I compiled a list of items that I found helpful for the first trimester and second trimesters of my pregnancy, so I thought I would do the same for the third trimester. This list is a combination of must-haves and must-dos.
- Vitamins & Water- I know I have said this every trimester, but they really are important; just keep taking those prenatal vitamins & drinking that water.
- Hospital Bag- Go ahead and get this packed by 32 weeks while you still have energy. Here is my list of what to pack for the hospital for mama, daddy, & baby.
- Freezer Meals- Once the baby comes you wont have time to be fixing a gourmet meal, let alone a meal at all. Cook ahead of time and freeze meals in smaller containers so that you can pull food out when you need it.
- Raspberry Leaf Tea- Drink a cup of this tea everyday for the last 6 weeks of pregnancy. This tea helps to tone the uterus and will help with pushing. I like this brand.
- Coffee Dates- Go on your last coffee dates for a while with your girl friends. The next time you get a chance you’ll be juggling a bambino.
- Thank You Notes- If you’re as blessed as we have been (and I’m sure that you are), your friends & family will shower you with so many wonderful gifts to help you prepare for your baby’s arrival. Every package that arrives in the mail and every gift from the shower needs a thank you note. Write them as soon as the gift arrives or else you might get overwhelmed, & make sure that you’ve got enough stamps available. Two times I have sent gifts, big gifts worth over $200 each (one for the pending arrival of a baby for a family member and one for a bridal shower for which I was actually in the bridal party.....if you can't tell I'm still shocked by this folks) and neither of these women even acknowledged the gift, let alone sent a thank you note. I had to ask if they had even received the gifts, and they still didn't say thank you. The words between the lines tells me that they were not grateful, and I will never be sending them a gift again. Now of course you don't write thank you notes so that you get more gifts, you write them to demonstrate your sincere gratitude and appreciation to the individual who took their own time, effort, and finances to get you a gift to shower you with love. (Ok I'm getting off my etiquette soap box now lol)
- Pump Accessories- Even if you plan to breast feed you’re going to want to have your pump accessories ready to go when you get home to help encourage your milk to come in. This means that you need to read through the pump manual so you know how it works so when you’re sleep deprived you can be as educated as possible. Have your pump parts & bottles, and everything boiled and sanitized for that first usage when you return home from the hospital. Be sure that all bottles and bottle nipples are BPA- free and latex-free. If you’re worried about the cost of a breast pump, remember that because of the Affordable Care Act most insurances will give you a pump for free, so call them before you purchase anything.
- Trade-in the Tums- Tums at this point are child’s play; they’re weak my friends, weak! Those things are not going to work with the lava crawling up your esophagus. Instead you can take Zantac 150 or Pepcid AC. These are much more effective over-the-counter Class B drugs, which means that they will not cross over to the placenta. Relief for you and no impact on baby :-) The generic brands are just as effective, but make sure that you’re taking them at the same time every morning and every night to help prevent heartburn instead of trying to treat it.
- The Baby 411- After you’ve spent time reading about labor and what to expect so that you’re mentally prepared, start reading about life with baby. Once the baby arrives your time to read will be cut back significantly and this is the stage that you really need to prepare for. Labor is a matter of hours, but the baby will be there for much longer so you should spend time prepping for the parenthood part. I really like Baby 411 because it is organized topically, not by age.
- Laundry- Wash all clothes, sheets, towels, nursing cover, etc. that you are certain you’re going to use for your baby when they get home. Again this will help you to be prepared for when you welcome baby at home. Leave tags on things that you’re not totally sure that you’re keeping that way you can return or exchange it later. Doing baby laundry has been my absolutely favorite baby preparation "project"; I am in love with how those little clothes smell.
- Car Seat- Have your baby’s car seat installed by 35 weeks and have it assessed to make sure that it is installed properly. More than 70% of car seats are installed incorrectly, so make sure your car seat is safe for bambino! Here is a link where you can type in your zip code to find the closest places to have your car seat assessed. Fire stations are no longer certified to do the inspections, so make sure you take your vehicle to be inspected by a certified location.
- Amazon Prime & Amazon Mom- If you don’t have a membership already then you NEED to do this today. Once the baby arrives it will be a challenge to get out of the house sometimes, and you can’t beat free 2-day delivery, not to mention all of the money you can save on products and movies you can watch. If you purchase a Prime membership then you’re Mom account will be free. Just do this! In fact, even if you’re not expecting you should do this!
- Tootsies- Get a pedicure…just do it. Towards the end of pregnancy, if you & baby are ready, you can get acupressure during your pedicure to help induce labor with the pressure point just below the your lateral malleolus (ankle bone).
- Costco T.P.- Start buying toilet paper in bulk if you don’t already. If you thought you were urinating a lot before the third trimester you’re about to be shocked with how often you will need to use the restroom. Remember the uterus and the bladder are connected and that baby will use your bladder as a drum set, at least mine does.
- Birthing Ball- Even if your hospital or birthing center will provide one of these for you during labor, there are a lot of exercises that you can do before labor. I used my birthing ball (which yes is just a yoga ball) to relieve back pressure, and to help keep me limber (as limber as someone with a big ole belly can be) for labor. These exercises also help to get baby head down for delivery. Refrain from sitting in a recliner or deep in the couch because those positions make it difficult for the baby to flip head-down. Gravity from the birth ball exercises will help baby descend down into the pelvis, and thin the cervix for delivery. I started sitting on my birth ball in my second trimester and Little Peep had flipped by 27 weeks and hasn’t flipped back.
- Apps- Download an app for timing contractions; you’ll probably thank yourself for doing this later. Also if you live in a big city, get the traffic app specific for your city so when you leave for the hospital you can be aware of the traffic patterns.
I noticed that every time I write a post like this the list gets longer and longer.
But I hope these things that I have done help you too.
But I hope these things that I have done help you too.