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Whoa! Hello, 3rd trimester! How did we get here so fast? I seriously cannot believe how fast this pregnancy is flying by. As I write this, I’m already close to 30 weeks, so I thought it best that I sit down and type up my 2nd Trimester Recap post before I forget all that happened between weeks 14 and 28! If you haven’t already, you can read my First Trimester Recap post here

To be honest, I think I procrastinated on writing this specific post because my first-trimester post was SO LONG. It took me FOREVER to write and I frankly don’t think I have it in me to write that long of a post again. But, I do want to make sure I write something because as much as I know you guys love reading them (based on the feedback I’ve gotten), these are also serving as a bit of a diary for me too. I’ve actually already forgotten some things that I was positive I’d remember… Sigh…

Ironically, once I started writing, this post ended up being super long again… Shall we take a look at the first trimester? Let’s go! I recorded a video that hits some of the high points, but if you want the nitty-gritty details, those are all below!

What a Journey!

Just like I said in my first trimester recap, what a journey this has been. I have learned so much about the miracle of creation, my body, my strengths, my weaknesses, and my fears. I’ve never experienced anything else like it before and I know I never will again. This has been a really special time — sacred time — every day I feel blessed that God has bestowed the opportunity to upon me and my husband.

Speaking of that, one of my favorite book of my 2nd trimester is a book called Redeeming Childbirth, by Angie Tolpin. One of the things she said in her book totally changed my perspective of pregnancy and God. She said:

“Pregnancy and childbirth were God’s idea. He gave us the special honor, along with our husband, to partner with Him in creation.”

That line — to partner with Him in creation — really shifted some things for me. I’ll talk more about that below. 

Second Trimester: Physical Symptoms

Food Aversions and Cravings

Around week 12, I thought that my intense food aversions were going away. Yay! 

But then at week 14, the food aversions came back full force. Around week 16 I FINALLY started to get a little bit of my appetite back. During weeks 16 and 17, I got ravenously hungry. I guess after 15 weeks of not being about to eat normally my mind and body were ready to make up for lost time.

Meat was still troublesome and has been for the duration of my pregnancy. But I was definitely able to eat more animal-based protein than I had the previous 4 months. I was able to get back into more of a “normal” routine around eating (i.e. 3-4 meals per day, rather than just snacking/grazing all day).

Food remained a bit challenging through week 19, but then my overall appetite really started to improve. I was able to eat a wider variety of food. I was able to get more animal-based protein down without gagging. There were still a lot of foods that I just didn’t want to eat, but at least I was able to get more variety in each day than I had the past 18 weeks. 

While I would say the aversions *mostly* went away when I hit 20+ weeks, I have still struggled here and there. Some days are better than others. Sometimes I can eat something one day and then the next day be completely grossed out by it. It’s made meal planning a little challenging, but I’ve learned to roll with it. 🙂

I will say that I have eaten pretty much the same exact breakfast every day since about week 12: scrambled eggs, turkey bacon, steamed veggies with butter, and sauerkraut. It has consistently sat well in my belly and (for the most part), I’ve been able to get it down without gagging or feeling nauseous. When eating becomes a challenge, you stick with what works, until it doesn’t, and then move on.

As far as cravings go, I don’t feel like I had a ton. I always craved acidic, tart, tangy foods like pickles, sauerkraut, lemon juice, etc. I also wanted A LOT of spicy stuff, the hotter the better, during the second trimester. Both of those cravings started to subside as I got towards 28 weeks.

I did go through a phase where all I wanted was Panda Express. And yes, I indulged that craving from time to time. I went through a one week period where all I wanted was a French dip sandwich. And yes, I also indulged that craving.

Oh! And consistently since month 2 of my pregnancy, I have wanted nothing more than a cold Jimmy John’s sub sandwich. 🙄🤔 Seriously. Every time I drive by one, I salivate. I can’t say I’ve ever craved a sub sandwich before. I have not indulged that craving, as cold cuts are off-limits while pregnant, but as I write this at almost 30 weeks, I still want that dang sub sandwich. I told hubby that he might have to go get me one for my first meal after the baby comes. LOL!

