You made it, mama! Your second trimester to-do list

There is something magical about the second trimester–take advantage of that extra energy and tackle some to-do’s.

You made it, mama! Your second trimester to-do list

There is something magical about the second trimester of pregnancy. Chances are you will feel more energized and less nauseated than you have in weeks.

Feeling those kicks ?

With your little one getting bigger at a fast and furious pace, you will probably get to experience those amazing first kicks and jabs before long.

Sharing the news ?

You may have waited until this point to share the exciting news with friends and family, which means you can officially start celebrating the impending arrival.

We fully support imbibing in a mocktail at your baby shower!

Getting stuff done ?

Take advantage of your invigoration by tackling a to-do list. Trust us: When the last weeks of pregnancy tick down you may not even want to get off the couch, let alone scramble to prepare for the new addition.

Here’s what you’ll want to do during the second trimester.

1. Sign up for a prenatal exercise class.

The purpose of a pregnancy-oriented workout class is twofold.

The big benefit is that it will enable you to stay active with expert guidance. Secondarily, these programs are great ways to meet other expectant mothers. We cannot overemphasize the importance of connecting with others who have at least some idea of what you’re going through.

Plus, you may even find a few friends for future stroller strolls!

2. Make healthy eating a priority.

You may have your appetite back after overcoming morning sickness, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll be eager to get back in the kitchen. Avoid the temptation of calling for takeout too often by stocking up on wholesome snacks and simplifying your menu. You may spend a bit more, but it’s worth it to get chopped veggies or prewashed lettuce if it means you’re more likely to eat them.

3. Do your homework on what optional tests your doctor will offer.

There are some big decisions to make in the second trimester, starting with whether you’ll do a quad screening.

Quad screening

This is done by a simple blood draw and tests for a few substances that can indicate whether your baby has certain birth defects, such as Down syndrome. Some women decide not to get these tests due to personal or religious preferences. Talk to your doctor or midwife to weigh the pros and cons.


A few weeks later, your doctor may offer to do an amniocentesis, or “amnio,” another test for genetic disorders and chromosomal abnormalities. This is a bit more complex: Your doctor will extract a small amount of amniotic fluid using a thin needle inserted through your abdomen. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists reports there is a small risk of miscarriage with amniocentesis, with one loss for every 300 to 500 procedures.

4. Decide whether you want to learn the baby’s sex.

Between 16 and 20 weeks, you will almost definitely do a big anatomy ultrasound.

The technician will pay close attention to how baby is developing, and can get the first good look at whether you’re having a boy or girl. This could very well be your last ultrasound, so decide in advance if you want to know the baby’s sex or go Team Green until the end.

5. Book a babymoon.

Before even simple day trips start to require multiple bags, car seats and strollers, take advantage of your freedom with a romantic getaway.

You can go big with a vacation like a cruise (be warned that most companies won’t allow you to sail after 24 weeks) or keep it simple with a staycation. Just make an effort to spend some quality, one-on-one time with your sweetie.

6. Decide about working with a doula.

You’ve likely decided whether to use an OB or midwife by now.

For some women who chose to use a doctor but want more consistent support or hope for a medication-free labor, adding a doula to the equation is a great option. Birth doulas provide continuous physical, emotional and informational support to the mother before, during and just after birth. We’re grateful for that!

7. Invest in some flattering maternity clothes.

It can be really exciting when you first get a true baby bump, but that joy can give way to frustration when your old wardrobe staples don’t fit. Maternity clothes aren’t only comfortable (so, so comfortable!) but can also boost your confidence.

8. Rev those baby registry engines.

If you’re planning to have a baby shower—or if someone’s planning to throw one for you—you’ll want to register for baby goods. This is one of the most fun parts of registering, and there’s no reason to stress out about it. (For one, Amazon Prime exists, and for two, you’ll have plenty of time even when your little one arrives to introduce the delivery man to you house.)

Lots of Motherly’s mamas love BabyList’s universal registry because you can add items from literally anywhere. But we also adore its personalized lists from partner brands—so many great ideas.

9. Plan for your return to work and childcare.

Now that the news is probably out in the open, it’s time to have The Talk with your boss about approaching maternity leave and your return to work, if that’s what you plan to do.

It also isn’t too soon to look into childcare, which can book up surprisingly far in advance.

10. Schedule a dentist appointment.

You can blame it on the hormones (for real!), but approximately 40% of women develop gingivitis at some point during pregnancy. That makes it more important than it already is to stay on top of dental cleaning. The second trimester is an ideal time.

