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29 Essential Tasks for Your Second Trimester To Do List You Can’t Forget

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What do I add to my second trimester to do list?

So, you’ve successfully made it through your first trimester, and hopefully the morning sickness has worn off by now.

Wondering what comes next? Good news! I’ve put together a second trimester to do list with all the necessary tasks you’ll need to complete: the fun (parties!) and not so fun (doctor visits).

Let’s dive right in, so you don’t waste any time preparing for that baby during your second trimester of pregnancy.

Oh, and don’t forget to pick up your copy of the done-for-you second trimester to-do list. Just cross off the pregnancy checklist as you go!



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What should I be doing in second trimester?

You definitely want to be taking care of yourself, just like during your first trimester.

Continue taking your prenatal vitamins and eating a healthy diet. (Remember, you’re not really eating for two.)

Things are progressing pretty quickly at this point, so you also should be reading up all things baby and breastfeeding (if that’s part of your plan).

You’re already off to a wonderful start by being here. I, like probably every other first time mom, got a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting and found it to be very helpful. Some moms don’t like all the medical information that book gives, but I thought it was amazing to read every little thing that my body was going through.

And you ABSOLUTELY need to read up on breastfeeding. Get as much information as you can. Read about it, take a class, or talk to a lactation consultant.

I didn’t do anything before giving birth (my class was canceled due to covid), and it was not easy. Once I spoke to a lactation consultant after my son was born, everything made SO much more sense. So, don’t be like me and learn all you can right now.

Related: How to Avoid Common Breastfeeding Mistakes

One final thing you need to do in the second trimester (and this one is fun) is talk to your baby. Sing songs, read books, tell her about your day. At 23 weeks your baby can start to hear your voice and other things going on outside of the womb (source), so get chatty.

And get dad in on the fun too. It may be easier if he starts by reading to your baby. (I know that made my husband more comfortable.)

What should be avoided during second trimester?

All the things you avoided during the first trimester should also be avoided in the second trimester: smoking, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine, eating unsafe foods, and using toxic cleaners.

You should also be avoiding saunas and hot tubs. Now is also the time to get comfortable with a new sleeping position if you’re a back sleeper.

What do I need to know about my second trimester?

The second trimester is when you really start to show off that adorable baby bump. By the end of my second trimester, my belly had finally popped out, and I was getting good use of those maternity clothes I purchased during my first trimester.

You may also start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions. And I wish I could tell you what to expect with those, but I never felt any contractions during my pregnancy, so I’m really no help there.

I will say if you’re feeling discomfort that could be contractions, contact your doctor and let her know what is going on. Although it is probably nothing, it could be a sign of preterm labor (source) and you definitely want to have it checked out.

One final thing that starts to happen in the second trimester that the doctors don’t warn you about: you will forget anything and everything.

You’ll lose your keys, you’ll forget doctor appointments, you’ll put cereal in the refrigerator and milk in the cupboard. I even forgot words as I was trying to describe things to my husband. (And I can’t remember those words now because MOM BRAIN.) What I’m saying is Write. It. Down. Especially those questions for your health care provider.

Second Trimester To Do List: Take Care of Your Health

woman sleeping on her left side with lamp on bedside table
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1. Continue taking prenatal vitamins

This one is super important throughout your pregnancy, so I wanted to remind you to add it to your second trimester to do list.

If you’re having a hard time remembering to take your vitamin, try taking it at the same time every day. Maybe that’s in the morning with your breakfast or in the evening, if that’s when you’re less busy. If you’re still having trouble, put a reminder on your phone. This one is that important.

Your prenatal vitamin should include folic acid and DHA, among other things. So, talk to your doctor to find the right one for you.

2. Switch to side sleeping

With your uterus continuing to grow it is no longer advisable to sleep on your back. Now is the time to switch to a side sleeping position, particularly your left side if you can.

I was super worried about accidentally rolling onto my back while I was asleep. (And if you happen to wake up that way, just roll back onto your side.)

But to combat this fear, I placed a few pillows behind my back for support. Mom-To-Be Tip: You can’t have too many pillows when you’re pregnant.

3. Stay hydrated

This is important throughout your pregnancy, especially with all those extra bathroom trips you may be making these days. Now is not the time to cut out water from your diet, thinking it will cut down on those trips. (It won’t.)

