Things to do in the Third Trimester to Prepare Yourself for Birth
I can’t believe I’ve nearly reached the third trimester already! This year (and this pregnancy) has flown by! I’ve now reached a stage where I’m thinking about preparing myself a bit more for the birth and the postpartum stage that is to come.
What can you do in the third trimester to prepare yourself for birth and life with a newborn? Here’s my list of things to do!
- Look After Yourself & Relax
Life with a newborn is lovely but you don’t usually get much time to look after yourself and to rest/sleep during the first few months of your baby’s life. (Unless you have one of those babies that sleep well and independently — I’ve heard rumours about them…) Take the time to do some things for you to help you while you can, before your baby arrives.
When I get the chance, I love having a nice bath with Vie Healthcare bath salts and a few drops of oil, then treating my bump to my favourite stretch mark oil from Weleda. It’s a lovely oil that feels great on my stretching skin and is quickly absorbed too.
- Read & Prepare Yourself Mentally
I always read a book in the bath and I’m currently reading books related to pregnancy and birth as I find that they help me prepare myself mentally for giving birth. I’m still reading the Birth chapters in Your No Guilt Pregnancy Plan: A revolutionary guide to pregnancy, birth and the weeks that follow which is a great book and have Your Baby, Your Birth: Hypnobirthing Skills For Every Birth lined up to read next. Even though it’s my third baby and birth now, I still think it’s important to read and work on your mental preparation.
- Prepare Yourself Physically
I’ve been quite active during this pregnancy — not really because I want to but because of the school run. I walk a lot every day which I’m sure is good for me. The school run will soon become easier but I will still try to move around a lot and stay active. There are some videos on YouTube with exercises that you can do to prepare your body for labour that I might give a go.
Tearing during birth is a concern for many mums but there’s something you can do to help prepare the area for labour and that’s perineal massage which can enhance the skin’s flexibility and protect you against tears and cuts during childbirth.
If this is something you’re interested in, you can start doing this from 34 weeks onwards with regular massage using Weleda Perineum Massage Oil that contains sweet almond and vitamin E rich wheatgerm oil. It’s especially formulated for the purpose of making this area more flexible and relaxed, ready for childbirth.
You can read all about how to do it in this article by Weleda: Why and how to do perineal massage.
I drank raspberry leaf tea towards the end of both my previous pregnancies and it was a nice little ritual to do to prepare for birth. You can’t prove if it works or not but drinking raspberry leaf tea is thought to help strengthen the uterine muscles to make contractions more productive which might help speed up labour. It’s also though to help your milk come in, reduce postpartum bleeding and help your uterus to shrink back after birth. I buy mine from Holland & Barrett and have the Heath & Heather one ready for when I’m far enough along to start. I’ve also tried the Clipper one before which is nice too.
I’m very minimalist when it comes to my hospital bag after only using five items from my hospital bag at the birth of my first daughter. My hospital bag this time around will just have a few things in it: maternity pads, large black pants, breast pads, a change of clothes, newborn nappies, wipes and a couple of sleepsuits and vests for the baby.
It’s a good idea to get everything ready for after the birth too so that you’re all stocked up for the first few days or weeks. I’ve got plenty of reusable maternity pads ready to use. I’ve bought lots of new ones as I’d like to use reusable ones as much as possible and now I think my stash is big enough to deal with postpartum bleeding. I’ve bought a few different brands but mainly Red Rags CSP ones that I discovered shortly before getting pregnant. Red Rags pads are really comfortable and well-made.
I’ve also got my nursing bras ready, as well as reusable breast pads, Weleda Nursing Oil, Weleda Nursing Tea and Weleda Nipple Balm. The two latter products are new to me so I’m excited to give them both a try after the birth.
Before I get too far into the third trimester, I will also stock up on some other essentials like as many biscuits as I can fit in our kitchen, cereal bars and coffee! I have got an insulated stainless steel water bottle that will be great to keep on the bedside table for when I get thirsty during night-feeds too.
Babies don’t need much but they do need something to wear, somewhere to sleep and nappies. I’ve got a few more baby clothes to wash and will be setting up a bedside crib when we’ve moved to our new house. Something I’m really exited about this time around is newborn nappies as I will mainly be using cloth nappies this time around. I started using them when my second baby was around 6 months old so I’ve never used them during the newborn stage which I’m looking forward to. I’ve probably bought too many newborn cloth nappies because they are simply adorable plus I do remember that newborn babies go through many, many nappies each day.
I don’t have a pram suitable for a newborn at the moment and will probably have to get a new car seat as we now have to try to fit three children in the back of our car and our previous infant car seat is quite bulky. I will deal with these two things after Christmas though! We don’t need a pram straight away and we can use the infant car seat that we do have to bring the baby home from the hospital/birthing centre if needed.
If you’re pregnant and are interested in trying Weleda’s maternity products, then their new Mum to be Relax & Prepare Collection is a great set to get. It’s an eco-friendly drawstring wash bag that contains Stretch Mark Massage Oil 100ml, Nursing Oil 50ml, Perineum Massage Oil 50ml, Nipple Balm 25g and a free organic muslin cloth. Perfect for before and after the birth. This beautiful set would also make a great gift for a pregnant partner, friend or family member.
This article features some PR samples that I have been gifted as well as products that I have purchased myself. I’ve chosen to include everything myself and all thoughts and opinions are my own.