Beli Prenatals are HSA/FSA eligible!

Pregnancy Nutrition: The Most Important Nutrients in the Second Trimester—And How to Get Them

Looking for first trimester nutrition? Read the first post in our pregnancy nutrition series right this way.

When everything goes according to plan, the second trimester is a true turning point for you and your growing baby. If you’ve struggled with morning sickness, you may find that settling. Typically, the second trimester is also synonymous with a big burst of energy—a welcome change after the bone-deep exhaustion you may have been experiencing just a few weeks ago. Meanwhile, your baby has handled the tricky business of developing all those organs and systems, and has begun focusing on growing in length and weight. Clearly, there’s a lot happening, and you need the right nutrients to support you both during this busy time. To make it easy, we’re rounding up everything you and baby need to thrive in the second trimester.

Key Second Trimester Milestones

This stretch is typically when you’ll feel the most comfortable. Classic first trimester symptoms—unreal levels of fatigue, serious breast tenderness, and morning sickness—tend to ease up, thanks to a natural drop in hCG and a balancing of estrogen and progesterone (hallelujah). If you’re feeling energized, put it to good use! A little exercise can go a long way right about now.

In more exciting news, you may also feel your little one move for the first time (usually around the 20-week mark), and if it hasn’t yet, your belly is about to pop.

Big things are happening with your baby, too.

    • With organs and systems in place, your baby will spend the next six months growing (and growing).
    • Your baby is a little gymnast or soccer star in the making, kicking, moving, and flipping.
    • Your baby can hear you now! Cue the talking, singing, and story times.
    • Reflexes, like sucking and swallowing, are developing.
    • Fingernails are starting to appear, and your baby is growing hair and accumulating fat.
    • Your baby begins developing sleeping and wakefulness patterns.

Second Trimester Nutrients

The biggest players during the second trimester will sound familiar. Iron becomes even more important during this stage of pregnancy, but it’s not the only nutrient you and your baby need. 

    • Iron. Blood volume increases by nearly 50% during pregnancy, and that process begins in the second trimester. A chelated form of iron is gentle on your stomach and will help protect you from anemia as blood volume starts ticking up. The key is getting the right amount—you need 18mg of iron daily.
    • Vitamin C. The right amount of vitamin C—100mg—helps reduce high blood pressure and the risk of preeclampsia, while also minimizing the swelling of hands, feet and face.
    • Vitamin D. This key nutrient can help prevent gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and preterm birth. Note that one third of pregnant women in the US are deficient in vitamin D, and their prenatal vitamin may not be filling in that gap.
    • Folate, B12, choline and iodine. This critical trio supports the continued development of baby’s nervous system, skeletal system, and spinal cord, as well promoting healthy energy levels for mama. And just like vitamin D, choline is in worryingly low amounts in many leading prenatal vitamins (ahem… but not this one), in spite of the current recommendation for pregnant women of 450mg a day.
    • Vitamin K2. This nutrient plays a critical role in the development and growth of baby’s skeletal system.

The last thing you should be worrying about during the second trimester is whether your prenatal vitamin is doing its *one* job. And with Beli for Women, you won’t! Our multivitamin blend is formulated with the most bioavailable nutrients—in all the right amounts— to properly support your baby’s growth and keep you from depletion. 

From iron and folate to choline, iodine and all the other essentials, the nutrient levels in Beli prenatals are carefully calibrated based on current recommendations—and that matters. It’s easy to assume that all prenatals are essentially versions of the same thing, but that’s really not the case. Our scientifically-aligned formula delivers exactly what you and your baby need. Plus, our no-nausea blend is easy on your stomach, while the minty essence is easy on your taste buds.

