Congrats - you’re in the home stretch now! You’re due date is likely feeling so close yet so far away. Now is a great time for talking to your doctor or midwife about your labor and delivery game plan, get a tour of your hospital, and start thinking about life once your baby is here!
From health to fitness to fashion, we’ve got you covered.
Third Trimester (weeks 28-40)
Monthly prenatal visits: Talk to your doctor about 3rd trimester tests, your due date and signs of pre-term labor as well as their plan if you go past term. It’s not unusual for first time moms to go past their due date. Some hospitals will allow you to go up to 2 weeks past your due date and others will let you schedule an induction as early as your due date. Know all your options and have them explain the upsides/downsides to each. Mom Tip: With my first, I was so anxious (and so big) that I scheduled an induction at 41 weeks. Because my body and my 10 pound baby were not ready, I was in labor for 40 hours and had to undergo a series of procedures to prep my body for delivery. Patience is not my strong suit!
Your baby on the move. In your 3rd trimester, you’re really going to feel (and see) your baby moving. The kicks start out cute then become quite forceful (ouch...ribs!) Some moms count their kicks, but from experience, that became too nerve wracking. If things start to get a little quiet in there, give your baby a little nudge - good chance he/she may just be taking a little snooze.
Sleep...remember what that was? Between the large belly, the peeing, the insomnia and the crazy dreams, I think this is the world’s way of prepping you for life with a baby. Remember to sleep on your side (a body pillow can work wonders). Back sleeping is discouraged since the pressure of your growing baby can put too much pressure on a major artery - making it difficult to breathe and restricting blood flow to your baby. Mom Tip: don’t freak out if you wake up on your back...you’re fine. Just roll over when you wake up.
Mentally prepare for labor & delivery. Honestly, even with a 40 hour labor, it was not as bad as I thought it’d be. At this very point, knowledge is your best friend. Prepare yourself for the stages of labor and mentally start preparing by taking classes and talking to friends who have been through it. Like I said in my previous posts - you don’t need classes to learn how to have a baby, mother nature takes over your body and goes into action mode! What is helpful is understanding what happens next, so you are confident and strong throughout the whole process.
Take a hospital tour. You don’t want to be asking for directions as you’re having contractions!
Start thinking about pediatricians. Your baby’s first appointment with his/her pediatrician comes a week after they are born, so start calling around and talking to doctors about your due date and availability.
Healthy eating. Studies show that the 3rd trimester is a very important time in the development of your baby's metabolism, and the foods you eat now can impact your baby’s health after he/she's born. Now’s the perfect time to get on track with your diet. Eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon, DHA eggs and walnuts will fuel brain growth and stave off your (and your growing baby’s) hunger. Also, be sure to eat foods rich in fiber to alleviate constipation.
Lots of small portions. Since your growing baby is leaving very little room in your tummy for anything else, you tend to get fuller faster without being totally satisfied. Plan to eat a larger number of smaller portions throughout the day.
Keep moving. Talk to your doctor or midwife about exercise. As long as you’re not at risk for pre-term labor, exercise is safe and encouraged in the 3rd trimester. If you’re used to an active fitness regimen, it may start to feel very cumbersome during the late stages of your pregnancy. Listen to your body and modify and scale back as you need. The important part is to keep moving - try a low impact prenatal yoga class or a brisk walk.
Style your bump. There’s no disguising your growing bump now, so style it! I know you’re probably not feeling on your fashion A-game right now, so find your staples - whether that be stretchy pants, boyfriend tees, your favorite Tom’s shoes - and accessorize. Get creative with jewelry, scarves, belts, hats and jackets. It’s the little things that go a long way at this stage in your pregnancy. Mom Tip: don’t underestimate the power of a mani/pedi and a nice blowout :)
Be comfortable. You’ll be back to non-maternity clothes very soon :)
- Maternity Leave. If you’re working full-time, start talking to your employer about maternity leave benefits and coverage. Every state has different maternity benefits, so it’s good to know what you are entitled to and how to maximize your benefits. This is also a good time to talk to other moms who have been through the process as well since it can get a little confusing.
Get your game plan together for labor and delivery. Will your family be in town? Decide how involved you want parents to be during labor and delivery. Who will watch your kids and/or pets?
Baby prep. Get all your baby gear together (strollers, carseats, cribs, rockers, etc) and start preparing for baby with cute little clothes in a mix of newborn and 0-3 months (its shocking how fast they grow).
The Fun stuff
Mommy groups. packed, babyStart to think about play groups and childcare.
Get your bags packed, baby! Around 36-38 weeks, start packing your bag with all the hospital essentials - socks, robe, comfy clothes, toiletries, gigantic maxi pads and panties (ugh yes, you will need these).
Baby shower. Celebrate your little one with family and friends. If a traditional baby shower is not your thing, don't let that stop you. You can make this party whatever you want it to be!
Baby Registry. This may seem like the last thing you want to do, but it so helpful. It's also nice when people go off your registry and buy you something they found most valuable...that's how I found out about the Nose Freida (it's a gem and I would have never registered for it!).
Decorating the Nursery. Time to put the finishing touches on :)
Glamour Shots! Think about taking some pictures to remember this final stage before your little one arrives.
Tip: Right about now, you’re probably feeling anxious to get this baby out and a wee bit scared about delivery and how your life is going to change once your baby is born. Here is a bit of advice from someone who has been in your shoes, it’s not as scary as you think - nature kicks in and makes you kind of a hero. After it’s all over, baby brain kicks in and you magically forget about the harder parts. You don’t really need a book to become a good parent - if you love your baby and put him or her first, everything will fall into place.
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