I will say that I 100% understand why so many women have such a hard time eating healthy when they are pregnant. There are many days when fast, easy, convenience food is all that sounds good or is all the energy you can muster. To complicate that, if you are dealing with a lot of nausea, simple carbs and sugar actually help soothe the nausea, which is why so many women crave these foods when they are feeling icky. While I did my best to stay on point with my nutrition, there were days where take out was the easiest and most appetizing choice. Let’s just say I have eaten A LOT of salads and burrito bowls from Qdoba and Chipotle during this pregnancy.

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

  • Customized Herbal Pregnancy Tea from Vital Roots Herbal Care – Lori, the owner of Vital Roots, is a clinical herbalist and a dear friend. She made me a custom herbal pregnancy tea to start drinking in my second trimester and my morning would not be complete without it! If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order!
  • Organic Green Rooibos Tea – I loved drinking this both iced and hot with lots of lemon or lime juice and a couple of drops of stevia. Green rooibos has a smoother, milder flavor than the red rooibos and to me tastes more like green tea than rooibos tea. You can learn about the health benefits of rooibos tea, as well as the different types, here.
  • Primal Kitchen Collagen Bars – These bars were a life-saver this second trimester. They tasted so good to me and were the perfect option to get some extra protein in if I couldn’t stomach much in the way of other foods. The Macadamia Sea Salt and Coconut Cashew flavors are my favorite.
  • Primal Kitchen Protein Bars – I loved these bars too and often paired them with the Collagen bars for a snack or meal replacement. The Peanut Butter and Coconut Lime flavors are my favorite.
  • Perfect Supplements Collagen Powder – My all-time favorite collagen powder and my go-to for some extra animal protein each day. It’s the ONLY collagen tested to be completely free of glyphosate (Roundup) residue. I mainly used this in my hot tea or sprinkled into my soups. If you ever order any Perfect Supplements products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your order.
  • Paleo Valley Greens Powder – I love that this greens powder doesn’t have a bunch of hard to digest cereal grasses in it. The only thing I don’t love is the mint flavor. It’s so strong that it often made me gag, but I choked it down anyway because I was trying to get as much nutrition in as possible. I really doubt I would have minded the flavor if I wasn’t pregnant…
  • Choice Organic Decaf English Breakfast Tea – I stopped consuming caffeine when I was pregnant (except for a little chocolate here and there). Once I got into my second trimester, I was really craving black tea. This decaf version has just a teeny tiny bit of caffeine in it and has a really smooth, strong flavor.

Energy Levels

Man, I was SO TIRED for the first part of my pregnancy. It was fatigue unlike anything I’d ever experienced. I feel so fortunate that I am self-employed because I was not able to work much during that time. My hat is off to mamas who work a full-time or part-time office job. I don’t think I could have done it.

Around week 16, my energy also started to come up a little. I was still way more tired than I ever had been in my life, but I was able to do a little more work each day. And with each week that passed, I got more energy back. By week 20, I was *almost* feeling back to normal on the energy front. I started working a bit more and even took on a new part-time job (an unexpected opportunity that randomly fell into my lap). 

One big shift that also helped me get back on my feet and working more was that brain fog lifted. I had such horrible mental and emotional fatigue the first 15 weeks that it made doing anything that required thinking difficult. It was a deep mental and emotional fatigue that just made me feel like I needed to sleep all day…

While I was still not able back into any kind of major new-project-production mode, I was able to get new blog posts written and start interacting on social media again. Little by little, I started to feel like my old self. Except with an ever-expanding belly. 🙂

Belly Changes

Speaking of the belly, I feel like it took me forever to start showing. Around week 15, my husband said he started noticing a difference in my belly. I didn’t really see it, although by week 17, there was a little extra roundness there that was not normal. And my pants were starting to fit a little more snugly. Around week 20 is when I actually started to feel like I looked pregnant. I remember looking in the mirror one morning and going “Whoa!”. LOL!

