The challenges of the third trimester are real. There’s exhaustion and back pain, as well as the anxiety that arises when you realize you are one step closer to giving birth. However, you can survive these months. Practice the right kind of self-care to make the road to the end of pregnancy smoother.
It’s normal to be tired and to take naps during the third trimester. The demands on your body are extreme. It’s just important to stay active, unless your doctor has specifically told you not to.
The right kind of physical activity can actually make your labor shorter. A few ideal workouts include:
Keep the exercise moderate and aim for three times a week if you want to see benefits in the birthing room. Staying active may also reduce your anxiety as your pregnancy progresses.
Don’t Obsess Over the Due Date
A due date is nice to have on the calendar so you know approximately when your baby is due. However, it’s not a good idea to obsess over the due date. Most women don’t give birth on the date predicted, according to research.
The third trimester lasts from 28 weeks to whenever the baby arrives, usually around 40 weeks. Spend this time meditating and taking care of yourself, instead of focusing on the due date.
Your doctor may choose to schedule an induction, but even that date isn’t set since your baby could arrive sooner. Babies tend to do what they please, so go along with the ride.
Write Your Birth Plan
The reality of giving birth tends to hit most women during the third trimester. As your body expands, you will find yourself focused on the fact that the baby is going to have to make an exit. In order to avoid anxiety and have some say in your labor, write down a birth plan.
The third trimester is a good time to finalize what you want out of your birthing experience. Questions to ask yourself include:
- Do I want to breastfeed?
- Do I want to tear or be cut during birth?
- Who do I want in the room with me?
Having a birth plan gives you a way to discuss your desires with your doctor or midwife, before labor begins. You can even discuss what happens in case a C-section is necessary. Planning lets you feel a bit more in control and ensures you have plenty of information before going into labor.
Whether you feel okay or awful during your third trimester, you will need to learn to say no to things that don’t serve you during this time. Your energy will be depleted, and you will likely want to focus as much time as possible on getting ready for the baby to arrive.
You are not obligated to attend events if you are too tired or to perform tasks that aren’t necessary. Know what you value and what you can do. Say no to everything else. It’s also wise to ask for help as you prepare for the baby to arrive. This gives you more time to rest.
The third trimester means you are nearing the end of the pregnancy. Treat yourself well, and follow a few tips to end strong.