The Third Trimester
Feeling bigger as baby grows larger
An array of emotions as you prepare to greet baby
The highest transfer of DHA from mom to baby. Eat a lot of healthy fats to provide for you and baby (olives, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, fish)
The baby during the 7th month:
● Is adding fat underneath his skin
● Is almost at his birth length
● Begins to move into position for birth
● As the baby grows, your belly begins to stretch. As the belly stretches, you may experience itchiness, the formation of stretch marks, and, some, may have itchy, red skin. See how to avoid stretch marks in this article.
● Frequent potty breaks as the bladder has less room to expand
● Some experience leg cramps and restless leg syndrome at night. See the article Calming Leg Cramps and Restless Leg for more info.
● Swelling caused by the retention of fluid is called edema. Some water retention is normal; however, if it becomes too severe edema can endanger the baby and cause preterm labor. More info here.
● You will find you need to move slower and will more easily get out of breath. This is due to decreased lung capacity as the baby pushes upward on the diaphragm, as well as the extra circulatory demands placed on your body.
● Tour hospital or birth center if using
● Order your home birthing kit if home birthing
● Prepare space or nursery for the baby
● Stock up on household items
● Wash baby clothes
● Select a pediatrician
● Preregister at hospital
The baby during the 8th month
● Is swallowing, breathing, and sucking
● Digestive system is preparing for mouth feeding
● Baby’s sleep becomes more cyclical
● Baby brain fog in mom - forgetfulness is common in later pregnancy, double up on brain feeding food to feed your brain as well as baby’s. Also, try to multitask less.
● Darkening of your nipples.
● Melasma, dark patches on the face due to pregnancy hormones, is common now. Use zinc oxide or titanium dioxide based sunblock and a hat when exposed to lessen their appearance. Applying aloe vera gel at night will help also.
● The spots may go away or fade some post-pregnancy.
● Get fitted for bras to take you to the end of your pregnancy. Pressure from ill fitting bras will exaggerate head, neck, and shoulder pain.
● Choose a few nursing bras taking into account your breasts will expand significantly when your milk comes in.
● Pack birth bag.
● Let your birthing preferences be known.
● Get baby car seat.
The baby during the 9th month
● Is fully cooked and ready for birth
● Will gain one pound
● Is active, but with little room to maneuver
● Month 9 is filled with a mix of emotions: anxiety, excitement, being done to not ready yet
● Self care is super important. Take it slow. Care for yourself. Rest. Eat well. Exercise.
● Be vigilant to not overdo it. Baby is fully formed, but your body is working hard supporting you and baby.
Sleeping challenges. This is your biggest stage (although at the end of pregnancy you do lose some water weight). It is also your most uncomfortable in terms of sleeping.
● Make use of pillows to position yourself as comfortably as possible.
● Have a bedtime routine.
● Take a soothing bath with lavender.
● Enjoy sleepy time herbal tea.
● Have a someone dear to you massage you.
● Use lavender essential oils to promote sleep.
● Prepare foods for the postpartum period. These can be frozen to have within the first 40 days postpartum.
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