Hey, Congratulations! You have made it to the last days before giving birth to your little bundle of joy. Doesn’t it feel like time just flew? Well, not necessary that everyone feel the same way. Though I loved & thoroughly enjoyed my first pregnancy, I used to count days before the baby came and felt it is just not ending. And with second one, I did not realize how the pregnancy flew by with a toddler to run around.
Every pregnancy is different. Most of us find the third trimester stressful because of all the to-do list that seems endless. Here are a few things I have put together that will help you with your preparation. Well, the list includes a lot of fun things to do. Enjoy reading!
1. Complete your Birth Plan
Have you thought about a birth plan, mama? It is the right time to decide upon the things you would wish to do when you are giving birth and after childbirth.
If you do not have a birth plan yet, you can grab your free copy of the birth plan from Hilary at Pulling Curls (A labour & delivery nurse). So, go ahead and print a couple of copies to keep it handy when you need it.
2. Prepare your hospital Bag
Speaking of a hospital bag, it is always a good idea to keep your bag packed after 32 weeks. You never know when the baby can actually surprise you. Here is a set of Hospital Bag essentials that will help you in your preparation.
With my first baby, I did not have the bag packed until 37 weeks and my baby girl was born surprising us at 37 weeks & 4 days.
3. Learn how to manage labor pain naturally
If you are worried about managing the labour pain and wondering if the breathing exercises that you learned in the prenatal class alone might not help, you will find this course Birth Prep 2.0 from Jamie boost your confidence in giving birth naturally.
4. Read a few positive birth stories before giving birth
Giving birth can be scary especially if you are a first-time mom. Take time to read up on different positive experiences. Having a positive mindset really makes a difference.
5. Tour the hospital & do some trial runs
Some hospitals do offer a tour where you can go and familiarize yourself to know where the vending machines are or the waiting rooms, etc. And some offer a virtual tour. Hope you have picked a place where you want to birth. If not use this time to finalize.
Trial runs to hospital during your third trimester really helps you time how long it will take you to reach during peak traffic. That way you can decide to start on estimated time when you are in labor.
6. Plan your postpartum recovery
This is one of the most important things to do. Often, moms ignore the recovery and end up focusing more on birth. Do plan on things to do when you come home with a baby. Here are a few postpartum essentials and tips that helped me.
7. Prepare your home for baby
You must already have a baby checklist to buy before baby’s arrival. Utilize this time to prepare & keep the home ready for baby including cleaning, baby-proofing, organizing, etc.
8. Decide on the baby name shortlist
This is a fun thing to do & a great distraction in your third trimester. It is not essential to have a name ready but it really is fun to have a shortlist of names before you get really busy after the baby is born. Involve your partner or family members if you wish to add more fun.
9. Choose a Pediatrician
This can be a tricky one but having chosen a good paediatrician helps you to sleep peacefully. Talk to your fellow mommies who already have kids to get some good recommendations. You can also interview the doctor before picking him/ her as your paediatrician.
If you cannot do this, do not worry. Hospitals do give you a list of recommended pediatricians which can be helpful.
10. Discuss on Maternity Leave & Childcare before giving birth
If you are a working mom, discuss your maternity leave options with your employer & your partner. It helps in making all the childcare arrangements in case you would want to return to work early.
11. Get ready to Breastfeed
If you are a first-time mom, you might not know what exactly to expect when you start to breastfeed. Breastfeeding can be challenging at the beginning. Prepare your breastfeeding kit with all the essentials.
- Nursing pads
- Nursing pillow (Boppy or Brestfriend)
- Lanolin cream
- Nursing bras (these are my favorite. They are very comfortable to sleep and great support for breastfeeding).
- Nursing tops (I did not get these earlier and definitely regretted it. I loved these and are very comfortable especially during travel).
- Breast Therapy packs (Total lifesavers!)
Take up an online breastfeeding course and here are some links that help you prepare to breastfeed:
- Lactation cookie recipe to help you keep up the supply.
- Breastfeeding tips from lactation consultant that can help you.
- How to prepare to breastfeed a newborn
- Breastfeeding experiences shared by other moms.
13. Spend time with your Husband
Spend all the time that you need while it is just the two of you. Enjoy movie nights, go to restaurants, go on drives when you can before you both get busy with baby chores. This will not only help you relax but also takes your mind off of the baby overwhelm.
And believe me, you will thank yourself for doing it as it gets really difficult to get some alone time after the baby is born (at least for a few weeks).
14. Sleep, rest & do something for yourself
It definitely feels like there is a lot on the to-do list but please do plan to take some time for self-care. Soak in a warm tub, read a book that is not about babies, Binge on some Netflix show, sleep & rest as much as you can. Read about 8 ways to enjoy & relax during pregnancy.
15. Take lots of pictures
Taking pictures not only makes you re-live the moment but also makes you enjoy the present one in creating memories. I can totally remember the moment & laugh when I look at my bump pictures. If you can do a photo shoot. Believe me, you will not regret it later.
16. Try Yoga & Exercises
If you are wondering if exercises are safe during pregnancy, read about the benefits of exercising during pregnancy written by Peggy who is also a mom. Honestly, prenatal yoga & exercises were most helpful during my third trimester to ease all the lower back pain and get good rest. It also helped in speeding my labour. Do plan to take up some prenatal sessions to help you prepare your muscles for the big day. My friend Jamie is a trained prenatal instructor and she has a great set of services to offer. Here is a glimpse of her stability ball exercise during the third trimester.
17. Spend time to engage & prepare older child(ren)
I realized the importance of this during my second pregnancy. It sure is overwhelming to having to care for older children when you have a newborn. Preparing them to be a little independent helps you keep your sanity. Read about dealing with toddler & newborn on my website.
Things to do in your Third trimester!
There you go! I hope the above bucket list helps you with the things to do in your third trimester before the baby arrives. Remember not to have too many to-do lists and plan to rest as much as you can.
Good luck Mama!