You’re almost there mama! Keep it up!
By now, your baby bump has grown and you might find yourself waddling like a penguin just to get around. Back pain is unavoidable and 10-minute walks will start to feel like 1-hour walks, but do not worry mama! All of this is normal as your body prepares itself for childbirth.
Running from weeks 28 to 40, this trimester will seem like the longest and there will be many things you need to organize and prepare for, but it’s also the trimester where you feel most close with your little one.
Baby is kicking, moving around, and being as active as ever. You may even get the chance to see a 3-D image of your little one as you get closer to your due date (check with your healthcare provider for details).
Since this is the busiest trimester, I’ve included a list of things to do that can help make it easier for you.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please see disclaimer for details.
1. Finish Shopping for Baby
Have you had your baby shower? If so, then you may have received most of the things you need. But there may be a few things here and there left to grab and this is the time to finish all the shopping you need to do.
You can pick up the remaining items on your baby registry and stock up on a few more baby essentials (diapers, formula, bottles) – or buy the baby gear you still need (car seat, stroller, crib).
I love that with a Target baby registry, for any remaining items that have not been purchased yet, you can buy them with a discount of 15% off (up to 8 weeks prior to baby’s due date) and save money on the items you need.
Other baby registries you have may also have this incentive. Make sure you check it out!
2. Take a Childbirth Class
If you’re a first-time mom, labor and delivery might sound new – and scary. You’re unsure what to expect and what labor and delivery tips you can use to have a positive birth experience.
But with childbirth classes, it relieves all the stress and worries you may have and can potentially answer any questions you’ve been concerned with.
Childbirth classes are helpful in a way that it:
- Prepares you for labor and delivery
- Educates you on labor positions and techniques
- Helps you differentiate real vs. false contractions
- Educates you on signs of labor
- Encourages you to be more confident with your choices and decisions
- Helps you visualize the birth experience you want
There are different types of classes you can choose from such as the Lamaze technique, HypnoBirthing, the Bradley Method, the Alexander Technique, and Birthing from Within.
For more details on these classes, check it out here.
3. Tour the Hospital
Planning to deliver your baby in the hospital? Take a hospital tour!
If your healthcare provider haven’t mentioned it yet, this is the time to ask for details on when you can become familiar with the place that you’ll be laboring in. The last thing you want is to rush to the hospital on the day baby arrives without knowing where you need to go.
Trust me – every minute counts when those contractions kick in!
4. Plan Freezer Meals
Never did I expect that freezer meals were a necessity until I had my daughter.
The first month with my little one was all a blur. Sleepless nights, caring for the little one, feeding her, changing the diapers, giving sponge baths, squeezing in naps. This list sounds so simple yet so time consuming.
With freezer meals, you can spend less time worrying about meals and spend more time bonding with your baby.
Plan your freezer meals with these ideas below:
- 15 Freezer Actually Easy Freezer Meals from Karrie with Happy Money Saver
- 38+ Healthy Freezer Meals from Denise with Sweet Peas and Saffron
5. Finish Setting Up Baby’s Nursery Room
Now that you’re getting closer to baby’s due date, let’s finish setting up the nursery room!
Make sure you organize baby’s clothes, bath items, diaper station, toys, and accessories so that it’s all ready when the day comes. Babyproof the bedroom to ensure there are no hazards in place that can harm your baby and follow the safety guidelines and standards for your nursery furniture as well as the crib.
Don’t forget to set out a humidifier. It can moisturize the air and make it easier for you and your baby to breathe. It can also help with congestion. The humidifier is not only good for easing mucus but it is also good for easing coughs, colds, and minor sickness within babies.
Here’s the humidifier I used with my daughter. I love that you can control the amount of airborne water droplets you release into the air and that the water tank is big enough to last a day. We used this during sick nights, winter nights, and during allergy season.
6. Research and Choose Your Baby’s Pediatrician
Once your baby arrives, he or she will need to be seen for continued care with a pediatrician. This is the perfect time to research and find a doctor that meets your needs and interests for your baby.
When looking for a pediatrician, make sure the doctor:
- Is close to your home for shorter traveling distance
- Is within network with your health insurance to avoid paying out-of-network rates (out-of-network rates are higher than in-network)
- Has the credentials and experience that meets your expectations
I suggest asking friends and family for recommendations in your local area. With their personal experience and input, you will have a better idea on how a doctor interacts with his or her patient and if he or she is the kind of doctor you want for your baby.
7. Learn about the Epidural and Register for One
Pain management helps tremendously during labor and delivery and among pregnant moms, having an epidural is one common option. Learn and read about the epidural injection so that you are familiar with the benefits and risks of having one. Even if you decide that you don’t want an epidural, registering for the injection can save you time from filling out paperwork while you’re in the first stage of labor (optional).
