The second trimester is a promised land where nausea and fatigue no longer rule your life. If you’re like most women, it will be the most enjoyable—and comfortable—stage of pregnancy. Here’s how to make the most of this precious phase:
Connect with your mate
Make an effort to bond with your partner before the realities of new parenthood set in. “Do fun things together that don’t involve talking about the baby,” advises Ann Douglas, mom of four and author of The Mother of All Pregnancy Books. “You got together because you share interests—don’t lose that part of your coupledom.”
While staying awake at night may have been a challenge in the first trimester, you can now embrace your restored energy. “Have those candlelit dinners that will be less practical with a baby at the table,” Douglas says. Plan a regular night out or take leisurely walks together in the evenings.
By this time in your pregnancy, you’ve outgrown your everyday clothes and need to invest in some maternity wear. Your wardrobe is your chance to indulge—practically. “Go out and buy a few really nice pieces, so when you’re having an ‘ugly’ day, you can reach for something in your closet that makes you feel great,” says Skye Hoppus, author of the pregnancy fashion guide Rock Star Momma and founder of Childish Clothing, a maternity and children’s clothing line based in Los Angeles. You can mix pricier boutique picks with basics from lower-cost lines; Hoppus likes GapMaternity and Old Navy Maternity.
When it comes to other indulgences, discover what makes you feel pampered— maybe it’s a day at the spa, or a chance to sit quietly at a café for the afternoon. “Do what feels good,” Hoppus says. “Whether that’s a slice of mud pie or lunch with the girlfriends, go for it.” Read more about 6 little pregnancy indulgences that will make you feel like a million bucks.
Take a trip
Many resorts and hotels offer babymoon packages, which simplify planning but can come with a price. If preparing for baby has zapped your cash flow, think locally: A weekend at a bed and breakfast a couple miles away can feel like a vacation, as long as you leave the nursery paint chips at home. Douglas says to check with your ob/gyn before you book your trip and take a copy of your medical chart with you, just in case. Read more about planning a babymoon on the cheap.
Your spouse is the obvious travel partner, but a getaway with friends is also a great way to relax and de-stress. When she was five months pregnant, Kelly Hennigan of Philadelphia spent a weekend in San Francisco with four college girlfriends—two of whom were also pregnant. Hennigan says of her “perfect” trip: “We just spent time together, bonding over long meals—it was a great dynamic for laughs!”
Capture the changes
Although it feels like you’ll be pregnant forever, memories of your baby bump will fade faster than you think—unless you make an effort to record them. This trimester is the time to look into a pregnancy photo session with a professional photographer, start a journal or blog, or make a cast of your pregnant belly. Years down the road, keepsakes like these will give you and your child insight into your journey to becoming “mom.” Read more about 5 sweet ways to save your pregnancy memories.
— Christy Rippel, a freelance writer in Pittsburgh, wishes she’d found time for more fun during her second trimester. Her son, Liam, is nine years old.