My take on what the first half of your second trimester of pregnancy feels like (weeks 14 through 20)

Second trimester of pregnancy talk coming your way! I didn’t know that my pregnancy-related posts would be so well received. In fact, I figured many of you would be sick of hearing about this whole thing by now. But quite frankly, it’s on my mind a lot, so thank you for letting me chat about it. And while I originally was going to just do three total recaps (first, second and third trimester), I felt like the second trimester post was getting get far too long, so I’ve cut it into two segments, and this one is all about weeks 14 through 20.

Here’s a look at how my first trimester went, in case you missed it, and here are my first trimester favorites, which continue to be my favorites throughout the second trimester of pregnancy so far as well, with a few new additions. Here we go …

The first half of my second trimester of pregnancy (weeks 14 through 20)

Week 14

Definitely feeling a lot more normal this week compared to the exhaustion and nausea that came with the first trimester. And also feeling so happy that the news was finally out to you guys and the rest of the world that there’s a baby brewing!

I continued to eat mostly carbs, but then started to find myself craving large, cold salads, which was lovely for my nutrition (seeing as I was pretty averse to vegetables the first trimester). This is the week when Dave and I started our weekly Saturday lunch at the Lettuce restaurant in downtown Walnut Creek and continued with it over and over again.

I also kept my workouts up, doing about six total for the week, including teaching BODYPUMP once and Bootybarre twice weekly. This week, I was still smushing myself into my regular workout clothes and regular daytime clothes, but it was clear that wouldn’t last much longer. (Baby is as big as a peach.)

Delicious salad with salmon from Lettuce by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(My favorite make-your-own salad from Lettuce, in which I always choose grilled salmon, avocado, spinach, mixed greens, red peppers and a fruit.)

Week 15

Yay for week 15! We had not one, but two, doctor appointments at the beginning of week 15. And the first one included a special 3-D ultrasound, which showed that we are having a boy. Instead of having the technician tell us on the spot, we had the gender color baked into a cake, which we cut into that afternoon, then sent the video to our families and some friends. It was so exciting to find out the sex — like nearly as exciting as when I found out I was pregnant! I honestly thought it was going to be a girl all along, so was pretty shocked to see blue icing on the inside.

We also had a regular check-up at the OB, and they said everything looked good and on schedule for my October 15 due date as of now. This week, I started to get back into eating more vegetables outside of just my one cold weekend salad. Yay!

I also felt okay, but saw my little bump turning into a pregnant stomach for sure, which was strange in many ways. Oh, and ice cream became my latest love. All kinds of ice cream. And I started eating it not every day, but maybe three to four days of the week. (Baby is as big as a navel orange.)

Gender reveal cake by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(Our wedding cake had two tiers of red velvet, and then our gender reveal cake was red velvet too. It’s clear this is a special type of cake to me. Yay for blue on the inside!)

Week 16

This week started off with my first ever pregnancy headache, and it was awful. It started on a Friday mid-day and lasted basically through Sunday night. I attended the Les Mills Super Q fitness event on the first day of week 16, with the headache, and felt pretty awful the whole time (in addition to the fact that I couldn’t really keep up physically with the multiple back-to-back group fitness workouts like I used to). I reluctantly took Tylenol after doing some research, and it didn’t help at all.

Other than that, I also started wearing some maternity clothing during week 16, which was magical, because the waist-bands of my regular jeans were starting to hurt.

This week, I also had a very strange pain in my abdomen when taking a BODYPUMP class, which worried me. It was in the lower-right corner of my abdomen and was sharp and piercing and started when I got up from the bench after the chest track. I realized that I may need to take it slightly easier in BODYPUMP, as there are some major changes going on with my body. However, a few weeks later, I learned that the pain (which continued) was just round ligament pain and actually quite normal as my organs shifted. Great. (Baby is as big as an avocado.)

