Category: 3rd Trimester

How To Survive The Last Month of Pregnancy, 3rd trimester

How To Survive The Last Month of Pregnancy

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Well, I have good news and bad news.
The bad news is that the last several weeks of your pregnancy will not be easy to survive for a number of reasons.
And, the good news is that you are not alone and it is not just you. The last several weeks of all pregnancies are really hard for everyone.
The last several weeks of your pregnancy will be challenging in several ways.
To begin, your baby bump will continue to grow despite the fact you cannot possibly imagine that you could get any bigger. However, you can take some solace in the fact that once your maternity tops begin to feel tight and your belly begins to peek out from the bottom, you are close to the end.
Another challenge will be the reality that even the small things you do each day become difficult such as walking. With my second child, I literally felt like I was about to deliver each time I stood up. One of the reasons each moment becomes awkward and uncomfortable is from the pressure of the baby dropping.
Do not forget about the insomnia that is inevitable and the unimaginable torture that is trying to get comfortable enough to actually sleep. You might even begin to dread nighttime because you will be so exhausted yet unable to fall asleep because you cannot find a comfortable position that will allow you to rest well or to sleep. Ugh.
The hardest part is absolutely the waiting for the arrival of your bundle of joy.

Thirty-seven weeks is labeled as full-term which means that medical professionals believe this to be the moment at which it is safe to deliver your baby with the greatest chance for a successful delivery. And, if you are similar to me, when that magic moment at 37 weeks arrives, you will anxiously analyze every little twinge in your belly just hoping and waiting for labor to begin.
And hoping.
And waiting.
And waiting some more.
The wait can be excruciating, particularly when you feel as though you are the largest pregnant woman there ever was. Fortunately, there are three tips to make preparing for your baby slightly more tolerable.

Pamper yourself. It is hard to feel pretty during those last several weeks, so take the time to treat yourself to some pampering activities. If your budget allows, spend an afternoon at the salon to get a new hairstyle or a blow-out just because. Or, try the personal favorite of many pregnant women and get a pedicure or a pregnancy massage. You might just have the added bonus of hitting those pressure points on your feet to start your labor!

If you have older children, schedule quality time with each one of them to ensure you have some one-on-one time prior to the arrival of the new family member. A new baby will be a big transition for the entire family. In between preparing for the arrival and feeling exhausted, it can be difficult to have any quality time with the older children. Use those last several weeks to let your other babies, even if they are older, know how special they are to you and they just might be more likely to fetch a diaper or two once the baby arrives!

If this is your first child, schedule some dates with your significant other. Go to the movies, a nice restaurant or take a babymoon. Make sure it is somewhere close because early deliveries can happen with first babies. And, plan a few fun things you may not be able to do for a while after the new arrival.

Do not forget to give yourself a break. Sometimes, it is ok to allow yourself to be miserable. We can find ourselves so caught up in focusing on what we need to do to get ready and running around trying to finish everything before the baby comes that we forget to just listen to our bodies and rest. Those last several weeks may just be nature’s way of ensuring you have some downtime prior to the craziness of life with a newborn begins. Try to take advantage of this time!
What do you find hardest about the last month of pregnancy?

Your Guide To The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

Your Guide To The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

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During pregnancy, you might feel like your stomach couldn’t possibly grow any larger. Surprise, surprise – during your third trimester, it’s going to get even bigger! Unsure of what to expect? Let’s find out what your body, and your baby, are up to in these final three months.

Technically, the third trimester of pregnancy begins at week 28 and continues until week 40, when you give birth. However, most babies aren’t born exactly on week 40; about 50% of babies are born late. You can attempt to naturally induce labor after week 40, but after week 42 your doctor will induce you.

During the third trimester, your baby will grow a lot! In week 28, babies are about 2.5 pounds and 16 inches long. By week 40, they’re closer to 6-9 pounds and 19-22 inches long. That’s a lot of growing – and a lot of room to take up in your stomach!

