The third trimester is considered from the 28 weeks of gestation until the birth of your baby. I know!!!, your belly is more stretched than it has ever been, and everything becomes complicated, even pick up something that has fallen to the floor. For many of us, the third trimester is even more challenging because we have to take care of other children. It is not supposed to be easy, but if I can encourage you even a little, I could tell you. There is not much left.
For the third trimester, there are things that should be already prepared, in this article, we will talk about the most important things you should know about the third trimester, including a complete TO-DO-LIST that will allow you to be fully prepared when you bring your baby home, and also some must have items for your recovery.
Are you ready? Let’s begin.
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Third trimester, what is happening in your body?
General symptoms of the third trimester.
Increased clear vaginal discharge: Don’t worry, this symptom is completely normal. This vaginal discharge also known as Leukorrhea, has a purpose, and that is to clear out dead cells in the vagina, witch help maintain healthy bacteria in the birth canal, and protect you and your baby from infection.
Leaking milk from the breasts: Your body is just getting ready to nurture. Colostrum, the first milk your baby will get when born, it contains more protein but less fat and sugar than more mature breast milk. It’s also full of antibodies (immunoglobin A, or IgA) your baby didn’t encounter in the womb which help protect her from germs that can infect the mucous membranes of her throat, lungs and intestines.
Frequent urination: This symptom is simply the result of your growing uterus and baby, pressing against your urinary bladder. Its always considered normal unless you feel any burning sensation when urinates, in this last case you need to call your doctor right away.
Leaking urine: unfortunately, one of the symptoms that you might suffer on the third trimester is leaking urine. Try Kegel exercises, start slow until you can do at least 50 per day for the best results.
For more information about Kegel exercises for pregnancy, check this link here:
Heartburn: It’s the result of your stomach being compress by your uterus. Try antacids, and eating smaller meals more frequently. Sit up for 30 minutes after every meal, and when you lie down, try to do it on your Right side.
Constipation: Another normal symptom on the third trimester is constipation. This symptom can be improved with some exercise, drinking lots of water, and eating plenty of fiber-rich foods.
Hemorrhoids: Baby is putting pressure on your digestive system, and the hormones may be relaxing your intestinal muscles as well, causing uncomfortable hemorrhoids, A healthy diet, a lot of rich-fiber foods and lots of water is what is going to help you the most.
Skin changes: Noticing darker nipples or the famous Linea nigra in your belly? don’t worry is a normal symptom, is due to hormonal changes.
Leg cramps: May occur at night when you are trying to sleep. Try to point your toes toward your belly, and increase your calcium intake or a multivitamin that contain from 150 to 500 mg of calcium, and take this vitamin every day.
Lower back pain, sciatica or Round ligament pain: Typically felt as achy, crampy or sharp sensations on one or both sides of the lower abdomen. You’ll probably notice occasional round ligament pain more when you change positions suddenly, get up from sitting or lying down, or when you cough, sneeze or laugh. It may be brief or last for several hours.Try abdominal strengthening exercises. Or consider seeing a physical therapist or getting a relaxing massage.
Swelling feet and ankles: Elevate your legs, increase your water and protein intake. If the swelling gets severe, see your physician.
Tingling or numbness in your hands: May be an indication that you might be suffering of Carpal tunnel syndrome. Try wrist splints to keep your wrists straight and discuss further with the doctor.
Braxton Hicks contractions: Contractions are most likely getting frequent and stronger as time goes by. There’s one big difference between Braxton Hicks contractions and the real deal, Braxton Hicks will go away. Real contractions don’t, they just keep coming. Women who are more than 32 weeks pregnant with twins are at higher risk for preterm labor, so definitely watch for contractions that don’t go away.
And lastly but certainly not least, Tired and irritable most of the time: This symptom is due to many factors, the most common is the lack of sleep and fatigue. You might experience less patience with family and friends. However, if you are feeling extremely overwhelmed, crying very often, feeling worried, or very anxious, you might be depressed. It’s always best to discuss these symptoms with your doctor to learn about some treatments options and how to prevent postpartum depression.
Here you have some helpful tips that will help you to prevent naturally PPD or postpartum depression.
Nutritious and healthy diet: A nutritious diet can help keep your mood stable and prevent symptoms of PPD. Eat more vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and also protein. Eat 5-7 servings of lean proteins, 3 servings of calcium-rich milk products, 3 servings of fruit, 3 servings of unsaturated fats, and 6-8 servings of cereals, breads, and grains.
Stay hydrated ( this is very important) drink eight glasses of water every day. Avoid processed sugars and alcohol, which can cause mood swings.
Continue to take prenatal vitamins after giving birth, particularly if they are breastfeeding. Ask your doctor what kind of vitamins or supplements you should be taking.
Other recommendations to prevent PPD naturally:
- An exercise routine in place.
- A self-care routine.
