The third trimester of pregnancy can feel like the longest, most grueling of all trimesters, and it can completely mess with your mind and body as you prep for birth. If you find yourself barely hanging on in those final weeks, check out some of the below ideas to keep you going strong. Before you know it, your precious little one will be in your arms, and the past nine months will seem like a dream.
You have Body Issues:
During third trimester, you might realize how you took for granted a body that once moved fluidly, and in sync. With your ever-growing belly protruding slightly past your toes, you may have to start plotting your movements carefully. If you’re sick of feeling wonky as your hips move involuntarily as you walk, and your pubic bone floats somewhere down there, you can blame the pregnancy hormone: relaxin. Trust us; this hormone is a good thing, as it primes your body for labor and birth. The downside is that it makes the simplest movements seem like an Olympic event. Here are several ways to alleviate the symptoms you’re feeling in the final weeks:
- Maternity Belt- Ease the strain of your final days of pregnancy by wearing a maternity belt. These can be purchased at your local big box baby store, or try searching online for a variety of options as some styles are specific to helping with pregnancy ailments such as sciatica, diastasis recti, or hernia. Maternity belts, when worn correctly, can take the pressure (literally) off your pelvis by supporting your stomach. Strap one on, and you’ll feel like a whole new woman walking around.
- Chiropractor– Chiropractic care can calm an aching back, sciatic nerve pain, and even stop migraines in their tracks. Consider visiting one in the final days before birth to help with alignment issues, and to prepare the pelvis for birth. Always check with your doctor to make sure that chiropractic care is right for you.
- Maternity Massage-A relaxing massage is just the right send-off into the labor and delivery room and can feel heavenly on aching muscles and joints. Of course, you should run this idea by your doctor for any contraindications.
You Just Want to Be Done:
Many moms are over being pregnant. It’s understandable to be anxious to meet your baby, but if you find yourself dreading each day, you might need to switch gears and try enjoying yourself. Sounds impossible, right? Maybe; but it certainly does make for a much more pleasurable third trimester. A Baby Bucket List is a great way to count down to delivery. Include things on your list that you may not be able to do right after the baby is born. Here are a couple of ideas:
- Dine Out-Make reservations at your favorite restaurant. Bonus points if you don’t eat there every week.
- Hit the Cinema-head to the movies, and most definitely splurge on refreshments!
- Girl’s Night Out-hang out with your girlfriends; it might be some time before you see them again.
- Pamper Yourself-visit the salon for one last haircut. Don’t stop there! Why not get a pedicure, while you’re at it?
- Do Nothing-spend a day doing absolutely nothing. Really, nothing.
- Clean-you might be wondering if this is intended for fun. Yes! Embrace the nesting instinct and tackle cleaning out or reorganizing a drawer or closet. You most likely won’t be able to find time to do this after baby is born.
- Babymoon-go somewhere local, or extravagant. The only thing standing in your way is your bank account.
You’re Not Sure if you’re Prepared:
As your impending due date approaches, so do feelings of apprehension. You’re not quite sure you can do this. Don’t let fear set in! Arm yourself for labor, delivery, and newborn care by being prepared. Here are some suggestions to ease your mind, as you await baby:
- Re-read your Baby Books-If you’re feeling nervous about any aspect of delivery or newborn care, read or re-read those sections in your baby book. The knowledge will be on the forefront of your brain, and you won’t feel helpless.
- Create Birth Goals-Birth is unpredictable, but it’s great to have goals in mind when it comes to bringing your child into the world. Check out this birth plan template for ideas, or ask your doctor if the hospital has one they would like you to fill out.
- Practice Labor-If you’ve attended a birthing class, you may have been given a list of activities to try during labor, including breathing exercises and alternative ways to manage pain. Practice them. You will feel silly. But this extra practice will help you employ these techniques when you’re in hard labor.