You’re in your third trimester! Can you believe it? Hopefully, everything has been going smoothly, and now you’re finally at the point where you’re preparing for the last few months and getting ready for labor. So exciting! I will say many women describe the third trimester as the longest trimester since you are getting more uncomfortable by the day, and you are so ready to have your body back and meet your baby. You’re almost there, though! Below are my must-haves that every woman should have to help her have the best and most enjoyable third trimester.
15 Third Trimester Must-Haves
1. Thank You Notes
You’ll have the baby shower soon, so it’s time to stock up on those thank you cards. You’ll also need them when people come by after you have baby and (hopefully) bring you food and/or gifts. (Share this article about the best things to do for a new mom with friends and family so they know what they can do to help.) How perfect are these if you just had a little girl?! Or a baby boy! I am also obsessed with Paper Source. I can never leave that store empty-handed. I love their thank you cards!
2. Comfy Shoes
With each passing day, your baby is getting bigger. Before you know it, it will feel like you are carrying a bowling ball with you everywhere you go. At this point, the extra weight is getting harder on your feet, so getting some comfortable shoes during pregnancy is an absolute MUST! You’ll want to get a pair of flats, sandals, or comfortable sneakers (or all of them) that you can easily slip on and off to make standing and walking throughout the day a bit more bearable. These sneakers from Rothy’s are easy to slip on, supportive, well-cushioned, and super cute. Plus, you can throw them in the washing machine–mom win! You can also never go wrong with a pair of Tory Burch flip-flops. A good ballet flat is a must to elevate any outfit when you’re ready to leave the house! And recently, I’ve loved these leather loafers from Sabah.
3. Compression Hose
With baby getting bigger and blocking some of your circulation, swelling and water retention are normal to experience during your third trimester. It can be uncomfortable, though. I recommend getting a full-leg hose made for pregnant women rather than knee-highs. The knee-high compression socks stop just below the knee, and it causes all the swelling to accumulate right there, which cuts off your circulation and can cause you to get a blood clot. Not good!
4. Curling Iron
During a time when your body feels stretched, sweaty and tired, having nice hair is, well, nice. There are so many products out there, but the irons that I recommend are the Hot Tools Professional 1″ Curling Iron and the Bombshell 1″ Sultra.
At this point in your pregnancy, heartburn is likely to get worse. Sorry! Heartburn is one of the most common and uncomfortable symptoms to have. Taking Rolaids after a meal (or even in the middle of the night) can help, and these are also a daily source of calcium and magnesium!
6. Birth Ball
A birth ball is wonderful to have because it strengthens your legs, back, and core muscles — which can condition the abdominal area involved in childbirth — and it can aid in relaxation, comfort, and physical relief. In addition, a birth ball is good for exercising the deep, supportive muscles in the lower back and surrounding spine, so you’ll have better posture and be less prone to backache and sciatica. I particularly like the Stay Ball because it won’t roll off when you set it down. That’s the last thing you need to have happen when you’re pregnant and trying to sit on it. What’s also great is that you can use it during labor and even after you have your baby. Being able to bounce on it to soothe your crying baby and save your joints at the same time is awesome.
7. Prenatal Yoga
I know that this was in my second-trimester must-haves, but exercise is important to have a healthy birth, healthy/quick recovery, and a better third trimester. Even if you do a quick prenatal yoga video like this once a day, it will help! The narrator in this video talks about natural techniques for labor to think about while working through the various poses. You can then use these breathing techniques and stretches while you are in labor, going through each contraction.
Husbands/partners take note — in the third trimester, a prenatal massage is the absolute best gift you can give your wife/partner. Absolute best. And not only that, but prenatal massage also benefits baby. Just make sure you are working with someone trained and certified to do prenatal massage.
9. Chiropractic Care
Establishing pelvic balance and alignment is a huge reason to obtain chiropractic care during pregnancy. When the pelvis is misaligned, it may reduce the amount of room available for your baby. A misaligned pelvis may also make it difficult for your baby to get into the best possible position for delivery. Because of this, it can affect your ability to have a natural, non-invasive (no forceps or vacuum) birth. Keeping the spine aligned helps the entire body work more effectively.
Having worked with so many women during their pregnancy and labor, I can tell you that I have seen a real difference (for the better) with the women who have received chiropractic care compared to the women who haven’t. (A chiropractor shares her third-trimester tips here). When looking for a chiropractor, be sure to find one certified in the Webster Technique before you schedule an appointment.
10. Heating Pad
Your back and hips will be a lot more achy and sore towards the end of your pregnancy. When you can’t get a massage or see a chiropractor, remember that heat is your friend. You can heat a rice bag or use a heating pad before you go to bed to help give you relief and relax your muscles. NOTE: Ensure that you turn off the heating pad before you go to sleep to avoid overheating and burning your skin. Also, heat is a wonderful thing to help you during labor too. Bring these things in your hospital bag!
11. Water Bottle
This is also listed on my first-trimester must-haves. You really need to stay hydrated throughout your entire pregnancy. Staying hydrated is paramount to your comfort and health. Invest in a giant bottle/cup so that you don’t have to keep getting up and refilling your water bottle. If plain water is getting too boring, switch it up with coconut water, sparkling water, or add a bit of juice.
12. Raspberry Leaf Tea
I recommend you start drinking raspberry leaf tea during your third trimester every day to help prepare your body for labor and delivery. It’s great for uterine health and helps prevent post-delivery hemorrhaging. Read 10 ways to enjoy raspberry leaf tea during pregnancy here.
13. Food Prep
Grab your favorite cookbook or blogs and head to the kitchen. It’s time to start cranking out some meals to store in your freezer! I recommend having some meals in the freezer, even if you know friends and family will come through with food in your first few weeks. Quick bread, crock-pot meals, stews and soups, burritos, casseroles, etc., are your best bets for easy freezing and easy thawing/eating when you’re a half-asleep new parent.
14. Books & Resources
It’s time to move on from the pregnancy/delivery books and start looking at resources to take care of a newborn baby. The Baby Whisperer is a great book with useful tips and advice for baby’s feeding, sleeping, and overall scheduling. Another great resource is The Happiest Baby on the Block. This DVD shows you how to soothe your baby – every new parent needs to know those tricks. Finally, if you need more details and research on sleep, I recommend the book Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child. They really talk about the science behind it all.
15. Postpartum Doula
So many expecting couples are focusing on the labor and birth of their baby (and rightfully so, it’s important), but they forget to think about what happens after giving birth – taking care of baby. Start looking into postpartum doulas in your area. They can help you with breastfeeding, pumping, bottle-feeding, showing you had to soothe, swaddle, all types of newborn care, and so much more. Whether you want help during the day or at night, a postpartum doula is an amazing support person and resource. To find a postpartum doula in your area, look at DONA International and DoulaMatch.net.
What has been/were your third-trimester must-haves?
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