11. Start assembling the nursery.

When so much of what happens during pregnancy is out of your hands, it can be nice to take control of something like designing a peaceful place for you and baby to enjoy in a few months.

So if you haven’t already, hop on Pinterest and get inspired.

If all that decorating makes you feel overwhelmed instead of excited, that’s fine too. Your baby will be just as happy in a simple room as one with an elaborate design.

12. Work on your post-baby budget.

Whether you plan to return to work or not, your monthly expenses are guaranteed to change when baby arrives—and not just because of those diapers! You should also bolster your own savings for emergencies and consider setting up a college fund like a 529 savings plan. Look at you, responsible parent!

13. Savor the moment.

We know this list, like so many things related to pregnancy, may seem overwhelming. Take your time. Include your partner. Ask “been there, done that” moms for advice.

And then build in time for relaxing! This is a special time in your life and we give you complete authorization to enjoy it. Rest and relaxation—go full force.

Emily Glover is a writer and new mama.

My village lives far away—but my Target baby registry helped them support me from afar

Virtual support was the next best thing to in-person hugs

They say you shouldn't make too many major life transitions at once. But when I was becoming a mama for the first time nearly five years ago, my husband and I also moved to a new town where we didn't know a soul, bought our first house and changed jobs.

To put it mildly, we didn't heed that advice. Luckily, our family and friends still made it feel like such a magical time for us by supporting our every move (literal and otherwise) from afar. They showered us with love through a virtual baby shower (expectant parents nowadays can relate!) featuring the unwrapping of gifts they were able to ship straight to me from my Target registry.

Here's one piece of advice I did take: I registered at Target so I could take advantage of the retailer's benefits for registrants, which include a welcome kit valued over $100, a universal registry function and more. Fast-forward a few years and Target has made the registration perks even better for expectant parents: As of August 2020, they've added a Year of Exclusive Deals, which gives users who also sign up for Target Circle a full year of savings after baby is born on all those new mama essentials, from formula to diapers and beyond.

Honestly, even without the significant perks of a free welcome kit with more than $100 in coupons, additional 15% off coupons to complete the registry and a full year of free returns, registering at Target wasn't a hard sell for me: Even though the experience of shopping for baby items was new, shopping with Target felt like returning home to me… and the comfort of that was such a gift.

And of course, Target's registry plays a vital role right now, as expectant parents everywhere are being forced to cancel in-person baby showers and navigate early parenthood without the help of a hands-on village. A registry like this represents a safe way for communities to come through for new parents. If you're anything like me (or any of the other mamas here at Motherly), you certainly have emotional ties and fond memories associated with Target.

What to register for at Target was also an easy talking point as I began to connect with moms in my new community. I will always remember going on a registry-building spree with my next door neighbor, who had young children of her own. As we walked the aisles of Target back in 2015, she suggested items to add… and we laid the foundation for what has since become one of my most cherished friendships.

Even as I made connections in my new hometown, I was nervous that expecting my first baby wouldn't feel as special as if I were near family and friends. But my loved ones exceeded all expectations by adding the most thoughtful notes to gifts. They hosted a beautiful virtual baby shower and even encouraged me to keep the registry going after my baby made his debut and new needs arose.

In the years since, "community" has taken on a wonderfully complex new meaning for me… and, in these times of social distancing, for the rest of the world. I've come to cherish my newfound friends in our local community alongside those long-time friends who are scattered around the county and my virtual mama friends.

Now, as my friends' families grow, I'm so grateful that I can show them the same love and support I felt during my first pregnancy. I sing the praises of Target's baby registry—especially in light of the pandemic, since I know mamas can do everything from a distance thanks to Target's website and the added benefit of getting trusted reviews and helpful registry checklists.

And now that I'm on the gift-buying side of the equation, I've found new joy in picking thoughtful gifts for my friends. (Because goodness knows Target has something for everyone!)

For my friend who is a fellow runner, I teamed up with a few others to give the jogging stroller she had on her registry.

For my friend who is a bookworm, I helped her start her baby's library with a few books that are also well-loved in our home.

For other friends, I've bundled together complete "sets" with everything they need for bathing or feeding their children.

I know from my own experience that, yes, the registry purchases are so appreciated, but the thoughtfulness and the support they represent means even more. Because although my village may have been distant, the support they showed me was the next best thing to in-person hugs.

Start your own Target Baby Registry here to experience a Year of Benefits including a Year of Exclusive Deals through Target Circle to enjoy for a full year following your baby's arrival, a year of free returns, two 15% off completion coupons and a free welcome kit ($100 value).

This article was sponsored by Target. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

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