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Adapting to Pregnancy: Second Trimester

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 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 one 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 lower 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.

  • Stay out of hot climates or high altitudes if you are not used to them.

  • Stay away from places where the food and water might make you sick.

  • Make sure you are up-to-date on all vaccines, 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, don't lie on your back for more than a few minutes. Instead, lie on your side. Switch sides often.

Pregnant woman doing yoga.

Having sex

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 with your partner about any changes in desire. Spotting may happen after sex. Let your healthcare provider know if there is heavy bleeding.

Keeping your environment safe

You can still clean your 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.

  • Stay away from secondhand smoke.

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

How daily issues affect your health

Many things in your daily life impact your health. This can include transportation, money problems, housing, access to food, and child care. If you can’t get to medical appointments, you may not receive the care you need. When money is tight, it may be difficult to pay for medicines. And living far from a grocery store can make it hard to buy healthy food.

If you have concerns in any of these or other areas, talk with your healthcare team. They may know of local resources to assist you. Or they may have a staff person who can help.

Online Medical Reviewer: Anne Fetterman RN BSN
Online Medical Reviewer: Mahammad Juber MD
Online Medical Reviewer: Marianne Fraser MSN RN
Date Last Reviewed: 3/1/2024
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