Pregnancy & Postpartum, Pregnancy Stages, The Third Trimester

Third Trimester Checklist | 15 Not To Miss Things To-Do Before You’re Due

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The 3rd trimester begins in week 28 of pregnancy and lasts until you give birth, and this trimester is all about preparing for the baby. 

Like I mentioned that pregnancy is a marathon, and you are doing good and just a last stretch left. You’re so much closer to meeting your little one.

It’s a trimester to be more educated and be prepared for the project baby and have a better idea of what needs to be done in the weeks leading up to the baby’s birth.  Here are a few things that should be on your To-do list for your third trimester.

1

Eat Healthily

This last trimester of pregnancy is not the time to neglect yourself. I understand mothers’ bodies get tired a lot in the third trimester, and you hardly feel like moving too much, and eating well probably isn’t high on your list of priorities, especially when it comes to cooking something for yourself.

(Being a working mom, spending my whole day in office with so much work stress plus a little human growing inside you, I almost did not keep a check on what I was eating, and after coming back home, I hardly felt like cooking something for myself and ended up eating junk or unhealthy food. 

But sooner, I realized and questioned myself – What am I doing? and Why am I Pregnant also?  — Because I have chosen to be a mother. Right? And I want a healthy baby, and if I can not manage to eat healthy food and plan and organize myself, then how am I going to take care of my baby.)

So it is the most vital step that you help your body prepare to have a baby and then heal from having a baby by making sure you are eating right, well-hydrated, taking your prenatal/postnatal supplement.

Do not forget to eat healthy and nutritious food because everything that you are doing it because you want to have a healthy baby. With so much evolution taking place inside you, your little one is going to be getting all of the essential nutrients required for this from you, so be firm about keeping a healthy and well-balanced diet to ensure your baby has everything he needs.

So take good care of yourself!

2

Exercise Daily

Exercise is an essential part of your pregnancy, whether in the first, second, or third trimesters. It comes strongly recommended by all doctors unless specified otherwise.

Regular physical activity can help reduce your risk of pregnancy complications and ease pregnancy discomforts, like back pain. The right exercise will also help you prepare for a natural birth.

If you can not manage it, Then at-least do your walking as this is the most straightforward, most accessible exercise in pregnancy. And The excellent news is that regular exercise in the third trimester is a great way to help alleviate some of the symptoms and discomfort.

For your third trimester, considering your balance, belly size, and other physical changes, the following exercise routines will be ideal.

  • Yoga: Yoga is amazing to do pregnancy, and also it is perfectly safe to do, and it improves the flexibility and strength of your body. 
  • Exercise Ball: Using the exercise ball is quite safe, as well as effective to make your abdominal muscles tougher, improving core strength. Remember to choose the right kind of exercise ball and ensure that you inflate it to suit your height.
  • Pelvic Floor Exercise: If you choose to do only one exercise then make it Pelvic floor. By performing pelvic floor exercises, you strengthen the muscles. Pelvic floor muscle training will help the body cope with the growing weight of the baby. Healthy, fit muscles before the baby is born will mend more quickly after the birth and helps to reduce or avoid stress incontinence after pregnancy.
  • Kegel: You can not miss doing this exercise, as Kegels are vital during pregnancy, especially when your labor is overdue and needs to be induced. Further, they help manage incontinence, fatigue, and infections of the urinary system by keeping the vaginal muscles firm. It is quite simple to perform and involves tightening and releasing the muscles of the pelvis for ten to twenty seconds at a time. Do this exercise at least ten to twenty times a day.
  • Swimming: is a particularly useful exercise besides feeling ah-mazing in pregnancy, as the water helps to support your extra weight. This can be a huge relief, especially in the third trimester. And unlike some other forms of aerobic exercise, swimming helps you to feel cool.
  • Squats and Lunges: help open the pelvis, which causes the pelvic floor muscles to become a part of the exercise by engaging them. These are also known to reduce labor time, as it makes the pelvic gap wider, allowing the baby to emerge without much effort, and makes natural births more comfortable and easier.
3

Keep Track of Baby’s Movements

It’s important to pay attention to your baby’s kicks and patterns. Your doctor would also ask you to keep a track on the movements and ideally you should be feeling 10 kicks within a 2-hours time frame. 

If an hour goes by and you have not recorded ten movements, have something to eat or drink and count for another hour.

Keeping track of your baby’s movements can help you know immediately if there is anything to worry about. If you notice the baby’s movements have noticeably decreased or weakened, it’s time to call your doctor to rule out any complications.

Don’t panic, though.  Some days, your baby is just resting. In any case, it’s always better to check in with your doctor and follow her advice.  If for no other reason, it will give you peace of mind so you can rest. 

4

Create A Birth Plan

Initially I struggled with the phrase “birth plan.” What is a birth plan? 

