The Loving Cedar, LLC

Finding your ritual

What to Expect in the Third Trimester

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Table of Contents

Look at you, mama! It's the third trimester already

Weeks 27 to 40ish will fly by, but at the same time, it will seem like an eternity. Are you starting to feel a little off-balance? This is a typical 3rd-trimester experience. If you haven’t yet, you may need to trade your heels in for a pair of flip-flops. Or better, go barefoot!  Have you started the “waddle” yet? You may walk around like a little penguin as the baby gets lower into the pelvis. I remember that during my first two pregnancies, I felt off-balanced. I stepped off the curbs incorrectly several times; I even broke my foot once. I also felt my depth perception was WAY off! When I was 32 weeks pregnant with my son, I took out my car’s side mirrors. One in a parking garage and the other trying to park in my garage!  

The last list of pregnancy symptoms

I say the final list for pregnancy because the 4th trimester is postpartum. What weird things are we going to come across now? Haven’t the first two trimesters given us enough?! Don’t worry; some repeat themselves! For example, remember that you had to pee all the time in the first trimester? Yep, it’s that time again; you will be using the bathroom ALL the time! 

  • Nausea, indigestion, and heartburn are also on the rise at this time. Remember to keep up with eating small, easy-to-digest meals throughout the day. Avoid huge meals; at this point, the baby has pretty much taken over your entire middle, so you aren’t even going to feel hungry enough for large meals. 
  • Sleeping problems are typically caused by trying to get comfortable. Sometimes, the anticipation of the baby coming, stress, and the need to get up and pee come into play as well. Make sure to use that comfy body pillow and avoid drinking too much water before bed.  
  • Lower back, hip, and pelvic pain. The achy pain due to increased pressure, hormones relaxing your joints to prepare for birth, and the added weight of the baby are very common. A heating pad on your back can give relief, but avoid the heat on your tummy; you don’t want to overheat the baby. Keep moving; exercise is essential, even just a short walk around the house or some yoga. Stretching can do wonders, also. Have you gotten yourself a birth ball yet? I lived on mine during the third trimester; sitting on it and stretching my legs and hips out calmed a lot of the pain. 
  • Swelling, especially in feet and ankles. Make sure to keep up on water intake. I know that sounds like it would do the opposite; just add more water to your feet, but it doesn’t; it helps flush the retention out. Lying on your left side can also help. Make sure to talk to your provider if you start to swell WAY too much or suddenly have symptoms like dizziness or headaches with the swelling. This could be a sign of preeclampsia. 
  • Braxton Hicks is typical at this time also. They are randomly tightening your belly, preparing your body for labor and childbirth! Some women don’t even feel them, but they can be annoying and uncomfortable. Keep up on the water intake!

What to expect in the next few prenatal appointments.

Now that you are in the third trimester, you will start seeing your provider every two weeks until around week 34. Then, you will see them every week until the baby arrives! 

  • Routine check-ups continue, including checking your blood pressure and listening to the baby’s heart rate, fundal height, and position. 
  • Week 28, Rh-negative mamas, it’s time for the RhoGam shot!
  • Between weeks 35-37, your provider will do a vaginal/rectal swab to test for Group B streptococcus (GBS). Don’t fret; it doesn’t hurt at all. It’s just a cotton swab. About 10-30% of pregnant women are carriers of GBS, meaning the bacteria is present but with no signs of infection. The mom’s treatment with antibiotics can reduce the baby’s risk of contracting it when going through the birth canal. Without treatment, the baby can develop a life-threatening illness. 

Weeks 36-38

These few weeks will keep you busy as you finish all the last-minute preparations before the baby arrives! As you gather up your essentials, get the baby’s nursery finished up, and clean ALL of the baby’s clothes. Don’t forget to do these things also:

  • By week 36: Install and have the car seat checked out. Your local fire department or police station can check to ensure it is installed correctly. 
  • Start doubling dinners and making freezer meals to have on hand. I highly recommend the silicone freezer containers. They are great for freezer storage and can be popped in the microwave!
  • Gather your postpartum supplies in a handy basket near your bed or couch for easy access. 
  •  Week 37: Pack your bag, sweetie! Have your hospital bag ready to go. When you go into labor, your birth partner can grab it and head out the door (Sign up below for your free hospital bag checklist, including what to keep in the diaper bag and what supplies to have in your postpartum basket)!
  • Create a birth plan and print several copies to have on hand. Ensure the hospital or birth center has one, your provider, and your Doula (Not sure what to put on a birth plan, feel free to contact me; I am more than happy to help). 
  • I recommend Grab Green for washing baby’s clothes. Dreft is another popular laundry soap. Many laundry soaps contain harsh chemicals that irritate a baby’s skin, so sticking with a safe, natural, gentle soap is essential. 

Nesting like crazy!

Sometimes, women get a surge of energy and a desire to clean, clean, and clean like a madwoman. Typically, this means you are ready for the baby, and labor will be right around the corner! This instinct is incredible! Get the house nice and clean and prepare for the baby to arrive! DO NOT overdo it! DO NOT lift the furniture to clean under it or rearrange the furniture. Leave that for your partner! 

Treat yourself to a mani/pedi afterward. Don’t forget to keep up on your self-care also!

I'm past 40 weeks now!

Don’t be alarmed, mama! Typically, new moms can go past 40 weeks. As long as the baby is healthy and you are healthy, even though you are pretty uncomfortable and losing patience, many providers allow you to wait for the baby to come on their own. Trust your instincts and your body. Your body and baby work together and know when the right time is. You and your provider will work extra closely to ensure all stays well.  Some babies need some extra time to grow, which is perfectly fine!

3rd trimester

Are you looking for more tips and tricks? Never hesitate to contact me or join the newsletter! Check out more on my resources page also! We are in this together, parenting tribe!

Hello!

I am Leah. Welcome to The Loving Cedar LLC. Here is where you will find parenting tips and tricks to help you simplify life.

doula

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