Second Trimester of Pregnancy Checklist - Baby Chick
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Second Trimester of Pregnancy Checklist

Here's our checklist of what you need to think about and do during the second trimester of pregnancy, from books to classes to appointments.

Updated July 9, 2024

by Nina Spears

The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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You’re now in your second trimester of pregnancy. Yay! I can’t tell you how relieved I was when I entered the second trimester during both of my pregnancies. The second trimester was when we announced our pregnancy to friends and family. It was also the time when my morning sickness started fading away (my heart goes out to the mamas who are sick throughout their pregnancies), and I was regaining more of my energy. Keeping your pregnancy a secret, pregnancy fatigue, morning sickness, and pregnancy insomnia are no jokes! This is why the second trimester can feel like a breath of fresh air — almost like you’re yourself again. It’s a welcomed relief and an exciting new chapter to unfold. I hope you’re feeling this way, too!

Now that you’re getting closer to the halfway mark of your pregnancy, this is when the checklist is really going to fill up. But these are all helpful things that will prepare you for the remainder of your pregnancy, your baby’s birth, and new motherhood. You saw our first-trimester checklist, so now it’s time to start getting to business! Here’s our easy-to-follow checklist of everything you need to think about and do during the second trimester of pregnancy.

Daily:

We recommend that you keep these points in mind throughout your pregnancy for your overall health and wellness:

  • Take care of yourself. This includes doing the following during the second trimester:
    • Attend all your prenatal care visits.
    • Eat a balanced, healthy diet.
    • Stay hydrated (drink 64 to 96 ounces of filtered water daily).1
    • Exercise regularly (aim for 30 minutes per day).2
    • Go to bed early. 

Month 4: Weeks 13-17

You’ve now officially entered into the second trimester of pregnancy. This is such an exciting time! I hope you’re feeling better (if you experienced morning sickness and fatigue) and are ready to tackle preparing for birth and motherhood! Here are some things to consider and do during the fourth month of pregnancy:

  • Announce the good news! This is typically when most people share their pregnancy news with others since it’s when the risk of miscarriage drops, but there really isn’t a wrong time.3,4 It’s whenever feels best for you. But I do know one thing . . . your family and friends will be overjoyed to find out you’re expecting! Be sure to share the news with your boss, managers, and colleagues during this time, too.
  • Schedule and attend your prenatal appointments. At this point in your pregnancy, you will have one prenatal visit per month with your maternity healthcare provider. Attending and engaging in your prenatal visits is extremely important and has been shown to reduce the risk of pregnancy complications and reduces your baby’s risk of health issues.14
    • Schedule your 20-week anatomy scan. You don’t want to miss this important appointment, so schedule it in advance! If you decide to find out the gender, you can reconfirm or find out during this appointment.5 If you decide to wait to find out, let your ultrasound technician know so they don’t share the sex of the baby with you.
  • Shop for maternity clothes. You might not be showing right now, but maybe you’re noticing your clothes getting a bit tighter during the second trimester. This is the time to start investing in maternity clothes. You could ask some friends for their previously used maternity clothes, check thrift stores, or consider renting or buying new ones. I also highly recommend buying some looser, non-maternity clothing that can grow with you during pregnancy. Those items can be worn during postpartum, too!
  • Moisturize your belly and body. Your breasts and belly are growing. Now is the time to start applying moisturizer to your body to help as it grows and stretches with your baby. Continue doing this as a daily self-care ritual.
  • Buy a pregnancy pillow. Your body is changing, so finding a comfortable position to sleep in might become more difficult at this point of pregnancy. Invest in a good pregnancy pillow to get more and better sleep. You’ll appreciate having it sooner rather than later so you can enjoy it for longer.
  • Begin reading (if you haven’t already done so). There are so many great books out there! You won’t have much time to read after baby is born, so now is the perfect time. Here are some of the books (and videos) I recommend:
  • Start doing pelvic floor exercises. As your baby grows in your uterus, it applies more pressure to your bladder and pelvic floor, which can sometimes cause occasional leaks and hemorrhoids.6,7 While Kegel exercises can help, consult your doctor/midwife or a pelvic floor physical therapist for some exercises to do.6
  • Find a prenatal exercise class. Speaking of exercise, if you’re cleared to continue exercising, find a pregnancy-safe exercise class or group you enjoy. This is a great opportunity to meet other soon-to-be mamas in your area while getting active.
  • Hire a doula. More and more women are hiring doulas to support them during their pregnancy and birth since there are numerous benefits. Finish your interviews with the local doulas and select someone who you really click with. If you’re still looking, DONA.org or DoulaMatch.net are great resources. Remember, along with training and experience, personality and feeling comfortable are key when selecting the right doula for you.
  • Go to your dentist appointment (if you haven’t already). Dental care is important during pregnancy for the health of both mother and baby. Pregnancy hormones and other factors can increase the risk of dental problems, such as cavities and gum disease.8 Get a cleaning and let your dentist know that you’re expecting.
  • Create your baby registry. Creating your baby registry is a fun yet overwhelming task that should begin in your second trimester of pregnancy. You want to complete it before your baby shower, which should be in your third trimester. This will give you enough time to look into each product and choose the right ones for you and your baby. Talk to other moms, baby planners, or doulas for more information on the items you should be registering for. Also, check out these guides that will help you choose the best items:
  • Begin researching baby gear. Look into strollers, car seats, baby carriers, cribs, and more. Determine which products you like best that fit your budget and lifestyle, and add them to your registry. Consider asking a friend or two or a baby planner to review your registry to ensure you haven’t left anything important off.
  • Plan your baby’s nursery. Start figuring out the layout and design of your baby’s nursery. In the room, make sure you have a safe area for baby to sleep, an area to change baby in (diaper and clothes), an area for you to soothe and play with baby, and storage space. When choosing colors and furniture, create a safe and calming nursery that brings you joy.
  • Start thinking about your baby shower. This is an exciting part of pregnancy! First, determine if you’re going to have one. If so, has anyone offered to host it? Or will you host your own? Then, you’ll want to pick a date, think about the location, and help the host(s) with the guest list. Here’s a whole baby shower checklist to help you stay organized!
  • Take bump pictures. Continue taking your weekly bump photos as well as documenting your pregnancy journey.
  • Treat yourself. You’re growing life!