In Simple words – A birth plan is an outline of your preferences during your labor and delivery. For example, your birth plan may include who you want with you during labor, and do you want your support person to take photos or videos of your labor or birth? Pain medication or natural birth? Private room or sharing? Home birth or hospital? 

You can include anything you think will make your labor and birth more comfortable for you, like do you want to use a birthing stool, ball, or chair? Would you like to take a warm shower or bath?

But keep that in mind that delivering a baby can go different in many ways; however, It’s a great idea to take a tour of your hospital, educate yourself with the labor and delivery options available, and then decide what an ideal delivery might look like. But make sure not to get emotionally attached to it and keep yourself flexible as you cannot predict everything that may occur that day.

5

Pack Your Hospital Bags

I started to pack my hospital bag around week 32 because you do not know when you are going to go into labor now or in case there is an emergency delivery. It is better to be prepared beforehand.  

When I went into labor around a week 38, I was at my workplace and went straight to the hospital, which was nearer than my home. My hospital bag was already packed, so I just have to call my husband to bring my ready to pick Hospital bags with him. Mommin’ it like a boss! Yeah!

So It is important to prepare yourself for a stay at your birth centre for a day or two. Keeping your hospital bag ready is a must-do job in the third trimester because once you go into labor, you are not going to have time to plan what all to put inside your bag – You will end up adding too much or too less or probably miss something important.

And in case you reach the hospital from some other place like me, and if your bag is not ready, then you are dependent on another person to pack your bag — you would surely not want to end up in a nightmare like this. 

So, be prepared and be organized and make a list of all the items you would need in your hospital bag.

6

Clean The House

This is also the time to get your house baby ready. About a month before the time of your baby’s due date, you should clean and organize your house as well. A deep cleaning before the baby’s arrival means your baby will come home to a clean and healthy environment. Clean EVERYTHING in your house and pay attention to the important areas like Kitchen, upholstery furniture, deep clean your carpets, and don’t forget to clean cobwebs away from the ceilings and baseboards as well.

Take care not to overdo it by taking everything in your hands, take help and if you can afford it then hire a professional to do it for you.

7

Get Your Nursery Ready

Although many parents don’t have plans on having your baby sleep in their nursery right away, still, if you have extra rooms and plan to make it into a baby nursery, then it’s always a good idea to have it ready before the baby comes. You can get all of his clothes organized and make sure his changing table is fully stocked with all the newborn essentials so that you don’t keep running around to look for baby stuff.

You can keep decorating it later once the baby arrives but at least get the basics done like.. 

  • Painting the nursery at least two months before your baby arrives. That allows time for fumes to subside before your baby comes home.
  • Get basic furniture like a crib, changing station and Storage Units, Gliders, Or Rocking chair for night feedings.
  • Around 2-3 weeks before your due date, stock up basic baby essentials.
8

Get Baby Stuff Ready

We’ve all heard of “nesting,” the urge to get everything ready a few weeks before the baby arrives. It’s great to have everything ready that you need for daily baby needs. However, there’s not that much STUFF that the baby actually needs at the beginning. 

Some parents delay the shopping until the baby is born. Specially, being an Indian Mother, there are lots of grandmother superstitious stories which people still follow but there is no harm in being organised and having a few basics ready will help you when your baby is born. In the end you are the one who is going to get frustrated if some basics are also not ready and everyone does not have a lot of people around to help.

These baby basics would include:

  • Car seat 
  • Nappies and diapers
  • Wipes
  • Unisex basic clothing (prewash them)
  • Baby Vaseline or bum cream 
  • Baby cream and shampoos
  • Nail Clippers
  • Mittens
  • Baby-friendly detergents
  • Bottle Cleaners
  • Feeding Bottles
  • Changing Mats
  • Cap and Socks
  • Burp Cloth
  • Baby napkins and Towel
9

Stock Up on Home Supplies

Getting anything done with a new-born is not easy, and it is best to stock up on the essential household items to avoid having to go out with your baby. Stock up on pantry items, medicine, toilet paper, and other things you will need daily. Although these days, online shopping has made this very convenient but stock up things which you preferably do not like buying online.

10

Postpartum Prep

Postpartum Depression… Yes, that is real, and you should take this seriously. 

When a postpartum psychologist visited me before I got discharged from the hospital, she warned me about the phrase “Postpartum Thing,” and I was like, “what are you talking about, and why would I cry or feel depressed about anything?” I am happy, me and my baby both are healthy, and I am a mommy now…..Shut up, girl! 

I had no idea what to expect and I wasn’t prepared for the toll that childbirth was going to take on my body and my mind. And guess what I was seriously crying the second day. On and off I was sad, crying, struggling with my emotions and my body things. 

But you don’t have to if you are in your third trimester and then be more prepared for what to expect in your postpartum. 

