So you’ve just crossed over into your second trimester of pregnancy and want to know what you should be eating?  Well, you’ve come to the right place!  In this blog we’re going to chat about how your dietary and activity requirements change throughout your forth month of pregnancy so that you can have the healthiest pregnancy possible.

Your body:

As you enter your second trimester of pregnancy, your baby has grown to the size of an avocado. You’ll probably start to see a bit of a belly bump now. Morning sickness and fatigue  soon cease for most women (yay!), and you’ll start to feel radiant. Another perk of this part of pregnancy is that you will probably start feeling quite horny as blood flow to the vagina increases.

On the negative side, as you start to gain more weight, you may start chaffing between your legs and sweating under and between your breasts. Make sure that you have a good support bra, especially for when you are exercising.

As you are now in your second trimester, your blood pressure will probably drop. You may experience dizziness or light-headedness if you stand up suddenly, and you may need to be a bit more aware of some of your old pilates moves.  Leg cramps are a common problem at this stage too.


Dehydration is a common issue at this stage of pregnancy, contributing to low blood pressure and leg cramps, so it’s essential that you drink plenty of fluids. As you will retain a lot of fluid, so you actually need to drink a lot more than usual. I recommend that you carry a water bottle around with you everywhere you go, and try to drink a glass of water before every meal and snack. If you are bored with water, leave a jug of water with some diced fruit in the fridge overnight. The fruit will flavour the water while adding few kilojoules. I love adding lemon, orange, strawberry and kiwifruit to water to drink later. You can also make fruity ice blocks by finely cutting fruit, popping them into an ice tray, covering with water and freezing. Try to avoid high kilojoule drinks such as fruit juice, soft drinks, cordial or sports drinks and avoid diet drinks during pregnancy as the effects of many artificial sweeteners haven’t yet been thoroughly researched in pregnant women.

Now that you are into your second trimester, you can start to increase your kilojoule intake a little. I recommend increasing your portion sizes of lean meat/chicken/fish/legumes and wholegrains to get these additional kilojoules. Because your blood volume has increased, you will require increased levels of iron and foods from the ‘meat and meat alternatives’ food groupand wholegrain cereals such as brown rice or quinoa are the best sources. You only need an additional 100g of meat/chicken/fish/legumes and an extra 40g of wholegrains however, so don’t interpret this need to increase your portion sizes as a reason for having seconds. I really encourage you to weigh your portions until you get the idea of what serving size you are looking for.

I also recommend checking that the pregnancy multivitamin you are taking contains at least 15mg of iron and to keep taking it throughout the rest of your pregnancy. (Remember, your multivitamin supplement should contain iodine too.) Keep taking your omega 3 supplements.


Make the most of your increased energy and ramp up your exercise. If you got off track and stopped exercising during your first trimester, don’t worry, but now is the time to get back into some regular physical activity.

Exercise doesn’t purely have to consist of something when you wear lycra but can be incorporated into everyday activities like gardening, walking to work, housework and everyone’s favourite form of physical activity – sex.

Sex is generally not dangerous during pregnancy, unless you have a condition called ‘placenta previa’, where the placenta is lying over your cervix or your doctor advises you to avoid sex. The cervix and amniotic fluid are there to protect your little one. Find a position that’s comfortable for you both – spooning, sitting on a chair or entering from behind are popular positions. As with other types of physical activity, ensure that you don’t overexert yourself or get into any positions where you are likely to fall and hurt yourself.

The start of your second trimester is also when many women start thinking about joining a prenatal fitness class. There are heaps to choose from – I recommend just googling for one or asking for a recommendation from a neighbour who has little ones. In addition to ensuring that you are exercising in a healthy way for your pregnancy – getting your posture right and not overexerting yourself  – the classes are also motivating and a great place to meet other women experiencing the same questions, concerns and physical changes as you.

One of the main things to remember about exercise at this stage of your pregnancy is that you are more likely to dehydrate, so always take a water bottle with you and stop regularly and have a sip. Don’t wait until you feel thirsty. Physical activity at this stage is about consistency, not competition. It’s okay to stop for a drink! If it’s a hot day, make sure that you exercise in the shade.  And, don’t forget to stretch both before and after any physical activity.  This will help reduce the risk of cramping.

To help you to eat well during pregnancy, I’ve put together a 7 day pregnancy meal plan.  Download it here now.


Melanie McGrice in the kitchen

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