I’m pretty much living in yoga pants and long cami tank tops right now because I refuse to buy maternity clothes until I absolutely need to. I have purchased a couple of maternity tops, but thankfully my favorite yoga pants are still working really well, even now at almost 30 weeks. I did go one size up in them when Kohls ran them on sale (and I had coupons!), but that size is still a tad too big so I’m pretty sure they will work until baby comes.

I really don’t want to spend money on things that I will only wear for a short time. Thankfully the vast majority of my clothes (excluding my jeans, dress pants, and a few tops) will still fit me well even as my belly gets bigger.

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester::

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

  • Vital Roots Herbal Care Happy Baby Salve – This product is handcrafted by my friend and herbalist, Lori Roop. I’ve used this salve on my dry, cracked hands for years, but I started using it on my belly to help soothe my itchy, stretching skin. If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order!
  • Vital Roots Herbal Care Luscious Herbal Baby Oil – In addition to the Happy Baby Salve, I also used this product on my belly to help soothe the skin. I’ve also used this oil as an all-over moisturizer when I get out of the shower. If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order!

The “Glow” 🙂

Around week 16, people started commenting about how I had “the glow”. My hubby noticed first and then within the next few days a number of other people started mentioning it. The classic pregnancy glow can be attributed to two things:

  1. The extra blood my body is pumping around. Pregnant women create, on average, 50% more blood volume during their pregnancy. So that’s A LOT of extra blood circulating in the body. All this extra blood is actually what gives pregnant women that glow that is so common!
  2. Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm. I have always loved this stuff, but I love it even more now. My skin always gets super dry during the Fall and Winter, but all the pregnancy hormones seem to be exacerbating that. I’ve been using the balm as my overnight mask almost every night and it makes my skin so soft, supple, and glowy. I’ve also been using it on my rashy legs. I’ll talk more about that below.

Sleep Disruption

The sleep disruption continued and I don’t really see that changing… If you recall from my First Trimester post, my sleep got disrupted pretty much from day one of being pregnant. I really do miss the days of getting a solid night’s sleep without having to wake up to pee all the time. Or roll over because your hip is hurting. Or because heartburn hits you at 1 am (more on that below). Or because your 2am insomnia hits…

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

  • 2 Long, Straight Body Pillows + 4 Regular Pillows – Getting comfortable when you’re pregnant is no joke, especially as your belly grows. I loved my U-shaped body pillow up until about week 18 and then I found it super uncomfortable. So I created a new bed set up that worked well: 1 long, straight body pillow on each side of me (kept down low so I can prop both my knees and ankles up), 1 regular pillow on each side of me to hug and support my top shoulder, 2 regular pillows for my head. Shout-out to my dear hubby for allowing me to take up 3/4 of our king size bed with all of my pillows. 🙂
  • Scandisk MP3 Player – I’m loving the tiny, old school MP3 player I purchased to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks on at night. These tracks are so relaxing and really help me fall asleep quickly. I could have used my phone, but I don’t like keeping my phone on and near me when I’m sleeping.
  • Wish Garden Herbs Sleepy Nights for Pregnancy Tincture – Recommended by my Naturopath, this is a blend of pregnancy-safe herbs. I was still a little concerned about the alcohol (even though it is a tiny amount), so she had me squirt the tincture into a tiny bit of hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes before drinking to cook it off.

Suppressed Immune System = Colds 🙁

I also ended up getting sick twice in my second trimester with whatever respiratory crud is going around. Lots of coughing, congestion, and a super sore throat. Each time I got sick, it took me about 3 weeks to recover. Being sick sucks in general, but being sick when you are pregnant sucks even more. 

