Entering the third (and FINAL) trimester of pregnancy is an exciting achievement!
It hasn’t been an easy road, but this is the final stretch.
Each trimester comes with
Sleeping in the third trimester can be extremely difficult. Getting comfortable in general is tough, so this can make sleeping a major challenge.
Everyone is telling you to “get sleep while you still can!” If they only knew what an impossible task this is.
- If you’re not using a pregnancy pillow yet, you really should be. It helps a TON in getting comfortable in a position you’re not used to sleeping in. It also supports your back/belly in all the right places.
- Take a warm bath before bed. This helps soothe your aching muscles, and calm your body down after a long day.
- Drink some hot tea. Pregnancy tea is great, or any other decaf teas that you prefer.
- Try to avoid drinking too much water before bed. I know I just told you to drink tea, but try to keep the fluids to a minimum in the later part of the night. This will help with the constant need to go pee. If you are finally able to get comfortable enough to fall asleep, only to have to get up and go pee, you will not be a happy camper.
- Diffuse some essential oils. These can help with calming down and relaxing your body. Make sure you’re using pregnancy-safe oils though! Here’s a helpful article on using essential oils during pregnancy.
PREPARING FOR MATERNITY LEAVE
Maternity leave usually begins as early as 4 weeks prior to your due date. In most states, it can take up to 6 weeks to process all of the paperwork!
- Make sure you are on top of submitting the proper forms as early as possible, so your claim is processed in time for you to receive your payments without any lapse.
- Be aware of the expected dates of payments. There usually is about a week delay in the beginning (meaning your first check will be for the first 3 weeks, and each after that will be every 2 weeks) so if this will impact your finances, plan accordingly.
- Tie up any loose ends at work and coordinate with the appropriate personnel to ensure everything is taken care of while you’re gone.
- Give your insurance a call and see if they cover your breast pump. Most insurances will cover the cost, but this too takes time. Order it ASAP to make sure that you will have it before you give birth!
Related: Maternity Leave to-do list
FREQUENT DOCTOR VISITS
There are SO MANY doctor visits during pregnancy. They can be really exciting in the beginning when you get to see how much your little sprout has grown.
Towards the end though, these visits can get really boring. Most visits are pretty uneventful, so keep your expectations in check.
You will most likely be going in just to hear the babies heartbeat and take some belly measurements.
Towards the end of the third trimester your doctor may offer to check if you are dilated, or even sweep your membranes.
Some people want to check if they’re dilated as often as possible, and others prefer not to know because it can be discouraging to feel like you’re making progress only to be told that you aren’t dilated at all.
Likewise, some people want their membranes swept ASAP in hopes of getting things moving. Others, prefer to avoid the discomfort and just wait for things to happen on their own time.
I suggest figuring out your stance on these topics and be prepared ahead of time.
PREPARING YOUR BODY FOR BIRTH
Your body is beautiful and amazing and does most of the work on its own. There ARE a few things you can do to help labor go as smooth as possible, however.
- The biggest one is WALKING!
Walking is known to help move things along, moves the baby lower into the birth canal, uses gravity to put pressure on your cervix (causing you to dilate quicker.)
Even if walking doesn’t put you into labor, it is known for making labor quicker and easier when it does come!
- Do your Kegels!
Kegels are extremely effective in strengthening your pelvic floor, allowing you to push more effectively!
The stronger you are down there, the stronger each push will be. Trust me, you want to deliver in the least amount of pushes as possible.
Also, kegels help your recovery process a lot as well.
PACKING YOUR HOSPITAL BAG
Packing your hospital bag can be a daunting task. You don’t want to forget anything, but you also don’t want to over-pack and have to lug around a bunch of unnecessary crap (like I’m guilty of doing when I travel.)
I made it simple for you and included a printable checklist in my FREE Pregnancy Bundle.
- Make sure that you have/pack everything you need BEFORE you need it!
I recommend having everything packed by 35 weeks. You never know when you will go into labor!
- Have the car seat installed in your car, and checked by a professional that you installed it properly.
You can do this at your hospital, or any fire station! For free!
PLAN YOUR FIRST WEEK HOME
I hate the be the bearer of bad news, but the first week home is rough. Not only are you healing, adjusting to a completely new lifestyle, caring for a newborn, getting no sleep, but you are also going to be experiencing a roller coaster of emotions.
I dedicated an entire blog post about this time period, because it’s that important.
Sometimes our excitement to meet this little cutie, paired with the excitement of just NOT being pregnant anymore causes us to get a little ahead of ourselves.
We don’t always realize that the first week home can be a bit of a reality check.
- Aside from mentally preparing yourself, it’s important to think about things such as meals. Grocery shopping and cooking will probably be the LAST things on your mind.
- Make it simple and plan ahead of time. Whether you want to do make-ahead freezer meals, use a meal delivery service, meal prep, or have friends or family provide meals.
Whatever you decide upon, I suggest you think it through ahead of time to avoid any added stress.
Now is the time to make sure that you have everything you need. I recommend waiting until AFTER your baby shower if you’re having one. You don’t want to double up on anything, because there are a TON of things that you will need.
Don’t go overboard though, because even though there are a lot of items that you will need, the early stages can be pretty simplistic.
Diapers, wipes, clothing, blankets, something to sleep in. The essentials.
As long as you have the essentials, the rest can be purchased along the way.
It can feel nice to have everything purchased and set up ahead of time, so if you’re like me and want to plan ahead, check out my post on my Ultimate list of MUST HAVE BABY ITEMS which has every item needed for the first YEAR!
I know, I know, you feel huge and taking photos might be the last thing on your mind.
Just remember, your little sprout is growing like crazy, and once this is all over you will want to look back at the entire process as a whole.
Take as many pictures as you can! You don’t have to share them with anyone if you don’t want to.
This is an incredible journey you are on, and even though you feel like you just want it to be over right now, you will be amazed at what your body has accomplished.
FINALIZE DIFFICULT DECISIONS
There are SO MANY difficult decisions we have to make as parents. There are a few however, that you’re required to make right away. Some examples of these decisions are:
- Whether or not you will circumcise (if you’re having a boy)
- Cord blood banking
- Delayed cord clamping
- Immediate skin to skin
- Who will be in the delivery room
You’re almost at the finish line! Using these tips will help you to enjoy these difficult final months, and prepare you for the amazing chapter that awaits you.
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