Let’s get into the second trimester….
Hopefully you have now made it through the ickyness of the first trimester and you are starting to see a tiny little bump as a reward for all of the exhaustion of growing your placenta and your little bean.
The second trimester was by far my favourite few months of pregnancy. Once the fog of exhaustion lifted I felt quite like myself again, I had bags of energy, an urge to get organised, my appetite returned and I was back to enjoying my work outs. This time also really represented celebration in sharing our news with friends and family as well as getting organised for our little ones arrival.
Sharing the good news!
I am sure you have heard the general rule of thumb is that it is best not to share your good news until after your 12 week scan has gone ahead and you are reassured that all is good with baby. BUT… I personally think it is a personal choice and you should do what ever is best for you. Tony and I found out we were expecting at just 5 weeks pregnant, but after a brief conversation we had agreed to tell our immediate family at just 8 weeks pregnant. Two reasons prompted this decision; firstly we were approaching Christmas and our families would definitely notice that I wasn’t drinking and secondly if the worst was to happen and something did go wrong with the pregnancy, it would be something that we would want family support with anyway. So for us there was no real point in keeping it a secret. However, we didn’t tell any friends or extended family until after 12 weeks, and I didn’t share the news on social media until after my 20 week scan, so just pick who you tell and when according to what is best for you.
Check out us telling our parents below… (They thought we were taking a family photo Lol)
BOOKING YOUR CLASSES
Now, prior to my entire pregnancy being highjacked by a global pandemic I had the usual first time mum idealistic ideas of hypno-birthing courses, pregnancy yoga classes and Antenatal classes galore! Sadly they all got cancelled when lock down began BUT, prior to that I did get myself organised by signing up to several courses.
When it comes to Antenatal classes you would be surprised how quickly they get booked up, so I would definitely recommend that you book early! Check out what your local hospital has to offer as they often offer either complimentary classes or more affordable options. A friend of mine recommended the ‘Bump & Baby’ antenatal classes (available across London £250.00 per course), the course included infant first aid classes and an afternoon tea with the other parents at the end which I thought would be fun and a nice way to connect with other new parents so we booked onto this instead of the hospital one.
However, my hospital was offering a 4 week hypno-birthing course for just £100, which was cheaper than most out there so we booked ourselves onto this to compliment the Antenatal course. I knew being the closet hippy and yogi that I am, that my birth plan had to include hypno-birthing as a big part of my experience, so for me this was a no brainer.
If you are in your second trimester right now, then the likely hood is that like me, your pregnancy journey has probably been affected by Covid 19 and the above options are not likely to be available to you in person. If so, don’t panic just go digital! Now, I’m not going to pretend its the same because its not, it sucks and you will feel like you have missed out on a part of your pregnancy experience, I know I certainly did, but sometimes you have to make the best out of a bad situation and keep positive especially when you are pregnant.
Tony and I signed up to ‘The positive birth company’ hypno-birthing course. At just £39.00 for the digital pack it covers quite a lot in the easy to watch videos. It also provides you with downloadable content containing helpful tools such as a birth preferences template, audio support materials and printable positive affirmations to name just a few of the helpful downloads.
As for antenatal courses ‘Bump & Baby’ did offer us a digital version of the course but without the afternoon tea, and without the hands on baby first aid course it felt too pricey for just an online option. So we got our money back and instead I simply read what turned out to be one of my favourite books during pregnancy; ‘The Positive birth book’ by Milli Hill. This book covered everything and more that any antenatal course would cover, so save your pennies and get reading instead (Check out my last blog post ‘The new mummy book club’ for more recommended reads)
An essential course for us to partake in was a baby first aid course we signed up to the E Learn Baby first aid course ( https://my.elearnhere.co.uk/courses/mini-first-aid-parents-course/ ) It only took around 2 hours to complete and cost us just £10.00 ! I know… what a bargin and it covered all the basics including choking, burns and CPR.
take care of your second trimester symptoms
As you will know already the first trimester is all exhaustion and feeling less than your best. As much as the second trimester is a welcome relief it does come with its own niggles. For me the biggest one was a common problem called pelvic girdle pain also known as (PGP) or symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD). It is basically uncomfortable AF and symptoms are caused by a stiffness of your pelvic joints or the joints moving unevenly at either the back or front of your pelvis. The solution for me personally was a visit to a pregnancy specialist chiropractor (https://www.chiropracticbyhand.com/). Polly really helped me out, by ensuring I had great alignment, and relieving my symptoms quite quickly, I also had follow up appointments with her whenever I felt like the niggly pain or aches were returning and by the third trimester I had no pain whatsoever. Another thing that lots of women say works a treat is getting a support belt, I personally didn’t but lots of ladies swear by it. A pregnancy pillow also works for some, however I hated mine and gave it away quite quickly, instead opting for a regular pillow between my knees whilst adjusting to sleeping on my side (Im a front / back sleeper usually). I also kept up with my Zoom yoga classes once a week to help with my stability, strength and alignment being careful not to over extend my body as the relaxin hormones kicked in meaning I was more flexible than usual.
Another thing that I started to experience in the second trimester was heartburn. At times it definitely felt like I was carrying a baby fire breathing dragon over a human child Lol. With heartburn it was all about paying attention, if I ate too late, if I ate anything too spicy or certain foods like peppers would aggravate the heartburn big time. So the key for me was to try to notice what triggered my heartburn and avoid it. I very nearly gave in to Gaviscone once or twice, but I held out and opted for some cold coconut milk instead which always helped soothe the symptoms.
PREGNANCY BRAIN (YES ITS A REAL DAMN THING!)
