24 tips for your third trimester to get you perfectly ready for childbirth!
You can’t wait to see those little feet anymore, whose kicks have tested the flexibility of your abdominal muscles! You nearly skip a heartbeat even thinking how it would feel as you have a heart-to-heart moment with your little bundle of joy, whose heartbeat you have only heard in ultrasound scans so far. Your aches make you even more impatient sometimes! Yes, that’s third trimester for you…
Here are a few nuggets of wisdom and tips that might help you sail through these anxious moments and prepare for your big Day!
1. During pregnancy, the ligaments in your body naturally become softer and stretch to prepare you for labour. This can put a strain on the joints of your lower back and pelvis, which can cause backache. Wear flat shoes and avoid lifting heavy objects.
2. From now on, bend your knees, not from the waist, and pick up the object when you are squatting. As you get up from the squatting position, keep your back straight and lift up the object at arm's length.
3. Your feet might swell, feel heavy and tired in this trimester. Try to elevate them and rest them on the foot stool to avoid any ankle swelling. Pamper yourself with a nice pedicure at a spa. Else, just soak your hands and feet in warm water. Polish them a cheery shade and see how it lifts your spirits!
4. Choose a bra with wide adjustable straps and fastenings, which has a broad supportive band under the cups. Make sure that the cups fit comfortably and do not gape under the arms. Prefer a cotton one or of a cotton mixture, which allow your skin to breathe properly, particularly if it's hot weather.
5. You may have problems sleeping and become a bit breathless if you walk too fast or climb stairs. So don't be ever in a hurry, be watchful of water/oily substance spilt on the floor, as you may lose balance sooner than you think.
6. Exercises like swimming, where you are supported in the water, will keep you fit in late pregnancy. It may also relieve backache as the motion will stretch the back muscles.
7. Stay close to the loo at all times as the pelvic contractions make you run to the loo often. Sometimes, the hospital makes you thoroughly detox and cleanse yourself by oenema.
Prepare for birth
1. Watch out for lower abdominal pain, backache, pressure in the pelvic area, cramps, and a change in vaginal discharge. It could be a pre-term labor, which is confirmed by a test called fetal fibronectin test. Your baby would still can make up for its health, if it were born at 28 weeks, although the body systems are still very immature.
2. As a mum-to-be, you must perform at least 70-80 repetitions of Kegel's exercise daily to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles when the foetus is growing and putting immense pressure on your bladder. This helps during childbirth.
3. In advanced stages of pregnancy, you may feel contractions of the uterine muscles every 20 minutes. They cause discomfort but are not usually painful. Known as Braxton Hicks contractions, this is a preparation for the labour, by drawing up the cervix and making it thinner. When you have these contractions, practise your breathing techniques for labour.
4. An active birth involves moving around in labour and adopting different positions that will help your baby's descent. Keeping mobile allows the contractions to be more effective. Being in an upright position helps the baby's circulation and encourages the baby to rotate into the best position for delivery.
5. Check with doctor if you want to use epidural a local anaesthetic which is injected into the space between your spinal column and the spinal cord, numbing the nerves around the uterus. This offers pain relief during labour but has its side-effects too, so make an informed decision.
6. At this stage, as a result of hormonal changes occurring in you, the tolerance for glucose diminishes. This may result in Gestational Diabetes, a condition which requires special attention. So if your doctor has advised some restrictions due to this condition, follow strictly.
7. Warning signs for you during this period are blurring of vision, abnormal weight gain and increase in blood pressure. Vaginal bleeding is one important thing which can be painless as well. So immediately visit your doctor if you see these signs.
Other Things that Matter!
1. If you haven't gone for the pregnancy photo shoot yet, please go in for one now! These moments are once-in-a-lifetime memories even if you plan a second child in future. You can use these photos in your pregnancy journal as well :-)
2. Most airlines wouldn't allow you to travel after 28 weeks, so avoid travel. Even road travel can get too tiring for your back and feet, especially.
3. Keep a count of your baby's movements on a chart. It is fun to note in your pregnancy record journal. By the middle of the 8th month, your baby will begin kicking less vigorously as it is having its own space struggles! To get comfortable, it is likely to adopt a curled-up position with arms and legs crossed.
4. You may also want to close your decision on the maternity hospital discussion with your doctor. You could keep in mind - their infrastructure, costs, emergency services, availability of meal services, distance from your residence, among others to make the final decision.
5. Keep your papers in place - identity papers, blood test results, blood type info, test reports, and anything else that may be required in the country you are in during your baby's birth.
6. Some hospitals may allow your husband to be a part of the experience inside the OT. It will be priceless if he could cut the umbilical cord with your baby. So do check!
7. Wash and ready all your baby's clothes, linen and sheets, diapers, nappies and wipes. Buy baby clothes, preferably from a brand which offers baby-safe, toxin-free products.
8. In the last month, always have an emergency contact number on your desk and in your bag as a precautionary measure, especially if you are a working woman.
9. You might consider options for your baby’s name already.
10. It is a good idea to stock groceries and vegetables in your house, which can be cooked once you return from the hospital.
Chant, pray, catch cat naps whenever possible and keep yourself hydrated with water and try to imagine how all of this will hopefully be much funnier in hindsight! Wish you a beautiful motherhood ahead!
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