Second Trimester recap & essentials

I’m writing this post during my 28th week of pregnancy, putting me officially into the third trimester. It’s crazy how fast time is going by. It really does feel like just a couple weeks ago I was in my first trimester (you can read that recap here).

The second trimester does make things seem more real, as the bump grows and you start to feel little flutters that eventually turn into little kicks and squirms. For me, the second trimester also came with daily anxiety (something I’ve never really experienced before), and it has continued into my third trimester.

They call the second trimester the “honeymoon” trimester and while it definitely started out like that, I’m afraid to say it didn’t end that way (for me, anyway). I still haven’t had any crazy pregnancy cravings like vanilla ice cream with hot sauce or cheese with peanut butter (I saw that one on TikTok). And I consider myself lucky I haven’t had any real food aversions, but I definitely had some symptoms I would describe as less than ideal.

Second Trimester Symptoms

Increased Energy – I literally woke up one day and it was like coming out of the fog that was the first 13 weeks of pregnancy. I couldn’t believe all the energy I had. I was able to get back to regular workouts (if you read my review on Anna Victoria’s Fit Body app, you know I’ve been following her for a while. Her app recently had a HUGE update which included a bunch of new workouts and a pregnancy program. I started following her “Grow & Glow” program once I had enough energy).

Heartburn – the heartburn started early in the second trimester. I had (and still have) heartburn everyday. I’ve found that by eating every couple of hours it really helps to keep the heartburn at bay, and I know that if I leave eating too long the heartburn will be coming…. so sometimes I’ll just have a slice of toast with some jam or a small apple and almond butter.

Shortness of Breath – this got worse as I neared the end of my second trimester, but I admit it’s still not too bad. I really only feel it when climbing up a hill or when I go from our laundry room in the basement to our bedroom on the second floor – then I need to sit for a minute before putting the laundry away 😛

Left Hip Pain – probably the worst symptom I’ve had so far. Before pregnancy I slept on my back most of the time and occasionally on my right side. Sleeping on your back is not recommended once you hit the second trimester as your growing uterus can put pressure on your blood vessels and it’s recommended you sleep on your left side to allow for proper blood flow. I bought one of those gigantic pregnancy pillows to force me to stay on my left side. Unfortunately this has come with a not-so-fun side effect: me waking up in the middle of the night with my left hip throbbing in pain. Some nights I’m up for hours in agony and fighting the urge to just lie flat on my back. This is something I am still dealing with and I haven’t yet figured out how to mitigate this pain, but I’m trying everything I can think of.

Swelling – as I neared the end of my second trimester the swelling had begun. I noticed my wedding bands didn’t really fit anymore and while getting ready to attend my nephew’s First Communion lunch, I think I had been on my feet too long and my shoes didn’t really fit – Birkenstock’s to the rescue. I’ve really made sure to drink 4L of water a day (they say drinking more fluids helps to decrease swelling) and I now sleep with my feet propped up on a pillow.

Heart Palpitations – I was told by my OB that heart palpitations are very common during pregnancy as your heart is pumping more blood through your body. It worried me at first because I was actually born with two heart murmurs and saw a paediatric cardiologist up until I was two years old, so obviously I wanted to make sure things were still OK. I only had the heart palpitations when lying down – so before falling asleep and once I woke up – I never had them when I was sitting/standing upright, working out or out walking.

Congestion – another very common pregnancy symptom as your body just has increased fluids. I found myself clearing my throat a lot and having a runny nose more frequently than I used to. I had a bit of a scare one night: I woke up suddenly in the middle of the night and realized I couldn’t take a breath in. I forced myself to clear my throat as hard as I could and luckily that seemed to work. My OB suggested I sleep more propped up to help with any settling fluids at night.

Second Trimester Essentials

Compression Socks – coming to the end of my second trimester is when I really started to notice swelling in my ankles. Luckily it wasn’t every day but I knew that sitting all day (which I do for work) wasn’t helping so I’d wear compression socks to try and help combat any cankles. I picked up a 5-pack on Amazon

Ice Slippers – I saw one of my favourite influences using a pair during her pregnancy and quickly went on Amazon to see if they were available in Canada. They are technically hot/cold slippers but I always keep mine in the freezer and use them at night when watching TV. Even though I’m not on my feet all day, it’s still nice to have that cooling sensation when your toes are a bit chubbier.

Tums – I had heartburn every. single. day. and brought Tums with me anywhere I went. You’re limited to 3 a day when pregnant and luckily my heartburn always started late afternoon, so I could save them until later in the day. These were (and still are) a lifesaver. Heartburn is never fun.

Pregnancy Pillow – since you’re not supposed to sleep on your back by the time you get to your second trimester, it’s good to have one of these to keep you on your left side. I ended up getting two different ones in two different shapes and used one at the beginning of my second trimester and then switched to the “c” shaped pillow as I neared the end.

The countdown if officially on… 12 weeks to go.

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