If you search for a third trimester checklist, chances are, you'll get overwhelmed.
With all the available lists you can use, and the things you need to tick off the list in so little time. But first things, first, WELCOME TO THE THIRD TRIMESTER, mama!
How are you feeling? Excited? Anxious? Nervous?
Me? darn. I feel like I want to pause time.
So many things I want to accomplish, so many Tayo the Little Bus episodes I still want to watch with my toddler, and places I want to go with my husband,
but tick tock, the clock is ticking.
The best we can do is make these last 12 weeks really count (I have 10 left as of writing). Making the nursery look perfect and reading pregnancy books while getting a mani-pedi sound fantastic for first time moms, it's a bit different for moms who already have kids.
You have a household to maintain, a toddler who's become the sweetest clinger of all, a career, and what have you. We need much bigger preparation.
I consolidated here a list of things I read from different sources and that made quite a list! So to easily see through this extensive to-dos, here's a checklist you can download.
This includes everything you need to get ready before D day quite extensively. Read on and let's maximize the time we have left so once the baby arrives, #momlife gets somehow easier.
Create A Birth Plan
To be honest, this has not been a thing in our culture. But it wouldn't hurt to have one, right? A holistic pregnancy blog called Mother Rising wrote about What You Need to Know About Writing a birth plan, a comprehensive guide we can follow through. We can also use a ready template laid out by The Bump.
On my case, my OB was very strict during check-ups and she made sure she knew my preferences by the time I'm set to deliver. Another thing is, there are ground rules which hospitals follow and this is something we need to know ahead of time. Although I originally planned to walk around freely during labor, the hospital staff did not allow me as per hospital rules. When I asked for a book to keep me busy instead, I was informed it's against the rules too. I just charmed my way to get one book I could keep beside me. 16 hours, one book, ugh.
With the big unknown and with so many variables in play, knowing what to expect can give you confidence and empowerment. So do yourself a favor and sign up for classes. The Parenting Emporium holds very helpful coaching sessions taught by experts. If going places seem inconvenient, we can always opt for online classes.
Grateful I did take online prenatal yoga class which taught me breathing techniques and exercises. I'm 100% sure it's what eased me through 16 hours of labor and contraction.
Get educated about breastfeeding
Another motherhood feature we cannot be completely ready for: breastfeeding. You can never tell what issue you might encounter. Latch, positioning, sucking, swallowing, you name it, there's always a possibility we can't perfect that. Our baby is still learning as we are! So it's better we start finding out more information about this when we still have time.
Look into breastfeeding resources. Lucky us, we have a very supportive community here in the Philippines. I met my first lactation mentor at The parenting Emporium once I attended a playdate for toddlers. I always knew they host events for breastfeeding support, I just wasn't able to attend one. But I tell you, that parenting hub is beyond helpful! From helping us get the support we need, to discovering the best possible things we need for the baby, to meeting mom tribes, TPE is truly a safe haven for us moms.
Another great place to start is the hospital. Find out what breastfeeding support is available. Ask the staff, chances are, they can recommend lactation experts who can help.
I can go on and write a whole checklist, but I bet you already read about plenty of this, so instead, sharing here the most feasible list I read for your perusal.
Just be sure you have a gift registry ready for your guests. This is a perfect time to get things you need in the nursery! Also, write the thank you notes in advance because with all the fun and excitement of unpacking and planning where to place the wonderful gifts in your nursery, this is one easy thing to forget. Blame it on the #mombrain!
HOME and NURSERY
So you have majority of the things you need for the nursery. Time to:
Declutter, Organize, Clean - Basically, it’s now or not in a very long time.
Stock Up On Non-Perishables And Household Supplies Having a newborn will take so much of your time. You might not be able to go on an S&R sale for a long time so do it as long as you still can. It's a good exercise too! If not, don't worry, you can #justHonestBee.
Replenish Your Pantry I thank my bestfriend Mayaine for gifting me a basket of biscuits and goodies when she visited me. I never prepared for snacks. But I learned how I can instantly finish a pack of McVities in less than a week. When you're breastfeeding and always up at night, So focus on nutrient dense snacks, real ingredient, and healthy fats! It will help with t he recovery too.
Make Freezer Meals if you dont have help. You won't have the luxury of time to whip up something palatable for at least 2 weeks. You can also take note of meal services that deliver.
Complete A DIY Project Upcycle few pieces of furniture, strategically place the baby gears, created a unique piece of art, or any DIY project for the nursery will do. It will help you connect and bond with your husband more. Trust me when I say you'll be missing him more once the baby arrives ---
..we might have just found the perfect excuse to redecorate the nursery with that!