I gotta admit I genuinely thought that “pregnancy brain” or ‘Baby brain” was a crock of shit, until I got struck down with it BIG TIME! I mean genuinely, overnight I became actually stupid. They say that “Baby brain” refers to memory problems, poor concentration and absent-mindedness… To me personally It felt like half the information my brain was capable of processing got deleted one day and i’m still trying to find it Lol. It was the extreme forgetfulness that surprised me the most. Tony could ask me to do something and within 30 seconds I would be staring into space wondering what it was I was supposed to be doing. Simple words and names would just vanish from my brain, or I would have driven to the shop to buy bread and bananas, then I got there I simply couldn’t remember why I was there so I would come home with milk instead having guessed what it was I was there for Lol. If it wasn’t so ridiculous I would cry but I gotta say it did become quite comical after a while, my fella and my best mate banter me about it all the time, at least it amuses them!
The fact is this is a real thing and from what I have read it is caused by hormones. A recent review of 20 studies assessing more than 700 pregnant and 500 non- pregnant women concluded that general cognitive functioning, memory and executive functioning were significantly poorer in pregnant women. So if you’ve noticed you’ve become a total moron lately then honestly don’t sweat it, its not your fault and i’m just as much of a hot mess as you are!
The solution… write lists! I started keeping a pen and pad by my bed as I tend to remember things before bed. I also made notes in my phone (Granted I then forgot to read the bloody notes, so the pen and paper definitely worked better!)
Prior to pregnancy, I was pretty fit and into a good exercise routine that I enjoyed. My average week consisted of boxing, hot yoga & bootcamp and I loved it!
We knew we wanted to try for a baby in 2020 so in the year leading up to it I really tried to get into the best physical shape possible. I wanted to ensure I was fit and healthy going into the journey, also we felt with both of us being healthy it would make it easier for us to fall pregnant in the first place.
I made a decision from the day I found out I was pregnant that I was determined to stay in shape and to stay consistent in my exercise routine, it would be mind over matter all the way. Even in my first trimester when I had zero energy and I felt pretty rough I still showed up to every class… granted some days I really did just go through the motions, on other days when I felt better I would try to push myself a little… but, I always made sure I showed up which I believe was key! But the second trimester is where you can really get back into your training and actually enjoy it. Your energy is up and your bump is small enough not to to interrupt too much with your usual activities. The general rule is you can continue whatever activities you did before you became pregnant, but don’t try something new. You can maintain your existing fitness levels, but don’t try to improve, and you can do almost everything during your second trimester except Ab work such as crunches and sit ups. I would definitely recommend doing a little research on You Tube or booking a session with a pre natal qualified PT for guidance on what is safe and what movements you should avoid.
Now let me keep it real, lockdown could have absolutely obliterated my fitness plans and thrown me off my game plan. But thanks to so many PT’s and fitness programmes going digital and offering free online classes I managed to train 3/4 times per week during my second trimester which not only kept me in good shape, but I genuinely feel like it kept me mentally strong during a challenging time. I actually think its a bit of a blessing, as lets face it with a new born baby its going to be super tough getting to classes so getting into the habit of working out at home with digital support is probably going to be the way forward for me now anyway.
Some of my online recommendations are;
- @ResultswithBump & @RWL – Owned by new mummy Lucy Meck & PT Cecilia The website / App provide plenty of workouts as well as nutritional advice for both mummies to be and fitness enthusiasts. This is a paid subscription so keep an eye out for the free trials to decide if its for you or not. [Ad]
- @HassanYoga – Hassan is my hot yoga teacher who started his weekly zoom classes during lockdown. It is donation based classes and he has continued them on Friday & Saturday mornings despite lock down being lifted. I love his way of teaching and his energy and flow and did my last class at 39 weeks pregnant.
- @CarlyNewson – I love mix and matching Carly’s work outs. You can do them whenever you like and stitch 3-4 of them to together to create a bespoke work out. It is all available for free on her Instagram page or you can join her subscription service for live daily work outs. She offers some pregnancy friendly options if you scroll back to when she was pregnant herself, she has low impact options for those with injuries as well as hardcore workouts too. You can do whatever suits you throughout pregnancy and then up the difficultly when you are ready post partum.
My favourite thing to do in the world is to organise, tidy and declutter! Tony is someone who loves a good DIY project, so the second trimester was that time for us to create the ultimate to do list and get organised. We tackled a massive wardrobe clear out, emptying and decorating the spare room so we could turn it into our babies nursery and we refreshed the decor in the rest of our flat. As I am writing this, I am just two days from my due date. Trust me when I say use your second trimester to tackle these bigger jobs as when you hit the third trimester you really don’t have the same levels of energy or motivation and the belly really just makes everything more difficult.
Another thing to do that takes time, is to get your gift registry started. I thought I would fly through this task but genuinely it takes bloody hours! When selecting things you will need for your newborn there is a lot of research that goes into it and that takes time! For example; which bottles to get, what steriliser you want, what dummies are best. These decisions aren’t easy to make as you are learning about these things for the first time and there are soooo many brands to choose from. So give yourself plenty of time to get this done prior to your baby shower or little ones arrival as people will 100% ask you if you have a list of things you need / want and its always best to be prepared instead of ending up with everyone buying you a bunch of dodgy outfits you don’t even like!
I used https://www.myregistry.com/ it was super easy to use and everyone who brought us gifts said the same.
Check out my ‘Ultimate New Parent Shopping List’ blog post from a couple of weeks back if you need some guidance.
I hope you enjoyed this blog post ! Don’t forget to get in touch via Instagram @Shanie_Ryan to let me know what you think, hit me with any questions you might have or to let me know if there are any subjects you would love me to write about in the future! I love receiving all of your lovely feedback so much.
Baby Sincs is due in just 2 days, so it may be a few weeks until my next instalment but I promise to be back picking up where I left off soon enough…
Love Shanie & Bump xX