Second Trimester Must Haves
While the 2nd trimester is often the easiest of the three, you often still have challenges like managing exhaustion, constipation or heartburn.
Here’s an ultimate list of second trimester must haves – one that can apply to any pregnancy.
This list includes items both myself and other moms have used in our second trimesters as pregnancies can be different from one to another.
1. Extra water bottles
One thing that has been a constant in my pregnancies is having to get up MULTIPLE TIMES in the middle of the night to pee.
Every time I pee, I get thirsty and have to drink more water.
While I have 1 water bottle with me for this, I often end up finishing all the water in it. This means I have to refill the bottle in the middle of the night, which often leads to me not being able to go back to sleep.
This cycle seems to get worse from the second trimester onwards.
I’ve read this especially happens because your growing uterus starts pressing against your bladder.
Some say it can help if you:
- Drink more water during the day and
- Restrict the amount of water you intake starting a few hours before you go to bed
I’ve found even if I do all of the above, I’m still having to pee throughout the night.
The only thing I’ve found that’s helped is just getting an extra water bottle (so I don’t have to go downstairs to refill the one that’s empty in the middle of the night).
This Lifefactory water bottle is great because it’s made of glass, but has a silicone sleeve for easier gripping. It has a handle so it can be carried around.
I initially found out about this water bottle from my mom friends who were raving about it. They have multiple and place them all over the house!
This water bottle also has an opening that’s large enough to put ice cubes in if you just need to chomp on cubes.
2. Body Cream
With my second pregnancy, the dry skin didn’t just end with my belly. It was everywhere. It became particularly evident in my second trimester.
I realized what was happening was that the growing baby was taking all of the fluid.
My body couldn’t maintain its moisture levels. Even though I drank more water, it wasn’t good enough.
I didn’t want to use the belly butter all over my body. That product is designed for that particular area and it’s expensive.
I just used the coconut oil that I normally use on my face and that did the trick.
3. Eye Cream
I also made sure to stick with my facial regime and use an eye cream regularly.
With the moisture coming out of my face and getting such little sleep every night between the pregnancy and my toddler waking up, my eyes were taking a beating.
Eye cream helped to brighten my eyes and give me the boost I needed.
My lips also became chapped so I made sure to put my natural chapstick in my purse so I could access it all the time.
5. Maternity Belt
If you have severe hip and lower back pain that sometimes starts from the second trimester, I’ve heard from other moms that a maternity belt helps.
A maternity belt helps to ease the hip and pelvic pains from the growing belly and more evenly distributes the extra weight.
It also helps to correct your posture, reduce bladder pressure, and support your abdominal muscles.
If you’re worried about getting diastasis recti (when your abdominal muscles separate during pregnancy so you still look pregnant many months after giving birth), this belt might help.
You can wear it during your pregnancy and postpartum. It’s soft, light, breathable and adjustable to accommodate a changing belly size.
6. Flat and comfortable shoes
In your second trimester, you’ll probably want to put aside heels if that’s what you normally wear.
Your feet might begin to swell, flatten or widen.
Even if your feet don’t change, you’ll have growing weight to support. You’ll want to be in flat shoes to keep you comfortable and your baby safe.
You’ll also want to be in slip-on shoes because as your belly grows, it becomes harder to lean over and put your shoes on.
If you will be in a hotter climate during your 2nd trimester, you’ll want to have a pair of supportive sandals.
What’s great about these Crocs is that you can easily slip them on. There’s no snap you have to secure.
They’re cute, light and water-friendly. They will support a widening foot. There are grips to prevent slipping.
This is a similar Crocs style that’s also slip-on and supportive if you prefer a different design.
You’ll also want to have a pair of comfortable sneakers for walking.
I used my Adidas sneakers. They’re comfortable enough and classic! Even though there are laces, I always keep them tied up. They’re not the ideal slip-ons (sometimes I need to adjust the tongue), but they work.
If you’re looking for an actual slip-on walking shoe, these Sketchers shoes are very supportive and comfortable for your second trimester. They have soft, breathable fabric and excellent cushioning.
They’re made for people that have to walk around and stand all day long.
That said, I know some moms who prefer to use their classic, canvas TOMS as their walking shoe in their second trimester.
These are slip-on shoes with breathable textile lining. There’s a removable molded textile insole with an odor-fighting twill liner to keep your feet fresh.
I love that with every pair of shoes you purchase, TOMS will give a new pair of shoes to a child in need.
If you work in an environment where the dress code is formal, you’ll need a pair of flat ballet shoes.
These are a light, faux-suede pair that’s ideal for the office. It comes in multiple colors and patterns.