- Maintaining stress under control.
- Sleeping as normal as you can.
- Accepting support from husband, family or friends.
- Keeping realistic expectation.
- Finding a parent support group.
Let’s talk about nutrition.
- You may find your appetite decreasing. Tt’s important to maintain a balanced diet, because the baby is growing rapidly now. Your baby is gaining 1 pound every 2 weeks on average.
- Continue to takes you prenatal vitamin every day.
- Eat at least 5 to 6 meals or snacks every day.
- Avoid altogether carbonated drinks, they can make your indigestion worse.
- Make sure you are taking 3 servings of protein and calcium every day.
- As a good sources of protein consider: Hard-boiled eggs, beans, peas, sunflower seeds, cashews, almonds and other nuts.
- As a good source of calcium consider: Yogurts, cheese, cottage cheese, sardines, green leafy vegetables.
- Finalize names: This is one of the fun parts of having a new baby, by the third trimester you should have your baby’s name. And if you are one of that mother who waits until the end to know the sex of your baby, then at least you should have 2 names one for each gender. A few hours after your baby is born, in the hospital you will have to begin the process of registering the baby. And among some pains, anesthesia, lack of sleep, among other things, if you don’t have a name it will be difficult to find the perfect name for your baby at that time.
- Get a car seat: The safety of your newborn is a number one priority for hospitals and should also be for you. In the third trimester, you should start looking for the perfect car seat, the car seat that is safe and comfortable at the same time. Remember that babies are extremely fragile, and require care.
- Pack your hospital bag: The third trimester is unpredictable, after 37 weeks you can go into labor at any time, the majority of babies enter the pelvic cavity at 35 weeks and remain there until birth. Therefore the hospital bag must be prepared from 36 weeks at the latest. I am going to include a checklist in this post, so you know what to pack for the hospital.
- Rest if you can, soon is going to be very difficult to do so.
- Choose a pediatrician for your baby: It is time to select your baby’s pediatrician if you haven’t done it yet. It is important to feel comfortable with this doctor, since during the first year of your baby’s life you will see him many times. It also takes into account the work schedule of the pediatrician’s office, apart from checking the doctor’s credentials, if the office works extra hours and weekends is a plus.
- Group B strep screening is done between 35 and 37 weeks by your doctor: Group B Streptococcus (GBS) is a type of bacterial infection that can be found in a pregnant woman’s vagina or rectum. This bacteria is normally found in the vagina and/or rectum of about 25% of all healthy, adult women. Women who test positive for GBS are said to be colonized. A mother can pass GBS to her baby during delivery. For more information about this test, check this link.
- Instruct yourself about Early sings of delivery, Keep important phone numbers handy and saved on your phone, Be sure to discuss when to go to the hospital with your doctor.
- Make sure you are finalizing the preparations prior to your baby coming home: You need to have a safe place for the baby to rest, the nursery should be complete by now. Essentials items for the nursery, that are completely necessary.
- A crib
- Crib bedding.
- Changing table
- The nursery chair
- Storage, lots and lots of storage
- Décor (NOT a necessity, but if you can, do it. This will make the space feel cozy and vibrant, and you will get in the mood of motherhood)
- Baby Rest Sound Machine
- Prepare for the postpartum period: Even a few frozen meals will help you have something on hand that is nutritious and warm when you need it or just have a rough day. Fresh cut veggies, fruits, healthy yogurt, soups, nuts, hummus, whole grain breads, etc, are all wonderful to have on hand so you can be nourished. And finally prepare your postpartum healing kit and other essentials.
- peri bottles
- bed pads
- maxi Pads
- medicated numbing cream
- peri cleanser
- stool softener
- Granny panties
- Breast pads, nipple creams
- Breastfeeding tank tops
- Breastfeeding brads
Hospital checklist, What to pack for the hospital.
What’s happening to your baby during the first trimester.
- Babies gain about 1/2 pound every week.
- At the beginning of the third trimester your baby should be about 14 inches long and weight about 2 pounds. At this point, majority of the organs are completely form, however other organs such as Brain and lungs are still developing.
- His lungs continue to mature, and the breathing movements begin.
- Sleep/wake patterns begin.
- Baby start having Hiccups, from swallowing amniotic fluid, this is good sign of normal development.
- By 34-35 weeks, most babies are in the proper position for delivery, witch is head down on the pelvis, and facing to your spine.
- By delivery most babies will be about 18 to 22 inches long, and weights about 6 to 9 pounds.
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As you can see the third trimester is very important, and it is the time in which you must have the essential products for a speedy recovery, and all the conditions created for the beginning of your new mother’s life.
If you have pets or other children, this is the time to prepare them for the arrival of a new baby.
Some good tips for you will be, try not to stress yourself, enjoy the process. Start with time to prepare everything, and do not forget to include your husband and other family members in the process, this will help you to be more focused and less worried.
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