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

  • Wish Garden Herbs Immune Boost for Pregnancy Tincture – My ND recommended this line of pregnancy-safe tinctures. I was still a little concerned about the alcohol (even though it is a tiny amount), so she had me squirt the tincture into a tiny bit of hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes before drinking to cook it off.
  • Wish Garden Herbs Cold Seasons for Pregnancy Tincture – I used this tincture in addition to the immune boost one above.
  • Pure Synergy Whole Food Vitamin C Powder and Capsules – Whole food forms of vitamin C are better during pregnancy, as too high of doses of synthetic C can be harmful to the baby. I like this powder specifically because it’s affordable and really allows you to customize your dosage when you are sick. The capsules are also super convenient when you just don’t have the energy to measure powder out.
  • Nature’s Answer Sambucus (Elderberry) Syrup – Classic immune system support. This is their alcohol-free version. You can also make your own at home easily using this tutorial.
  • Ricola Extra Strength Glacier Mint Cough Drops – I tried not to go too crazy with the cough drops, but when my throat was sore and the coughing was at its worst, these, paired with chewing gum really helped.
  • XLEAR Saline Nasal Spray – I normally would use a neti pot for sinus health, but my sensitive gag reflex made that impossible. So I grabbed a bottle of this nasal spray and it really helped.
  • NOW Chest Rub – I used this under my nose and sometimes on my chest at bedtime to try to help me fall asleep despite the congestion. 

Congestion + Gag Reflex

You may remember me talking about Pregnancy Rhinitis (also known as vasomotor rhinitis of pregnancy) and my hypersensitive gag reflex in my First Trimester post. The congestion has remained a consistent symptom for me, although I will say around week 24, things started getting a bit better. I am still more congested that I would be normally, but it’s not as miserable as it was for that first part of my pregnancy. The super-sensitive gag reflex started to subside a little around week 22 and has gotten progressively better.

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

  • Crane Cool Mist Humidifier – Such a huge help with the congestion issue. Colorado air is so dry already, plus running your heat during the winter dries out the air even more.
  • Epic Dental Sugar-Free Chewing Gum – Up until I got pregnant, I hadn’t chewed gum in probably 10 years. But I found that it was one of the only things that helped me feel less gaggy/pukey when my congestion was at its worst.
  • XLEAR Saline Nasal Spray – I normally would use a neti pot for sinus health, but my sensitive gag reflex made that impossible. So I grabbed a bottle of this nasal spray and it really helped.

Leg Cramps and Heartburn

Ugh, these were two symptoms that hit me around the same time. Around week 22 I started having mild cramping in my calves during the night. I was already taking a lot of minerals, but after speaking to my Naturopath, we tweaked my magnesium, calcium, and potassium intake. I am vigilant about staying hydrated and I also use plenty of unrefined sea salt. None of this has had much effect on the cramps. I did add in transdermal magnesium and Magnesia Phosphorica #8 Cell Salts, as well as compression socks.

I truly believe the compression socks have made the biggest impact on the leg cramps. Within two days of starting to wear them during the day, my leg cramps stopped. I forgot to wear them for two days in a row and my leg cramps came back. I started wearing them again and the cramps stopped again.

The heartburn is another uncomfortable symptom that started around week 22 as well. It’s rather random. Some nights it hits me hard, others I don’t have any. It doesn’t matter if I eat something before bed or go to bed with an empty stomach. Sometimes it flares up during the day, lasting anywhere from 5 minutes to a couple of hours. 

