gray scale photo of a pregnant woman
Birth, pregnancy

The Second Trimester: Exciting Things you MUST Prepare During Pregnancy

Symptoms, Growth, To-Do List During the 2nd Trimester of Pregnancy

So you’ve crossed the threshold of the first 13 weeks of pregnancy and entered into the 2nd trimester. Congrats! Maybe now it is feeling real. Hopefully, the nausea and some of the initial symptoms of the first trimester are subsiding. You are feeling more energetic again. Maybe you are ready to prepare for birth and life after baby. Let’s talk about what you need to know and do in the second trimester.

When is the Second Trimester?

The second trimester starts at week 14. The average length of pregnancy is 40 weeks and so each trimester is approximately 13 weeks. As the second-trimester starts, so do new stages in your pregnancy. Weeks 14-27 of your pregnancy are a great time to focus on preparing for life after the baby arrives.

During this season of your pregnancy, you can expect that your uterus will continue to expand.  Your body will experience some aches (chiropractors can be great!), your skin may start to show stretch marks, and skin changes and you will likely start to feel the baby move!

Symptoms of the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

During the second trimester, if you are lucky, you may get a break from some of the pregnancy symptoms you experienced early on. However, there are still many changes happening in baby and in you. Your belly will continue to grow and likely really pop during this time. Your hormones continue to fluctuate and your body continues to adapt to the caring for the baby growing inside.
Some of the symptoms you may experience include (but are not limited to):
-Leg cramps/Charlie horses (these were one of my worst pregnancy symptoms!)

-Dizziness/lower blood pressure

-Round ligament pain

-Varicose veins

-Swelling (especially ankles and feet)

-Tender breasts

-Nasal congestion

-White/clear vaginal discharge

-Dental problems

Learn more about your Baby’s Development During the 2nd Trimester here!

Start Preparing for Baby’s Arrival During the Second Trimester 

The second trimester is a great time to use your energy to prepare for the baby’s arrival. Yes, you want to prepare for labor and delivery. Also, you want to prepare for all the changes that come after the baby is born. A birth plan is great, but do not forget to create a postpartum plan as well.

Preparing Your Body For Birth During the 2nd Trimester of Your Pregnancy

When it comes to preparing your body for birth, this means taking care of your wellness while also prepping the body for the work of delivering a baby. Continue your exercise routines as you and your medical provider feel comfortable. Continue to prioritize proteins, healthy fats, complex carbs, fibers, and vitamins.

You want to prepare your core and vagina for birth. This means working with an expert in prenatal exercise, practicing visualization and pelvic floor movement for birth, and perhaps getting your partner involved with perineal massages.

Preparing Your Home For Birth During the 2nd Trimester

When you come home with the baby, you want to make things accessible and easy so that you have the time to rest and recover as needed. This is a great time to think about a snack and water basket for when you are trapped on the couch, easy access to diapers and feeding items, and food that you (or your partner or support person) can easily prepare. If you have a home with steps, ensure that you can remain on one floor for the first couple of weeks as your body recovers. Another way to prepare is to stock your bathroom with a basket full of the postpartum recovery times you will need.

Another part of preparing your home is preparing for the logistics. Who can help by bringing food? Who can help with pet or sibling care? Will you utilize the service of a postpartum doula or other helping professional? Have these conversations with your partner and do the research so that you can make the most empowering decisions for you and your family.

Learn more about your Baby’s Development During the Second Trimester here!

Preparing your Finances/Work-Life for Birth During the 2nd Trimester

As you prepare for your baby to be born, you want to know what the leave policies are for your place of employment as well as your partner’s (if applicable.) Talk with your HR department and get all the information on what is available to you and what you need to do in order to ensure you can take full advantage of your benefits.

This is also a good time to have a conversation with your partner and make a plan about finances. With a baby can come more unexpected situations and expenses and working to set aside money for the “what ifs” is a wise choice. While it can be tempting to go all out on nursery decor and onesies, work to find a balance that feels comfortable for you and your partner.

Preparing Your Mind For Birth During the Second Trimester

The hormones, lack of sleep, myriad of transitions… they can be difficult mentally as you adjust to new motherhood. During the second trimester, spend time asking about and learning your family history around mental health struggles. Also take this time to learn the signs of PMADS (Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders). PMADs can show up during pregnancy as well, so be alert of your mental wellbeing.

Preparing Your Relationship For Birth in the Second Trimester of Pregnancy

While it is really beautiful to see your partner step into parenthood, there are also challenges like less time together, lack of sleep, changes in intimacy and decisions to make for the baby and your family. In preparing your relationship for birth, start the conversation about how you can share the load of household responsibilities, research that needs to be done, communication with friends and family. Take this time to list out things that make you feel connected to one another so that you can tap into those things when you need to.

As you move through the second trimester of your pregnancy and weeks 14-27, there are many things you can start researching, discussing, and preparing for so that you can move into parenthood with more understanding and preparation. While you can never be prepared for and control all aspects of having a baby, you can be proactive so there are less surprises!