To register: Ask your doctor for additional information on where you can register online. During registration, you will need all your contact information on hand as well as a registration fee that you have to pay.
Possible Case Scenario: If you don’t register for an epidural but half-way during labor decide to get one, you will have to wait until you or your partner completes the registration process while in labor pain. But if you registered for an epidural and eventually did not receive the injection, you may receive a refund for the registration fee that you paid.
*Registration for the epidural may vary among hospitals. Check with your doctor for details and verification
8. Pre-Register at Your Delivering Hospital
If you plan to deliver at a hospital, make sure you remember to pre-register for your childbirth. For some hospitals, it is required and for others, it can be an option.
Pre-registering helps you avoid the registration process when you arrive at the hospital for labor and delivery. Unfortunately, if you don’t pre-register, there’s a chance that you may have to wait at check-in until all your information has been registered.
You may pre-register online through your hospital’s website. Make sure you have your contact information, driver’s license, and health insurance information ready.
9. Prepare Your Hospital Bag
As you near your due date, prepare yourself and pack your hospital bag. The hospital bag should contain all the items and clothing you need during the postpartum period after childbirth. Hair ties, lip balm, phone charges, nursing clothes, socks with grips, an outfit for baby, toiletry, etc…
10. Gather Your Postpartum Items
After childbirth, your body will experience multiple physical changes. Common postpartum symptoms include perineal discomfort, vaginal bleeding, pain or numbness, difficult urinating, hemorrhoids, sore nipples and breasts, constipation, etc…
I’ve gathered a list of 11 items you can prepare in advance for the postpartum period based on my personal experience.
11. Prepare a Birth Plan
As you near labor and delivery, you might want to consider preparing a birth plan. A birth plan can help you become familiar with what you can expect in the labor and delivery room. You can plan how you’d like to deliver your baby (vaginal, VBAC, c-section, water) and what type of birth experience you want.
Do you want family members present in the room or do you only want your partner? Would you like relaxing music played or would you prefer aromatherapy?
However, keep in mind that a birth plan does not always follow through. Some healthcare providers may oppose the idea of a birth plan to prevent you from setting up expectations that can end up in disappointment. Complications may occur and different alternatives may have to be used to ensure that baby’s delivery is successful.
In short, you can create a birth plan to help you familiarize yourself with the labor and delivery process but remain flexible with your options during childbirth because anything can happen.
12. Stock up Household Items
Imagine being home one week after birth just to find out you ran out of toilet paper and paper towels. What a bummer. Now you have to worry about how you can purchase some more.
After birth, you will find yourself more busy than ever that household necessities is the last thing you want on your mind. With all the essentials stocked up, you can worry less about shortage on food, toiletry, household cleaning supplies, etc…
Let’s create a list so you can stock up your household items.
Common items include:
- Paper towel
- Toilet paper
- Paper plates or bowls
- Cleaning supplies
- Hand soap
- Laundry detergent
13. Download and Print Baby Care Charts
During the first year with baby, you will learn that it helps to keep track of baby’s activities – eating, feeding, sleeping, vaccinations, medicine intakes, etc…
You can easily monitor your baby’s behavior, patterns, and make any adjustments if needed (particularly when it comes to sleep schedules). Also, it helps you understand the health and growth that your baby is making as well as share any questions or concerns you have with the pediatrician.
14. Install the Car Seat
Don’t forget to install the car seat! The car seat should be installed at least 2 weeks before your due date. Make sure you follow the car seat manufacturer installation instructions so that you have it installed properly and safely.
15. Learn about Labor Signs
Once you reach your ninth month of pregnancy, you’ll be waiting for labor signs. But first – you need to learn about what kind of labor signs to look out for.
- What are contractions? Are they braxton-hicks or are they real contractions?
- Will your water break? How will it feel like?
- Are you going to lose your mucus plug? How does it look like and what does it mean if you lose it?
- How much have you dilated and how much do you have to dilate in order to give birth?
Learn more about labor signs here to get you started.
If you grabbed the Hello Baby pregnancy journal, then these pages are your go-to!
- Choosing a Pediatrician
- My Childbirth Class Journey
- The Birth Plan
- Timing Contractions
- The Hospital Bag
- Postpartum Care
- Stocking up the House
- Choosing a childcare
- Baby Shower Guest List
- Remembering My Baby Shower
- My Photo Album
- Dream Journal
- A Letter to Baby
Don’t have the journal yet? It’s not too late! Check it out here.
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