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

  • The Dirt Peppermint Breath Spray – Most breath sprays are alcohol-based and this was the only one I could find that wasn’t. It’s a bit sweeter than I like, but it helps when my stomach is hurting.
  • Ricola Extra Strength Glacier Mint Cough Drops – I kept these next to my bed, even after my colds were gone. When the heartburn would get really bad, I could suck on one of these and be able to get back to sleep.
  • Organic Raw Almonds – I started having blood sugar dips in the middle of the night so I kept raw almonds next to my bed to snack on. They also helped when I would get heartburn attacks.
  • Transdermal Magnesium Spray/Lotion – Because digestion slows down so much when you’re pregnant, there’s a good chance that even if you’re taking a lot of magnesium, you’re not absorbing enough. I think this was the case with me so I added in my transdermal magnesium oil and it helped a TON with the leg cramping. You can buy it pre-made (my favorite is Ancient Minerals brand), or make your own using my easy tutorial.
  • Hyland’s MagPhos Cell Salts – A colleague recommended these to me after I complained about the leg cramps. She said these were the only thing that helped her cramps when she was pregnant. I think they really did help, along with the addition of topical magnesium spray.
  • Compression Socks – I’ve always had some varicose veins on my legs, but with the increased blood flow, some of them started popping out (before pregnancy, they were flat). The veins didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to take any chances on them getting worse. My ND suggested compression and since I was also wanting to avoid the classic pregnancy swelling so I grabbed some compression socks (after doing about 3 hours of research trying to decide on a brand) and they really helped. These have also been a game-changer in the nighttime leg cramp department.

INSANELY Dry Skin

Ugh. This one sucked. I normally have pretty dry skin during the Fall and Winter months, but I think the pregnancy hormones on top of the cold, dry winter weather made my skin so much drier than normal. I went through a couple of weeks around week 20 where my skin actually hurt. I was getting patchy dry rashes on my legs and they would burn when I’d take a shower. Even though I would put lotion on, I felt like it would soak in and disappear giving me little relief. 

Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Second Trimester:

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

  • Beautycounter’s Adaptive Moisture Body Lotion – This lotion is so amazing. It goes on without feeling greasy and makes my skin feel so good. It’s pricey for a lotion, but IT REALLY WORKS and helping balance your skin out. I ran out recently and haven’t had time to reorder and I’m bumming!
  • Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Moisturizing Cream – I always keep a tub of this on hand. It’s often too heavy for my skin, but at times like this, it worked really well. Even though it’s a thick, oil-based lotion, it soaks in really well and doesn’t leave you feeling overly greasy.
  • Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm – I used this on my face almost every night. I find it to be super hydrating and makes my skin feel so smooth and soft, especially the rough patches that I was feeling develop on my cheeks. I even used it on the rashy patches on my legs when they were at their worst.
  • Ceremedx Natural Ceramide Therapy Ultra Moisturizing Cream – Not the cleanest skincare product, but when my skin was feeling the worst, this gave me immense relief. 

I have had to be vigilant about putting on a thick layer of lotion after each shower and using lotion consistently throughout the day in order to keep my skin from getting cracked and rashy.

Baby Movements!

I guess this really isn’t a symptom, per se, but I wanted to make sure I included it so that I don’t forget about it myself. To be 100% honest, I felt a little disconnected from baby for the first half of my pregnancy. But once I started feeling real movement, that shifted everything for me.

At week 19, I started feeling the “flutters”. Very light, very small, hardly noticeable.

At week 21, I felt my very first REAL movement. It felt like someone gently flicked the inside of my belly. It was so light that I almost thought I was imagining it, but I talked to my Mom and she said that how I described it (a flick) was spot on. That was really exciting. From there the movements got stronger and more consistent. 

At week 22, hubby got to feel the baby move for the first time too. That was a really sweet moment that left me (and him) in tears. He had been anxiously waiting for his turn to feel some connection with our baby and that time was finally here.

At week 25, I saw my first movement on my belly. Baby boy was moving around A LOT in my belly and I decided to go sit on the couch and see if I could see him. After a few minutes of staring intently at my belly, I saw this ripple across my abdomen. I was delighted!

At week 27, hubby finally got to see it for himself too. How fun!

The movement continued to get stronger with each week and I fell in love with our baby more and more every day. I finally got to a point where I truly felt excited about labor and birth because I just can’t wait to see his face and kiss his little fingers and toes.

That was a big shift for me. One from fear and apprehension about labor and birth to a feeling of excitement about going through it because at the end I get to see this little one.