The truth is you will be putting yourself at a higher risk for a urinary tract infection (UTI), which sounds bad enough when you’re not pregnant. Don’t cause yourself additional problems that could easily be avoided by downing some H2O. Get this cute water bottle if you need a reminder to drink more during the day.

If you want to cut down on those middle of the night bathroom trips, make sure you drink enough earlier in the day and start reducing your intake closer to bedtime.

I can’t say it will stop you from getting up, but maybe only once instead of two or three times. (Don’t worry those late-night trips are just getting you ready for those midnight feedings and diaper changes.)

4. Continue to exercise

Whatever exercise routine you have discussed with your doctor should be added to your second trimester to do list even though your energy levels may be low.

If you’re new to working out or haven’t started yet, don’t worry, I don’t want you to be running marathons. You shouldn’t even be exercising to lose (or even maintain) weight at this point.

Even very light exercise will help you throughout your pregnancy.

Although it would be nice to sit around and eat whatever we want and move very little (especially as that baby continues to grow), you’re going to have an easier delivery (and less weight gain) if you add some movement to your day. (I couldn’t believe how sore my muscles were the day after I gave birth!)

So, start by simply taking a walk (on your lunch break or before dinner). Five to ten minutes at a time, a few times a day.

And make sure to stretch every day, after you’ve been up for a while. Stretch your arms and your back. Stretch your legs a couple times throughout the day to ward off leg cramps. (I always got these in the middle of the night.)

Prenatal yoga is a wonderful tool to give those muscles a good stretch. I used the What to Expect When You’re Expecting Workout during my pregnancy, and it shows ways to stretch every part of your body, even while you’re sitting.

5. Continue Kegel exercises

And while we’re on the subject of stretching, you also want to remember to do those Kegel exercises.

Not only will it help during labor but strengthening those pelvic floor muscles is going to help you recuperate after giving birth. Even moms who have a baby via c-section will benefit from Kegel exercises, since the weight of the baby has been pushing on those muscles for so many months.

Second Trimester To Do List: See a Doctor

woman getting teeth checked at the dentist
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6. Find out the sex of the baby

Oh yay! This is one of the most exciting appointments you will have during your pregnancy: the anatomy scan!

This is likely only your second ultrasound, so it’s fun to see what’s been going on in there since the last time. Of course, you’re wanting to hear that little heartbeat again and maybe see the baby move. But this time the ultrasound tech is also going to be looking at different parts of the body and taking measurements. And you get pictures!

They’ll also ask if you want to know the baby’s gender. So, if you’re planning a gender reveal, ask them to write it down and put it in an envelope. Otherwise, they’ll just tell you there. (I couldn’t wait. I had to know that day.)

7. Schedule a trip to the dentist

It’s very important to get proper dental care while you’re pregnant. Many new problems can arise during pregnancy, due to pregnancy hormones.

Be sure to make your dentist aware you are pregnant, especially if there is a chance of them taking X-rays.

A Tdap vaccine and the flu shot are the recommended vaccines during pregnancy. Your immune system is compromised during pregnancy so you may be more at risk for contracting the flu.

Getting both of these vaccines during pregnancy protects not only you but the baby, as well. Again, be sure to discuss any medical advice with your doctor.

Routine prenatal tests for the 2nd trimester include a blood test that screens for genetic abnormalities and birth defects. These tests can detect issues such as a due date miscalculation, Down syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities, and neural tube defects, so it is important to schedule these with your health care provider.

You may also be scheduled for a routine glucose screening test to rule out the possibility of gestational diabetes.

9. Research and discuss cord blood banking

Cord blood banking is a procedure where they take the stem cells from the umbilical cord after birth and store them for the future use of your child, you, or your family, in case of a medical emergency.

Of course, your research should go way deeper than the information I just gave you, if it’s something that you’re interested in. Here are some of the pros and cons to get you started.

While it may be beneficial to you child or even other members of your family, it can also be quite costly. As I said, do your research and discuss it with your spouse and your OB. You must inform your medical team of your wishes prior to delivery.

10. Interview a pediatrician

Ok this is another do as I say and not as I do. I put off interviewing a pediatrician until my third trimester and you guessed it, covid.

