Everything you need to look after in the third trimester
Everyone says that the third trimester absolutely flies by. At this stage, things are starting to get uncomfortable, you’re getting more excited and it’s getting harder and harder to keep track of everything that we’re supposed to be doing and keeping an eye on.
We’ve put together a handy list of things to check off as you make your way through this third trimester journey so you can feel as on top of things as possible.
Check out third trimester antenatal classes
This is the most crucial stage to have all your information straight. Approach your midwife to talk labour and birth, how to recognise the first signs of labour and to discuss how you’ll handle the pain of labour.
Organise your antenatal appointments so that your bump can be continually measured and they can track baby’s growth.
Check out your diet
An iron-rich, varied diet is absolutely essential at the stage in the pregnancy, for both yours and your baby’s health. Iron is important at this stage because your baby requires lots of it at this point. Lean meats and leafy greens are full of iron and are good sources to be incorporating into your diet at this stage.
Keep exercising – safely
Even in the third trimester when it’s the last thing you feel like doing, exercise is important – but it’s even more important that it’s the right kind of exercise. It's important to be careful so as not to injure yourself or baby. Classes are available that have been made specifically for pregnant women’s bodies and have been adapted to their limits. Exercises that involve stretching is great right now, as your body will need to be loose to prepare for birth. Check out our article here for more information!
Prep for baby’s arrival
This is the fun part! Designing the nursery and getting everything else ready makes it all feel very real suddenly! It’s important to have your car seats installed and your cots and buggies assembled and ready to go ahead of time, because they can be complicated and attempting to do it while sleep deprived and recovering isn’t a great idea! This is a lovely thing to involve your partner with and will satisfy some of your nesting urges!
Pack a hospital bag
Although this is typically something you do closer to the due date, it doesn’t hurt to start researching what actually goes into a hospital bag. It can help you feel prepared and think hard about what you will actually need and what is excessive. Hospitals encourage bringing as little as possible as the space for a suitcase full of stuff can’t be guaranteed, but there are certain essentials that need to be brought along. Check out our hospital bag guide for what you and baby may need for this journey.
Learn what you can about labour
Understanding how and when everything is going to happen during labour will help you feel more prepared and in control when the time comes. Being prepared can go a long way, but don’t start obsessing or frightening yourself. It’s impossible to predict what your individual labour will be like because it’s different for everyone. It’s important to be informed, but try not to let it become a source of stress.
Decide on your birth plan
This is your time to prepare your labour journey so that the midwives and doctors can look after you during the birth. It’s not a strict guideline as everything doesn’t always go to plan, but it can help to have written out what you are and aren’t comfortable with, rather than going into the experience unsure.
Sleep as much as possible
At this stage you may be feeling quite a lot of tiredness. It’s hard work carrying baby around and preparing throughout this stage! It can also be hard to fall asleep however, because of the discomfort. Doctors recommend sleeping on your side and investing in a good body pillow for support. Once baby comes it could be quite a while before you get a good night’s rest again and the more you sleep now, the more prepared you’ll be going into labour.
As the due date nears, an amazing tip I heard recently was to do a big stock-up shop. That means all the usual basics as well as some of the more long-term stuff, like toiletries, cleaning products, handy frozen dinners. Shopping won’t be a priority in the early days and it would be annoying to have to run out to get toothpaste just because you didn’t think of it before. Having a store of these things will save you the trip. Also cook freeze-able dinners ahead of time to have on hand the evenings that you’re just too tired to go near the oven. Absolute game-changer. Best of luck!