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

Second Trimester: Mental and Emotional Health

My mental health was WAY better going into the second trimester. The fallout from the anxiety attacks in October had waned and my system had pretty much recovered. I started to feel more like my normal self, or as normal as you can feel when you’re busy growing a tiny human. That’s not to say I didn’t have any breakdowns or worry or complaining. I most certainly did (ask poor hubby), but overall I had a sense of peace and groundedness that was not there during the first trimester.

To be honest, I believe God used that stressful period in October to teach me some really deep lessons. I learned so much about His Word going through that. I dove into my Bible and started studying more than I ever had before. Things started clicking in ways that I had never experienced. My time in prayer felt much more uplifting and productive. Some of my incorrect assumptions and beliefs about God and how he viewed me started to shift. 

With time, I began feeling calmer and more grounded. I began to actually BELEIVE that God was hearing me. I started seeing answered prayers. I started seeing places where He was obviously working in my life. I started recalling Bible verses in ways that I never had before. 

I started asking daily for God to join me on this pregnancy journey and guide my actions, my thoughts, my beliefs, my desires. Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, when we become pregnant, God calls us into a sacred relationship with him. A partnership in creation. I began trusting that as long as I did the best I could with the resources and knowledge that I had, that God would step in and handle the areas I could not. 

How the “High-Risk” Label Hurt Me

I’m going to write a separate blog post about this because this is a big topic and one I’ve had to do A LOT of work in. One thing that I have been having to spend a lot of time sitting with and working through was my doctor’s categorization of me being “high-risk”. Both my previous midwives and my new OB (the one I switched to after October’s debacle), immediately placed me in that high-risk category based on my health history. I really internalized that “diagnosis” and it started to weigh heavily on my mind and soul.

I have done a lot of work around trying to untangle who I am from that label. I had a lot of fear around the “what ifs” and it was starting to harm me emotionally. But with time and a lot of prayers, things started to shift. I am now feeling {relatively} confident that the rest of my pregnancy, my labor, and my baby’s birth will unfold exactly how it needs to. Exactly how God sees fit. I feel like I can finally stop stressing about all of this and really settle into a place where I can enjoy the rest of my pregnancy. 

Note: I used {relatively} above because this is an ongoing, daily practice for me. Some days I feel stronger and more confident than others. 

Just like I stated in my First Trimester postI know God is using this pregnancy to teach me some unbelievably deep lessons that I may have never otherwise have learned:

  • Patience with the process.
  • Letting go of expectations.
  • Letting go of this need for perfection and control.
  • Trust and faith in Him.

I’m listening, Lord. I’m listening. <3

Second Trimester: Exercise/Movement

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

Not much changed here from my First Trimester. I was still walking, stretching, and doing yoga. But as my energy started to pick up some, I began incorporating some strength training back into my routine a few times a week.

I decided to forgo the kettlebells that I was doing pre-pregnancy and instead I purchased a couple sets of exercise bands. I LOVE them! I had no idea what a workout you can get with exercise bands, but I’m hooked and they’ve been a welcome addition to my exercise routine.

I also started incorporating dance into my routine more often. There’s something so freeing about moving your body through dance. It’s also great for pregnant mamas, especially those movements that get into the hips!

Here are some of the things I’ve found helpful and fun during this second trimester:

  • Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home Programs – I love these since we are in the middle of winter and there are days when it’s too cold or icy for me to walk outside. I was doing Leslie’s videos before I got pregnant, but I’ve been enjoying them even more now.
  • Misty Tripoli’s Body Groove Dance DVDs – This was another one that I was doing before pregnancy, but it’s been super fun and helpful during this time. Especially on the days that I feel stiff and tired but know that some gentle movement will really help. I love Misty’s approach to dance and intuitive movement and I HIGHLY recommend it!
  • Spinning Babies Daily Essentials Exercise – This has pretty much taken the place of my regular yoga routine. These exercises are geared towards getting (and keeping) our pelvis in proper alignment, as well as creating space in our pelvis so baby can drop into place more easily. I think every single mama needs to do these exercises and starting sooner, rather than later. I started at week 20 and have been doing the movements consistently almost every day. I’m going to be doing a more detailed post about this in the future.
  • ProBody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball – This has been really helpful for doing pelvic floor exercises. I learned about using one in the Spinning Babies program and I’m really glad I got one.
  • Resistance Bands – I ended up ordering two different styles and I like both. They each have different uses, depending on the style of exercise you are doing. The first set I got was the Azurelife Resistance Bands, which are the long flat bands. The second set is the Letsfit Resistance Loop Bands, which are smaller circular bands. They are super affordable too!

