They call the second trimester the "Golden Trimester" for a reason. Your skin is glowing, your hair is getting luxuriously thick, and your baby bump still feels cute rather than cumbersome. Yet, despite feeling like you can do pretty much anything after the fog of morning sickness lifts, there are actually some big pregnancy no-no's for the second trimester that don't get as much attention as some other pregnancy watch-outs. Here are 5 things you can't do in your second trimester, not just your third.
When you first realize you're pregnant, you research the kinds of foods to avoid and what medicines to nix. You lock up your liquor cabinet and skip contact sports. And by the time you reach the third trimester, when even tying your shoes is grunt-inducing, you scale way back on physically demanding activities and long-distance travel. But what about the second trimester, when you're feeling like a glowing goddess? What should you be skipping that you might not expect?
Get ready, we're going to do a deep dive into second trimester don'ts. Here are 5 things to just say no to between Weeks 14 and 27 of pregnancy to ensure the safest, healthiest pregnancy possible.
1. Long-Term Use of Tylenol
As you get deeper into your pregnancy, it can seem like everything starts to hurt. More headaches, more lower back pain, constant heartburn. Yet, it may not be a good idea to reach for the Tylenol every day of your pregnancy.
"Children exposed to long-term use of acetaminophen [the active ingredient in Tylenol] during pregnancy were more than two times more likely to have ADHD diagnosed by a specialist in a clinic,” said lead study author Eivind Ystrom of the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and the University of Oslo in an interview with Reuters Health.
It's important to note that the link between acetaminophen and behavioral problems was only seen for prolonged use of the drug. "The link was...confined to longer-term use -- particularly a month or longer," reported CBS News.
2. Drinking (Even in Moderation)
While drinking heavily during pregnancy has always been a huge no-no, having the occasional glass of wine or beer once you reached the second and third trimesters was generally considered ok. That is, until recently.
A new study published in JAMA found that fetal alcohol syndrome is up to 10 times more common than previously thought, according to Forbes.
“As suggested by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the message about alcohol use during pregnancy to the public should be clear and consistent: there is no safe amount, time, or type of alcohol to drink during pregnancy or when trying to get pregnant,” reported Forbes.
3. Sleeping on your Back
Sleeping on your back is a no-go starting in your second trimester — anytime after about 15 weeks, according to The Bump.
"When you lie belly-up, the weight of your uterus can compress a major blood vessel, called the vena cava, disrupting blood flow to your baby and leaving you nauseated, dizzy, and short of breath," explained Parents.
And since sleeping on your stomach stops being a viable option too, you're left with the side position for sleep. Yet not all sides are created equal. Left is best. "Sleeping on your left side will increase the amount of blood and nutrients that reach the placenta and your baby," according to the American Pregnancy Association (APA).
4. Shavasana, and other On-the-Back Exercises
While shavasana might be your favorite part of your yoga practice, once you reach the second trimester, it's time to modify.
Since sleeping on your back after about 15 weeks is discouraged, it also makes sense to avoid exercises done while lying on your back.
"Exercises lying on your back after the first trimester of pregnancy should be avoided to reduce the risk of affecting blood flow to the foetus and hypotension from vena cava compression by the uterus," explained My Virtual Medical Center.
5. Risking Dehydration
We've all heard about the importance of drinking water but it's especially important for pregnant women to stay well-hydrated, even if it means feeling like you're constantly refilling your water bottle.
"As a pregnant woman, you need more water than the average person, since water plays an important role in the healthy development of your baby," explained the APA.
And it's particularly important, as you progress in your pregnancy, to avoid activities that can cause you to overheat, and thus lead to dehydration, like strenuous exercise and too much time in the sun, according to the APA.
"During the second and third trimesters of pregnancy, dehydration can pose the risk of premature births. It is one of the reasons for premature contractions," according to Mom Junction.
Check out Romper's new video series, Bearing The Motherload, where disagreeing parents from different sides of an issue sit down with a mediator and talk about how to support (and not judge) each other’s parenting perspectives. New episodes air Mondays on Facebook.