Third Trimester: Tips to Handle the Home Stretch
The third trimester of pregnancy is a time of both exciting and nerve racking for mom. It can seem to drag on forever, but for some, the last months may seem to go by quickly. Here are some ways to handle this last portion of pregnancy with finesse.
Things to Do for Yourself
During the third trimester, the added weight of your growing baby causes more pressure on the spine, so it’s important to pay attention to your posture. Sit on a chair with a sturdy back, and sleep on your side at night, with a pillow between your legs for greater comfort.
It’s especially important to eat a healthy diet and drink lots of water during this time, which will help with constipation. Many women in their third trimester suffer from heartburn, so stay away from spicy foods. If you do get heartburn, try drinking some ginger tea to relieve it.
You will probably feel more tired at this stage, so take frequent naps when needed. Try to follow a mild exercise program each day, which will help with bodily functions and help you to get a better sleep at night. Frequent urination at night in the third trimester is normal. To keep it to a minimum, try not to drink fluids before you go to bed.
Above all, try to avoid getting stressed out. Although you may still have a regular job or other children to take care of, try to find some time each day to pray or meditate, which will help to alleviate stress.
Things to Do for Your Baby
Your baby can definitely respond to your voice and touches at this stage. Speak softly to your baby, and try massaging it several times during the day. Some expectant mothers find that babies in the womb enjoy certain types of music. Try playing some relaxing music, which will help to soothe both you and your baby.
By now you probably have a birthing program set up and ready to go. Try to spend some of your time in the third trimester learning as much as you can about breastfeeding and recommended ways to take care of new baby. The more you learn, the less concern you will have after baby is born, and the better you will be able to care for it.
The third trimester of pregnancy is a good time to begin searching for a good pediatrician for your baby. Your baby’s first visit to a pediatrician should be soon after he or she is born, so it’s definitely not too early to begin the search. Ask friends or family for references. Choose a doctor who is situated nearby, can accept your health insurance, and has working hours convenient for you.
Things to Do with Your Doctor
You will be having regular visits with your doctor of choice in your third trimester, probably as frequently as once a week. Let your doctor know if you notice anything unusual happening with baby, such as less frequent movement. Dr. Gilbert Webb also suggests you let your doctor know about any unusual changes in your own body, such as bleeding, pain during urination, nausea, or early contractions. Regular visits to your doctor will reassure you that your last trimester is proceeding as normally as possible.
If you have any special medical conditions that could interfere with birthing, your doctor may refer you to a high risk obstetrician or maternal-fetal specialist. It’s important to follow the instructions of these medical experts as closely as possible, to insure a safe delivery.
Third trimester can be a challenging time, but following these guidelines will help make it less of a challenge and more of a joy.
~ Brooke Chaplan ~