7. Heartburn relief
I have never experienced heartburn, but I’ve heard some women experience it starting from the second trimester.
It’s just another unfortunate occurrence due to pregnancy hormones and pressure of the growing baby.
You should also eat multiple, small meals a day as opposed to 3 big meals.
You could also try putting an extra pillow under your head to elevate your head and wait a while after eating your last meal before going to bed.
Unfortunately, some moms have told me that all of this doesn’t work. The only thing that’s worked for them is eating antacids like tums, but you should discuss this with your doctor.
8. Constipation relief
Constipation can also happen in the 2nd trimester.
I’m lucky to have not gotten constipation during pregnancy, but I did get it postpartum. It was horrible!
What helped me when I did get it was drinking a lot of water and eating prunes.
If you’re not a prunes fan, you can just eat any of the fruits and vegetables that are high in fiber. For example, pears, strawberries, avocados, ripe bananas, apples, raspberries, carrots, beets, broccoli, artichoke and brussel sprouts.
If you find none of these solutions help, I know some moms have used a stool softener like Colace. You should definitely talk to your doctor before you take this.
1st Trimester Must Haves You’ll Need In Your 2nd Trimester
Here are additional must haves carried over from the first trimester that might apply to your second trimester.
9. Belly Cream
As my belly continued to stretch out in my second trimester, my skin became even more itchy and flaky.
I also didn’t want to get more stretch marks from my first pregnancy.
I lathered on belly butter everyday, multiple times a day. It has greatly helped!
Up to 30% of pregnant women can get pregnancy rhinitis, which is a stuffy nosed caused by the hormonal changes during pregnancy. It can last for 6 weeks or more.
I had pregnancy rhinitis with my last pregnancy and it was horrible! I suffered for months!
It wasn’t until we were preparing for my daughter’s birth that we got a filter free humidifier.
A humidifier adds moisture to the air and helps to loosen mucus to help you breathe easier. It also helps moisten dry, irritated skin.
When my daughter got sick at seven months, we put on the humidifier that night and noticed that she could immediately breathe easier.
I recently got nasal congestion with my second pregnancy and used the humidifier and it cleared it up that night!
Looking back, I can’t believe I suffered with sleepless nights for months in my last pregnancy just because I didn’t get one earlier!!
If you have pregnancy rhinitis, you might want to consider getting a humidifier.
11. Pregnancy journal
A pregnancy journal can be a great way to record this special time in your life.
It can also be very therapeutic to get your feelings out on paper with your body and hormones constantly changing.
It’s never too late to start a pregnancy journal. You can start one in your second trimester or third trimester if you feel like this activity is a good fit.
What types of journals are available?
1) You could get a pregnancy-branded journal. It gives you a comprehensive structure of the pregnancy milestones to work within.
I particularly like this one with its fun xoxo and gold foil heart design.
It includes prompts like how you felt when you found out you were pregnant, the names you’ve discussed, cravings etc.
Some questions can feel as though you’re keeping a medical record (e.g. weight, belly measurement). Some can also seem more geared towards first time moms (e.g. medications to avoid, how to prevent acid reflux).
If you’re looking for more of a book where you can write your wishes for your baby…
2) This Letters to my Baby book contains 12 letters (with envelopes and stickers to seal) you can fill out to give to your child in the future.
Here are some of the letter titles:
- My wishes for you are…
- What I want you to know about me…
- The world I want to give you is…
- One really special thing about you is…
- On the day you were born…
There are 2 letters at the end that you can write about whatever you like!
All in all, it’s a lovely keepsake to look back on.
3) If you want something for the whole baby journey including pregnancy and postpartum, you could get this classic modern baby book!
It’s gender-neutral and has a linen cover!
There are long sections covering pregnancy all the way up to age 5!
The emphasis is not so much on the pregnancy (like details about your first to third trimesters), but more so about your baby’s first year and beyond.
A forewarning: This book is very detailed with even pages for other people to give their accounts about the birth story.
If you’re looking for a more straightforward and colorful baby book, you should check out this baby book instead.
And if you want something that’s more customizable…
4) You could use the classic Moleskine journal. You can get it with lined, dotted, squared or blank pages.
That way you’re not restricted to just writing about what the pregnancy journal prompts you to write. You’re also not restricted about how much you want to write about a certain topic.
If you’re artistic and want to draw pictures, I recommend getting the ones with blank pages.
12. Pregnancy photo props
Documenting your baby bump is an amazing memory to look back on. If you’re just starting in your second trimester, it’s not too late.
This is something I didn’t do with my entire first pregnancy that I regret. It would have been great to have at least a few photos.
