Ah, the second trimester. You made it through the first 14 weeks. This is often the best part of pregnancy as you find new bursts of energy, and you’re hopefully not throwing up all day anymore. This is the stage of looking “cute pregnant,” and for lots of women, the time when they have a surprisingly high sex drive (you’re welcome, partners). However, you are still growing a person inside your uterus. Your pregnancy hormones are still raging and roller-coaster-ing, and your body is still enduring the daily, never-ending changes. So, despite being the “best” trimester, the second one still has its fair share of less-than-glamorous symptoms. Here are 30 hilarious and relatable truths about the second trimester.
30 Truths About the Second Trimester
Here are 30 hilarious truths about the second trimester that every pregnant person can relate to.
1. You Finally LOOK Pregnant (Sort of)
At the beginning of the second trimester, you finally look pregnant but still like a round potato. By week 24, however, you might have “popped,” so if you don’t look pregnant today, you might tomorrow.
2. You Can Feel Your Ligaments Stretch
This is a weird and uncomfortable but good sensation because it means your body is doing what it needs to do. Your ligaments stretch like rubber bands to accommodate that growing little one, which is essential. Some women experience round ligament pain. If you feel achy, tell your body, “Good job making room,” and get some rest.
3. You Scratch Your Belly and Boobs Without Realizing It
One of the super embarrassing truths about the second trimester is that this often happens during a work meeting or when you’re out in public. But we get it — your skin is drier than ever. All that sudden growing and stretching takes its toll on your skin, so don’t forget to moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.
4. You Get Random Energy Bursts to Do Random Things
These bursts of energy cause you to leap out of bed and declare, “We’re painting the baby’s room — TODAY! Let’s do a safari-themed mural!” However, your partner is not having these same bursts of energy.
While the first trimester had you hanging your head over the toilet and falling asleep at 6 p.m., one of the truths about the second trimester is it often comes with a lot more pep in your step. That’s helpful because now you can start planning, researching, and brainstorming fun things — like nursery decor. We hope your partner can keep up.
5. You’re on Your Third Set of New Bras
You’ve bought more bras in the past few months than you have in your adult life. What are these things even hanging off the front of you? And how much bigger are they going to get? (Spoiler alert: A lot bigger.)
6. Your Sex Drive is Back and Better Than Ever! (Mostly Because You’re Not Puking)
Many women say their sex life was spicier than ever during these second trimester weeks.
If that’s the case for you, enjoy it. Once you’re in week 38 and your stomach is so big you can’t put your own shoes on, it’s hard to be in the mood.
7. Braxton Hicks Enters the Conversation
Feeling a weird tightening of your stomach that comes and goes? You’re having Braxton Hicks contractions. This means your uterus is contracting to get ready for labor and delivery. Braxton Hicks contractions for some women also might feel like mild menstrual cramps. They shouldn’t last long and usually go away if you change positions. Also, things like being dehydrated, very active, having to pee, having sex, and lifting something heavy are more likely to bring them on.1
8. Your Skin is Doing Weird Things Again
The linea nigra is appearing (yay!), but also, dark patches have appeared out of nowhere on your face. (Boo!) While the linea nigra might bring excitement as a sign of your growing belly, that weird reddish-brown spot on your face is not such a joyful discovery. “Hormonal changes during pregnancy stimulate an increase in pigment-bearing cells (melanin) in your skin,” Mayo Clinic explains. “As a result, you might notice brown patches on your face (melasma).” Neat.2
9. Stretch Marks Start, and You Don’t Know How You Feel About Them
You want to be empowered and shout, “I am a warrior!” with your tiger stripes, but they freak you out. Will they ever go away? Is your skin supposed to do that? Plus, coupled with your dry belly skin, it’s easy to feel weird about everything happening simultaneously as your belly expands. The truth is, yes, it’s normal for your skin to stretch and, in turn, show the marks of “stretching.” And will they ever go away? Some do, some don’t. But remember, if you do have faint “tiger stripes” forever, you are, in fact, a warrior. And warriors have battle scars.