Fortunately, I got a good recommendation from a fellow momma, and I absolutely love our pediatrician. (I got lucky!)

But you’re going to do better than me and plan ahead by adding this to your second trimester to do list. Get recommendations from friends, your OB, or your primary care physician.

Come up with a list of questions that are important to you: vaccines, circumcision, hours of operation, (and my deciding factor) who will treat your child (as in doctor or nurse practitioner). Then make an appointment.

Also, there is nothing stating that once you choose a pediatrician, you must stay with them forever. If you don’t like the care you are getting or the way you’ve been treated, please find another doctor. Especially in cases where you feel like something is wrong and you’re being ignored.

Women are often told we’re too sensitive or overprotective, but you will know your child better than anyone, so get them the proper help they need.

Second Trimester To Do List: Share the News

gender reveal party
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11. Plan a gender reveal party

Ok, so gender reveal parties have gotten way out of hand in recent years. So don’t plan anything that might take down your whole neighborhood.

But it is totally fine to celebrate your bundle of joy with your family and friends in your own special way.

I actually didn’t have a gender reveal. I wanted to know immediately, and I couldn’t keep it a secret for more than a few hours.

But there are so many cute ideas out there. The biggest thing you need to decide is if you will know the baby’s sex before you tell everyone else.

12. Discuss work plan for maternity leave

First do some research in your company as to what their maternity leave policy is. How long is it? Is it paid? Would they offer additional work from home time, if needed?

Determine a basic plan for who will cover your position while you’re out. Who will check emails and respond to your clients? Who will your subordinates report to? Do you have instructions or a manual for your job duties? Will anyone need trained before you are gone?

Answer those questions and have an idea of your best- and worst-case scenarios laid out before discussing with your boss, so you are prepared for the meeting. Hash out any other details that may come up and finalize your plans. This way you know the plan and your company knows the plan, and there are no minimal surprises.

Related: How to Set Up a Breast Pumping Station in Your Office

13. Start thinking about a shower and offer help

So, it’s not traditionally the mom-to-be’s job to throw a shower for herself, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved with the planning. In fact, your close friends or family members who decide to throw your baby shower may be looking for some inspiration from you:

  • What date and time works best for you? (don’t cut into your weekend nap)
  • What location and food? (someone’s home or rented space)
  • Who is invited? (small gathering or big blowout)
  • Do you want a themed shower? (based on nursery decor or pink/blue decorations)
  • Will there be shower games? (some people hate party games)

Related: Free Printable Baby Shower Checklist

second trimester to do list: woman getting an ultrasound

Second Trimester To Do List: Plan for Baby

pregnant woman holding ultrasound picture in nursery
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14. Start a list of baby names

You may have actually started your list of baby names already. But now that you know whether you’re having a boy or a girl (or maybe twins!), you can start narrowing down the list.

Now’s a good time to start picking out middle names as well and start matching them up with your picks for first names.

Related: Unique Boy Names That Start With N

Whatever name you choose for your baby is sure to be delightful, but there are a few things to keep in mind. Kids (and even adults) can be cruel. So, double-check those initials to see if they spell out anything you wouldn’t like used against your little one.

And make a rhyme with your name pick. Rhyming is one of the first things kids learn, so they’re going to pick up on all those teasing words quickly.

Related: Adorable Baby Girl Names That Start with J

Check out The Name Book or 100,000+ Baby Names for more inspiration for the perfect baby name.

15. Plan out the nursery

This is another thing you can add to your second trimester to do list since you’ll be finding out the sex of your baby.

Of course, you could always choose a gender neutral nursery and already be done with this before your second trimester. But if you were waiting, now is the time.

Figure out everything you need in your perfect nursery: crib, dressers, changing table, rocking chair, decor. This is going to largely depend on the space you have available and whether or not you decide to room share.

Once you have it planned out, add the items to your registry. If you haven’t started a registry yet, check out the Amazon Baby Registry for all the baby stuff, including 15% off your registry completion, a free welcome box and set up of an online diaper fund.

16. Start babyproofing your home

It’s actually super early to start babyproofing every aspect of your home by the end of the second trimester. You still have to get through the remainder of your pregnancy, delivery and another 7+ months before baby is mobile.

But it’s a good idea to start gathering the necessary items to babyproof your home.