Ashley at 16 weeks pregnant by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(That smile is a real one. Because once I turned 16 weeks, I started wearing this comfortable maternity outfit. Yes! Shirt, sunglasses, leggingsshoes and similar purse.)

Week 17

Wow, 17 weeks sounded so far along to me at this point. In fact, it seems like a distant memory when I was worried about whether or not this pregnancy would make it for the long haul. I will say that at 17 weeks, things were good. I had decent energy. I was sleeping great. I didn’t have any major food aversions. I was back to eating vegetables and salads and even drinking more water. Overall, it was a great week for me.

However, once again, if I did something wrong or sat up too fast, I would have that same strange lower-abdominal piercing pain (which I then found out was round ligament pain a couple weeks later). I must have been going through a lot of growth on the inside at this point, because the pain was the worst during this week. (Baby is as big as a pomegranate.)

Week 18

I started out this week while down in San Diego for a wedding with Dave’s family. While most people said that they could hardly tell I was pregnant, I certainly could. I had some more strange pains in my mid-section during the weekend (that terrible round ligament stuff and other things too), and also had one horrendous blood-sugar moment.

I’m used to eating a good breakfast shortly after waking up and never going more than a few hours without food. Well because of the way things worked out during the trip, one morning, Dave and I hung around in the hotel room and were going to wait to eat brunch until a little later. Bad choice. As I was standing outside waiting for the car, I felt nauseous, shaky, hot and headache-y all at once and had to sit down before nearly passing out. I immediately realized it was because I hadn’t eaten enough that morning and downed a quick granola bar, which held me over until I could find a substantial meal. Not fun! Lesson here: do NOT go too long between meals if you are pregnant. Not pretty!

Oh and I also had a couple bad nights of sleep this week, which is totally rare for me. I found myself thinking about stressful real-life things after waking up to go to the bathroom around 3 a.m. and then staying up for like two hours before finally getting a little more shut-eye. Hmmm. (Baby is as big as an artichoke.)

Ashley at the Rancho Bernardo Inn in SD by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(At 18 weeks and ready to enjoy Dave’s sister’s wedding. Similar dress and shoes.)

Week 19

I didn’t use a scale for a VERY long time, mostly during my recovery and healing from hypothalamic amenorrhea (want to learn more about it? Get my ebook!). But I pulled our scale back out once I got pregnant, and by week 19, I gained a total of 10 pounds. Although it felt like WAY more.

I had a regular OB appointment this week, in which I was able to ask a few questions, and the doctor thought I had gone through a little growth spurt in terms of weight (having added about five pounds since the last appointment four weeks before). He also made me feel better about the round ligament pain I had been feeling in my lower abdomen while working out and said it was very normal. He suggested I wear a belly band for activities once I get a larger bump. No other major changes going on with the bod though, which is good. (Baby is as big as a mango.)

19 weeks pregnant bump pic by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(My first bump profile picture on the first day of week 19. Still wearing these amazing leggings, of course.)

Week 20

I felt so excited to hit week 20, because I knew that it could definitely be the half-way mark. It’s not that I hate being pregnant (because as most of you know, it took me a VERY long time to get pregnant, so I am ultimately grateful and blessed to be in this condition), yet I do miss feeling normal. I’d love to have some wine, soft cheese and go super hard in a high-intensity workout right about now and maybe put on some skinny jeans and a tight shirt. But of course, there are stages in life, and I’m in a very important stage, which doesn’t include any of those things. It’s more about rest, carbs, doctor appointments and sweatpants. πŸ™‚ 

We went to a specialist this week for a full-body scanning ultrasound thing to check and measure all parts of the little baby, and everything was looking good. It was at that time that the ultrasound technician let me know that the digestion bubbles I had been feeling recently were actually little baby flutters. So cool! I haven’t felt a full kick yet, but expect to feel that soon, because during all the ultrasounds the little guy is moving around a ton.

Ashley at 20 weeks pregnant by A Lady Goes West during my second trimester of pregnancy

(20 weeks pregnant and bumping it out! Athleta top, Lululemon pants and Keds shoes.)

