Let’s face it, the first trimester is tough because you feel so tired and nauseous; add to that the fact that you are trying to keep the pregnancy a secret. It is no walk in the park and seems to go on forever. The second trimester is usually the easier of the three. You have your little bump, the nausea has passed, people are happy and excited for you, you might start to feel the baby gently moving, maternity clothes are a bit of a novelty that you can mix and match with your own (looser) pre-pregnancy clothes. Then the third trimester hits!
You are the size of a house, even maternity clothes are a bit snug, you can’t get your shoes on or even see your toes, you have a bit of a penguin waddle going on with your walk, baby feels like they are trying to break their way out when they kick, you start seeing veins / swelling feet / stretch marks / boob leakage / add other unsightly pregnancy body gems here! I have decided to write a few tips to help get you over that last hurdle that is the third trimester of pregnancy – here you go!
Yes bet you thought this post would be all about raspberry leaf tea and yoga! No, I want to give you real tips to get you to enjoy your last bit of pregnancy if possible. Netflix got me through those last few weeks and many a night up with baby when he arrived. Shows that I particularly loved recently were House of Cards, Damages, Narcos, Orange is the New Black.
2. Take some time off
I know you want to save up your annual leave for when the baby arrives to lengthen that precious maternity leave. But when you’re up to your eyes in dirty nappies and sleepless nights you might just realise that you could have used your pre-baby time more effectively. So take a week off work in the third trimester, fly somewhere nice if you are still fit to fly, and if not, have a staycation. It won’t be a mad party holiday, it should be relaxing walks, good food and early nights. The rest and relaxation will do you the world of good. Just remember to protect your skin with high factor sunscreen as it burns more easily in pregnancy.
3. Have a go with all the new baby equipment
I’m talking carseat, steriliser, travel system. Just try them out as the last thing you need is to try and work them out when you have a baby in one of them (obviously not the steriliser!). I thought I had the carseat mastered until I finally got out on my own with baby, only to get stuck outside Boots unable to get the carseat off the isofix base (hubbie had always looked after this in first few weeks). I believe the same thing happened to Pippa O’Connor on her second baby so even if you’ve been there before just refresh your memory!
4. Pregnancy pillow
If you haven’t already been using it, now is the time! Sleeping is your friend but it can be really hard to get comfy the bigger you get. The pregnancy pillows are brilliant to support you and make you as comfortable as possible. I just got a cheap one in Aldi and it did the job so well.
5. Stay focused
Some pregnant women are actually in denial that they are in the third trimester and are going to have a baby in the not too distant future but look down – this is happening. To focus yourself, and maybe release some of those labour hormones, get your hospital bag packed, wash and iron (or not iron!) all the cute baby clothes, get your moses basket / crib / cot ready, have fun with the nursery decor.
6. Retail therapy
Ahhhhh baby shopping, there’s nothing like it. You’ll buy so much stuff you don’t need, stuff you have to hide from the other half, stuff that will last about a week (if baby grows anything like mine!) but it’s so much fun. And if you feel too uncomfortable for traipsing around the shops, online shopping is almost as good and so convenient.
7. The birthing / gym ball
Sit on it – all the time. Or kneel and rest your head on it. It helps get baby into an optimum position for delivery – slouching on the couch definitely doesn’t! So give yourself the best chance of an easier delivery and just use the ball. Even if you don’t bounce on it, use it when you’re watching netflix or on facebook or eating your dinner. Also great in actual labour. Just make sure the ball is the right size for you.
Like tip 2, rest and relaxation is key. This is not always possible in the third trimester if you already have a child but if this is your first then go for a pregnancy specific massage, manicures and pedicures, long lunches with friends, afternoon naps, the list of lovely things to do goes on and on. If funds are tight, get the other half to look up “how to do a pedicure” on youtube! You will never get this time again.
9. Gentle exercise
No marathons required. Swimming is good if you feel very big and uncomfortable as it takes the weight off. If you don’t want to face the pool, a little walk in the fresh air every day can work wonders for your mental health and help get that baby’s head engaged. This works well in early labour too.
10. Chat with baby
I know, this may seem a bit mad as baby is still “the bump” but research has shown that bonding starts when baby is inside. Babies can hear from about 6 months gestation and they react to emotional stress. So chat or read to your baby and feel them respond to your voice. Gentle music is another great stimulus. The less stress the better for baby.
So there are my tips! The main message is try to reduce your stress levels and rest up for a happier baby and mummy. Have you been there? Share any tips you’d like to add in comments below or on my facebook page or twitter. And if you are nearly there, you might want to read on how to manage the first week with a newborn also!