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Can you believe that you have passed the first trimester?!  Women tend to feel physically and mentally better after the first twelve weeks of pregnancy because the risk of miscarriage drops dramatically and any possible morning sickness symptoms typically resolve. 

Around twelve to fourteen weeks, you may notice a tiny bump developing.  Not large enough for anyone else to notice, however, your skinny jeans may no longer want to zip up and fitted waistbands, in general, are no longer tolerable.  Baby is making its presence known and will remind you on the regular that it does not like to feel compressed.

So, let’s dive in to how to feel and look your best between weeks 13-27 of your pregnancy!

  1. Time to go shopping!  Yes, that’s right.  Shopping for some pregnancy wardrobe essentials begins now and there are a few basic pieces worth investing in that will get you through the rest of your pregnancy and into the beginning of your postpartum period as well.  Wireless nursing bras are life-changing, even though breastfeeding is still several months away, because underwires will feel quite uncomfortable for sensitive breasts and as you may have noticed, the girls have typically grown a cup size in the past few weeks so a larger bra is a must.  Belly bands will also provide mid-section coverage and allow you to keep the top button on your pants open during this awkward body transformation where maternity pants are too big and yet your pre-pregnancy pants are not working either.  High-quality maternity leggings will feel great on your growing bump and go the distance over the next several months as that bump get bigger and bigger and bigger…
  2. Start connecting with other expectant moms.  Find a local Facebook group or possibly even a live meet-up where you can safely share any concerns or challenges that present themselves.  It is also great to create these new relationships now as these women are going through a very similar and unique experience as you and it helps to not feel alone… or weird.  These connections will also help you continue to grow your birth team so that you can feel fully supported as an expectant mom with lots of questions.
  3. Revisit your lifestyle shifts from your first trimester You have already cut out of the booze and cut back on the sushi (or even possibly eliminated it), however, your baby’s nutritional needs are growing as they are literally growing inside the womb.  You may notice you need to increase your caloric intake as well as the frequency of eating.  Always have healthy snacks, like trail mix or hummus and veggies, to munch on so that you keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel.  Quality protein and healthy fats, like avocados, will keep your energy high and your mood pleasant.  This is also setting you up for success when it becomes time to take the glucose test around week 28.  Keeping on track with your physical activity and getting regular chiropractic adjustments will help you physically feel your best.  
  4. Time to lock down on the birth provider.  You have spent the past few weeks interviewing and researching who you want to deliver your baby as well as the location.  After consulting with your partner and possibly another trusted confidant, decide who feels like the best fit.  It really is a big deal regarding who has the honor to be present at your baby’s birth so the decision is worthy of conscious thought.  Settling on who your doula will be is also important now as many birth doulas start to book up quickly and may not be available for your due date if you begin looking too late in the pregnancy.  
  5. Because your baby’s daddy has his own feelings and thoughts regarding the upcoming birth, taking the time to learn what is important to him matters.  The second trimester of the pregnancy is a wonderful time to deepen your connection with your partner as your ability to work together as a team will certainly be put to the test over the next several months.  Learning how to improve communication and make your partner feel loved and valued will help minimize the inevitable stress on your intimate relationship.  One highly recommended book on learning how to respectfully disagree with your partner and have healthy arguments that allow for growth and healing for both is “And Baby Makes Three: The Six-Step Plan for Preserving Marital Intimacy and Rekindling Romance After Baby Arrives” by Drs. John and Julie Gottman.  Please don’t wait until after giving birth to start reading this book.

In summary, enjoy this magical period of being in the middle of your pregnancy.  The pregnancy itself can go by quite quickly so take a moment to really cherish this precious time in your life and continue connecting with baby on the regular.  Before you know it, your belly will be huge and quite naturally, your energy levels will decrease as your body conserves its energy for the upcoming birth.  Listen well to your body’s current needs for health and wellness and follow the innate wisdom that exists within you (along with the messages that your baby is already sharing with you).