Second Trimester: Supplements I’m Taking

My First Trimester Recap: My First Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Food, Mental Health, Exercise, Supplements, and More // DeliciousObsessions.com

Not a lot changed here. I am still taking everything that I was during my first trimester, but I did add in some extra calcium and potassium when the leg cramps started.

  • Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal – Specifically formulated for those with genetic polymorphisms (like MTHFR). My ND loves this brand because of the amount of time and research the creator puts into the formulation. I’ve tolerated it very well. No weird burps, heartburn, or other issues.
  • Choline (KAL brand) – Choline is one nutrient that many doctors and alternative practitioners are starting to recognize as necessary during pregnancy. Some prenatals will contain choline, but it’s not usually enough and this is one supplement that there’s no known toxic dose of so you don’t have to worry about overloading the system as long as you take as directed.
  • Garden of Life Organic Digest+ Enzymes – Ahh, digestion. What a mess it gets during pregnancy. I have not been one to have a lot of digestive issues, but pregnancy changed that with the onset of bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and loose stools. Thank you, hormones. 
  • American Health Super Papaya Enzyme Plus – My ND started me on this when I began complaining about the bloating. I believe it helped, although it didn’t take away the bloating completely. Some days I still looked like I was 6 months pregnant, regardless of what I ate or took.
  • Dr. Clark Store Betaine HCL (this is a pork-free product*) – Hydrochloric acid is really important to our digestive function and it also decreases with age and stress. So, it’s a good idea to give the body some extra support during pregnancy and beyond if you tolerate it well. As an added bonus, HCL is our body’s first line of immune defense and since our immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, it’s not a bad idea to make sure you’re giving the body a little extra. *Note: most HCL supplements contain pork (the pepsin and pancreatin in digestive support supplements are almost always derived from pork).
  • Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C – Super dosing vitamin C during pregnancy can be a bad thing, but you want to make sure you are still getting enough. But I did still take this whole-food form daily (multiple times per day) to offer my body extra support since I was heading into cold and flu season right when I got pregnant. And, since this is a whole-food form, I wasn’t as worried about overdoing it.
  • Source Naturals Magnesium Malate / Solaray Magnesium Glycinate / Perfect Supplements Magnesium Citrate* – Depending on how I was feeling and how my bowels were acting, I would take extra magnesium. It does help with relaxation and sleep (glycinate form) and digestion (malate form). The citrate form I actually used in my homemade electrolyte drink on the days where I worked out and sweated a lot more. *Note: If you shop Perfect Supplements, make sure you use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your order.
  • Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte – My vitamin D levels are always really low, no matter what I do (one of the side effects of autoimmune disease). I supplemented with a small amount (4000 IUs) and had my doc check my levels so I knew how to adjust.
  • Barleans Fish Oil – Those omega-3 fatty acids are so important for your developing baby and you, mama! They’re good for your cardiovascular system and your brain, both things that get taxed extensively during pregnancy.
  • Megaspore Biotic* – My very favorite gut health supplement. It’s a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic clinically shown to maintain healthy gut barrier function. This unique all-spore formula effectively reconditions the gut by promoting microbial diversity and maintaining key health-promoting, commensal gut bacteria. *Note: It’s only available through health providers so if you’re ever interested in ordering, let me know!
  • Solaray Pre/Post Natal Probiotic / Nature’s Way Fortify Women’s 90 Billion / Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care – I rotated through these probiotics, depending on what was on sale at my health food store. To be honest, I have never found a probiotic that works as well for me as Megaspore, but I do have to say these three all helped with my yeast infection flare and keeping my nether regions happy. 
  • Country Life Liquid Target Mins Calcium Magnesium AND Trace Minerals Research Liquid Ionic Potassium – I added these two supplements in around week 27 after the leg cramps started to get progressively worse. 
  • Hyland’s MagPhos Cell Salts – A colleague recommended these to me after I complained about the leg cramps. She said these were the only thing that helped her cramps when she was pregnant. I think they really did help, along with the addition of topical magnesium spray.

