Third Trimester - The Ultimate Pregnancy To-Do List:




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The following is a list of suggested tasks that should be considered and addressed to some degree during the progression of the third and final trimester of your pregnancy.  The list includes things like birth plans, kick counts, and choosing a “going home” oufit.  It is not necessary to check off every item on the list, however, it may help you to keep on track with the progression of the third trimester, and serve as a helpful guide:

Third Trimester Activities

•    Track Baby Movements:  Try to pay attention to the general activity levels of the baby, noting the stretching, kicking, twitching, and rolling.  Please notify your health care provider immediately if you notice a significant decrease in the activity level, as this can be an indicator of problem, and it may be necessary to have tests run to check on the condition of the baby.  Your health care provider may actually provide you with an expected hourly activity level, and ask that you keep a kick count to ensure that the activity level is appropriate!

•    Third Trimester Tests and Prenatal Visits:  You can expect that the frequency of the prenatal doctor visits will increase to every other week between approximately week 28 and week 36, and increase to every week from week 36 until you deliver the baby.  As you draw closer to your due date, and your relationship with your health care provider becomes more established, you can expect an assortment of regular physical exams, various tests that occur in the later stages of a pregnancy, and several discussions regarding what to expect during the upcoming labor and delivery.

•    Consider Attending Some Classes:  The most common class that is taken by expecting mothers is a childbirth class, but this is not the only class that could prove beneficial prior to your delivery date.  There are also classes available regarding baby care, nursing, and infant CPR.  It is quite common for hospitals to offer classes of this nature, and you could also ask your health care provider to recommend some of the local courses that are available to you.

•    Choose a Doctor for Your Baby:  You may find it beneficial to discuss the topic of pediatricians with your friends, family members, co-workers, or health care provider.  Perhaps they can give you the name of a reliable pediatrician or family practitioner in your area.  Things to keep in mind when considering a pediatrician are if the office hours align effectively with your personal schedule, if the doctor accepts your medical insurance, and if the pediatrician’s office is conveniently located.  If at all possible, make a list of the top candidates, and try to schedule a face-to-face interview with each of them.  It may seem too early to be thinking about this, but bear in mind that the first doctor visit will occur shortly after your baby is born!

•    Some of the Big Decisions:  When the baby arrives, are you planning on staying home on a part-time or full-time basis?  If you are expecting a boy, have you given any consideration as whether or not you want to have him circumcised?  Have you conducted any research regarding having the baby’s cord blood banked and stored after the delivery?  Will you be having any type of religious ceremony after the baby is born?  These are just a few of some of the big decisions that should be considered and discussed prior to your delivery date.

•    Assemble the Baby Gear:  This task can be absolutely perfect for your partner, a family member, or a close friend who wants to do what they can to help!  Some of the necessities, like the crib, the stroller, and the bassinet, can be relatively complicated to assemble, especially if you are running on little sleep and find it hard to find a comfortable position.  Things like monitors, mobiles, and swings typically require batteries, so it may be beneficial to stock up on some before the baby arrives.  As a financial savings, and a benefit to the planet – you might want to consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a charger.  These items can represent quite a financial savings over years of use!

•    Strike Up a Conversation:  During the third trimester of your pregnancy, the baby is able to hear and recognize your voice.  Taking time out of your day to talk to your baby before the delivery can be a great way to start the bonding process.  It may seem odd to try to carry on a conversation with your belly, however, you should try reading a book or magazine out loud, or simply orally narrate the activities of your day.  Your baby will prove to be a great confidante, so feel free to share all of your secret wishes for his or her future!  Bear in mind that this will also prove to be a great activity after the baby is born, as studies have shown that talking to your baby is a great way to help them start to develop their language skills.

•    Coping with Labor Pain:  As every woman’s tolerance for pain is different, and the experience of labor varies from one woman to the next, there is not one right way to deliver a bay!  You should take time to decide if you want to have a natural birth or consider receiving pain medication or an epidural during childbirth.  Conducting a little research into your options now may help you to reach your decision.

•     Research the Stages of Labor:  For women who are having their first baby, the average length of time for labor is 15 hours, however, it is not uncommon for first-time moms to experience 20 or more hours.  Women who previously experienced a vaginal delivery average approximately 8 hours for labor.  There are three primary stages of labor, and it is suggested that you conduct some research in advance so that you are better prepared for the upcoming labor and delivery.

•    Wash the Baby’s Clothing and Bedding:  Now is an ideal time to wash all of the outfits and blankets that you have received or purchased throughout your pregnancy.  You should make a point of washing any materials that will come in direct contact with your baby’s skin, which will serve to remove any of the irritants that are in the fabric.  Specific detergents are available that are designed to be gentle on the baby’s skin.  These are typically labeled as hypoallergenic or as being good for sensitive skin.

•    Recruit Helpers:  Many new moms will find that they are surrounded by friends and family that are anxious to lend a hand after the baby is born, however, the task of directing the household help can be daunting in the face of the responsibilities of a newborn.  A good suggestion for preparing in advance is to make a list of all of the potential family members and friends on your helper list, and then assign one of those people to coordinate a schedule with the remaining helpers to assign tasks and time frames.  These tasks can include household chores, providing meals, grocery shopping (it helps to have an example list available that reflects the foods that your family likes), babysitting or transporting the older children, or caring for household pets.

•    Consider Baby Costs and Savings Options:  It can prove to be quite expensive to raise a baby, however, there are various ways in which you could be saving money now.  Watch for sales on the non-perishable necessities for the baby and consider buying in bulk whenever possible.  Once the baby arrives, it may be far easier to get to a storage shelf in your house than to travel to a grocery store.

•    Research Baby Care:  The third trimester is the perfect time to transition your reading and research away from pregnancy and toward baby care.  The opportunity to research may be quite limited after the baby is born!  You should try to learn as much as you can in advance regarding the first few weeks that you will spend with your baby, and what types of things you should be expecting.

•    Have a Bag Packed:  You may want to take some time prior to your due date to pack the bag that you will be taking with you to the hospital or delivery center.  Some important things to place in the bag would be your insurance card, comfortable clothing, toiletries, the outfit that the baby will wear when going home, a camera or video camera (include the charger), and snacks that you may want after labor.  Some women will include a box of chocolates or some type of treat to offer the nursing staff as a sign of appreciation prior to leaving the facility.

•    Consider Having the House Cleaned:  A survey that was conducted in a Baby Center revealed that one third of the moms that were surveyed indicated that they wished that their houses had been cleaned prior to the baby’s arrival from the hospital.  You may want to consider hiring a house cleaner, or perhaps recruiting some family members and/or friends to take care of this task on your behalf.  Your hospital stay or time in a delivery center might be a perfect opportunity for the cleaning crew to do their thing!  You will appreciate coming home to find that the house is clean and tidy, and you may quickly learn that the demands of the baby will leave you with no time or energy to handle the cleaning responsibilities.

•    Stockpile Necessary Household Supplies:  As stated previously, it may not be easy to just drop everything and run to the store with a newborn.  Having items at hand can prove invaluable!  Don’t just stock up on baby necessities, like diapers, wipes, clothing, formula, and bottles, but include household supplies like frozen foods, pantry items, medicines, toiletries, shampoo, and toilet paper. 

 

Find more Articles, Resources and Benefits for Parents at EPAOA.org.

By Jack Rambadt of Expecting Parents Alliance of America




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  • Pregnancy



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