Some easy things to get you started:

  • Think about where your cleaning supplies are kept, and move or secure them
  • Purchase cabinet locks and drawer locks
  • Purchase outlet plugs for any empty wall sockets
  • Re-route electronic cords (from teething babies)
  • Secure furniture in the nursery
  • Think about storage of pet foods and placement of litter boxes
  • Remove dangerous houseplants
  • Consider baby gates or a play space (I’m still using this almost 2 years in)

17. Sign up for CPR and childcare classes

Now is a great time to start signing up for all the prenatal classes to get you ready to be parents. Introductory childcare classes can be a big help if this is your first baby, especially if you or your spouse hasn’t spent much time around kids.

You also don’t want to miss out on a baby CPR class. Even if you’ve taken a CPR class in the past, CPR for a baby is quite different and could be the thing to save your child’s life. So don’t forget to add it to your second trimester to do list.

18. Finalize childcare decisions

Now is the time to make a final decision on your childcare options. You will need to decide whether you will be going back to work and needing daytime child care or you’re going to become a stay-at-home mom.

If you’re thinking about daytime child care, are there family members who are going to be the daytime caregiver, or will you be looking for a daycare center? Get references from friends and make a list of interview questions before making a final decision on the daycare center.

And don’t worry if you make a decision to be a working mom and later change your mind (or vice versa), you can do that too. I did!

19. Make a note to update insurance policies and your will

Your health insurance can’t be updated until baby’s arrival but add a note to your calendar to do it within the first two weeks after birth.

You’ll probably have to include your baby’s SSN (which you’ll apply for in the hospital). Just remember to update this information as soon as possible so you don’t forget.

Now is also the best time to update your will or have one drawn up, if you don’t already have one. Decide who will get custody of your child, in the event something should happen. Also be sure to talk to whoever you have chosen and get their consent, so they can be prepared.

Second Trimester To Do List: Prepare for Childbirth

woman in hospital bed
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20. Sign up for a childbirth class

Childbirth is a natural process but, this is something that you’ve personally never done before, so you have no idea what to expect. A childbirth class can alleviate some of your fears, answer your questions and mentally prepare you for what’s coming.

I was able to take a childbirth class right at the hospital where I delivered (and a hospital tour was included).

However, it was two days for four hours at a time, sitting on some uncomfortable chairs at 7 months pregnant. The instructor offered a lot of breaks, and it was great to interact with other soon-to-be moms. She also went over pain-relieving techniques, and that was super helpful!!!

But if that doesn’t sound like something you’re interested in, there are always childbirth classes you can take online. Just make sure you learn as much as you can about childbirth before going into labor.

Everyone likes to share their birth story when they find out you’re pregnant, and some of those can be downright terrifying. So, take a class where you can learn what actually goes on during childbirth. (And tune out those childbirth horror stories.)

21. Take a breastfeeding class

Please learn from my experience on this one and take a breastfeeding class. I didn’t and I really wish I would have.

Again, it’s something that is very natural, but you’ve never done it before, your baby has never done it before, and your body has never done it before. So, there can be a huge learning curve for everyone.

And at 2 in the morning on your fourth day home from the hospital (with no support), you will end up very frazzled (or a complete mess, like me).

And you may even want to quit.

Before you quit, I suggest taking a course and getting in touch with a lactation consultant. (They may hook you up with one at the hospital.)

Mine was a lifesaver. I only texted her a few times and had one really profound phone call, but it allowed me to continue breastfeeding for 11 months. And I couldn’t be more grateful.

Related: Watch Out for These Breastfeeding Mistakes

22. Decide where to give birth

This is an important item to add to your second trimester to do list. You’re nearing the home stretch of your pregnancy, and you’re going to want to know exactly where this miracle is going to be taking place.

If your OB is associated with a hospital, that is most likely your answer.

However, home births with a midwife are becoming more popular, especially since the pandemic. This wasn’t something I even wanted to consider, but it may be the right option for you.

Be sure to consider all the pros and cons of an at-home delivery before jumping on board (especially what to do in an emergency situation).

23. Take a tour of the hospital

If you’ve decided on a hospital for delivery, make sure you take a tour of the labor and delivery wing.

Find out what entrance to use and where to park. Ask about where to enter after hours (most likely through the ER). Familiarize yourself with the check-in desks and note the floor of labor and delivery.

