Welcome to your third trimester of pregnancy! This final stretch is bringing you everything from the joys of your baby shower to the jitters about giving birth. It’s a time of learning, being uncomfortable, reflecting over the last two trimesters, and checking off the final things on your list. I know you’re probably worried about all those minuscule tasks – but here are 11 Things You Should Do in the 3rd Trimester to Get Ready for a Baby.
#1 Learn About 3rd Trimester Prenatal Visits + Tests
Step one: you’re not having that little baby just yet! In fact, you still have about three months to go – if you’re reading this at the beginning of your third trimester, that is. The first thing you’ll want to do is give your OB, midwife, or doula a call or visit and find out what kind of visits and tests you should expect! This article from Parents.com explains a few of the tests they may give you but aren’t guaranteed. For example, I’ve taken a glucose test (and passed it!) so far, but I haven’t had any of the others on this list. In any case – it’s still something you should be mindful of and ask your provider about!
#2 Create A Birth Plan To Give to Your Provider
What is a birth plan? And how do I make one? I’d never even heard of this concept before I got pregnant. But now I’m glad it was mentioned to me! Babylist.com has a great article that explains both of these questions in a basic manner, so I recommend you start there.
Make it easy and buy your own Birth Plan Journal to aid in writing a comprehensive and customized plan.
#3 Pack Your Hospital Bag for Mom + Baby
The online world has plenty of checklists to choose from when it comes to packing your hospital bag! Seriously – you aren’t going to want to miss a single thing. Don’t worry about overpacking..you don’t know how long your stay will end up being!!
And don’t forget snacks!
I promise you that out of all the mamas I’ve talked to about hospital bags, the one thing most of them either forgot and needed or absolutely swear by is packing enough snacks for a few days! It’s recommended you ask the hospital if there is a refrigerator or freezer available to you. This brings me to the next one on the list…
#4 Tour Your Hospital or Birthing Center
If you’re going to stay somewhere for a little while, don’t you want to know where everything is? What kind of room you’ll be giving birth in and the lighting. A tour also gives you a chance to clear up other small details you may not have considered, like where to park and which entrances are open (if your baby decides to come in the middle of the night, for example). And it will also ease some of that 3rd trimester pre-birth anxiety I know you’ve been having!
#5 Make A Plan for When Labor Starts
Now that you’ve toured the area where you’ll be giving birth, and you know where to part and where to enter, it’s time to start thinking about the rest of your labour plan. Who’s taking you to the hospital, and what route is the fastest? You’ll probably want to know these things before those contraction pains start fogging your mind.
#6 Start/Finish Setting Up Your Nursery
You may have read in my previous post – How to Prep for the Last 10 Weeks of Pregnancy During A Pandemic – that I haven’t even started working on a nursery for Ariella yet. I’m starting to stress about it. Of course, not everything in a “Pinterest” nursery is needed right away – but it would be nice to have at least the essentials set up before she gets here! The 3rd trimester is the perfect time to finish up (or start) a nursery for your little one on the way.
#7 Stock Up on Light Entertainment
If you’ve read any kind of parenting book or taken a newborn class, you may have already learned just how much time during the day goes towards feeding your new baby. If you don’t know, I’ll give you a hint… it’s a lot of time.
You’ll probably want to stock up on some things to do while your busy nursing, pumping, bottle-feeding – however it is, you’re going to feed that baby! Whether it be a boxset, a Disney+ subscription, or a few good books. Sit back, cosy up, and feed that baby!!
#8 Start Prepping Freezer Meals
So many mamas have told me that freezer meals are an absolute must to help with the few days/weeks postpartum. Think about it: do you want to slave over the stove directly after having a baby? I don’t, and neither do you!
It’s as easy as going into Pinterest and searching “Postpartum Freezer Meals.”
#9 Read up on What Your Body Will Be Like AFTER Birth
I came across this article called “How to Prep for the Last 10 Weeks of Pregnancy During A Pandemic”, and it’s just a thread of mama’s sharing they’re body days, weeks, and months after giving birth. And this only begins with how you look.
It’s been recommended to me that I read up on all the aspects of a postpartum body before I get there so that I know what to expect. This book titled “The Fourth Trimester: A Postpartum Guide to Healing Your Body, Balancing Your Emotions, and Restoring Your Vitality” by Kimberlie Ann Johnson is available for Kindle, Audiobook, or Paperback on Amazon.com! I haven’t read it yet – but it’s on me ‘to-buy list!
#10 Install the Car Seat
Let me run you through a scenario. You rush to the hospital to have your baby! After labour and delivery, it’s finally time to go home. So you’re holding your sweet little baby as they wheel you out of the hospital, and your get to the car only to realize… uh oh… we forgot to install the car seat?!?!
Nope. That wasn’t over-dramatic at all.
My point is: Don’t let this be you! Seriously, we don’t even have a car seat yet, and I am a nervous wreck that we’ll end up forgetting it somewhere along the way. Better safe than sorry – go install it now!!!
#11 Take TONS of Belly Photos
The last thing on the list, and this one isn’t necessarily required. But you’ll want to take a ton of pictures of your belly to commemorate it! Some mamas also get a belly cast, pregnancy-safe henna, or schedule a maternity photoshoot. Whatever it may be that you want to do, my advice is to just do it. The 3rd trimester is your last chance to remember that beautiful belly of yours!
I won’t lie, the 3rd trimester has been pretty tough so far – and I’m only three weeks into it! But I will say that getting to check things off my checklist helps ease my anxiety and makes me feel prepared to have this baby. The truth is, I don’t know when she’ll decide to pop out – but until then, I know what I need to do.
What are some things on your 3rd Trimester checklist? Have you accomplished any of them yet?