The fetus has been growing in your womb ever since you have become pregnant. It has been about 6 months now and the fetus has already taken the shape of a human. It may already be making its presence felt through kicks and jerks. It is the third trimester, and it is the time when you should start preparing for the baby. The countdown for arrival of the baby has already started, but while enjoying it you also need to make sure that you do everything right so that the baby can be born without any hiccups.Read More: Remedies for Nausea and Vomiting in the Third Trimester
21 Third Trimester To-Dos for Pregnant Women
Here is a list of to-dos that you may follow to make sure that this phase passes off uneventfully and you give birth to a healthy baby.
1. Keep a tab on the baby’s movements
The baby is growing and also making some movements inside your womb. The movements may also change as it gets bigger. Every baby has a different pattern of movement. You will soon get familiar with its movements. If you notice anything abnormal in its movements or kicks do report to the doctor as soon as possible.
2. Antenatal appointments are important
Antenatal appointments during this trimester mainly focus on preparing the pregnant woman for labour and uneventful birth of your child. You need to have some idea about the first signs of labour so that you can contact the doctor as soon as you notice these signs. You also need to have some knowhow about how to cope with the intense pain of labor.
During antennal appointments doctors have a check on the growth of the baby. If he or she thinks that you need a detailed check to see how the baby is growing he may go for an ultrasound. In fact the midwife will arrange for an ultrasound if she deems fit.
4. Learn about conditions that you should never ignore
Some pregnant women do suffer from complications like pre-eclampsia. In such a condition the blood pressure becomes high and there is often a risk of damage to some or the other organ. So if you are having blurred vision, severe headaches, nausea, swollen hands etc, do call the doctor early. Conditions like preeclampsia develop mostly in the third trimester.
5. Eat well
Your baby is experiencing magnificent growth inside your womb and it needs nutrition for the same. You could hardly eat during the first trimester because of nauseated feeling and all that baggage of initial pregnancy. Now you need to eat well so that both you and the baby get enough food. Foods containing high levels of iron, protein and other nutritional elements make up good diet for pregnant mothers. Iron is needed to make red blood cellsto supply adequate blood and therefore nutrition to your body and the baby. Protein is also very important since it is needed for growth.Read More: 21 First Trimester To-Dos
6. Light exercise helps
Doing some light stretches and aerobics can help you loosen up the muscles and getting yourself ready for giving birth to a healthy baby. By now you might also be experiencing some pain due to stretching of the area between rectum and vagina. These exercises may help you to ease the aches and pains of pregnancy. You may also avoid or minimise small niggles such as leg cramps if you do these exercisesRead More: 11 Must Do Exercises For a Fitter Pregnancy
7. Massaging the bump helps to connect with the baby within
The bump is growing all the time, and at times you may feel inclined to spend some time with the baby. It is natural to have an urge to connect with the baby. Just glide your hand over the contours of the bump you will feel like connecting to the baby. Your partner too can do this to feel close to the baby, and also to alleviate some of your aches and pains.
8. Talkingto the baby is a great way to bond with it
By this time your baby is able to hear your voice. Though it may sound quite old fashion, but the fact is that you can connect with your baby better if you start talking to it. If talking sounds queer, do try to read books and magazines loudly. Singing aloud is also a great way to bond with the baby.
9. Knowledge about the stages of labour is important
If you are a second time or a third time mother, you already have some idea about labor. If you are not a mother yet then you need to learn bits abut labour. This will help you prepare better for the event. If you know something about it you may feel more in control of the happenings as they come. So get some idea about the stages of labour from the midwife.Read More: 21 Second Trimester To Do Lists
10. Create a birth plan
There are different types of birth plan. Some may go for caesarean delivery, some may opt for normal delivery. There are different birth plans for normal delivery too. You can get to know about the advantages and disadvantages of various types of birth from the midwife. This will help you firm up your plan. You can communicate your plan to the midwife and the doctors.
11. Know your contractions
At this time, you may start feeling the contractions in your womb. These are known as Braxton Hicks contractions. If you experience them, do make a note about them. List out how you feel when they come. Also note how often do theycome. This may help the doctor to distinguish Braxton Hicks contractionsfrom the signs of labour.
12. Get more sleep
If you are not able to sleep at night, catch a nap at any time of the day. Tuck a good quality pillow between your knees and one under the tummy to feel comfortable.
13. Stock up on household supplies
Shopping may soon become difficult for you, and immediately after the delivery it may just become impossible. So stock up on the basic necessities of life like tinned food, cleaning products, vegetable etc. You may also prepare some extra portion of meals and freeze these for your family.
14. Install a baby seat in car
You need to bring the baby home by car, but for that you need an extra car seat for the baby. Check for the right car seat for infants and also see whether your car can accommodate it easily. Install the seat properly and see that it fits in your car perfectly.
15. Be careful of sex at this time
Sex is not a taboo during this time, but you must be very careful about it. If it is an uneventful and uncomplicated pregnancy, you may have sex until you experience labour. But in that case you need to experiment with different positions since by this time your bump has got bigger.
16. Checking out the hospital is useful
It helps to have a tour of the hospital, even if it is virtual. You will get an idea about what is going to happen once you are admitted to the hospital in the early days of labour.
17. Backache is common
You may get back ache during this time. It is common, but may be quite uncomfortable. But you can avoid it to some extent by avoiding lifting heavy objects that may strain ligaments in the back. You can also get a maternity belt to support your back.
18. Prepare for giving birth
Make sure that both you and your husband have all the important numbers in your phone. Save the number of the doctor, the midwife, personnel of the labour ward. If you are delivering in a birth centre, do save its number. If you have a child or children, do arrange for a nanny or a relative to take care of them while you are admitted.
19. Acquire some knowledge about newborn care
Once the baby is born you may not get enough time to read books and magazines about baby care. The third trimester is the most perfect time to acquire some knowledge about pregnancy and baby care.
20. Read about breastfeeding
Breastfeeding is difficult for a new mother. So acquire some knowledge abou it. The more you acquire knowledge about it and its benefits, the more you are likely to succeed at it. You can try attending breastfeeding classes during this trimester. Ask the midwife if the local hospital or birth centre organises any breastfeeding class.
21. Try to get bring about natural labor
If you are feeling fed up in trying to bring about natural contractions, you may try sex, walking, acupuncture etc to bring about natural contraction. Even some foods can kick start your labour. Try some grandma’s wisdom to make it happen.
To conclude, with a lot of things on plate there is nothing betterin preparing a checklist and being organized. With singletons a check list would be great, but with twins, third trimester is not a productive time.