Second Trimester of Pregnancy: To-dos & Don'ts

Second Trimester of Pregnancy: To-dos & Don'ts

Many women feel energized and well during their second trimester of pregnancy.


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Second Trimester of Pregnancy: To-dos & Don'ts

Many women feel energized and well during their second trimester of pregnancy. You will become visibly pregnant, but you will not be too heavy to move around. This is also a period of rapid growth and development for your baby, and you may find yourself preoccupied with health checks and birth preparations.

The Do’s

Regular antenatal visits1

  • Prenatal visits are a vital component of staying well and ensuring the health of your baby.
  • The frequency with which you see your doctor will be determined by your individual circumstances, however many women will see their doctor every 4 to 6 weeks.
  • Your blood pressure will be examined at each visit during your second trimester of pregnancy, as well as the swelling in your hands and feet. You may be weighed, blood drawn for tests, and your urine examined.
  • Your doctor or midwife will examine your abdomen and listen to your baby's heartbeat to track his or her growth. If you didn't get an ultrasound during the first trimester, you might get one around 18 to 20 weeks.

Stay Healthy1

  • It's as vital as ever to eat well and stay active while pregnant; it's beneficial for your physical and emotional health, as well as your baby's.
  • In your second trimester, consider walking, swimming, yoga, and stationary cycling as light-to-moderate activity options.
  • High-affected activity and activities that put you in danger of falling, being harmed (particularly in your stomach), or overheating are not advised.
  • It's also crucial to eat well during your pregnancy - but that doesn't imply 'eating for two.' What you consume during pregnancy has been shown to affect your baby's growth and health later in life.

Ease sleep problems.2

Second trimester symptoms and new challenges await you.

  • Due to hormonal changes, many women experience a clogged nose and a feeling of being stuffed up.
    • Nasal saline sprays can help.
  • Leg cramps might sometimes make it difficult to sleep. Leg cramps aren't completely understood, but there are a few things you can do to help them go away, such as
    • stretching your calf muscles,
    •  staying active during the day,
    • and drinking enough of water.
  • · Some women have more dreams, odd dreams, or nightmares than they would normally have. It could be related to stress, or it could be caused by inconsistency in sleep.
    • Try to stick to a routine and try different sleeping positions or a pregnancy pillow.
    •  If you are having disturbing dreams, talk to your partner or a friend about it, or consider seeing a counsellor.
  • For the first time in their lives, some people begin to snore.
    • Sleeping on your side with your head slightly elevated can be beneficial.
    • Maintaining a healthy diet and not gaining too much weight can also be beneficial.


Don’t Smoke.3

It is never too late to give up.

  •  Advantages of Quitting
    • When you quit, the harmful gases (such as carbon monoxide) and other chemicals will quickly leave your body.
  • Some of the reasons to quit smoking are as follows:
    •  You're doing what's best for your baby's health.
    • The likelihood of having a miscarriage or stillbirth is reduced.
    • You will reduce the possibility of cot death
    •  Your baby has a lower chance of being born prematurely or underweight.
    • Stopping smoking will benefit your baby later in life – some children suffer from asthma and other serious illnesses as a result of their mother smoking while pregnant.

DON’T drink too much caffeine.4

You can have caffeine, but only 200mg per day is allowed.

  • There's:
    • In a mug of instant coffee, 100mg
    • In a mug of filter coffee, there is 140mg.
    • 75 mg per mug of tea (green tea can have the same amount of caffeine as regular tea)
    • A can of cola has 40 mg of caffeine.
    • In a 250ml can of energy drink, there are 80mg.
    • A 50g bar of basic dark chocolate contains less than 25mg of caffeine.
    • A 50g bar of plain milk chocolate contains less than 10mg of caffeine.

Things to be aware of

While every woman's pregnancy is different, you should talk to your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:5

  • Abdominal pain or severe cramping
  • A fever of more than 38 degrees Celsius (100 degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Fluids or vaginal bleeding
  • Swelling that occurs suddenly or unexpectedly
  • Vaginal discharge that smells
  • Urination that hurts
  • Headaches that are severe and persistent
  • Blood in the vomit
  • Breathing problems
  • Palpitations in the heart

Things to consider

Parental leave — talk to your partner first, then to your boss:1

  • How will you and your partner (or other family members) share the responsibility for your baby's care?
  • When do you intend to begin your vacation?
  • When do you plan to resume work?
  • When is the best time to inform your boss about your pregnancy?
  • Will your job role change once your child is born?


  1. Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Second trimester. Last reviewed: May 2020. 
     Available at: 
    Last accessed at: 20/02/2022
  2. Pregnancy, Birth and Baby. Sleep during pregnancy. Last reviewed: January 2020.
    Available at:
    Last accessed at: 20/02/2022.
  3. NHS. Smoking.                                                                                                                 
    Available at:
    Last accessed at: 20/02/2022.
  4. NHS. Foods to avoid in pregnancy. Page last reviewed: 16 April 2020.     
    Available at:
    Last accessed at: 20/02/2022.
  5. UNICEF Parenting. Your second trimester guide.
    Available at:
    Last accessed at: 20/02/2022