And in the appearance department: According to Dave and according to a couple of my friends who insist on calculating and discussing the size of my stomach every single time I see them, I began looking pregnant at week 20, and not just bloated and stuffed. I’m no longer wearing any regular daytime pants (although still wearing some regular workout pants) and am moving slower.

To be honest, I’m actually a little surprised at how much I feel like I’ve had to slow down on everything at this point, only half-way through this thing. I get tired going up the stairs in our townhouse and find myself taking breaks during the smallest of tasks. Clearly this pregnancy thing is getting the better of me. (Baby is as big as a banana — my favorite fruit.) 

My first half of the second trimester likes …

  • Ice cream, Nada Moo, Halo Top, Enlightened, you name it, I like it
  • Sprouted toast with almond butter and banana remains a staple for breakfasts
  • Maternity clothing is amazingly comfortable, these leggings are everything
  • Full-belly maternity workout leggings — YESSSS
  • The Pregnancy Confidential podcast weekly series
  • Grass-fed burgers with a gluten-free or brioche bun (my #1 weekend dinner)
  • Big tasty salads with avocado from Lettuce in Walnut Creek
  • Flavored and sparkling water
  • Comfy lounging pants like these
  • Talking about our baby boy and using his name

Enlightened ice cream by A Lady Goes West

My first half of the second trimester aversions …

Overall, way less aversions the last few weeks, but they have been …

  • Tight pants
  • Tight sports bras
  • Not eating sushi and not drinking wine
  • Not being able to go hard in workouts
  • Pains in my belly that slow me down
  • Chicken, but just occasionally 
  • Broccoli 

My first half of the second trimester workouts …

I felt a big change in my ability to go hard and move around freely in workouts starting around week 16 during the first half of my second trimester of pregnancy. I began putting my bench on an incline for the chest and triceps tracks while teaching and taking BODYPUMP. (And want to know more about how to safely modify a BODYPUMP class while pregnant? Check this one out.)

I continued to feel great while teaching Bootybarre though and can see myself sticking with that workout much longer than BODYPUMP throughout my pregnancy. And I will probably talk more about that soon, because there are some women who teach BODYPUMP up through their third trimester, but I will NOT be making that choice for several reasons. More to come.

Ashley at 17 weeks pregnant by A Lady Goes West

(Hitting up the gym for a solo TRX session at 17 weeks pregnant with my foam roller.)

Overall, I’m definitely “feeling pregnant” every single time I work out. I get tired faster, have less strength and get out of breath very easily. Oh joy. Yet, I continued to fit in about five to six workouts a week, including a lot of incline walking on the treadmill. I miss hot yoga and have dabbled in room temperature gentle yoga here and there, and it just doesn’t feel great on the bod. So perhaps some pre-natal yoga, which is tailored to my current condition, is in my future.

My first half of the second trimester sleep …

I’m a pretty good sleeper, and save for a couple of nights, my sleep remains good. I’m averaging about eight to nine hours a night — always in bed by 10 p.m. or 10:30 p.m. I don’t do any of my super-early before 6 a.m. wake-up calls for group fitness classes any more, and that has helped me get another hour or so in the morning, which is nice. I look forward to sleep. I love it. But I have noticed that my hips are starting to get a little uncomfortable, and it may soon be time to put a pillow between my legs. I also wake up from time to time on my back, which worries me, because you’re not supposed to lay on your back at this stage of pregnancy due to a big vein that could get constricted.

Oh and this may sound weird, but even though my bump isn’t that big, rolling off the bed to get up or to go to the bathroom seems like SUCH a task. Dave laughs at me. I really struggle to get up. Needless to say, I’m not looking forward to what it will be like when I’m a lot bigger.

Overall thoughts on the first half of the second trimester of pregnancy ..