10. You’re Either Congested or Having a Nosebleed in the Checkout Line
As Mayo Clinic explains, “During pregnancy, your hormone levels increase, and your body makes more blood. This can cause your mucous membranes to swell and bleed easily, resulting in stuffiness and nosebleeds.” So, although not fun (at all), this symptom is common and normal. Just pack extra tissues wherever you go.2
11. Leg Cramps Will Wake You Up Screaming, and Your Partner Will Think Rabid Hyenas Are Attacking You
Unfortunately, leg cramps (a.k.a. charley horses)—particularly in the calves—are common in the second trimester. To help prevent these painful muscle cramps, which most commonly happen at night, drink plenty of water, eat balanced meals, stretch your leg muscles more often, and don’t forget to take your prenatal vitamins.3
12. Vaginal Discharge Becomes a Regular Part of Your Life
Get used to wearing at least a mini pad or packing extra underwear throughout your day because another super fun pregnancy symptom is random sticky clear or white vaginal discharge. Again, like every other bizarre thing on this list, it’s normal to have this happen. However, call your doctor if it’s accompanied by discomfort, itching, or odor.2
13. The Emotional Ups and Downs Continue
Like the first trimester, you vacillate between tears of despair and worry that you’ll mess your child up beyond hope and sheer joy as you anticipate how amazing motherhood will be. Everyone else in your life is just along for the ride. And they’re scared of you.
14. This Whole Parenting Thing is Making Your Head Spin
Do you need to take childbirth classes? Find a doula? Tour hospitals? Look into home births? Buy a book of names? Start designing the baby’s room? You’re starting to feel a lot of pressure to do ALL the things — like NOW. So, between worrying about your ever-growing list of baby prep things you need to do and those wretched muscle cramps, you’re not sleeping. And neither is the person next to you.
15. You’re Still Comparing Baby’s Size to Pretty Much Anything
You may imagine your little peanut is the size of a grapefruit. Or a cantaloupe. Or even a fresh loaf of bread. (Mmm… bread.)
16. Your Gums Bleed Now When You Brush Your Teeth
This too? Is there no part of our body untouched by pregnancy? (Short answer: No, there’s not.) Here’s why this happens. Bleeding gums are generally caused by plaque buildup, and hormonal changes during pregnancy can make your teeth more vulnerable to plaque buildup, leading to inflammation and bleeding. “This is called pregnancy gingivitis or gum disease,” the NHS explains. Tips like brushing more (with fluoride toothpaste), flossing more, avoiding sugary drinks, and rinsing your mouth with water after vomiting will help reduce plaque buildup during pregnancy. The NHS says not to brush your teeth immediately after throwing up, as the acid from your stomach will soften your teeth. Also, tell your dentist you’re pregnant. They’ll modify their treatment and help you with your bleeding gums.4
17. Oh, and You Feel Dizzy Sometimes
Whoa there, Mama. Get up slowly, and if the room is spinning, sit back down for a sec. If you’re feeling dizzy during your second trimester, don’t panic. A truth about the second trimester is that dizziness could be due to low blood pressure or your expanding uterus pressing on the large vein that carries blood to your heart. Also, low blood sugar and low iron could be factors in dizziness, too. To ensure you don’t get so dizzy you fall over and risk hurting yourself or your baby, here are a few things to do: Eat healthy foods, drink fluids regularly, get up slowly, and switch positions often—don’t sit in one still position for too long. (Even when we rest, we can’t ever completely “rest.” Welcome to motherhood.) Exercise frequently and avoid getting overheated. And in the end, if your dizziness persists, talk to your doctor.5
18. One Word: Constipation
Constipation during pregnancy is one symptom that carries through for many women — from the very beginning to the very end. We know; it’s the worst. Avoid foods that bind up your insides, drink lots of water, and check and see if any vitamins or supplements (like iron) you’re on could be exacerbating this problem. Tweaking your vitamin and supplement regimen could help but talk to your doctor first. In the meantime, adding a few prunes to your daily diet isn’t the worst thing in the world, is it?6
19. And . . . the Varicose Veins Start
Here’s another fun symptom caused by your uterus pressing on the vena cava (the large vein carrying blood back to your heart). The good news is they usually get better after birth. The bad news is they are often hereditary, so if your mom and grandma had them, well . . . sorry. Remember to put your feet up when you can, wear maternity support hose, get regular low-impact exercise, and sleep on your left side to take the pressure off the vena cava. Ultimately, this might be something you either get or don’t — like stretch marks. It’s all for your baby, so try to remember that. You can still be annoyed and say bad words but don’t lose sight of the end game here.7
20. Got Hemorrhoids?
I know, I know. Really? Unfortunately, all that constipation caused by your organs doing the tango in there, combined with vitamins and supplements that often impact your digestive tract, can lead to one of the most dreaded pregnancy symptoms. Not every pregnant woman gets hemorrhoids, but many do, so you’re not alone. The witch hazel pad is your friend now, and you dream of sitting on an ice pack or in a warm bath all day. Make sure to make that dream come true whenever needed—and tell the rest of your family to fend for themselves. They aren’t living with varicose veins on their butt—you are.