Second Trimester: Other Products I Couldn’t Live Without

I was still using a lot of the same stuff from my first trimester, which you can check out here (scroll down towards the bottom). But there were some new things that I added in that I couldn’t live without!

  • Birthing Ball – Since I was investing so much work into creating space and flexibility in my pelvis, I thought I’d help support that by sitting on my birthing ball more often, rather than slumping into the couch (like I had been doing for the first part of my pregnancy because #tired). I actually moved this ball into my office and started using it while working since I started finding standing for long stretches of time to be too tiring.
  • Home Blood Pressure Monitor – I actually monitor my blood pressure at home regularly and have for years since I’ve struggled with so many anxiety issues. I also have white coat hypertension, so getting an accurate reading at my doctor’s office is sometimes challenging so this has been a great way to track what my BP is doing through the course of my pregnancy.
  • Thick Mexican Blanket – I used this A LOT for sitting on the floor and doing any yoga or stretching. It helps elevate my hips making it more comfortable to get those deep groin stretches.

Second Trimester: What I’m Reading/Courses I’m Taking

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

I’m going to do a separate blog post about the books I’ve found most helpful, as well as the online courses we’ve taken. But this is a little snapshot of what I’ve been reading/doing.

  • Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (The “Updated With New Material” Version) by Ina May Gaskin – This book came highly recommended by my ND and it’s GREAT! Full of positive, uplifting birth stories and practical information from the one and only Ina May.
  • The Belly Mapping Workbook by Gail Tully of Spinning Babies – I’m not quite ready to start using this workbook, but I’ve been reading through it so I can learn about how to figure out what position baby boy is in when the time comes to start mapping (around 32 weeks).
  • Redeeming Childbirth by Angie Tolpin – This book really has had a profound experience on the way I view and approach my pregnancy. I would recommend it to any Christian woman.
  • The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition) by Diane Wiessinger – This was recommended by my La Leche League group leader. It’s such a great book to set you up for success with breastfeeding.
  • Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by James J. McKenna – Another one recommended by my LLL leader. A great primer on sleeping with your baby safely.
  • The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland – I’ve been following Genevieve for a gazillion years and knew that she would be one of the primary sources for info when/if I ever did get pregnant. Her book is both fun and informative. 
  • The Mama Natural Birth Course – Because of my hubby’s work schedule, we were not able to attend a local birth class. I always knew I would take the Mama Natural course and when I got pregnant, I purchased it right away!
  • Spinning Babies Daily Essentials Program – This program focuses on specific exercises that you can do to help open your pelvis and create more space for baby to properly drop into position (and stay there). The sooner you can start this program, the better in my opinion. 
  • Spinning Babies Parent’s Course – I feel like this course was the perfect adjunct to the Mama Natural course. It goes into a lot more depth about proper pelvic alignment, getting the baby to turn into the right position, and strategies to avoid unnecessary interventions during labor. I HIGHLY recommend it!
  • HypnoBabies Home Study Course – My doula recommended this course. Honestly, it took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did I knew it would help me get my mind in a better place around labor and birth. It’s definitely an investment (financially and time-wise), but I am optimistic that it will be worth it.

Whew! That’s it! I started writing this blog post thinking I’d only have a little bit to say and what do you know? Here we are at another loooooooooooong recap. Thanks for hanging in there with me and reading. I appreciate you being on this journey with me.

My Second Trimester Recap: Symptoms, Cravings, Mental Health, Favorite Products, Exercise, and More // deliciousobsessions.com

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