Candice’s Pregnancy Journey: Second Trimester
Time: week 13 – week 26
Theme: Increase protein intake and keep your body active
Now that you’re in your second trimester, you’re going to start to really feel pregnant. Body aches, swelling, dizziness, trouble sleeping – these common complaints tend to come on during this time so taking care of your health is so important for a happy and healthy pregnancy. The second trimester also marks lots of fetal development. In addition to growing much larger, bones will harder, skin will thicken, and you’ll start to feel your baby move. If you haven’t already, you can also find out the gender at the beginning of the second trimester!
Your body might get a bit more hungry at this stage. You should be increasing your calories but bear in mind you should focus on increasing the volume of protein, collagen, and healthy fats rather than carbs (but of course, remember to eat carbs every day). I had a lot of cravings for fruit, but it’s important not to over-do it. 1-2 servings per day is ample and try to finish them by 4pm. This is because you don’t want to have too much sugar, even the natural kind. On the other hand, don’t skimp on healthy fats like avocados, coconut oil, seeds and nuts. Colourful vegetables are a must – eat the rainbow!
In terms of frequency, eat small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This keeps your protein levels high throughout the day starting as soon as you wake up. My sister-in-law bought me a Bruno soymilk maker in second trimester and I LOVED it. I was making my breakfast every day with it with different grains and superfoods into blended hot cereals.
While your dietary requirements go up slightly from the first trimester, supplements are essentially the same. Check out the article on my first trimester for my full supplement protocol. The only differences were as follows:
- Increased dosage for Cal/Mag/D (1 tbsp after lunch plus an additional 1 tbsp dose after dinner)
- Increased dosage for Collagen peptides on the days when I’m not eating enough protein (2-3 scoops a day mixed in soup or any drinks)
- I added Kiki Health’s magnesium oil and used it after taking a shower every night to support muscle relaxation and restful sleep
I started back my personal training in my second trimester. Kimberly Slider from Hybrid MMA is my trainer. I like her because she is knowledgeable in functional medicine and pre/post-natal fitness. I had my PT sessions once a week.
At this point, I was streaming yoga classes online to be done at home because of COVID-19 and I was hesitant about going to group classes. I did yoga 1-2x/week to help with gentle movement and relaxation. To focus a little more on strength and tone, I was going to Elevate Pilates’s prenatal classes and I loved it! My instructor was Ching. I was lucky as I was the only one in the class so I was getting private lessons! I went 1x/week. Lastly, I kept up my walking 2-3x/week within an hour after dinner for around 45 mins with my husband. It’s great bonding time and also there are a lot of hills around my place so I was training my glutes!
Clean skincare is so important because our skin absorbs so much of what we put on it. And whatever chemicals may be absorbed from the skincare we use, can go straight to the baby. These are the products I chose:
I started using this company called Hava On site Massage and they have prenatal massage offerings. I had regular massages (1 every 1-2 weeks) and it really helped with body aches and pains.
I visited Dr Gillian at Up!Health regularly throughout my pregnancy. It helped with my posture, and ensure my body is in the right alignment.
That’s it! These are my top tips to not just surviving but thriving during your first trimester. Each trimester is so different so I really believe in celebrating and enjoying each stage of your pregnancy as much as possible. I know it’s not all fun! Thankfully I didn’t have too many unpleasant symptoms but I hope that sharing my health decisions can help support you during your pregnancy. Like I said, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so reach out to our fantastic team at LifeHub for personalized advice.
Candice Chan, CEO of LifeHub
Candice Chan is a Canadian-certified Doctor of Natural Medicine and nutritionist who co-founded LifeHealth Group, a private healthcare group based in Hong Kong which owns and operates both clinics and consumer health care spaces devoted to creating a new way of health care; and previously founded Younibody, a chain of 7 functional medicine based wellness centers in Hong Kong. Candice holds a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from the University of California at Davis and an International Certificate for Doctor of Natural Medicine, from the Canadian Board of Healthcare Practitioners and International Naturopathic College, and is also a certified reiki practitioner, bioresonance therapist and yoga teacher.