As you approach 27 weeks in your pregnancy journey, the 3rd trimester begins. Most expecting mothers feel the need to prepare during this time, although how to and what to do are the most asked questions.
Let’s look at all things 3rd trimester related and a detailed checklist to help you stay ahead of the game.
Activities For The 3rd Trimester
At the top of the checklist is staying healthy. Typically by this time all the morning sickness is gone, you’ve gotten used to a growing belly, and your body is nestled into making its routine changes.
Most women say the 3rd trimester is the best. Although this may be the case, you’ll still want to continue taking your prenatal vitamins and eating a healthy diet filled with fruits, vegetables, protein, and fiber.
It’s also a good idea to stay active unless you experience swelling or have been instructed otherwise by your primary care physician or obstetrician.
This is the perfect time to begin working on your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises, yoga, and other forms of low-impact workouts.
Continue drinking lots of water and other beverages that benefit you and the baby, such as smoothies, teas, and all natural juices.
Keep Track Of Your Baby’s Movements
Next on the checklist is keeping track of your baby movements. As he or she continues to grow, there will be less room in your womb, which means the possibility of slower, yet more powerful, movements.
If you notice a decrease in your baby’s movements, let your doctor or midwife know immediately.
There are a variety of apps you can use to keep track of kicks, rolls, and other movements you feel your baby making.
More Frequent Prenatal Visits.
Starting around 28 weeks, you’ll most likely start seeing your primary care physician twice a month or more.
At 36 weeks, your visits will be weekly. Your visits will become a mix of regular vital checks, questions about how you’re feeling, suggestions for birth preparations, and 3rd trimester tests.
You may also have physical exams to check for any dilation and effacing of your cervix.
Consider Taking A Childbirth Class
If you’re having your first baby, it’s a good idea to consider taking a childbirth class to help prepare you for the labor, delivery, and postpartum.
These classes are filled with lots of information that most moms are thankful to have learned beforehand.
In most cases, your partner can attend these classes with you, which can be super beneficial for “go time.”
Depending on the class and teacher, you may also get a few classes on caring for a newborn baby, breastfeeding, and infant CPR. Speaking of breastfeeding…
Prepare For Breastfeeding
If you are planning to breastfeed, it’s a great idea to learn all you can before the baby arrives. Although this is a natural process for feeding the baby, it doesn’t always come natural and there are times when a Lactation Consultant will be needed.
If you’re prepared for this, it will make for a much smoother process. As you learn about breastfeeding, also have a backup plan and consider other options in the event it doesn’t work out or you choose to not continue.
There are a variety of ways to still feed your baby and give them the nutrients they need.
Consider checking out this e-course you can take from the comfort of your own home. It’s my absolute favorite, comes highly recommended and she includes so much information that you’ll feel fully prepared for when baby makes his or her arrival.
I learned so much from that course and have visited it before the birth of each of my 3 kids as a refresher to prepare myself again. I saved myself many visits with a lactation consultant and even was able to diagnose and soothe a clogged milk duct from what I learned in there.
Learn More About Your Doctor And Birthplace.
Since you’ll be seeing your doctor on a more frequent basis, don’t hesitate to ask them questions and build a relationship with them.
After all, they will be helping deliver your baby and you’ll want to be completely comfortable during that time.
Whether you plan on giving birth at a hospital or birthing center, make sure you learn all you can about the place and its procedures.
Consider Big Decisions
There are a number of things to consider depending on if you’re having a boy or a girl. Think about and try to have solid answers for things such as:
- Eye ointment
- Newborn shots
- Vitamin K
- Cord blood banking
- Newborn ceremonies
These are also things to talk to your doctor or midwife about so they are prepared as well.
Having a written birth plan or statement to give them would be beneficial for you both, especially if you have special requests.
How to Prepare For Baby During The 3rd Trimester
Before you know it, you’ll be holding your bundle of joy, but there are still a few things to do before he or she makes their grand arrival. The checklist below will help you get those last minute things together and ready:
- Have a baby shower. When creating your registry, be sure to include any and everything you think you’ll use. Find out whatever else you need for baby and see when you should buy it.
- Assemble baby gear. Time to start putting together the crib, bassinet, and any other furniture piece that needs assembling. Knowing that you’ve already bought the stuff you needed for baby, this is just another nesting/getting ready step.
- Ready the nursery. If your baby will have their own room, now is a good time to start decorating.
Preparing For Labor And Delivery
The 3rd trimester also indicates that labor and delivery will be sooner than later.
Take time to learn about the different stages of labor and become familiar with what cues to look for.
Now is also the time to decide if you’ll want a natural labor or have medication on standby. Each woman handles labor pains differently so it’s good to learn about your options now.
Create A Birth Plan
We briefly touched on this earlier, but let’s talk about it in a bit more depth. While birth plans aren’t always necessary, they are a great way for communicating specific needs and requests to your doctor or midwife.
Creating a plan and sharing it ahead of time will help everyone involved in your labor and delivery be prepared to honor your requests.
It’s also a good idea to talk about your preferences as some healthcare professionals have certain things they will or will not do.
You’ll want to know those beforehand so you can make any last minutes changes or decisions.
Other Things To Consider For Your 3rd Trimester To Do List
Having a baby is a life changing event, one that often comes with an array of feelings and emotions.
Majority of new moms agree that having help on hand has made the transition a lot smoother.
Now is a great time to ask for a meal train to be established, help with cleaning, and anything else you think would be beneficial.
Here are a few more preparation suggestions:
- Pack your hospital bag.
- Have your house cleaned.
- Stock up on personal items.
- Install the baby car seat.
The 3rd trimester is a joyous time filled with a growing baby (and to do list). Embrace each and every moment!