What I like about this activity is that it’s also inexpensive if you already have a phone or camera.
You can also use props in your pictures to make it both fun and provide immediate awareness of how far along you are in your pregnancy.
One common prop are the wooden blocks, which are nice.
I like the versatility of the chalkboard sign more.
You can use the chalkboard sign to document your pregnancy and baby’s growth (e.g. 1st month, 2nd month) as well as other special occasions (e.g. first day at school).
You can also use it to teach your child in the future.
It comes off easily with a wet paper towel or baby wipe. It’s much clearer and bolder for photos.
13. Nausea relief
Some women experience nausea during their entire pregnancy.
If you’re still experiencing nausea in your second trimester, you’re not alone. Here are a few products you can use to get some relief.
For me, what helped with nausea was ginger tea.
My nurse recommended it, but said I should drink a MAXIMUM of 2 cups per day.
You should know – there are some herbal teas that are unsafe during pregnancy like pennyroyal and chamomile (in high doses).
If your nausea is more severe and you can’t stomach ginger tea, there are also ginger candies:
- Ginger chews: This one has a stronger ginger flavor.
- The Ginger People Gin Gins: This one is sweeter.
Another thing that helped with my nausea was crackers!
It gave me exactly what I needed to ease my queasy stomach. I basically had a box of crackers with me everywhere, especially in the morning.
I also found snacks really helped with the nausea. It seems counter-intuitive, but whenever I felt like vomiting, if I filled my stomach, I felt 100 times better.
If snacks don’t help with nausea for you, it’ll most definitely help by the 2nd trimester and 3rd trimester when starvation hits you during the worst times.
For example, I’ve been starving while stuck in traffic on the highway with no grocery store or restaurant in sight. It felt like I was being eaten alive. I’ve never felt that kind of hunger in my life!
If you’re like me, you’re binging on candy from your pantry if you don’t have healthy snacks accessible, which is not good for you or your baby.
Another snack I often have with me all the time is almonds.
If you have gestational diabetes like me, almonds help you stay full while not going over your carbohydrate count.
14. Vomit bags and tissues
If you’re still vomiting in your second trimester, make sure you have sick bags in the car.
You don’t want to be in a situation where you’re sitting in your own vomit for a while. And then there’s the clean up job in the car…
What I like most about these morning sickness bags is:
- They’re dark so you can’t see the vomit once the bag is tied up.
- It’s great quality – medical grade.
- There’s a wide, cup-like ring so it’s easier to use and filter the contents into the bag – therefore minimal spillage.
On a side note, a great thing about having these bags is that even if you don’t use it for morning sickness, you can use it for:
- Dirty diapers: There were many times when I had to change diapers in the car and there was no garbage can in sight e.g. road trips, trips on the highway. Having a disposable bag in the car came in handy!
- Pet waste
I also recommend having a tissue box in the car. You’ll want to have something to wipe your face down with.
15. Maternity clothing
By your second trimester, you’ll probably want to get maternity clothes if you don’t have them already.
With my first pregnancy, I thought maybe I could avoid getting maternity clothing. I just hated the idea of buying clothes I would only wear for a short period of time.
I reached a point in my second trimester where I felt like I was suffocating in my clothing. I was getting deep lines from my pants digging into my skin.
It was just unbearably uncomfortable so I went out to purchase maternity clothing. I can’t believe I waited so long to do so.
One thing about maternity clothing – you can often still wear it postpartum (as you’ll still look 6 months pregnant after you deliver as it takes a few weeks for your uterus to shrink) and beyond (depending on the pieces you select)! It’s not as big a waste of money as I thought it would be!
Here’s maternity clothing I recommend you consider.
Leggings will be your best friend during pregnancy.
They’re soft, comfortable, flexible and look great on! When you’re postpartum, you’ll still be able to use them.
When I was looking for maternity leggings, I wanted to buy as few pairs as possible – ideally 1-2 pairs that work for both casual and work environments.
These maternity leggings worked for me!
They look like skinny pants so you might be able to use them at work depending on how formal your work environment is. They’re thick and have fake back pockets.
They also stay up (you don’t have to constantly pull them up like other maternity leggings), but they’re not tight around your belly (the material seems to be thinner around the waistline to accommodate a growing belly).
On a side note, if you’re in the in between stage when your maternity pants are too big, you can use your regular stretchy leggings.
Or if you have pants that have a button and a zipper, you can undo just the button or unzip depending on how tight it is. Loop a rubber band or hair band into the button hole and wrap it around the button like this:
It gives you that little bit of give before you have to transition to maternity pants.
I’m not a fan of jeans during pregnancy because your body changes and the jeans don’t always adapt to fit around the changes. Something somewhere feels too tight or uncomfortable.
