The third trimester starts at 28 weeks of your pregnancy.
This is the time when your baby is as big as the head of lettuce! And you can feel the baby’s movement – what an incredible time is that! The countdown to the due date begins and you can’t wait to hold your little one in your arms.
Mummy Isabel, feeling her baby kicks, at week 28.
By this point, the morning sickness has gone away for most women. But there are other challenges. The increased size of the bump can make you move slower. And you might feel tired more often. It can get a little uncomfortable to sleep on the side. Some women can also experience backaches, pain in the legs, and swollen ankles. And did I mention going to the bathroom ever so often?
As a mother of three, I have experienced the third trimester three distinct times! And while I have cherished memories about spending this time preparing for the baby’s arrival, my mind also goes back to the extreme fatigue I would feel sometimes.
So, here I am, wanting to share some love with all mums out there who are in their third trimester. The baby is coming soon, but before she does, here are some tips for you to enjoy your third trimester and get some relief from the tiredness and pains.
1. A massage is always a good idea.
The physical changes in the body during pregnancy affect the bones and the muscles, too. This is why you could have body aches, sore muscles, back pain, and stiffness. A prenatal massage can work wonders and soothe your muscles. It can also help you relax, take away the anxiety, and improve sleep quality.
2. Take a warm bath.
During my pregnancies, a warm bath would always help me relax. It had almost become my daily routine to run a warm bath in the evenings and soak in for a bit before going to bed. And of course, when I was carrying my second and third baby, this was also the me-time I would get for myself. Pro tip: A few drops of essential oils in the water can take bath time to a whole new level!
3. Get some exercise.
A little exercise can not only help with a smooth delivery, but it can also lift your spirits and help you feel happier. With the bump growing and you feeling tired much faster, don’t strain yourself. If you attend a pre-natal class, the instructor will help you with some safe exercise routines. Alternatively, even a walk in the park can be great for you! Here’s a bonus tip. Wearing a maternity active bra can help support your breasts and make exercise time more comfortable. And of course, you can use the bra even after the baby arrives.
4. Give yourself a new look and pamper yourself.
The third trimester is a good time to gift yourself a new look. Get a haircut and throw in some manicure and pedicure while you are at it! After all, you might not find the time to do this when the baby arrives. Apart from feeling good about yourself, this little self-care will go a long way in helping you relax and take your mind off any anxiety that you might be feeling.
5. Plan date nights.
You know what comes with the babies? Sleepless nights :D
You might as well plan some date nights with your significant other before both of you get busy caring for the newborn. Spending quality time with your partner is a great idea before the baby arrives. Go out, if you can. The new haircut and the spa visit will be put to good use.
6. Get all the information you can about lactation.
Sarah nursing her little one, wearing Hensley Crew Tee.
Okay, the serious stuff now. If you are a first-time mum, getting all information you can on lactation and breastfeeding can help you immensely. The best way to go about this is to contact a lactation expert who will help you transition into the breastfeeding journey easily. They will ask questions about your medical history, any medications that you take, etc., and guide you on how to easily start breastfeeding after childbirth.
7. Stock up on postpartum essentials.
You have probably already shortlisted cute onesies and booties for your little one. But you also need to stock up on essentials for yourself. This includes extra maternity panties, nursing bras, comfortable maternity nursing garments, sanitary pads, a postpartum binder, nursing pads, etc. When you come back from the hospital, you will be truly grateful for all the preparation you have done now.
8. Plan ahead for appropriate care of your other children or pets.
If you have other children or pets at home, you will also need to plan on who can take care of them when you go to the hospital and also for a few days after childbirth while you are still recovering. Sit down with your partner and plan ahead. Also, stock up on groceries and other essentials for the home so that there is no need for emergency shopping trips.
9. If you are a first-time mum, learn about childbirth.
Educating yourself is the best way to be prepared for childbirth. Vaginal birth or a C-section delivery are both safe ways to bring your baby into this world. None is better than the other. However, if you have preferences, speak to your doctor. Also, check about epidurals if you plan to take them.
10. Get the nursery ready.
Decorating the nursery is one of the most exciting things that mums look forward to. Spend some time buying essentials and set up the nursery ahead of your due date. It’ll prove to be a boon when the baby comes and will save you so much time and effort while you are also managing a newborn!
11. Prepare your other children to welcome the new baby.
If you already have a kid(s), help them prepare to step into their new roles of being a big brother or a big sister. Depending on their age, tell them what to expect. If they are old enough, this is a good time to let them do a few things independently. It could be simple stuff such as brushing their teeth, doing simple housework, or taking a bath. This preparation will go a long way in helping them adjust to the new environment with their baby brother or sister arrives.
Also, spend as much time as you can with them. Read books, play games, tell stories, and make room for lots of cuddles!
So, ladies, these were some tried and tested tips from me to help you make your third trimester enjoyable as well as productive. But above all else, remember to enjoy this time. Do things that you love and fill yourself with positive thoughts. Remember that for a healthy and happy baby, you need to be healthy and happy yourself, too!
I do hope you all find these tips helpful and enjoy your time now as well as when the baby comes.
Written by Florence Tay, co-founder of Lovemère.
She loves empowering and supporting mums, and will never forget how every third trimester feels like - which seems forever.
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