What should I do in my final trimester?
Now that you’re in your final trimester, you’re on the home straight. Hopefully the sickness has subsided and you’re glowing! You’re excited to meet your baby and have chosen the pram, car seat and decorated the nursery.
Make sure you also do these five things before your baby arrives.
Attend Antenatal classes.
You will have heard of antenatal classes before but what actually are they? Well, in a nutshell, it’s a course that’s designed to prepare you for the arrival of your new baby.
The classes often cover:
- Labour and delivery, including pain relief options
- Feeding techniques – education on how to breast or bottle feed your baby
- Newborn care – including how to actually get the nappy on the wriggling baby!
- Maternal post partum recovery
Antenatal classes don’t serve just as an education though, they are an opportunity to ask questions in a safe, unbiased environment and learn from experienced professionals. They are also a great way to meet other parents-to-be who are due around the same times as you. These friendships often last a lifetime and can be invaluable in the early days.
You can find out about antenatal classes offered at your local hospital by talking to your midwife. There are also lots of private organisations that offer antenatal classes such as the NCT.
Create a birth plan
You may have heard your midwife talking about a birth plan but what actually is a birth plan? A birth plan is a document in which you can outline your wishes and preferences for labour and delivery. It is important to note that a birth plan is a set of wishes rather than a set of strict instructions. Your healthcare provider will do their utmost to follow your plan, however ultimately they may not be able to follow certain parts of it if it does not fit your particular labour progression.
Your birth plan may include the following:
- Pain management options.
- Who would you like to present during the birth?
- Preference for your birthing environment – music, lighting etc
- What positions you would like to try to birth in
- Preferences for post partum care
The NHS website has a useful template you can use to get started NHS BIRTH PLAN
Pack your hospital bag
It’s never too early to pack your hospital bag! Make sure you pack your bag around 34-36 weeks pregnant to make sure you are prepared for when labour starts.
The NCT has a handy article describing what to pack in your hospital bag. PACK YOUR HOSPITAL BAG.
Once your bag is packed, keep it in a prominent place so you can “grab and go” when needed.
Take care of your finances
Having a baby can be expensive and maternity pay may not be quite what you’re used to so take some time to assess your finances before your baby arrives. You may want to make a budget for baby related expenses and start researching childcare options if you plan on returning to work.
Practice self care
Finally, and most importantly, this is the time to really take care of yourself. Take a yoga class or get a massage from someone specially retained in pregnancy massage. You may find yourself getting more tired as your baby grows so get plenty of rest and prioritise your sleep. Remember, taking care of your emotional and mental health is just as important as taking care of your physical health.
Now all that is left to do is wait for your new baby to arrive!
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