Adapting to Pregnancy: Second Trimester

Pregnant woman doing yoga.

Keep up the healthy habits you started in your first trimester. You might be a little more tired than normal. So plan your day wisely. Look at the tips below and choose the ones that suit your lifestyle.

If you have any questions, check with your healthcare provider.

If you work

If you can, adjust your work with your employer to fit your needs. Try these tips:

  • If you stand for long periods, find ways to do some tasks while sitting. Also, try to stand with 1 foot resting on a low stool or ledge. Shift your weight from foot to foot often. Wear low-heeled shoes.

  • If you sit, keep your knees level with your hips. Rest your feet on a firm surface. Sit tall with support for your low back.

  • If you work long hours, ask about adjusting your schedule. Try taking shorter breaks more often.

When you travel

The second trimester may be the best time for any travel. Talk to your healthcare provider about any special plans you may need to make. Always:

  • Wear a seat belt. Fasten the lap part under your belly. Wear the shoulder part also.

  • Take breaks often during long trips by car or plane. Move around to stretch your legs.

  • Drink plenty of fluids on flights. The air in plane cabins is very dry.

  • Avoid hot climates or high altitudes if you are not used to them.

  • Avoid places where the food and water might make you sick.

  • Make sure you are up-to-date on all immunizations, including the flu vaccine. This is especially important when traveling overseas.

Taking time to relax

Find time to rest and relax at work or at home:

  • Take short time-outs daily. Do relaxation exercises.

  • Breathe deeply during stressful times.

  • Try not to take on too much. Plan tasks for times when you have the most energy.

  • Take naps when you can. Or just sit and relax.

  • After week 16, avoid lying on your back for more than a few minutes. Instead, lie on your side. Switch sides often.

Continuing as lovers

Unless your healthcare provider tells you otherwise, there is no reason to stop having sex now. Blood supply increases to the pelvic area in the second trimester. Because of this, sex might be more enjoyable. Try different positions and see what’s best. Also, talk to your partner about any changes in desire. Spotting may happen after sex. Be sure to let your healthcare provider know if there is heavy bleeding.

Keeping your environment safe

You can still clean house and use scented products. Just take some simple precautions:

  • Wear gloves when using cleaning fluids.

  • Open windows to let in fresh air. Use a fan if you paint.

  • Avoid secondhand smoke.

  • Don’t breathe fumes from nail polish, hair spray, cleansers, or other chemicals.