Month 5: Weeks 18-22

You are now approaching the halfway mark! What an exciting moment to know you’re getting closer to holding your sweet baby in your arms. Now is the time to ensure you’re caught up on all the items on your checklist. Here are several things to focus on during the fifth month of pregnancy:

  • Attend your prenatal visit with your care provider. Just like your other prenatal visits, your provider will most likely check your weight and blood pressure, have you leave a urine sample, measure your abdomen, listen to baby’s heartbeat, and answer any questions you may have.
  • Look into and register for classes. It may seem early to start looking for childbirth and parenting classes, but these courses can fill up quickly. There are many on the market to consider, but by looking now, you can determine the best ones for you. No matter which classes you choose, knowing what to expect for your labor and delivery is important, so taking a childbirth class can really help. Some options include Lamaze, the Bradley Method, Hypnobabies, Hypnobirthing, and Birth Boot Camp. Research each and consider which approach to birth appeals to you. Make sure you take these classes before 36 weeks of pregnancy in case your little one decides to come early. Here are the classes you should look into and sign up for so you’re well-prepared:
  • Start sleeping on your side. It’s recommended to sleep on your left side to help promote better circulation.9 Sleeping on your side can help make your nights more comfortable and allow you to get more sleep. Place your pregnancy pillow between your legs to help with your alignment, or use your pregnancy pillow for back and/or belly support.9
  • Write down your crazy pregnancy dreams. You may have noticed that you’re having wild dreams. Write them down because these will be fun to look back on and give you a giggle!
  • Decide where baby will sleep. Now that you’re planning baby’s nursery, consider where baby will sleep in the beginning. Many parents don’t immediately have baby sleeping in their nursery, but some do. I will mention that there are benefits to rooming in with baby during the first few months.10 But decide now whether you’ll sleep in the same room or have them in their nursery.
  • Start your home improvement projects. If you decide to do some home improvements (like painting the nursery, installing new carpet or flooring, etc.), it’s a good idea to start these projects now. Some projects take longer than expected, especially bigger ones. Starting now will give your room(s) time to air out before baby arrives.
  • Go to your anatomy scan appointment. This is a big appointment where they take a very close look at your baby and their development. While there, let your ultrasound technician know whether or not you want to know the baby’s gender.5
  • At 20 weeks, you’re halfway there! Celebrate by doing something special, like a nice dinner out, a new item just for you, or an activity you enjoy.
  • Plan a gender reveal party? If you’ve chosen to find out the gender of your baby during pregnancy, decide how you want to find out the news yourself and how you want to tell your friends and family. Gender reveal parties have become increasingly popular over the years. It’s a fun way to share the exciting news while spending time with family and friends. There are lots of great ideas to announce the gender during your gender reveal party! Determine if you want one, and if so, start planning!
  • Choose the hospital where you’ll give birth (if you’re having a hospital birth). In our first-trimester checklist, we said to decide where you want to give birth. That could be a hospital, birthing center, or home birth. If you’ve chosen to give birth in a hospital and your care provider has privileges at several hospitals, now is the time to take a few tours and decide which one you prefer to deliver at. This is an important decision! Here is a list of maternity hospital tour questions if you need help with what to ask during your maternity hospital tours.
  • Decide between taking maternity leave and staying at home. Ask yourself these questions: Are you going back to work after 12 weeks postpartum? How much maternity leave time will you have off? Do you plan on being a stay-at-home mom? Have a plan for your life after baby is born.
  • Start your childcare search. As mentioned in the first-trimester checklist, daycares and preschools can fill up quickly. Now is the time to contact and tour the ones close to your home and work. If this isn’t for you, see if any nannies in your area are available to help. Or maybe you want an au pair. The next few months are going to fly by, so determining your childcare options now and contacting them for details will help.
  • Get your body in good alignment. At this point in your pregnancy, you might be experiencing more aches and pains.11 If this is you, I recommend trying some Spinning Babies Daily Activities and considering seeing a chiropractor who’s Webster-certified and specializes in prenatal chiropractic care. Your body will thank you.
  • Take bump pictures. Keep on documenting and celebrating this exciting journey!
  • Treat yourself. You’re halfway there. You deserve it!

