You're almost there!
After months of morning sickness, swollen feet, and outgrowing all of your regular and maternity clothes, you've finally reached your third trimester. It's almost time to meet your new baby.
That said, the third trimester is definitely a time when moms-to-be start feeling some pregnancy burnout. The end is still just far enough out of reach to make it feel like your pregnancy will never be over.
No need to fear, though. We're here to provide you our pregnancy care tips.
With the help of this third trimester guide, you'll cruise through your final weeks till the big day in no time!
Read our tips below, and pin our list here for a mom to be!
Prepare for changes to your body
Each phase of pregnancy brings additional changes and challenges. Knowing what to expect from the third trimester will help you know whether your preggo symptoms are normal, or cause for concern.
Many of the most common mom-to-be symptoms you'll experience in the third trimester are caused by your uterus expanding. These include back pain, fatigue, and shortness of breath.
Other symptoms, like heartburn, are the result of hormonal changes in your body. Some say it means your baby will be born with lots of hair on it's head!
Additionally, while vaginal discharge during the third trimester is normal, bleeding or spotting may be a cause for concern. If you begin to experience vaginal bleeding, you should contact your doctor right away.
If you ever experience itching skin and itchiness all over your body in a way that is very uncomfortable you should also check with your doctor immediately, and we mean today.
So listen to your body...if you need to rest, then rest. If you feel good to get out, then get outside. If you feel really awful in an unusual way, then reach out to your physician.
Some simple ways to combat these changes are walking, cleaning the diet to alleviate heartburn, and prenatal yoga to help with back pain and overall elevating your mood. Also, if you don't have one already, get a body pillow right away to help you with a more comfortable sleep position.
Have realistic expectations
In addition to preparing for difficult symptoms, another key to surviving this time is having realistic expectations.
You've probably heard since you were a child that "pregnancy lasts nine months". In reality, however, most full-term pregnancies last closer to ten months because, pregnancy is 40 weeks.
Since the third trimester begins in the 28th week of pregnancy, this means that this phase can last anywhere from 8 to 10 weeks. Some moms may be surprised when it seems like this home stretch is feeling longer by the day.
Try your best to lower any anxiety and anxiousness with going with the flow, day by day, while in waiting for your new love bug to arrive. No need to stare at the calendar and feel any disappointment if your due date has come and no baby yet. It's said via many statistics, that only 5% of babies are born on the due date.
So now you know to count by weeks (not months), and once it has become past your due date, continue to keep emotions at bay by having your doctor check everything out. He/she will most likely be more vigilant in monitoring the baby.
As you may be feeling more uncomfortable, it's natural to want to just sit with your feet up in front your TV.
Regular exercise, however, is one of the best pregnancy care tips for the final trimester.
Staying active will manage nausea and heart burn by helping you digest. It will also help you to sleep better at night, and will even help prepare your body for labor.
There are plenty of great exercises you can do in your third trimester. Swimming is a particularly good choice for pregnant women because it doesn't require balance and it also cools your body, yay! Walking is a big favorite as well. Walking in a park, oceanside, lake side, or a flat hike will perk up your spirits, lift your endorphins, and keep your pregnancy healthy by balancing hormones and energizing your body.
Additionally, when you work out, remember to stay hydrated. Proper water intake is essential to maintaining good circulation and blood supply to your baby. Drink coconut water if you feel you need to switch it up.
It can be tough to get outside and moving, so even if you have to park in the furthest spot of the parking lot, or make five laps walking through the mall, that counts too! Once you do it, you'll be thanking yourself.
Maintain a good diet
Towards the end of your pregnancy, you've likely started experiencing cravings if you haven't already. Pickles, ice cream, chips, chilies, and you name it!
You might feel like curling up with a pint of Ben & Jerry's is the key to surviving the third trimester. In the end, however, making a habit out this could do more harm than good.
There's nothing wrong with treating yourself every so often. That said, following a healthy, clean diet is one of the most important pregnancy care tips. It is also a way to keep your weight steady instead of filling up on fatty foods that cause spikes in blood pressure, sugar, and triglycerides.
For one, a healthy diet is important for your baby. He/she is going at an insane speed evolving in your belly. So make sure you are eating brain boosting foods that will deliver the most nutrients to your baby. Also, eating well will help reduce symptoms for yourself like heartburn, being bloated, constipation, and feeling inflamed.
If you find yourself experiencing a lot of heart burn, try eating several smaller meals throughout the day. This will be easier for your body to digest than a few big ones. Stick to whole, nutrient dense foods, and especially reduce refined sugars and carbs. Stay away from acidic foods. Those are the culprits that make your body tissues have inflammation. Plus they do not have much nutritional value.
Finalize your birth plan
In addition to taking care of your body, additional pregnancy care tips for the third trimester include preparing for it to be over.
The last thing you want to deal with, when you go into labor, is to start packing a hospital bag and figuring out where the hospital is. To avoid this situation, start putting a checklist and birth plan together.
Getting a birth plan together early on will help you investigate all of the options you have. It also frees you from having to make decisions about pain medicine, or who to have in the room while you're actually in labor.
That said, your birth plan should also include factors that will ensure your comfort. These may be some items that go into your overnight hospital bag. What nursing clothes do you want to be taken to the hospital? What music will you want access to? Do you have chargers and cameras ready to go? Are all your toiletries ready to go? Did you pack disposable underwear and pads? You will be needing them.
These kinds of small details, already prepared ahead of time, can help make your labor process more comfortable for you.
Get your house in order
You'll have your hands full after the delivery. Bonding with the baby, adjusting to its schedule, and getting whatever sleep you can will monopolize your time.
For these reasons, you want to make sure that your home is ready before you bring the baby home. Take this "nesting" phase to prep what you can within the household to ensure a more relaxed space.
That said, "ready" means different things for different parents.
Some parents like to get the every detail in the nursery prepared. This is great if this is your style. But don't feel like you need to do all of this in order to be ready for the baby.
In reality, babies don't need a whole lot. To start, a bassinet, diapers, and some basic baby clothes will probably do the trick.
Things like laundry, dishes, and overfilled closets may be agreed that these are more of a priority. Having a space cleared and ready for nursing, if you plan to do so, may also be a very important element for when you arrive home. Having your breast pump ordered and ready, baby clothes pre washed, the bassinet positioned properly, and a diaper genie ready to go may be a few things that are a must for you so you feel less stressed after giving birth.
The best pregnancy care tips for surviving the third trimester involve doing what's right for you. So, if you need to get everything in order to be ready for the baby, then do that. If that's not your style, then make a list of your top 3-5 main priorities and handle those first.
Follow the right pregnancy care tips
Rather than simply focusing on getting through to the end of your pregnancy in an obligatory way, make sure you're enjoying the moments and also taking the time to take care of yourself. Once the baby comes, you'll have far less time for this.
So remember to take the time to cut yourself a break. Self care during pregnancy is a real thing and you should be doing some things that make you feel good.
Put your feet up. Take a bath. Say "no" to things. Say "no" to people if you have to.
You may even want to treat yourself to some pampering. A prenatal massage or a spa day can be a great way to help you relax at this stage of your pregnancy. Maybe a bath at home with music will do it for you. Babies can hear the music too so this could be the perfect special moment.
Treating yourself well is essential to being a mother. You won't be able to care for your baby if you're not taking care of yourself.
We hope that following this basic third trimester checklist will start to make things a bit easier. Remember, it isn't easy, but it will be worth it.
Keep going mama! You're doing great!