We’re in our second trimester of pregnancy, and it’s finally the time to start announcing our pregnancy to friends and family. Yay! I can’t tell you how relieved I was to finally talk about our pregnancy news with our loved ones. Keeping your pregnancy a secret during the first trimester is no easy task. If you decided to wait to share your news until your second trimester as we did, I’m sure you’re feeling the same way.
I’m now 16 weeks along. It’s crazy to think that I have a baby the size of an avocado inside me! Thankfully the nausea is gone (my heart goes out to the mamas that are sick throughout their pregnancies), and I am regaining my energy again. Slowly. Sorry to all of my loved ones if I’ve been dragging lately or MIA. Pregnancy fatigue and pregnancy insomnia are no joke! I want to take a nap, All. The. Time. But with every passing day, it becomes a little bit better. I know I will be eating my words once I hit the third trimester.
Now that we are getting close to the halfway mark—or maybe you’re already there—this is when our checklist is really going to get full. Our first-trimester checklist wasn’t as long, so we’re making up for it now! I’m doing all I can to be ready for this little one. Below I’m sharing my top 12 checklist items that we need to complete during the second trimester.
In your second trimester it’s time to start preparing for labor and birth:
1. If you haven’t started already, begin reading some pregnancy & breastfeeding books.
There are so many great ones out there. Some of the ones that I recommend are:
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth
- Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide
- Breastfeeding Made Simple
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
To name a few. I’ve read these books above, so now I have on my list or currently reading:
2. Decide whether or not to hire a doula.
More and more women are hiring doulas to support them during their pregnancy and birth since we are discovering the numerous benefits of having a doula. If you decide that you might want a doula, interview the doulas in your area and find someone knowledgeable who you really click with. If you’re not sure where to look DONA.org or DoulaMatch.net are great places to start. Remember, personality and feeling comfortable are key when selecting the right doula for you.
My personal journey: I have already picked my birth doula and not only I but my husband as well, will be so grateful that he isn’t the only one who has to support me through the contractions and position changes during labor and birth. Having people around you who know how to support you and help you have the birth that you want is essential—whether that’s just you and your partner, you and your sister, your mother, or a doula.
3. Look into childbirth classes.
Knowing what to expect for your labor and delivery is important, so taking a childbirth class or classes can really help. Several options are available, like Lamaze, the Bradley Method, Hypnobabies, ICEA, Birth Boot Camp, and more. Do your research on each and sign up for one that is best for you.
My personal journey: I have already signed up for our childbirth class, but we are taking it during our third trimester so my husband doesn’t forget everything before the birth. 😉
4. Make a birth plan—or define your birthing goals.
Have an idea of how you would 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 experience, so write down the most important things to you. Just be sure to be flexible because sometimes babies make their own plans. 😉
My personal journey: I am choosing to have my baby at home. I know that may freak some of you out, but after all the births I have been to—hospital births, home births, birth center births—I know this is the right choice for me. I understand that the hospital provides a lot of people peace and comfort, which is wonderful, but for me, that is where I will go if things don’t progress normally or for an emergency.
5. Looking into banking your cord blood, cord tissue, or placenta tissue.
Do your research and if this is something that you want to do, figure out which company you would like to move forward with and order your kit(s).
6. Take a tour of your hospital or birth center.
You’ll want to know where to park, where you need to check in, what the check-in process looks like, what your rooms look like (labor and delivery and your postpartum/recovery room), and the items available to you in your rooms.
These first six points were all about planning for labor and delivery. The second half is about preparing for life with baby!
7. Create your baby registry.
Creating your baby registry is fun yet an overwhelming task that should begin in your second trimester. You want to have it complete before your baby shower, which should be in your third trimester. This will give you plenty of 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 things:
- Best Baby Registries
- Things You Really Wanted As Gifts From Your Baby Shower
- Best Baby Products
- Baby Registry Must-Haves
- Baby Products Parents Wish Had Been On Their Baby Registry
My personal journey: I have already started my list for my baby registry. I’ve also included things such as postpartum doula care, lactation support, and meals (so I don’t have to cook), among others.
8. Start reading baby care books and baby sleep books NOW!
I promise you won’t have much time to read after baby is born. Here are some of the books (and videos) that I recommend:
- Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child
- The Baby Book
- The Circumcision Decision (if you’re having a boy)
- The Happiest Baby on the Block
- Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
9. Begin planning your maternity leave and your postpartum work schedule.
Are you going back to work after 12-weeks? How much time will you have off? Or do you plan on being a stay-at-home mom? Have a plan for your maternity leave and ensure that your work situation is taken care of. You want an easy transition if you are going back to work.
10. Begin interviewing pediatricians.
Ask around for recommendations and start scheduling your interviews. In your second trimester, do your research and schedule some time to meet with those pediatricians around your home or work area.
11. Start your childcare search.
You would be surprised how quickly daycares and preschools fill up. Look into the ones that are close to your home and your work. Ask for recommendations and see how long their waitlist is. If this isn’t for you, see if any nannies in your area are available to help.
My personal journey: I’ve started calling places already and there are waitlists! I’m signing up for a couple, so hopefully, we get accepted into one we like.
12. Purchase life insurance and update your 401K and retirement account beneficiaries.
It’s not an exciting item to check off your list, but it is extremely important to give you both peace of mind.
My personal journey: This is something that we still need to do. Luckily I still have a few more weeks before I am in my third trimester to get it done.
That’s the list! I hope this helps you narrow down what needs to be done during your second trimester. We’re getting closer!!