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    Second Trimester Tips

    Second Trimester Tips

    • Buy Some New Shoes. Have your feet swelled along with your belly? They may go up a whole shoe size. Slip them into a pair of comfortable, low-heeled slip-ons in a larger size.
    • Get Rid of Unwanted Hair. You wanted to grow a baby, not a beard! It's safe to wax or tweeze unwelcome hairs. But skip professional hair removal until after the baby is born.
    • Get a Massage. A massage can melt away pregnancy aches and pains. It may also help you relax and sleep better. See a therapist experienced in pregnancy massage.
    • Make Time for a "Babymoon". Talk to your partner about taking a short trip this trimester, when you're feeling best. It's a chance to relax and reconnect before the baby comes.
    • Start Pediatrician Shopping. Look for a pediatrician who shares your views on breastfeeding and immunizations. Ask your friends and family for referrals.
    • Plan Your Leave. The U.S. government entitles most new parents to 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Find out your employer's policies on paid leave or disability.
    • Clean Naturally. For safer scrubbing, switch from chemical cleaners to more natural products -- such as hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and vinegar.
    • Sleep on Your Side. To sleep more soundly, roll to your left side. It's a more comfortable position for your belly, and side sleeping improves blood flow to your baby.
    • Premature Labor Warning Signs. Contractions that come every 10 minutes or less and increase in intensity could be a sign that you're in premature labor. Call your doctor right away.
    • Prevent Constipation. To avoid getting backed up, drink extra fluids and eat more high-fiber foods such as fruits and vegetables. Exercising for 30 minutes a day can help, too.
    • Move for Your Back. Change positions often when you sit or stand. This will ease stress on your back. Learn other posture tips to protect your back during pregnancy.
    • Have More Comfortable Sex. If sex is uncomfortable right now, try new positions. Lie on your side or try getting on your hands and knees to accommodate your growing belly.
    • Adjust Your Seat Belt! Practice seat belt safety: Wear the three-point seat belt so the lap belt is under your belly (not across it), and the shoulder strap is between your breasts.
    • Get Your Nutrients! Keep a food diary to make sure your extra pregnancy calories are coming from healthy foods -- at least most of the time.
    • Prepare the Nursery. Talk to your partner about getting your home ready for the baby. Learn how to set up your nursery with your baby's comfort -- and safety -- in mind.
    • Plan a Getaway. Your second trimester is the best time to travel. Take advantage and plan a trip with your partner -- just remember to ask your doctor before flying.
    • Get Clear Skin. If oily skin is causing breakouts, try using a gentle cleanser twice a day. Don't scrub the area or pick pimples -- this will just irritate your skin.
    • Take Childbirth Classes. To prepare for labor and delivery, take a Lamaze, Bradley, or Alexander childbirth class. Ask friends, family, or your doctor for a recommendation.
    • Prepare Your Pet for Baby. Get your pet ready for your new addition by playing baby noises around the house. It's also a good time to enroll Fido in an obedience class.
    • Plan Your Maternity Leave. Talk to your employer now about scheduling your maternity leave. Also ask about flexible hours, working from home, and job sharing once your baby arrives.
    • Start Looking for Baby Care. Visit child care facilities and meet the directors and caregivers. Look for a center that is clean and has ample space to play.
    • Think About Baby Names. It may take a while to find a name you and your partner agree on. Look through baby name books for ideas, and run suggestions by family and friends.
    • Stay Active! Keep exercising during your pregnancy -- it will help prepare you for labor and birth. Get your doctor's approval first if you have any health conditions.
    • Pamper Yourself. Take time to treat yourself before the baby arrives. Buy some clothing that makes you feel sexy, or get a makeover at a local department store.
    • Let Dad Paint the Nursery. Help choose the color, then hand the paintbrush over to your partner. Paint fumes may harm your baby, so you're better off skipping this chore.
    • Snooze on Your Side. You'll probably find it most comfortable to sleep on your side. Try bending your knees and placing a pillow between them -- use one under your belly, too.
    • Moisturize Stretch Marks. It's hard to avoid stretch marks, but you may ease the dry skin they cause by moisturizing your breasts, belly, hips, and buttocks 3 or 4 times a day.
    • Discuss Circumcision. If you're expecting a boy, now's the time to start discussing your religious and personal beliefs about circumcision with your partner.

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