Visit one of the labor rooms. Is this also where you’ll deliver? Is there a shower/tub? Is there somewhere for your birth partner to sleep? How many visitors can be present? (And this is more for dad.) Locate the vending machines and cafeteria.

24. Preregister at the hospital

It’s important to preregister with the hospital so they have most of your medical paperwork completed before your arrival. You can do it while you’re there getting a tour, or you may even be able to do it over the phone.

You’ll be in a much better headspace to answer questions and sign documents than if you wait until you’re in active labor. And you won’t have to worry about your partner handling it for you.

Second Trimester To Do List: Treat Yourself

pregnant couple having a picnic
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25. Get a pregnancy pillow

I never had a pregnancy pillow. I had a silly fear of getting stuck in it and not being able to get to the bathroom in time. However, I did steal every pillow in the house to get more comfortable in bed.

And if you try this, I recommend stuffing one between your belly and the bed to get some relief there.

If you’ve made it to the second trimester and you’re quite uncomfortable (and all those other pillows aren’t doing the trick), it’s time to look into a pregnancy pillow. I’ve had other mommas who swear by them.

And if you have a mom friend who used one, ask if you can borrow it. It’s a great way to give it a test run before you purchase one yourself. If you’re looking for something that is less bulky, you could try using a wedge or even a Boppy pillow.

26. Get a good chair

If you work in an office, at a desk at home, or even when you’re having dinner or watching a movie, make sure you have a supportive chair.

I’ve had back problems for years (well before my son was born), so my desk chair has always been the most important piece of furniture in my office. When I went remote in my last month of pregnancy and was working from my kitchen table, I can’t tell you how uncomfortable I was by the end of the day.

And normally I sit cross-legged on our couch, but when I did that in my third trimester, my leg would go numb. So pay attention to your body and make yourself as comfortable as you can be.

27. Plan a date night

Everything you’ve been doing for the past 4 to 5 months is baby, baby, baby. Don’t forget about your spouse. Add a date night as a top priority to your second trimester to do list.

Take a night, whether it’s just one night or one night a month and enjoy each other’s company. Go to dinner or cook at home. Go to the movies or have a movie marathon in your jammies in bed. But whatever you do, do not discuss the baby. If you want to talk about baby, set a time for the date to start and end, and discuss it before or after.

Yes, you’re making a miracle, but it’s important to remember to work on your marriage and plan some special one-on-one time.

28. Set up maternity photoshoot

You’ll probably want to wait until your third trimester to get those maternity photos taken when that adorable baby bump is fully on display.

But you don’t want to wait to schedule the photoshoot. Good photographers book months in advance, and if you want special holiday pictures, you want to make sure you’ve scheduled ahead of time.

Don’t forget to include daddy (and even your fur babies) for some memorable shots.

Related: How to Get Your Husband Excited for the New Baby

29. Take a final trip

Depending on the type of trip you are planning will determine how late in your pregnancy you can travel. Even with a healthy pregnancy you should always discuss your travel plans with your doctor.

That being said, I would recommend adding a trip with your spouse to your second trimester to do list.

You’ll still be able to move around comfortably, and you’ll enjoy yourself much more than waiting until your third trimester.

You also won’t have the added stress of worrying if the baby may come while you’re away and having to make additional plans for that possibly. However, it is always a good idea to know where the nearest hospital is located when you travel, no matter how far along you are.

Related: How to Budget a Trip When Preparing for Baby

And if you’re just not feeling up to traveling, plan a staycation. It will give you time to prepare for the baby (set up the nursery and do some babyproofing).

But it will also give you time alone with your spouse before you become three. You don’t know how important that time together will be until you’re two or three months in the trenches of parenthood.


There you have it: the 29 tasks to add to your second trimester to do list. Remember to take care of your health, see your doctors regularly, share the news in your own way, start planning for baby and childbirth, and make time to treat yourself.

Grab your checklist before you go so you don’t forget any of these important second trimester tasks. Good luck, momma! And I’ll see you back here in your third trimester!

second trimester to do list: pregnant woman holding ultrasound picture

29 Essential Tasks for Your Second Trimester To Do List You Can’t Forget

second trimester to do list: pregnant woman with her doctor

second trimester to do list: pregnant woman holding her belly


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