Our chiropractor is sharing 17 tips for having a healthy third trimester! She’s got the insight into feeling healthy and ready for your birth.
1. Walk, move, exercise!
Labor is a lot of work, so be sure your body is ready and strong! This will also help to reduce swelling.
2. See your chiropractor regularly.
This will improve comfort and balance pelvic joints and ligaments to help the baby get in the best position for birth. In addition, this improves pelvic joint mobility for birthing.
3. Stretch daily and breathe.
Stretching is a great time to focus on breathing–slowly and deep. Deep breaths are incredibly important for labor, and slow breathing will help you connect with yourself and your power.
4. Sit upright with knees below hips and a nice arch in your lumbar spine.
Your belly should always be forward and lower than your hips. If you slouch or sit with legs up (as in a recliner), gravity pulls the baby’s heaviest part (back of the head) towards your spine. This leads to more sunnyside-up babies (Occiput Posterior), which is a far more difficult position to deliver in. On the other hand, the Occiput Anterior position (baby facing your spine) is ideal for vaginal delivery–so allow gravity to work in your favor by sitting forward.
5. Sit on exercise/yoga ball for 20 minutes, 3 times daily.
While sitting there, bounce gently and do pelvic tilts. It also feels nice to do figure 8’s slowly and quickly. This aids in opening the pelvis and mobilizing the joints/ligaments/muscles. This is also a great position to labor in!
6. Get on all 4’s!
Using your belly as a hammock for your baby promotes proper baby positioning and takes baby’s weight off of your spine. Do the “cat/cow” yoga stretch for 20 breaths 5 times per day. Also, lean back on your heels and do a modified child’s pose. If you have small children, then spend time on all fours playing with them. Or scrub your floor! 😛
7. Lie on your side at night with a pillow between your knees and in between arms.
You can switch sides to decrease pressure on your hips. To learn more, read this article about the best sleep positions during pregnancy.
8. Don’t sit straight up from lying on your back.
Always roll to your side and use your shoulders to help you up. Even if you still feel like you have abdominal strength, sitting straight up can make you vulnerable to a diastasis recti (splitting of your abdominal muscles).
9. Do Kegels daily.
10. Figure 4 stretch.
Do the figure 4 stretch seated (modified pigeon pose) or on your back with a helper. This helps keep the hips more flexible. (Three times daily at 15 seconds on each side.)
11. Psoas/Hip flexor stretch.
Do the hip flexor stretch three times daily at 15 seconds on each side.
12. Forward leaning inversions for 3 slow breaths daily.
Work up to this. See this video for more details about safety and when to do it.
13. Drink Red Raspberry Leaf Tea to help strengthen and tone the uterus.
14. Take probiotics in the 3rd trimester to improve your gut flora that you will pass on to the baby.
This lowers baby’s risk of developing asthma, allergies, and gut issues and is especially important to continue post-birth.
15. Take omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil).
These good fats are great for baby’s brain development. 1000mg/day is recommended.
16. Drink a LOT of water.
2.5 liters is ideal. This will help also reduce swelling.