You’re only a couple of weeks away from holding your bundle of joy in your arms. For once these nine long months seem sweet and pleasant. The thought of your little one erases all the unhappy and the yucky memories of the phase.
But, wait! Before you get lost in reverie, picturing your new family, there are a few things you need to get done. Check against our list of must-do things in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Watch out for Red Flags
The first thing you must do at this stage is monitor your health and that of your baby. There is a possibility of complications even in the last trimester of pregnancy. If you notice spotting, experience severe dizziness, pain and burning while urinating, severe abdominal cramps or vomiting call you doctor right away. You should also monitor your baby’s movements and report an increase or decrease in activity.
Third Trimester Prenatal Tests and Visits
In the third trimester of pregnancy you will be seeing your doctor more often than first and second trimesters. An approaching due date may also require a few physical exams. This includes with weight checks and blood pressure records. The doctor will examine the abdomen to check the baby’s heartbeat, its size and its position. A pelvic exam is generally not performed unless you pass your due date and the doctor wants to check if the cervix has softened, effaced or dilated. You might be required to undergo third trimester pregnancy tests to test for gestational diabetes, anemia or urine infection.
Prepare a Child Birth Plan
Many-a-times women in labor fail decide whether they should opt for an epidural or not. The reason is they have not considered the varied options regarding pain medication techniques. This is where a child birth plan fits in. A child birth plan covers various aspects such as the pain management techniques you consider use, the type of birth you prefer to have, the person you want by your side as you deliver and travel arrangements in case of an emergency.
Learn about Labor and Breastfeeding
If you are a first time mom it is best to equip yourself with knowledge on breastfeeding and labor pains. Learn about the benefits of breastfeeding and the right way to breastfeed. Read up articles based on labor pain – the stages, how it feels and the measures to cope. The best sources are medical magazines and articles. You may if you wish to join a birth class for a deeper insight into pregnancy and parenting a new born. It will also help you cope with late pregnancy jitters.
Shop for baby gear
With the due date only a couple of weeks away, its time you stock up on baby gear. Buy nappies, clothing, baby blankets, toys, baby powders and creams and everything you need to keep your baby in comfort. Any clothing you buy should be washed clean before use even if they are new.
Pack your bags for the hospital
Once the labor contractions start you won’t have the time or the energy for anything. Pack your bags for the hospital in advance. Carry the medical and insurance papers. Pack a loose comfortable night gown to wear after your delivery. You should carry toiletries, a pair of slippers, snacks to munch on after delivery, a book or magazine to read and pair of clothes for when you leave the hospital. Don’t forget the camera and a pair of charged batteries to capture all those first moments.
Prepare a cute and tiny nursery
There’s a new member in the house so you have to make place. Decorate a room for your baby. Place a small crib. Add a few toys. If you know the gender of the baby, you can paint the walls in the color code.
Tour the hospital or nursing home where you plan to deliver
We advise you tour the hospital or nursing home in advance. You can visit the nursery, the labor room and recovery rooms and get familiar with the surroundings. Enquire about the registration procedures and their policies.
Shortlist baby names
If you want the gender of the baby to be a surprise, it’s absolutely fine. Sit down with your hubby and shortlist names for a boy and girl. So, when someone comes to the hospital to visit you and your unborn you can proudly tell them what you call him or her.
Collect Keepsakes of your pregnancy
In a matter of weeks that burgeoning belly will be gone. So, you can get a few shots of your belly in your last trimester. Don’t forget to host your baby shower. A few family pictures make great memories.
So, are you prepared for you new arrival?