What I Learnt During my Second Trimester of Pregnancy

TEXT: EVENING STANDARD
DATE: 18th December 2018

From Baby on Board badges and tips for faking a pregnancy glow, to aches, pains and inappropriate bump touching, our Mum and the City columnist on what to expect in the second trimester.

Oh what joy! Goodbye morning sickness and constant fatigue. Hello pregnancy announcements and big celebrations with friends and family.

The second trimester is said to be the glory days of pregnancy.

Here are a few things I have gleaned so far…

1. Second trimester happiness can be achieved with the most basic of needs being met. As long as I have access to water, a chair and a loo – I am as happy as Larry.

2. After much debate, I finally decided it was time to get a ‘Baby on Board’ badge – the once-in-a-lifetime and unconditional ticket to getting a seat on the tube. Naturally being British, I politely decline – ‘no no, I am fine, really…’ and then regret it all the way home.

3. With pub spend at its lowest ever level, it leaves a delightful amount of disposable income to splash out on treats such as pregnancy massages. City Lux has become my go-to indulgence – they arrive at your home with the message bed, candles and even chocolates. They employ pregnancy specialists who know exactly how to make you relax and relieve the aches and pains. Heaven.

4. Aches and pains do become a regular feature with most pregnant women suffering in some way, whether it be hips, back or coccyx. A physio appointment at a specialist such as a Ten Pilates can be beneficial giving instant relief and advice on stretches for when the symptoms flare up at home.

5. I thought the inappropriate bump touching was strange enough but stranger still, are the horror stories that are imparted by – well, nearly everyone on hearing the happy news. Stories of tearing, transfusions, incontinence and,of course, the sheer exhaustion to come. Why?!

6. Hello hormones. It turns out, the monthly PMT moments have nothing on pregnancy hormones. Catching you off guard, there is anger, laugher, tears and hugs. All in five minutes. And repeat. My husband has gone into hiding.

7. My cheese cravings of the first trimester continue with even more savoury longings. Thank goodness for multipacks of chickpea based snack, Hippeas – I must have upped their UK sales dramatically.

8. I was sad to admit defeat on trying to achieve the pregnancy glow. Even with refraining from alcohol and following a healthy eating plan, my English pallor did not bloom. I therefore turned to other measures, opting for the Glow Facial at SkinFitness which uses an ‘endermologie’ machine which sweeps the skin causing stimulation in order to rejuvenate the cells and boost production of collagen for firmness, elastin for suppleness, and hyaluronic acid for hydration. I also tried the specialist Cosmecutis Pregnancy Glow Facial created by Gemma Clare, designed to treat the specific skin challenges that occur during pregnancy such a pigmentation problems, outbreaks and dry skin. Finally the glow!

9. There is much talk about using natural products during pregnancy, which aim to limit the levels of chemicals put on the skin. I found a solution with Evolve Organic Beauty which uses natural organic ingredients through hand-made and well-formulated combinations that are just as effective as synthetic recipes. I love their Sunless Glow Body Lotion – again to fake the glow – as well as the cream deodorant. I also discovered SKN – RG, UK-based experts in results-driven pure organic luxury vegan, cruelty-free skincare products. I adore the Ultra Marine Night Crème for hiding those tired eyes.

10. As your belly grows, spatial awareness seems to decline. I have twice become wedged between tables in restaurants and worse still, once cleared an entire shop display by turning around too quickly. The shame.

11. Nesting begins. In my case, swooning over nursery styles on Pinterest and doing research on indoor teepees and giant dolls houses before remembering we live in a one bed flat. I did, however discover the Scandinavian company Mokee on Pinterest, with its light stylish designs perfect for smaller spaces. I am now obsessed.

12. There are lots of choices for anti-natal classes. I opted for Bump & Baby Club which has locations all over London. The five session course covers all aspects of labour and birth, addressing the crucial early weeks of parenthood, including plenty of practical tips and advice on how to care for your newborn. Unlike many of the other options, partners are encouraged to join for the entire course, allowing friendships to be made in the local area, assisted by organised social occasions such as afternoon tea and reunions.