I know some women that love jeans and can’t bear to wear leggings.
The thing with selecting maternity jeans is you need the stretch if you want these to last throughout your pregnancy.
As such, I would highly recommend maternity jeggings – looks like jeans, but feels more like leggings.
I love them because they’re not necessarily just for “maternity wear”. You can wear them as comfortable, loose-fitting tops after pregnancy.
Slippers that are easy to step into
A pair of comfortable slippers you can slip into easily is a great product to have during your pregnancy.
A growing belly makes it increasingly difficult to bend over and put on and take off socks. You also don’t want to be fumbling around, trying to balance on one foot managing your socks.
Slippers provide that extra bit of comfort and convenience that will be especially appreciated as your pregnancy progresses and when you’re postpartum – constantly getting in and out of bed to feed, change diapers and use the bathroom with the cold bathroom floors!
Maternity pajama pants
If you’re the type of person who can’t sleep if you feel at all constricted in your clothing, you might need maternity pajama pants.
I like these maternity pajama/lounge pants because they’re soft and comfortable and they stay up without squeezing your belly.
When you’re pregnant and postpartum, your boob size is constantly changing.
The most I went up in my first pregnancy and postpartum was 2 cup sizes. In my first trimester with my second pregnancy, I was already up 2 cup sizes!
To manage your changing boob size, you can get a nursing bra.
Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll breastfeed, it’s a good idea to get a nursing bra when you’re pregnant because they’re designed to comfortably support a changing breast size.
It’s also cheaper than getting multiple bras to fit different cup sizes.
This nursing bra is comfortable and inexpensive. I’ve tried similar nursing bras without underwires from other retailers and this one is the cheapest for relatively good quality.
With my first pregnancy, I didn’t buy maternity underwear. I was fine because I already had stretchy low cut underwear.
During my pregnancy, my underwear did stretch out and didn’t quite come back to its original shape with multiple washes, but it was still wearable.
I don’t think maternity underwear is entirely necessary if you have stretchy low cut underwear.
That said, I was talking to other moms.
If you only have high waisted underwear or underwear that you don’t want to stretch out, you might want to consider maternity underwear.
This especially applies if you also gain weight in your bum. That means you’re stretching out your whole underwear, which might make it unusable post-pregnancy.
This Kindred Bravely maternity underwear has many great reviews on Amazon. It’s designed for extra comfort during pregnancy with a cross-over low waist design to hug your belly without digging into your skin.
Just be careful with how you wash it and follow the care instructions: Machine wash cold, gentle cycle, tumble dry low. Otherwise, it won’t last very long.
Maternity sleep shorts
If you’ll be experiencing summer during pregnancy, live in hot climates, or just prefer to sleep or lounge in shorts, you’ll want to consider getting maternity shorts.
In my second pregnancy, I will be giving birth in the summer. The summers are hot where I live!
I have no shorts that stay on comfortably. I had to get maternity shorts.
These Motherhood maternity shorts are designed to fit comfortably, especially when you sleep (no tight waistband). They’re light and soft.
If you need a dress for a formal occasion, due to the warmer weather, or you just prefer dresses, you’ll want to consider getting a loose dress (if you don’t have one) during your second trimester with your growing belly.
You don’t need to get a maternity-specific dress like this one.
You can just get a maxi dress that’s has soft and stretchy material. This dress comes in multiple colors, but the lighter colors are more sheer.
After your pregnancy, you can still wear it!
16. Pregnancy information
My co-worker lent me this Pregnancy Day by Day book and I loved it.
If she didn’t lend it to me, I could see myself getting it anyways. It’s a useful resource we’ve spent a lot of time with!
When you’re pregnant, you have so many questions and concerns.
This book offers a day by day look at what your baby, you and your family are experiencing. It’s very informative!
There are great photos of what the baby looks like throughout. It offers lots of tips and advice during pregnancy and questions to ask your doctor.
My husband and I used to read this every day. It was a fun way to count down to when our baby was born!
If you prefer apps, I’ve heard the What to Expect When You’re Expecting app is good.
It’s based on the popular What to Expect When You’re Expecting book.
17. Prenatal Vitamins
Prenatal vitamins are a must have throughout your entire pregnancy and when you’re trying to get pregnant.
Here are a few other things I learned when selecting prenatal vitamins.
1) There are tasty gummy prenatal vitamins, but they often seem to lack nutritional value. Many gummy prenatal vitamins don’t contain iron.
If you have blood sugar issues like gestational diabetes, these are not the best choice.
