updated Dec 2020
You've made it to week 28--oh my!
You're now in the home stretch, and these next 10-14+ weeks or so may be a whirlwind of preparation, nervous jitters, elation, discomfort--and everything in between.
Here's some of the best 3rd trimester pregnancy tips that I share with my doula clients. It's especially important now to slow down, take it easy, and be kind to yourself, so you can help your body get ready for labor!
Key Questions to ask your care provider:
What if I go past my due date?
What is your preferred protocol if induction of labor becomes likely? (If you're birthing in-hospital, ask about the Foley bulb catheter--it's a manual way to begin induction, instead of going straight for Cervidil or Cytotek)
What if my water breaks before contractions start?
What if my baby seems “big”? Read the evidence for inducing because of a big baby.
Informed consent should be a central goal in all your conversations with your care provider.
It means that you’re actively participating in your own care with an educated, informed perspective.
When you’re facing a tough decision regarding your prenatal care, you can apply informed consent by “using your BRAIN”:
Review your birth plan (click here to get your BEST birth plan kit!) with your care provider as well - ask him/her to sign it, and get a copy if possible.
Here are some routine tests you may encounter during the third trimester. Also:
Vaginal exams - and why you can refuse them with confidence
Anemia - and what you can do about it (try taking liquid chlorophyll!)
Group B strep - to get the test, or not? + a natural treatment protocol
Think about making a plan now for who will be able to help you with chores, errands, meals, and rest once baby arrives. A suggested postpartum plan is in my Birth Plan Kit. Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need - even if that includes asking your mother to not fly in immediately--or asking your best friend to do your laundry and take out your trash when she comes to visit!
If you think you’d like some help for the first days of being at home with baby, for the first days when your partner goes back to work, or even after your family “helpers” leave, consider a postpartum doula. Hiring a postpartum doula can be a wonderful grandparent gift - and you can start dropping hints now!
Getting started breastfeeding and bonding with your newborn...
Look for natural baby stores in your area. These places are great hubs of local info, and often host support groups for new moms.
Think about enrolling in a breastfeeding or infant safety class now. La Leche League can also be a great resource for new families--check their site to find a group in your area.
Think deeply about the big questions now...
Back to work, or not?
Cord blood banking?
Here's Dr. Sears' take on how to choose a pediatrician that's a good fit for your family.
Also, try to find the following local resources...
Acupuncture - very useful in preparing your body for labor--sometimes, acupuncture can even jumpstart a labor that's slow to begin. You can start this at 37 weeks.
Floatation therapy - Imagine soaking in a huge, warm bath of epsom salts, with the option of being in total darkness and complete silence. It's also called sensory deprivation therapy, and it's incredibly comfortable and calming. Some research indicates that a 1.5 hour session in a float spa is equivalent to nearly an entire night's sleep! Float spas are great for people suffering from chronic pain and PTSD, and are especially helpful during late pregnancy when your body may be increasingly uncomfortable and achy.
Placenta encapsulation - Also, if you haven't thought about getting your placenta encapsulated, now might be a great time to learn more about it. Placenta capsules are really incredible for balancing your hormones after the birth of your baby. They can help with mood swings, breastmilk supply, energy, healing and blood loss after giving birth. Placenta capsules are as simple to take as vitamins, and there's many reputable practitioners around.
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