If you are in the second trimester, join a kick-ass group of ladies preparing for life after baby with intention and honest conversation. Head to the group coaching page and find the next session of Postpartum Planning Group. If there’s not a group that matches your time needs, you can always do the self-paced eCourse as well!

benefits of making a postpartum plan in the second trimester of pregnancy
Birth, Postpartum, pregnancy

DIY Padsicles: How to Make Frozen Pads for Postpartum Recovery

Make Your Own Frozen Pads for Postpartum Recovery Care

After giving birth, your body has a lot of healing to do. If you delivered vaginally, or delivered by cesarean but did some pushing and laboring, you may have swelling and tearing of your perineum. (The perineum is the area between the anus and the vulva.) Padsicles will be a key to alleviating pain and healing as a postpartum mom.

Postpartum bleeding is normal and most women experience vaginal pain after delivery. Think about it- you removed a human from your body- it’s going to take some time to let that heal! You may experience painful urination after delivery and general pain in that area. This is why padsicles can be such an important part of your postpartum recovery kit, and they are easy to DIY (and cheap!)

I’m going to tell you what you need to make DIY Padsicles, why you’ll love them and when to use them!

This post contains affiliate links which means, at no additional cost to you, I may get a commission for the products recommended.

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What You Need to Make Homemade Padsicles:

Homemade padsicles are an easy way to aid your healing after birth. You only need 4 things, although some women like to add a 5th ingredient. (Find all of these in my quick Amazon Postpartum List)

  1. Maxi pads

    You can choose what size (or sizes) you want to use. In the video, I am using a large hospital pad. However, this will work with any store-bought maxi pad. I recommend getting one that is long enough to fill your underwear and thick enough to hold the witch hazel and aloe vera.

  2. Witch Hazel
    Witch hazel is anti-inflammatory making it a safe soothing topical remedy. Witch hazel is often used to treat sunburn, razor burn, bug bites, hemorrhoids and more. It is traditionally known to have a soothing effect on the skin.

  3. Aloe Vera
    Aloe vera is known to reduce swelling and itchiness. It has a cooling and soothing effect, making it a great part of padsicles for vaginal relief. Aloe vera is also healing for wounds, which is good news for a new mom with a painful vagina.

  4. Freezer-safe bag and/or pad wrapper

    When using a standard store-bought pad, you want to leave the wrapper on while making the padsicle and wrap it back up for freezing. If you use one that does not have a wrapper, or choose to remove the wrapper, you can simple roll the pad and place in a freezer-safe bag. Once you’ve finished your batch of padsicles, it’s easiest to put into a large freezer-safe bag and store in the freezer until they are needed.

  5. Essential oils
    Some women like to add essential oil such as lavender to their padsicles. This may be an added benefit, however, the witch hazel and aloe vera will be enough for the healing mom.

My “recipe” is to squirt them until the pad is adequately wet and will freeze well. I do not measure. However, if you love to measure, here’s a suggestion:

Step by Step Making Padsicles

  1. Unwrap the pad, but leave the wrapper attached so that it can recover the pad after you complete the padsicle

  2. Start with witch hazel. Saturate the pad- 3 to 4 tablespoons worth.

  3. Add the aloe vera. Use 2-3 tablespoons worth.

  4. Add a couple of drops of lavender oil if you’d like.

  5. Use a spoon or stir stick to spread evenly over the pad.

  6. Fold the pad and cover with wrapper.

  7. Put in freezer safe bag and into the freezer until they are needed.

  8. Pull them out and enjoy the relief after baby.

When To Use Frozen Pads After Delivery

Vaginal pain will likely continue for 5-14 days. As time progresses, if you are getting rest and being easy on your body, the pain should decrease each day. Padsicles are great for the first few days after you get home. Personally, I have made 1 pack of maxi pad padsicles for my postpartum recovery and they were more than enough for my healing. I wore them throughout the day for 4-5 days after coming home from the hospital. While in the hospital, take advantage of the ice packs they have available as well as tucks pads and any other accessible recovery items.

Alternatives: How to Buy Them Instead

If you don’t want to make padsicles at home, and you want to have an equivalent, you’re in luck! There are a few products on the market that help with postpartum recovery.

Frida Mom Perineal Pad Cooling Liners

DIY Padsicle Kit

Dermoplast Pain & Itch Spray

Tucks Md Cooling Pads

Reusable Perineal Ice & Heat Packs

Earth Mama Herbal Perineal Spray

Are you preparing for a new baby? Postpartum is an exciting time, and it can come with a lot of unexpected. I’ve taken the guesswork out of it and am helping women like you prepare for an empowered postpartum. How do you set up your support team? What conversations do you need to have with your partner beforehand? What red flags should you look out for? How do you prepare to still take care of YOU while taking care of a baby? I’m letting you in on it all in the My Empowered Postpartum eCourse.