Third Trimester Tips

Third Trimester Tips

  • Go for a Swim. Swimming is a great way to exercise in late pregnancy. It can make you feel weightless and help relieve any aches and pains. Just ask your doctor first.
  • Consider Cord Blood Banking. Find out about donating your baby's cord blood. You may be able to use the stem cells if your baby gets sick -- or to help another patient.
  • Discuss Your Partner's Role. Talk to your partner about his role during baby's birth. Do you want him as a labor coach, a cheerleader on the sidelines, or out of the room entirely?
  • Consider a Doula. A doula can help give you emotional and physical support during your pregnancy and delivery. Ask your doctor, midwife, or a friend for a recommendation.
  • Choose a New Crib. Hand-me-downs are fine for clothes, but you're better off buying a new crib. Older cribs may have been recalled, and they can have missing or broken parts.
  • Share Baby's Movements. When your baby kicks, put your partner's hand on your belly so he can feel the movements too. It will make him feel more involved in the pregnancy.
  • Learn Infant CPR. To make sure you're ready for any emergency once your baby arrives, take an infant CPR or first aid class. The Red Cross and many hospitals offer them.
  • Increase Your Iron. You need 27 milligrams of iron every day! Get yours from whole-grain cereals, enriched rice, beef, chicken, spinach, and beans.
  • Register for Baby Gifts. Create a registry at your local baby store. Ask for all the gear you'll need -- including clothes, bibs, burp cloths, diaper pails, and car seats.
  • Preeclampsia Warning Signs. If your head is throbbing non-stop, you feel very swollen, or you've got blurred vision, see your doctor right away. You could have preeclampsia.
  • Learn About Birthing Options. Decide whether you want to deliver in a hospital, in a birthing center, or at home. You can also learn about water birth or other alternative techniques.
  • Don't Forget Birth Control. Talk to your doctor and partner about birth control options you can use while breastfeeding.
  • Get Enough Rest. Rest whenever you can -- there'll be precious little time once your baby is born. Take naps when you need them, and go to bed early if you can.
  • Massage the Perineum. Stretch and massage the perineum -- the area between your anus and vulva -- with mineral oil 3 to 4 times a week. It may help reduce your risk of tearing during birth.
  • Pick a Pediatrician. Start looking for a pediatrician a few weeks before your due date. Look for a doctor with solid medical credentials and a friendly bedside manner.
  • Get Help. Line up help for your first few days home with baby. Ask friends and family to prepare and freeze a few meals and tidy things up around your house.
  • Wash Baby's Clothes. Before baby arrives, wash all of those adorable new clothes in a gentle, fragrance- and dye-free detergent. This will help prevent rashes.
  • Install Smoke Detectors. Make sure there's a working smoke detector in baby's room -- and on every level of your house. Check the batteries every 6 months.
  • Stretch Your Muscles. Loosen up tight muscles by stretching throughout the day. Roll your shoulders, rotate your head from side to side, and gently shake your legs.
  • Cook Ahead of Time. Before baby arrives, prepare a few meals such as casseroles and stews. Freeze them, and they'll be ready to pop in the oven when you need a quick dinner.
  • Try Out Your Baby Carrier. Take your baby carrier for a test ride. Make sure you know how to adjust the straps and secure your baby, and that it's comfortable for you to wear.
  • Have a Night Out. Go out for dinner or to a movie with friends. These nights out will become scarce once baby arrives and you need a sitter.
  • Don't Drink Before Bed. Are late-night bathroom runs disturbing your sleep? Stop drinking fluids about 2 to 3 hours before bedtime, and you may have a more restful night.
  • Know the First Signs of Labor. Review the early signs of labor, including lightening, contractions, passage of the mucus plug, and water breaking, so you'll be ready if they occur.
  • Postpartum Depression? Learn about postpartum depression so you can get help right away if you need it. Symptoms include appetite changes, sadness, sleep problems, and fatigue.
  • Practice Breathing. Practice any childbirth breathing techniques you learned in childbirth class. Concentrating on your breathing can help you relax during labor.
  • Review Baby Supplies. It's your last chance to make sure you have all the baby supplies you need. Stock up on clothes, diapers, wipes, bath supplies, bottles, and burp cloths.
  • Create an Early Labor Plan. Talk to your doctor about what you'll do when those first contractions hit, including how far apart they need to be for you to head for the hospital.
  • Don't Overdo It. You have a lot on your pre-baby to-do list. Stay busy, but don't run around full-steam. You also need time to rest now.
  • Ready for the Hospital? Pack any last-minute items into your hospital bag. Make sure you have clothes and toiletries for you, and a set of clothes and blankets for your newborn.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Trina Pagano, MD on January 20, 2019
© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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