Tips for Second Trimester Nutrition

Yes, you’re really eating for two now, but one of you is roughly the size of an orange. So, you know, pace yourself. Somewhere in the neighborhood of an extra 100 to 300 calories is probably about right. Make sure you’re filling up on protein (think eggs, high protein dairy, nuts and nut butters, plus meat, poultry, and fish), because protein needs in pregnant women are a full 39% higher before 20 weeks and a truly staggering 73% higher after 31 weeks. That translates to around 80 grams of protein daily in the first half of pregnancy, and around 100 grams in the second half. If you’re particularly active, you may even need more.

Fat is equally important during this time, so again, enjoy that full-fat diary, as well as coconut, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds.

Eating whole foods in their natural form is typically a safe bet, and supplementing with Beli for Women will ensure you and baby are getting all the nutrients you need.

Meanwhile, enjoy that pregnancy glow, the extra energy, and that cute little bump while you still can. The third trimester is right around the corner!

Additional Resources

With the New Year upon us, there are all kinds of articles and videos making the rounds with predictions of the Zodiac signs most likely to get pregnant in 2024. But here at Beli, we take a much more scientific approach to conception. Here are the top eight things people will do to get pregnant in 2024.

Read More

Research shows that the overall health of both biological parents during the preconception window plays a huge role in everything from conception to pregnancy health to the lifetime health of their baby. Luckily, there are simple steps you can both take to improve your health together.

Read More

Preparing for a baby means doing everything in your power to nourish your fertility health. If you’re totally on board but wondering what that actually means, we’re breaking down the do’s and don’ts for planning a pregnancy.

Read More

There’s a certain magic to the holiday season, whether you’re all-in on the decorations and the family time or a self-proclaimed Scrooge from mid-November to the New Year. But when you’re trying to conceive, it can be a challenging time.  We’re sharing five tips for managing the holidays when you’re trying to conceive.

Read More

Everyone knows that alcohol and pregnancy don’t mix. But what about before you’re pregnant, during the trying-to-conceive stage? There’s no evidence that the occasional drink—i.e. one or two a week—is going to torpedo your chances of parenthood. But it is true that the more you drink, the greater the likelihood it will have an effect on your health. Here’s what the research says about alcohol and your fertility.

Read More

You’re clear on the mechanics of making a baby, but how much do you really know about conception and fertility? There are a lot of wild stories, downright falsehoods and notions that are actually rooted in a kernel of truth out there. In the interest of sticking to the facts, we’re debunking 15 of the most common myths about conception and fertility.

Read More

When you’re knocking boots in an effort to get knocked up, timing is everything. Your best chance of conceiving is during the most fertile time of your menstrual cycle—when you ovulate. The key is figuring out exactly when that happens. Fortunately, you have a few ways of detecting ovulation. Here’s what to know about understanding ovulation and timing sex for pregnancy.

Read More

You have big plans for parenthood in 2024, which means this is the time to start laying the groundwork for everything to come. While so much of conception is beyond our control, there are actionable steps you and your partner can take right now to support and nourish your fertility.

Read More

Welcome to our little corner of common fertility and pregnancy terms! We know that jargon can be overwhelming, so consider this your very own baby-making dictionary. Here, confusing medical terms transform into easy-to-understand facts that help you confidently navigate your family planning journey. 

Read More

Is there anything worse than the two-week wait? All the listicles out there sensibly advise keeping busy and journaling and talking it out, but we’re sharing more specific recommendations collected from the Beli community. Read on for seven tips for surviving the two-week wait without losing your mind.

Read More

As a society, we’re an impatient bunch, and that applies to pregnancy, too. The second you decide it’s time to try for a baby, you’re ready to see those two pink lines. If you’ve recently tossed the birth control and you’re wondering how long it should take to get pregnant, here's what to know.

Read More

There’s a persistent misconception that a woman’s egg quality is largely untouchable—you get what you get, and the rest is out of your hands. But for women actively planning on becoming mothers, there are a handful of best practices that can go a very long way. So, can you improve egg quality in 90 days?

Read More

Can weight loss improve your fertility? That depends on what you read. In today’s post, we’re running through all the latest data on weight loss and fertility, and clarifying why the focus should be less on pounds lost and more on prioritizing habits that support your health as a whole.