Create A Nursing Station And Caddy You surely will spend most of your time on your breastfeeding corner so might as well prepare your station where you can easily access all your nursing must-haves.
BABY GEARS and ESSENTIALS
Purchase Anything From Your Registry That You Didn’t Receive
So you're organizing and setting up the nursery! Good. Now take a look at your wish list and check what is left. If you decide it's still essential, go ahead and buy it.
Do Baby’s Laundry And Organize Baby’s Clothes
Wash just enough baby clothes and linens for the first few days, and then organize by size and season. Consider categorizing and placing them neatly in separate bins and further pare it according to clothing types (shirt, pants, PJs). This will mean less wasted clothes and never missing an outfit.
Set Up And Trial Run Your Baby Gear
Setting up various baby devices: swings, bouncy seats, carseat, baby carrier, stroller, and the like. Knowing exactly how to use these baby gears is key before bringing your little one home.
Pack for the Hospital
Make sure to bring the essentials and include breastfeeding supplies aka breastpads and nipple balm.
So we've been occupied with checklists of making sure the baby has everything he needs once he arrives. This time, let's focus on ourselves! Third trimester is uncomfortable already to make time for ourselves least a priority.
Do something nice for yourself: Find Time To De-Stress And Have A “You” Day
Go to a movie, dine out, get a pedicure, or do something else you enjoy as long as it makes you feel great. Taking good care of your well-being is an important part of the third trimester.
Write down your pregnancy memories
Make it colorful, post pictures, or just jot down short notes. You'll have something to share with your child someday. And while you're at it,
Write A Letter To Baby
Prepare Your Nursing Tops and Nightgowns
Try a relaxation technique and Listen to Your Body
Breathing exercises, prenatal yoga, and progressive muscle relaxation for better sleep and birth preparation. Learn more about common symptoms and get more in tune with your body. Stay hydrated, rest when you need to, and lift your legs up a little more often than usual.
Prep For Your Postpartum Recovery
We focus so much on birth preparations and sometimes forget about preparing for recovery! Vaginal birth and breastfeeding? Have your postpartum care kit ready. CS mamas, be ready with your quick list too.
Learn About Mental Health After Birth
Part of birth plan is preparing for the emotional and mental side of processing your delivery. Learn postpartum depression and anxiety and share it with your partner and loved ones so that they can be on the look out too.
OTHER THINGS NOT TO FORGET IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER
Plan a Third Trimester Wardrobe
Dressing up gets more challenging as your bump gets bigger. Hash out a plan and prepare a style list to live by. If that involves repurposing dresses, leggings, and cover ups, good. If you plan to buy maternity wear, do so. Just don't go over spending. You don't want to stock up on clothes you can not use for a long time.
It doesn't have to be intense, by simply adding a brisk walk to your routine a few times a week and toning your pelvic floor and other muscles will do you good. If you want to stay active, consult with your OB-Gyn first. I found yoga helpful in child birth preparation.
Finalize Baby’s Name
Gotta love this part! Go on make that list and narrow down your choices. Don't forget to make your final pick.
Pick Out A Gift For Baby
Parents with older kids, don't ever forget about this. Pick a special item you can present to the older sibling as the newborn's way of showing love and appreciation.
Plan a final date
Go on one last date night and take the time to bond with your partner. You will definitely miss him once your new role or title takes effect.
Talk About Shifting Responsibilities
Talking this through will ensure both of you understand the need for dad to assume other roles in the house. Especially for parents who have other kids. Mom will need to attend to the newborn most of the time. Streamline tasks and prepare for the changes.
Discuss Budget And How Finances Will Change After Baby
Amend your monthly household expenses and consider the added expenses associated with having a baby (diapering supplies, formula, medications, pediatric copays).
Explore Some Possible Work From Home Options, Perhaps?
If you're the type of person to feel sluggish for not working, you might want to consider exploring your options.
GO OVER YOUR FINAL TRIMESTER OF TO DOs
FROME TIME TO TIME
I know there's quite a lot. Just imagine, you're preparing for something that's about to change your world. Take it slowly and make the most out of the remaining weeks of pregnancy because once the baby's out, it's a whole lot different list of unending to-dos which I can't guarantee we can tick off easily. But till then, enjoy!
And on a final note, there are a lot of things that can go differently than the way you planned, but strategise this list and plan accordingly, preparation is key to having it most (if all is not possible) things together.
I'm not sure we have everything laid out here but feel free to chime in your below if there's anything we need to add or remove.
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