Welcome to the second instalment of my pregnancy essentials! Like I did for the first trimester in this post, I’ll be sharing my absolute must-have products for each part of pregnancy. These are things that made my life so much easier, and that I’d highly recommend to other pregnant ladies!
#1. A U-Shaped Pregnancy Pillow
My pregnancy pillow has been my absolute most favourite item so far in my pregnancy. Before getting one, I didn’t really think I needed one. Couldn’t I just use a bunch of pillows to make it easier to sleep on my side?
But now that I’ve been sleeping with one for a few months, I’m obsessed!
The fact that it’s U-shaped means that I can easily have a pillow between my knees no matter which side I sleep on, and I don’t have to move pillows around during the night. It’s loosely shaped to my body so that it creates more of a cocoon than simply using pillows. And the one I have has a really soft, velvety cover that makes it extra cozy.
I’d highly recommend the Queen Rose Pregnancy Pillow I have – you can find it on Amazon.com here and Amazon.ca here. I got it in the Navy/Gray Velvet cover (sooo cozy!) and the 55″ length since I’m on the shorter side.
#2. Tums (or Other Heartburn Relief)
Experiencing heartburn or acid reflux when pregnant is pretty common – in fact, according to this article, between 40-80% of pregnant women will have these symptoms.
I hadn’t experienced much heartburn in the past, but it flared up pretty often in pregnancy, starting in my second trimester. It didn’t seem to matter what I ate, evenings would often be unpleasant.
Thankfully, Tums worked pretty well at reducing my symptoms and according to my bottle, it’s safe for pregnant women. (When it comes to any medication, always be sure to consult your doctor! The labels and products may differ from country to country, but the Canadian Tums I purchased says it’s safe for use by pregnant women).
The Tums I have are chewable tablets and taste pretty good, which is an added bonus.
I’ve heard that other heartburn remedies work well too, so definitely speak to your doctor about what they recommend.
#3. Bio Oil
While I probably could have started earlier, in the second trimester I began using Bio Oil to (hopefully!) prevent the appearance of stretch marks on my belly. I love the smell, and applying it almost felt like I was giving my baby a little massage! Also, it’s not too greasy and I like how moisturized it leaves my skin.
You can certainly use a different type of moisturizer, cream, or oil – whatever works best for you, or whatever you already have on hand.
On the topic of skin care, my skin got really dry during pregnancy. I started to notice it in the second trimester which also fell during the Winter months, so it was doubly dry!
My legs and feet in particular were quite dry, and I used Eucerin lotion. (The Canadian names/labels are a bit different than what I found on Amazon, but you can view all Eucerin products on Amazon.com here.)
I like how the product is fragrance-free, absorbs quickly, and is a dermatologist-recommended brand. In fact, when I was asking my doctor about what to do for some ezcema patches, she recommended Eucerin too.
Note that some of their products appear to have a sunburn warning, so make sure to apply sunscreen or protective clothing over the areas you apply it. My legs and feet were never exposed to sun in the Winter months, so I didn’t have to worry about that!
If you have a different favourite moisturizer or lotion, that should work too! The key is to keep your skin moisturized to prevent it from getting more dry and itchy.
(And if you’re looking for a great facial moisturizer, I’d recommend Complex 15. It was created by dermatologists and is unscented, non-comedogenic, and hypo-allergenic. It’s also non-greasy and works really well under makeup.)
#5. Maternity Clothing Basics.
I’m planning on writing an entire post about my favourite maternity clothes and/or the best places to shop for them, but suffice it to say that you’ll probably benefit from having a few maternity basics in your closet, especially in the second trimester.
Depending on your size and wardrobe, you may be able to get away with wearing your normal clothes (especially leggings and loose tops) into your second trimester, but in most cases, you’ll find maternity clothes to be a bit more comfortable and flattering. And depending on your work environment, you may need some maternity clothes for work.
When it comes to maternity basics, I’d recommend investing in the following:
1-3 pairs of maternity leggings.
My favourites are from H&M: the H&M Mama Leggings in Black. They are relatively thin and lightweight, super stretchy, and have a very comfortable over-the-bump design. I bought a second pair because I liked mine so much!
They also come in dark gray. And they are about $15CAD or $13USD!
Another good place to shop for affordable maternity leggings is Old Navy.
1-2 pairs of maternity jeans or jeggings.
Jeans are so versatile, and maternity jeans are a cute way to look more put-together than leggings, while still being comfortable.
I have three pairs: a dark wash, light wash, and dark gray (almost black) wash. But I’d recommend going with whatever wash or style you wear most often.
Maternity jeggings generally come in two belly styles. The first is over the belly, which I found more comfortable for the latter part of the second trimester and the third trimester. They were less likely to fall down and I liked the added support. The second type is under the belly which I liked more in during the first half or so of my pregnancy. I found they stayed on better when my bump was smaller.
My favourite maternity jeggings are from Target (their Isabel Maternity line) and Kohl’s, but you can of course find them at other stores too.
1-3 loose tops
Depending on your style preferences, having some loose tops in your closet can be helpful. They are easy to throw on, and are often on the longer side which means they work nicely with leggings.
I got a few from Target that are empire waist style which I love. This means they gather under the bust and then billow out, which is more flattering than a loose-all-over style. They looked more like maternity wear than simply oversized clothing.
1-3 fitted tops
For when you want to show off your bump or just be in something more fitted, a tighter shirt can be a great option. I bought some cotton long-sleeved basics from Old Navy and H&M and they were really comfortable. I often wore them with jeans, since they didn’t cover my bum and would look strange with leggings.
#6. Flat, Comfortable Shoes.
I’ve read that in pregnancy, women can lost some of their balance more easily, and I found it to be true. Wearing cute stilettos and high heels may be tempting, but my recommendation is to opt for lower, more practical shoes when possible. Also, they’ll most likely be way more comfortable!
I got the Kelly & Katie Kelin Chelsea Boot in Black Faux Suede (bought at DSW) and they are perfection. So comfortable, easy to slip on, with flat soles and a cute design. They’re also under $50!
#7. Bra Extenders
As I mentioned in my post My Top 8 Pregnancy Essentials for the First Trimester, your ribs will likely expand in pregnancy and your bras may not fit as comfortably. While I wore a lot of sports bras in the first trimester, I found there were plenty of occasions where I wanted to wear a normal bra. The problem was, they were super uncomfortable, even on the loosest setting.
Instead of buying all new bras, I bought bra extenders which are a genius contraption. They can attach to your existing bras to give you more slack! You can shop bra extenders on Amazon.com here. I’d just recommend looking at your most-worn bras ahead of time and seeing if they are 2-, 3-, or 4-hook before making your purchase. I also found that some of them came in different variations – for example, 2-hook extenders that were narrow and other 2-hook extenders that were regular. So be sure you know what bra hook type you’re working with before purchasing.
#8. A Magnesium Supplement
In the second trimester, I began to experience leg cramps in the middle of the night. They were extremely painful and seemed to come out of no where. I asked my doctor about it and she recommended taking a magnesium supplement every day. Since taking them, my leg cramps have completely stopped.
Definitely speak to your medical professional before starting on any supplements, especially while pregnant! I just wanted to share that tip since it worked really well for me.
There you have it: 8 products I couldn’t live without in my second trimester of pregnancy! What are (or were!) your go-to pregnancy essentials? I’d love to hear them – leave me a Comment below and let me know.
And be sure to check out my post First Time Pregnancy Advice: The Second Trimester for some helpful tips!