“They” say that the second trimester of pregnancy is the honeymoon period of pregnancy, and I’m inclined to believe it. I never forget that I’m pregnant, but the last few weeks have been way easier than the first 13 were. No nausea, no major aversions and much more energy. I also feel like the excitement of having a real-life baby boy totally hit me after we found out the gender, and that feeling has remained! We have the name for the boy picked out, so we call him by that, which is really fun. Yay babies!

And while being pregnant is not the only thing I think about or talk about, it’s one of those conditions that definitely is ever present. Although I have a lot to do (another post coming on this topic too) before welcoming baby boy, I’m definitely ready for this pregnancy to move a little quicker throughout the second half!

Pregnancy talk! Here's what your #secondtrimester feels like ... Click To Tweet

By the way, you can read more of my pregnancy-related posts here.

Questions of the day 

If you’ve been pregnant, what was your favorite time of your pregnancy?

What are you craving right now?



  1. I started using a belly band around 20 weeks even though my stomach didn’t seem quite big enough…and it really helped with my workouts. I definitely recommend it.

    Also totally feel you on the hunger thing! I’m about a year into nursing my daughter and it’s still that way. I can’t remember what it’s like to have a normal appetite, haha!

    1. Hi Stephanie!! hahahh! I’ve heard that nursing hunger is a real thing too. And as far as the belly band, thank you for telling me that. As I will ask about it at the doctor’s office when I go again, because they said they sell them. What kind did you have? Do you wear it over your clothes? πŸ™‚

      1. I got mine from Motherhood Maternity. I think it’s this one:

        I wore it over my pants/shorts, but under my shirt (hopefully that makes sense)- I remember it being a little uncomfortable right up against my skin, especially after I got sweaty.

    1. Hi Court! Thank you sweet friend! Enjoy your sushi, workouts, wine and skinny jeans hahahah! I really appreciate you reading all about this time in my life. πŸ™‚ Have a FAB day! And nice job getting your strength on this morning in your OTF class.

      1. Thanks! I need to push myself so much more in the lifting department. I feel like my body looks like I don’t workout at all, and I know that is because I need more muscle definition and need to be lifting heavier weights. So I’m going to make a conscious effort to try harder with that. And I just invested in a set of 20’s to have at home for my home workouts.

        Oh and yes, I do love reading about this time in your life! Love everything about it! {Except the no sleep part because that is just the WORST no matter what you’re going through}

        Happy Wednesday. Xoxo.

        1. I know, I know! I hated doing heavy strength work until I worked with my own personal trainer for a while — which totally helped, but isn’t always in the budget if you don’t get it free like I did ahah. But it’s so good for you! Those 20-lbers should help. Plus, you get to do less reps, YAY!! πŸ™‚ And seriously — sleep is everything!

  2. Yay!! πŸ™‚ I think my favorite time was the middle of the 2nd trimester. I felt the most “normal” although normal is not really “normal” as I’m sure you’ve already discovered!
    I was really surprised at how much I slowed down too. I thought I was going to be one of those people who worked out their entire pregnancy but I just couldn’t do it! It was shocking to me! They’ll be time for those Hiit workouts soon enough! Glad you’re feeling good!

    1. Hi Heather! DITTO! And, because I’m a fitness instructor and into fitness, I think people have even more expectations to see me going hard on workouts the entire pregnancy, but I don’t think that’s going to be the case for me. We will get back to it all when we get a chance! And YAY for second trimester! Hope you are feeling well, lady! Any day now? hhahaha! Or three more weeks?

  3. Yep sounds about right!! The second trimester was way better for me nausea wise so that makes a big difference! Today I’m craving coffee…Haha the usual!
    You are looking so cute btw, I love that pink dress!

    1. Hi lady! Thanks! I wonder if I will go back to drink coffee after the baby is here? I haven’t drank it in YEARS, but I bet I will need it hahahah. And YAY for not feeling nausea anymore. Have a great day, Momma!

