The final countdown begins – you have officially made it to the third trimester of your pregnancy. Congratulations is due! But now what? With less than three months to go, the pre-baby to-do list can seem daunting and while preparation for this life-changing moment is vital, so is ensuring your health and the health of your baby remain at the forefront of your planning.
Know Your Body
As you enter the third trimester, your body and you baby will continue to grow and change at an increased rate. By 36 weeks, your little baby is really putting on the pounds – gaining almost a half-pound per week! All that growing can cause some additional changes in your body. Pressure under your rib cage, swelling in your hands, feet and legs, back pain and vaginal pressure are all very common during the third trimester. Things like rolling over in bed, sitting up and even getting off the couch may come with increased effort, but don’t panic, all of these symptoms are normal and signs that your body is getting ready for their big debut. You know your body better than anyone else. Don’t be afraid to contact your physician if you experience changes in vision, any spotting or bleeding, a decrease in your baby’s normal movement cycle, or severe headaches. Pamper yourself and take time to rest, relax and breath. Your big moment is almost here!
Attend all of your Prenatal Appointments
During your third trimester, prenatal appointments will become more frequent. Usually doctor appointments will occur weekly around your 36th week of pregnancy. Your doctor will continue to weigh you, monitor your baby’s heartbeat and perform tests to ensure the health of both baby and mama are good. These appointments are important for both you and your baby, so make them a priority.
Sometimes the last thing you want to do during the third trimester is remain active. Hoisting your body out of bed in the morning can seem overwhelming, but you can do it! It feels natural to prop your swollen feet on a pillow, popcorn in one hand, television remote in the other, but regular exercise, even in small doses, can promote a healthier, easier pregnancy. Being active can help you sleep better, relieve bouts of nausea, and will even help your body get ready for the toughest exertion of all – labor! Take a walk or go for a swim. Crank up those endorphins and remember to stay hydrated. Always consult with your doctor about a good activity plan.
Eat High Nutrient Foods
Its easy to want to grab that cookie or snag a quick burger on the-go, but remember, your nutrients continue to fuel your baby’s growth and help your body prepare for labor. Avoid foods high in acid and steer clear of refined sugars. Consume food rich in protein, iron and fiber. Food like beans, bananas, avocado, and pumpkins seeds are super foods that can add a super punch to your energy levels and help combat the pregnancy drain that can accompany the augmented growth of your baby during the third trimester.
Take the final few weeks in stride. Get extra sleep, practice your breathing and enjoy all the beautiful moments leading up to your birth. Take time for you and your third trimester will fly by leading you to the most important introduction of your life!