Month 6: Weeks 23-27

You’re now toward the end of your second trimester and almost two-thirds of the way done with your pregnancy! It either feels like it’s flying by or moving at a snail’s pace. Either way, we hope you and baby are healthy and that you’re enjoying feeling your baby grow and kick inside of you. Here’s what to focus on during month six of pregnancy:

  • Attend your prenatal visit with your care provider. After this month’s appointment, you will begin to see your provider every two weeks instead of every four weeks!
  • Write a birth plan and define your labor and birthing preferences. Do you have an idea of how you’d like your labor and birth experience to unfold? Would you like to have a water birth, an unmedicated birth, an epidural, or a planned C-section? This is your baby’s birth and your experience, so write down the most important things to you. Just make sure to be flexible with your birth plan because sometimes babies make their own plans. 😉 Print a few copies to go over with your care provider in advance.
  • Look into banking your cord blood, cord tissue, or placenta tissue. Do your research, and if you want to do this, figure out which company you’d like to proceed with and order your kit(s).
  • Schedule your glucose screening test appointment. This test checks for gestational diabetes, which can occur during pregnancy. Make your gestational diabetes lab appointment between 24 and 28 weeks.12 You will be asked to wait at the lab, so be sure to bring your work, have reading materials, or download some podcasts to pass the time.
  • De-clutter and organize. The nesting instinct is coming! Start now by going through the house and de-clutter. This will help you feel more organized and less anxious once baby comes.
  • Take a babymoon. A babymoon is a vacation you and your partner take before the baby arrives. Whether it’s a big trip or a staycation, it’s a great way to spend some quality time together before baby is here. You’ll want to take your babymoon now because the later stages of your pregnancy can make travel more uncomfortable and difficult.13
  • Dedicate time to your partner. Schedule date nights and make the time to communicate with your partner. Enjoy these last few months of pregnancy. Both of your lives are about to change!
  • Begin preparing your older children. If you have older children, spend some quality time with them before baby arrives and talk more about the baby and what life will be like. Read them children’s books about welcoming a new baby to the family and how they’re becoming big brothers or sisters!
  • Prepare your pets. Show your pets the baby’s room and the baby’s items. Have them become familiar with the sounds and smells of a baby. 
    • Plan your pet care. Also, plan who will help care for your pets while you’re giving birth and the first weeks postpartum. 
  • Purchase life insurance and update your 401(k) and retirement account beneficiaries. It’s not an exciting item to check off your list, but life insurance is important to give you and your family peace of mind.
  • Narrow down your favorite baby names. Keep going through your baby name list that you started, and narrow it down with your partner. Be cautious about sharing any of your favorite names with close friends and family. You might not want to hear their opinions, but they could help add name ideas to your list!
  • Begin planning your maternity leave and postpartum work schedule. If you’ve decided to return to work after maternity leave, be sure to plan your maternity leave now with your employer. You’ll be glad you set this up well in advance and have a planned schedule once baby arrives.
    • Create a summary of all your work duties. This will make things easier for the people stepping in while you’re out. You’ll be glad you did so that things will run smoothly and won’t be a mess when you return.
  • Take bump pictures. Your bump is beautiful!
  • Treat yourself. Remember, you’re working hard to create life.

You’ve now completed our second-trimester checklist! Bravo! You can also download this FREE TEMPLATE of our second trimester checklist so you can print it out and use it! I hope this has helped you feel more prepared and excited for what’s to come. You’re doing such a great job, and you’re getting closer! Your sweet baby will be here before you know it. 🙂

Read Next: Second Trimester Must-Haves

Three pages of a "Second Trimester Checklist" titled "baby chick" are shown. The pages offer checklists and brief guidance for expectant mothers during weeks 13-27 of the second trimester. Tasks such as taking vitamins, visiting a healthcare provider, and creating a baby registry are listed.
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Nina Spears The Baby Chick®: Pregnancy, Birth & Postpartum Expert
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Nina is The Baby Chick® & Editor-in-Chief of Baby Chick®. She received her baby planning certification in early 2011 and began attending births that same year. Since then, Nina has… Read more

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