Now that you're in your second trimester, you're well-acquainted with your health care provider and are wondering what steps you should take now. After all, getting ready for baby is a lot of work and it can be easy to overlook certain tasks. However, having guidance will help, so here's a list of essential tasks.
- Attend appointments: Continue to go to doctor's appointments to keep track of your baby's growth and your pregnancy progress. At this point, you should decide whether you want to know your child's sex. The information will soon become available and will affect many decisions, such as what color to paint the nursery. There's nothing wrong with keeping it a mystery, either.
- Continue healthy eating habits: You've likely already adjusted your diet to provide your unborn baby with as many nutrients as possible. Keep up the good work! Resist the temptation to give into unhealthy snacks and stock up the home with healthier alternatives. Continue to consume plenty of fruits and vegetables in addition to other pregnancy superfoods, such as eggs and sweet potatoes. There are plenty of options that will keep your meals interesting and delicious.
- Keep track of your weight: Being in the second trimester means having an increased weight, but monitor the scale closely to ensure that you're maintaining a healthy range. Speak to your caregiver if you have any questions or concerns.
- Do something for yourself: By now, you've been pregnant for at least four months, and with so much to do, you may not have had time to yourself. As exciting as new born preparation may be, you need to address your own needs and desires as well. Take a break and spend a day doing activities that you want to do – whether it's getting a massage, getting your nails done or just enjoying a book at a cafe.
- Research childbirth classes: Though childbirth is still months away, classes can fill up quickly. Now is the time to conduct research and find a class you're interested in that fits with your schedule. Reach out to the organization to see when you should enroll and jot down the information on your calendar.
- Prepare household members: If you're not a first time mother or have a pet, other household residents will need to be prepared for the new baby. Children will have noticed your body's change, and you can get them ready for another family member. Consult pet specialists or other resources for information on how to prepare your dog or cat for a baby. Furthermore, you need to find a caretaker for your older child or pet when the baby is first born and possibly for the following few weeks.
- Exercise within your limits: You and your baby are deeply connected, and it's no surprise that exercise benefits both you and your unborn child. Studies have shown that working out while pregnant can even improve your baby's brain! Exercise within your abilities and don't strain yourself. Speak to your health care provider about routines that are safe for pregnant women.
- Go shopping: If you haven't already, speak to friends and family members who have recently had children about their wardrobe. See if they can lend you any baby and/or maternity clothing. These items can be pricey, and having some before your baby is born will ensure that you don't overspend and still have the time and opportunity to purchase stylish baby clothes and chic maternity dresses. Check out celebrities with baby bumps for inspiration for great maternity looks!
- Consider names: This is a fun and difficult process because you likely have a list of names. If you've decided to keep the baby's sex a surprise, it doesn't hurt to have some gender-neutral names. Assessing your child's name can be a relaxing and fun activity as long as you plan ahead.
- Moisturize your belly: Take the time to apply lotion to your belly every night to decrease the chances of stretch marks lingering after you give birth. Sparing a few minutes a night for this routine can have lifetime results that you'll appreciate years from now!
- Figure out your maternity leave: As the due date continues to draw closer, you'll have to talk to your employer about your maternity leave. There's bound to be paperwork, and filling these forms out ahead of time will ensure that you have time to read over and fully understand the terms. Additionally, you should plan out your projects accordingly so that they'll be completed by the time you take your leave.
- Make a registry: Family and friends will be asking about what products you need in preparation for the baby. Your second trimester is a good time to plan and create a registry because you'll have plenty of time to research the best products. Even if you aren't looking to throw a baby shower, bear in mind that your friends may be planning one regardless, so having a registry will be useful. Before you establish the list, figure out which products you can use secondhand and speak to friends and family about borrowing these items.
- Get the house ready: Recruit some loved ones to help with the nursery room. From the wall color, to the furniture, to the closet space, there's bound to be a lot of physical labor. There's no reason you shouldn't partake in some of the activities, but avoid ones that involve chemicals or heavy lifting. Getting the room prepared will be a symbolic and functional way to welcome your baby.
- Talk to friends: Being pregnant may get stressful and emotional at times. Look for support from loved ones who have been or are pregnant. You can also look into local pregnancy groups, where you'll make new friends who are going through the same situations that you are. Having someone to share your dreams, fears and plans with is an important part of pregnancy. Remember, you're never alone!
- Relax: There's so much to do between work, your personal life and being pregnant that you may forget to take a break. Set aside a few minutes a day to simply relax!
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