21. Your Baby Isn’t the Only One Hitting a Growth Spurt
Another truth about the second trimester is you will likely gain quite a few pounds during these middle weeks, which is normal. If you see a number on the scale you’ve never seen before, breathe. You’re growing a person — a person who is the size of a loaf of bread. So, enjoy your loaf of bread, slather some butter on it, and rub that growing belly with love.8
22. You’re Officially Ready for Maternity Clothes Now, So You’re Shopping — a Lot
There are many cute options; you can’t pass up those adorable maternity overalls. In three different colors. With 11 cute tops to go with them.
23. You’ve Already Had 7 People Touch Your Belly, and It’s Only 10 a.m.
It’s cute when your mom or bestie does it, but when Kathy from payroll touches your belly in the elevator, it’s okay to say, “Hands off, Kath.” Your body, your belly, your rules.
24. You Want to Have a Gender Reveal, But You Also Don’t
How cute would it be for your partner to hit a baseball and have it explode into pink or blue smoke? Or have your toddler pop a giant balloon full of pink or blue confetti? But also, you’re overwhelmed researching car seat/stroller combos and cloth diapers vs. disposable diapers, so maybe a gender reveal is too much work, and you’ll just find out at the next ultrasound and send everyone a text.
25. Your Back Aches
As your belly grows, your center of gravity shifts, and your back works harder to stabilize you. That means among the very long list of not-so-fun pregnancy symptoms, one that is likely to pop up during the second trimester is the back ache. Take time to rest, let your partner give you a massage, and avoid lifting heavier objects.9
26. You Feel Like One of Those Hungry Hungry Hippos
Ugh. The truth about the second trimester is your body gets bigger than it’s ever been, and you’re never not hungry. Those are both normal things to happen during the second trimester. Your baby is growing rapidly, so feed the baby (and yourself) without feeling guilty. And yes, the number on the scale will go up—that’s part of this beautiful journey. Big bowls of ice cream are also part of this beautiful journey, so cover that sundae with all the chocolate sauce and whipped cream you want, Mama.10
27. You Snore Now
Your partner says you’re sawing wood like a tired old grandpa, but whatever. That must mean you’re sleeping, so they must deal with it. Once your baby arrives and you’re less congested, you’ll sleep softly again (if the baby lets you sleep), but until then, snore away and get some rest.
28. You’re Excited to Feel the Baby Move for the First Time, But It Feels Alien-Like
That first flutter, that first time you’re like, “Is that gas or the baby?” and then it happens again, and you KNOW it’s not gas. It’s the best feeling. But a truth about the second trimester is this is also the strangest feeling. You feel part superwoman, part alien, and it’s a lot to process.
29. You Learn All About Sciatica Pain
You’re just standing at the sink, singing along to Lizzo and scrubbing the crust off of the pans from last night’s dinner, when BAM! A pain you’ve never felt before shoots from your butt cheek to your ankle. It sends you to the floor in a crippled heap, and you don’t know if you’ll ever get up again. You will. It will pass. But now you know what sciatica pain means. Welcome to the club that no one wants to join.
30. And, Finally, Your Feet Grow 2 Sizes Too Big
Why are your flip-flops suddenly uncomfortable? You finally get to sit down and put your feet up, and your toes look twice their normal size. Is this happening already? Yep. One of the truths about the second trimester is many pregnant people start to feel their feet and ankles swell. Don’t forget to stay hydrated, rest and put your feet up when you can. And wear the most comfortable shoes you have. Or use this as an excuse to go shopping for new ones! You’re growing a person, so you have an excuse.
The truth about the second trimester is it is often referred to as the “best” trimester — mainly because you’re not too sick to function anymore and not so big that you look like a beetle stuck on its back when you’re trying to get out of bed. You have energy, a sex drive, and a humongous appetite. Life is good. However, you’re also starting to feel some third-trimester symptoms that won’t disappear until after the baby arrives. Pregnancy is magical but also grueling and taxing. We want to say, “Hang in there; it gets better,” but we’d be lying. This is as good as it gets until you’re officially a mom, holding your newborn. But trust us: You’re doing a great job. You can do this. Your body is strong and capable, and hemorrhoids or not — you’ll get through it and come out on the other side with the best gift possible. So, for now, enjoy those energy bursts, eat the ice cream you want, and savor that you can still get out of bed on the first try.