Read More

Perimenopause is a transitional time that’s pretty wild in its own right, with hormonal changes similar to a roller coaster and major changes to your cycle. Balanced hormones are, of course, key to successfully becoming pregnant and it’s certainly reasonable to wonder whether it’s possible to get pregnant during perimenopause. The short answer is oh yes. 

Read More

A few years ago, the keto diet was all the rage—a high-fat, low-carb way to shed pounds quickly. While it’s lost a bit of its luster, as all diet trends do, interest in the keto diet remains. Specifically, those hoping to become parents wonder whether following this way of eating could support fertility. Is a diet high in fat and low in carbs the answer? It’s possible. Here’s what to know about the keto diet and whether it might help support fertility.

Read More

When you’re pregnant, of course, you’re told to limit your caffeine consumption. But what about when you’re trying to conceive? Can too much caffeine affect your chances of conception as a couple? It's a good idea to cut back—which means you need to be really clear about sneaky sources of caffeine in your diet.

Read More

Many new mothers are seriously drained. The popular term is postnatal depletion, the combination of hormonal, physical and emotional depletion that’s incredibly common for women following the birth of their babies.  Here’s what to understand about postnatal depletion and its effects on breastfeeding + 4 easy tips to help avoid postnatal depletion.

Read More

Turns out, you really can have too much of a good thing, and nutrient overload during pregnancy is a prime example—particularly if you add a daily prenatal vitamin to the supplements you’re already taking. Here’s why excess nutrients are problematic during pregnancy, and what you can do to keep things balanced.

Read More

The heat and humidity on these endless summer days can be hard to beat, and believe us when we say it’s even harder when you’re pregnant. The good news—you can do this! And we can help with these four not-so-obvious tips to beat the summer heat during pregnancy.

Read More

Everyone responds to supplementation (not to mention pregnancy!) differently, which is one reason that how you feel isn’t a clue into whether or not your prenatal vitamin is actually working. Instead, you need to be confident about the prenatal vitamin itself, and there are a few things you’ll want to look for.

Read More

Up to 90% of pregnant women will end up with stretch marks—call it a maternity souvenir. That’s why the internet is full of creams and lotions and potions that promise to prevent these completely harmless but largely undesirable scars. By and large, stretch mark prevention products are largely anecdotal (and definitely unproven). But what about collagen?

Read More

Optimal nutrition plays a pivotal role in enhancing fertility and supporting a healthy pregnancy. A diet rich in essential nutrients, such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats, lays the foundation for reproductive health.

Read More

Somewhere between the “let’s have a baby!” conversation and seeing those two pink lines, you’re going to end up researching prenatal vitamins. And trust us when we say you’re going to have a ton of options to wade through. Consider this your handy guide to the best prenatal vitamins for men and women in 2024.

Read More

Flying, especially these days, is rarely enjoyable. Between the long lines and the inevitable delays and the miserable airline food, it just doesn’t add up to a good time. Throw pregnancy into the mix, and well, things can get especially rough. Fortunately, a little planning goes a very long way. Read on for our four tips for air travel during pregnancy.

Read More

Turns out, you really can have too much of a good thing, and nutrient overload during pregnancy is a prime example—particularly if you add a daily prenatal vitamin to the supplements you’re already taking. Here’s why excess nutrients are problematic during pregnancy, and what you can do to keep things balanced.

Read More

The heat and humidity on these endless summer days can be hard to beat, and believe us when we say it’s even harder when you’re pregnant. The good news—you can do this! And we can help with these four not-so-obvious tips to beat the summer heat during pregnancy.

Read More

Up to 90% of pregnant women will end up with stretch marks—call it a maternity souvenir. That’s why the internet is full of creams and lotions and potions that promise to prevent these completely harmless but largely undesirable scars. By and large, stretch mark prevention products are largely anecdotal (and definitely unproven). But what about collagen?

Read More