  4. So glad you’re feeling better! I loved second trimester, not least because of the full belly mat leggings! Those things are EVERYTHING. πŸ˜€

  5. I went through tons of ice cream during the second and third trimesters. I kept my servings in moderation though so I didn’t gain that much weight.

    I definitely learned to keep extra snacks in my purse for situations where I needed the quick blood sugar lift. My favorites were trail mixes which had a mixture of nuts and dried fruit, and protein bars which I would break into quarters and keep in ziplocs.

    I started wearing belly bands early on for the extra support. I had two BeBands from Target and an AZMED maternity belt. By the third trimester I had to sleep in the BeBand for the extra support so my belly wouldn’t hurt (I also slept with 8-10 pillows!) I ended up wearing both of the supports together by the end to alleviate the pressure on my back.

    The day I came home from the hospital I started wearing a 3 part postpartum belly binder to help shrink my belly back to a more normal size. I was able to fit into my pre-pregnancy clothes well before 6 weeks! It also helped with the back pain I experienced postpartum. I highly recommend having one on hand for your hospital bag.

    1. Hi Stefanie. Pregnant women and our ice cream ahhah! Love it! So this is interesting about wearing the maternity belts early and to sleep. I haven’t bought one yet, but will start to research. And I also didn’t know much about the belly binder. Thank you for these tips, lady! πŸ™‚

  6. Yay for halfway! I agree that maternity workout pants are the best. I could live in those things.

    I hear you on the importance of eating. There were a couple weeks early on in the second trimester when I wanted to eat all the time. That’s leveled out now, but I do make sure I have a little something regularly. Also, it’s important not to overheat. The first hot day in Chicago, I almost fainted. Be careful!

    I’m 24.5 weeks now, and recently I’ve been enjoying:

    * Ice cream, cheese, and salads.
    * No more food aversions.
    * Feeling LOTS of baby kicks and my husband now being able to feel them. (I swear there was a rave going on in my belly on Monday morning.)
    * The Birth Hour podcast
    * Still working out 4-5 times a week (but definitely taking the intensity down a couple notches, as you’ve been experiencing).

    1. Hi Marissa! I would agree that I feel like heat outside is more bothersome to me now, so I will be careful. And thanks for the tip on The Birth House podcast, I’ll have to check that out. Yay for baby kicks and no food aversions. Also, I love that you have ice cream and salads on your list — me too! Stay well, friend!

    1. Duh pizza is right. I like pizza right now too, but I mean, that’s a constant thing hahah! πŸ™‚ Have a great day, Amanda!

  7. This made me so reminiscent of my pregnancies. The second trimester was probably my favorite portion, it was when I had the most energy and it’s so exciting to feel the baby move. You are absolutely glowing!

  8. I love this! Thank you for sharing. When are you due? I feel so many of the same things- and making the change to maternity clothes was a total game changer. I joke that I am keeping them around for all future food festivals and Thanksgivings. Gapfit workout pants are my very favorite and Old Navy has great tops. I just started feeling baby move and its so exciting!

    I am going to have to check out the Pregnancy Confidential Podcast- I am mixing it up between still learning about pregnancy and learning about what to do with baby when he or she arrives! Congrats again girl and keep sharing your experience. I am so glad to know that someone else gets exhausted during workouts too! xo

    1. Hi Alexis! Thank you so much for saying hi! And I am due October 15. As far as learning about what to do when the baby arrives – I haven’t started that yet, but I have started figuring out the things I need to register for at least. πŸ™‚ And YAY for maternity clothes – they are a life-saver and will be sticking around hehehe.

  9. Crazy to think that you are that far along! Though I know that the weeks must be simultaneously dragging and flying–I bet you just want to meet the little dude! As everyone else mentioned, the belly bands are generally very helpful for pregnant exercisers (obviously, I don’t know first hand). I hope for a continued healthy pregnancy!!

    1. Thanks, Susie! The first trimester was slow, but things are picking up. And I will definitely be looking into the belly band situation. Hope you are having a great day, lady! πŸ™‚

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