2) This prenatal vitamin is less yummy, but it has over 25 essential vitamins and minerals including iron, folate, and vitamins A, C, D, and B.
It’s vegetarian and gluten-free and contains no wheat, soy, milk, or artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
As this prenatal vitamin contains iron, it might make you nauseous so take note of the nausea relief products above.
3) If you’re in Canada and you have extended health insurance with your employer, you can possibly get your prenatal vitamins covered completely or partially.
Just ask your doctor to write you a prescription for prenatal vitamins. You’ll likely get Pregvit.
4) DHA has been known to help with children’s brain development. This is why it’s often taken as a supplement when pregnant.
There are some prenatal vitamins with DHA like this one, but they usually contain much less DHA than a separate DHA supplement.
If your prenatal vitamin doesn’t have a DHA supplement, you might want to get a separate prenatal DHA supplement.
Just to clarify, this is not a prenatal multivitamin. It’s a DHA supplement in addition to your prenatal vitamins.
18. Pregnancy Pillow
I REALLY didn’t want to buy a pregnancy pillow. It’s ridiculously expensive for what seems like a few pillows connected together, but…
I’m a back sleeper and around my 2nd trimester in my first pregnancy (it was my 1st trimester in my second pregnancy that this happened), I had to start sleeping on my side.
The growing weight was just too uncomfortable on my back.
Then I read that experts actually recommend not sleeping on your back in your 2nd trimester or 3rd trimester as it can interfere with circulation, which can reduce blood flow and nutrients to the fetus.
That was not something I was willing to risk!
But I just couldn’t adjust to side sleeping! I put a pillow between my legs and one on my back, and I was still uncomfortable.
Out of desperation to get a good night’s sleep, I finally caved in and got the Snoogle pregnancy pillow.
This pillow has been 100% worth it! The first few weeks postpartum were tough! I’m so glad I got the quality sleep I needed (thanks to this pregnancy pillow) before my daughter was born.
Now I can’t go without it. I realized you just can’t put a price tag on good sleep.
On a side note, I actually lent it to my mother-in-law one night because she was complaining of back pain. She ended up getting one for her and her sister!
19. Mineral sunscreen
Now that I’m pregnant, I’m using my daughter’s mineral sunscreen.
The big reason is because mineral sunscreens are made with natural minerals and not chemicals.
Another reason is that chemical sunscreens take 20 minutes to be absorbed into the skin before it starts working, which you might forget about.
20. Coconut water
I love water. It’s my drink of choice.
During my pregnancy, my preferences changed. I no longer enjoyed the flavor of just water.
Coconut water is a bit of a splurge, but it’s much healthier for you and the baby than other flavored drinks.
Most coconut water tastes disgusting. Zico Coconut water actually tastes like what you would get from a fresh coconut.
It only has one ingredient: coconut water. There’s no added sugar or other ingredients.
This coconut water is naturally fat, gluten, and cholesterol-free. It actually has as much potassium as a banana per bottle.
Final Thoughts on Second Trimester Pregnancy Essentials
Second trimester essentials will vary from pregnancy to pregnancy. I hope this list provides you with an overview of what you could possibly need in your 2nd trimester.
Here were all of my pregnancy must haves with my first child.
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Summary of Second Trimester Must Haves
- Extra Water Bottle: Voss water bottle, Lifefactory water bottle
- Coconut oil
- Eye cream
- Natural chapstick
- Maternity belt
- Shoes: Crocs sandals, Sketchers shoes, classic, canvas TOMS, formal flat shoes
- Heartburn relief: tums
- Constipation relief: prunes, Colace
- Belly butter
- Filter free humidifier
- Pregnancy journal: Pregnancy Journal, Letters to my Baby book, modern baby book, moleskine journal
- Pregnancy photo props: wooden blocks, chalkboard sign, liquid chalk markers in white, liquid chalk markers in color
- Nausea relief: ginger tea, ginger chews , the Ginger People Gin Gins, crackers, healthy energy bars, almonds
- Vomit bags, tissue box
- Maternity clothing: maternity leggings, maternity jeggings, oversized sweaters and oversized shirts, slippers, maternity pajama/lounge pants, nursing bra, maternity underwear, Motherhood maternity shorts, maternity dress, maxi dress
- Pregnancy information: Pregnancy Day by Day book, What to Expect When You’re Expecting app
- Prenatal vitamins: gummy prenatal vitamins, comprehensive prenatal vitamin, prenatal DHA supplement
- Snoogle pregnancy pillow
- Mineral sunscreen
- Zico Coconut water
Related Pregnancy and Baby Articles:
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- Baby Must Haves in the first 3 months you can’t forget about
- Must Haves for a 6 Month Old Baby
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