Though there is nothing much you can do about the emotions part and if you are a Dad-to-be (reading this article), then it is your loyalty towards your wife to take care of this emotional journey. 

Take extra care and pamper her more and get involved in baby care activities, like helping with breastfeeding, doing house chores, giving her a healthy diet, and most crucial surprise her with frequent gestures of kindness. Go easy on her, as there is a lot on her mind.

For some mothers this postpartum thing ends in 6-8 weeks but for some it stays longer.

And not to forget – be prepared with a postpartum kit as you would be seriously needing this FB post-delivery.

  • Breathable mesh undies 
  • Large Cotton pads (these are organic which is very important)
  • Numbing spray
  • Healing spray
  • Peri-bottle
  • Epsom salts (for sitz bath)
  • Nursing pads (because your breasts would be visibly leaking)

If this is your first baby, do a little reading on ways to heal faster postpartum – no one wants that experience drawn out!

11

Birth Classes Or Read Up On Labor Techniques

I know a lot of women go all-in on this one because, let’s face it, labor can be a little scary.

It is also essential to discuss a labor plan with your doctor or midwife. — What to expect and how they do things, touring the hospital, and taking an online prenatal course. (This is the one that I’ve taken, and it is GREAT. 

If your hospital offers the prenatal course, then you can choose to go to the hospital but if you do NOT have time/desire to go down to the hospital or birth center for a drawn-out prenatal course, then taking online is a great option).

You should know when you need to contact them and when to head to the hospital. Spend some time educating yourself with a prenatal course or reading up on the stages of labor so you will not be left confused in the middle of it.

And you are a first-time mother, then Consider taking a breastfeeding class / joining a breastfeeding support group if nursing is something you plan to try. (Breastfeeding is a real job to do, and there is much to “learn” about it.)

12

Get Your Work Or Business In Order

After your baby is born you need time to heal, rest and recover. You also need time to bond with your baby and establish breastfeeding. It would be great if you get a complete 6 months off after the baby.

So that you have breastfed your baby well in initial months.

If you are employed then plan on how long a maternity leave are you planning for? I would suggest to keep working till the end so that you can spend more time with the baby. Talk to your employer so that everyone will be on the same page when it’s time for your maternity leave, etc. 

But If you own your own business, then hire someone to handle your business early on to bring them up to speed and have them settled in the business before your due date. 

Although no one can handle your stuff the way you can, because when in business you do not have the benefit of taking complete off from work for a few months also like you do when you are employed. But at least you can keep someone to take care of a few things that are monotonous and can be managed by someone else.

I am an entrepreneur and can never get away from work, even if I want to. I went into labor while in office and after 4 hours of delivering a baby I had to look into a few things. Anyways that is the difference – when you own a business.

13

Prepare Pets for Baby’s Arrival

Most animal people treat their pets, like children. But now that you are having a baby, your pet may not get the same attention he was used to and is bound to be confused about the changes and curious about the newest addition. Learn how to ease your pets into their new lifestyle and the best way to introduce your pet to your baby.

Also, try to think ahead a little. Do the vet visit before the baby arrives. Make sure you have flea and tick and heart-worm meds.

Not to forget that make sure you have a plan for your pets for when you go into labor. 

14

Pamper Yourself

Ohk! I have talked a lot about baby, labor, breastfeeding, postpartum depression and so much of other work which you can not avoid preparing for. 

But let’s talk about yourself…. You are going to deliver a baby soon and for a long time you would not get a chance to pamper yourself at a beauty salon. Almost all women love looking good in any situation. Like I love doing makeup, hairstyles and everything that makes me feel good and confident. 

Like when I went into labor and was about to leave for hospital – I darkened my lipstick, retouched my makeup…… I know a lot of you would find it hilarious or least on your mind but I kinda like doing it, it makes me happy.

Besides if you are well prepared and have educated yourself for most of it then you are more calmer from inside.

If you are like me and looking good matters to you then I would suggest you to get an appointment at your salon around week 36 or 37 and get your Pedi, meni, hair spa, eyebrows, waxing and most importantly bikini wax which is practical because this way it would get easier to maintain your hygiene post vaginal delivery because waxing delays the hair growth. In the end if you won’t wax it then your nurse would use a trimmer to shave you down there but hair comes quickly, and with the stitches down there you might not feel comfortable. I would suggest going for bikini wax. Feeling ready for your close-up can give you a small sense of control.

15

Spend Quality Couple Time

Once your baby has arrived, you would be too focused on the little one and things are going to change soon, including your relationship with your husband. Once you have a baby, you become painfully aware that your life now revolves around this little being who needs you. Consider your world officially rocked—your relationship included…. I do not want to scare you but that is the fact, Accept it, and go with it!

Really take time just to spend some particular time with your husband and talk out about the upcoming relationship challenges you might face and be prepared for it. 

What do you think are the most important things to do in your third trimester. Let me know what your thoughts are?

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