So, what exactly is going on in there? Between months 7 and 8 your baby is turning cartilage into bones. Make sure you’re getting enough calcium to aid this process. Between weeks 32-36 your baby’s skin thickens, fat builds up, and the vernix and lanugo are shed. The meconium – a.k.a. your baby’s very first poop! – builds up in the intestines. By week 30, your baby’s touch receptors have completely developed and by week 31, all five senses will be functional. Now is the time to start singing lullabies, because he or she is actively listening to and learning the sound of your voice. During all of this development, baby’s brain is also growing and experimenting with new skills like dreaming, blinking, and temperature regulation. At about week 34, your baby will settle upside down, preparing for birth.

With all this activity, you’re sure to feel some side effects. As the abdomen muscles stretch to make room for your growing baby you might experience cramps and sharp pains. You’ll also feel more exhausted due to the increased demands of pregnancy. Make sure you’re taking care of yourself so that your body can take care of baby! Heartburn may also occur as your uterus pushes your stomach upwards. You’ll experience Braxton Hicks contractions as your body starts to practice for labor, and varicose veins might develop in your legs due to the extra blood flow. Stretch marks could appear on your skin, but moisturizing will keep them small. Backache is also a common complaint due to relaxin, a pregnancy hormone, which is loosening your joints. This allows your stomach to pull your center of gravity more to the front of your body. Putting your feet up helps! Weird and vivid dreams are also common since your hormones are in overdrive, and clumsiness will become a part of daily life. And of course, leaky breasts and a weak bladder might also occur. Combat your baby’s extra weight on your pelvis with daily Kegels exercises. But you’re almost at the finish line, and finally meeting your baby will make everything you’ve gone through totally worth it!

So how do you know when the big day has arrived? It can be hard to distinguish false labor from real labor so always check with your doctor, but common signs can include waddling (as your baby drops lower into your pelvis), bloody discharge, actual contractions (these intensify the more active you are), and your water breaking (which may or may not happen before you arrive at the hospital). If you experience signs of preterm labor, heavy vaginal bleeding or discharge, serious pain in the lower abdomen, sudden weight gain, and/or a temperature of more than 101.5 F, call your doctor immediately. It might be nothing but it’s best to be safe.

While you’re waiting anxiously during the third trimester, there are some things you cando to keep busy and healthy.
– Starting week 28, keep track of baby’s kicks. Count them and mark any changes, especially in the final stretch.
– Keep track of your weight. You’ll gain a lot at the beginning of the third trimester, and then slow down or even lose a few pounds near the end.
– Exercise – as long as your doctor approves and you follow the appropriate safety precautions to keep baby safe.
– Make some appointments. In the third trimester, you should be tested for anemia, group B strep, and glucose levels between months 7 and 8. An internal cervix exam is due in month 9 to check for effacement and dilation.
– Tour the hospital
– Pick a pediatrician
– Get all the baby essentials – stroller, car seat, crib, changing table, baby monitor, and diapers. Lots of diapers.
– Take a childbirth class to help you prepare for labor, and look into classes on infant CPR and caring for your newborn.
– Learn about breastfeeding. You should know why and how to do it, and you can even take a breastfeeding class or find a lactation consultant.
– Educate yourself about the stages of labor. You need to know what to expect!
– Decide if you want an epidural or other medication to help with the pain during labor. If you’d prefer a natural birth, talk to your doctor about it now.
– Decorate and set up the nursery
– Go grocery shopping, cook like crazy, and then freeze those meals. Pulling meals out of the freezer for the first few weeks while you’re recovering and busy with baby will make life much easier.
– Don’t forget to take a few photos of your baby bump before it’s gone!
– Pack a light bag for the hospital.
– Take a look at your finances, and make a new family budget.
– Learn about what to expect with your body after you give birth, and with baby’s first year. There are so many exciting moments ahead of you both!