The Third Trimester Is Here!
In just two or three short months, you’ll finally be meeting your little bundle of joy! Find out what you can expect in the final trimester of pregnancy, and what you (and your partner) can do to prepare yourselves for labor, birth and beyond…
Need To Know
Up until now, you’ve probably been having prenatal checkups with your healthcare provider every four weeks or so. Now that you’re in the third trimester, you can expect that to increase to every two weeks at first, and then every week for the last month of your pregnancy.
Your fundal height (the distance from the top to the bottom of your bump) will continue to be monitored, and should be roughly the same number as your current week of pregnancy, give or take 3cm. If yours is measuring larger or smaller than this, you may be referred for an additional ultrasound to check baby’s growth and position.
Although around 90% of babies in the US are born at term (between 37 and 42 weeks gestation), there are still nearly 400,000 premature births each year. Most of the time, preterm labor is unexpected and unexplained; signs to look out for include pain or pressure in your lower back, regular contractions or more than four contractions in an hour (even if they’re painless), and watery or bloody discharge. Don’t hesitate to call your healthcare provider if you notice any of these.
Good To Have
Here’s a little-known side effect of pregnancy: did you know that your feet can grow a full size or even two? The changes are due to a combination of pregnancy weight gain, ligaments stretching, and feet swelling during pregnancy. New shoes could be in order: look for comfortable ones that give good support to your arches, and remember that slip-on styles may turn out to be particularly useful as your due date gets nearer and your toes further away!
Time To Do
Now’s the time to focus on getting your baby’s nursery finished, before you get any bigger (and more exhausted!) Creating a space that’s just for you and your child can really help with the bonding process, too; try spending a little bit of time in there every day, just sitting quietly and connecting with your baby-to-be.
The most common time to hold a baby shower is in the last 4-6 weeks of pregnancy, but you might prefer to plan it for slightly earlier, especially if you’re expecting multiples or experiencing any complications that could lead to early delivery. And if you want to set up a gift registry, you’ll need to make sure you do it at least a few weeks in advance to give your guests time to prepare. Our guide to the best baby gear — all recommended by our seasoned Momberries — is chock-full of tips and product recommendations to make the process easier.
Have you thought about writing a birth plan? It’s not a requirement, but it can be a great way to learn more about labor and birth, and to think clearly about your preferences for things like pain relief, labor interventions, cord clamping and cord blood banking, and support with feeding your newborn. Just be aware that your plans might go out of the window once labor actually begins!
It’s a good idea to do a little bit of research about your options for pain relief during labor. From epidurals to IV painkillers to non-invasive methods for controlling pain like breathing exercises and hypnotherapy, there are lots of options to explore. Even if you think you want a totally natural, drug-free delivery, it’s worth looking into pain relief just in case things don’t go entirely to plan in the delivery room.
Test-Driving Your Top Name Contenders
Whether or not you’ve decided to share your baby name shortlist, it can be difficult to get feedback on how your chosen names might actually work for your child throughout their life. It’s one thing liking Adalynn or Arlo in theory, but can you picture a real baby with the name? What about a teenager, adult or senior citizen? Could they be teased about their name in school? Will it be frequently misheard, misspelled or mispronounced? What kind of reaction, if any, might they get from others?
Here are five real-life scenarios you can use to put your top baby names to the test — from ordering a coffee in Starbucks to reserving an item in a store. How do your favorites fare?