down on this thing!
8. Portable Snacks
Hell hath no fury like a hangry preggo. Whether you get stuck in traffic, an appointment runs late or you just need a pick-me-up between meals, it’s smart to carry around a few snacks to keep satiated.
I bought my first Grab & Go packet of Sahale Snacks while hunting around at the grocery store for different options, and they’ve been a staple in my purse, gym bag and glove compartment ever since!
When I first started having round ligament pain, my doctor suggested I try some options for helping to support my growing belly. After taking to the internet for some research, I ran across Blanqi’s BODYSTYLER® Maternity Underbust Belly Support Tank and was instantly intrigued.
Designed for maximum support, Blanqi’s tank offers varying degrees of compression for a great combo of lift, stability and comfort. I layer it under pretty much everything and plan on using it post-baby, as well. Wanna check it out? Use my referral link to get a code for 20% off!
10. Prenatal Classes
If there’s one thing that’s proved invaluable — not just for learning about all things pregnancy, but also for creating an unofficial support group of women who are going through the same thing — it’s weekly prenatal classes.
Anabel introduced me to MYMA Mama (which has slowly grown in size as more of our friends get knocked up!), but I’ve also taken a local Mod-Mama class that was terrific. These types of classes are designed to rejuvenate the body during pregnancy while preparing for birth with an “open mind,” which has become a mission as I approach the third and final trimester!