The Ultimate Third Trimester Check List
Have you made it to your third trimester? Congratulations! You are almost there! You’ll get to meet your precious bundle of joy soon!
There are some things you should be doing during your third trimester to prepare for your baby. I put together this list to help you!
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15 Things you need to be doing in your third trimester
And by assemble furniture I mean read the directions to your husband, and maybe hand him the screw driver. Full disclaimer: putting together nursery furniture can be a real marital struggle! Try to stay positive when he takes forever to put everything together and maybe throws the instructions across the room. That’s where you come in to read the instructions and pass the screw driver. No heavy lifting for you in the third trimester!
Register at the hospital
Pre-registering at the hospital saves a ton of time on the day of delivery. Make an appointment ahead of time and bring your ID and insurance card, if you have one. You may be able to opt to be billed after deliver – after all, if you deliver early, and they don’t have a NICU , you will not be delivering there anyway. It’s easier to pay later than request a refund and being without money owed to you. Registering at the hospital took about two hours each time for me because you will also meet with an anesthesiologist – whether you plan to have an epidural or C-Section or not. A tour of the hospital isn’t necessary, and you probably will still have to ask for help finding your way come go time, but it may help you feel more comfortable.
Purchase and install car seats
We used the Britax car seat for the infant seat, and the Graco4Ever scar seat when our kids were big enough to transition to the regular stroller seat. Research fire stations in your area who are certified to check for correct installation. You’ll want to have your car seats installed by the last four weeks of the third trimester, since you never know when the baby will come!
Order Breast pump
Your insurance should cover a breast pump. Most insurance companies will not provide a pump until 36 weeks, so give them a call around that time and they will give you your options and deliver right to your house. They do not come with a carrying case, other than the outer case of the pump itself, but there is no room for the bottles, flanges, etc. You may want to find a back pack or bag to tote your necessities if you plan to go back to work and be a pumping momma. If you aren’t getting a pump though insurance, the Madela Pump In Style and the Spectra are both great pumps. You may also be able to find one second-hand. They are closed systems, meaning breast milk doesn’t flow into the machine itself. You would want to purchase replacement tubes, bottles, and flanges if you go that route.
Find a pediatrician
Ask your friends with kids who their kids see for their pediatrician. Are you the first friend with babies? I was! Join local Facebook Mom groups in your area and ask them! They will be happy to give you recommendations. Make sure they take your insurance and call a couple to set up a tour of their facility and meet the doctor. Discuss important topics like their office hours, weekend schedule, and vaccine policy.
Prepare the nursery and stock the changing station.
Make sure you have your changing station has wipes, diapers, and lotion. Wash the linens and those tiny little baby clothes. Dreft is a well-loved hypoallergenic brand with a sweet, light fragrance.
Pack your hospital bag
You’ll want to pack some essentials for your stay in the hospital like toiletries and going home outfits for you and your baby. Read this post for the complete list!
Talk to Human Resources
Figure out when your last day will be of work and the day you will be returning, if you plan to. Make sure all of your required paperwork is signed for your Maternity Leave. If you haven’t done that already, now is the time to finish that up because the process can take a couple of weeks. Also, don’t be surprised if your doctor charges a $20-$30 paperwork fee.
Take Maternity Photos and Schedule Newborn Photos
It’s a good idea to schedule maternity photos in your second trimester, but you may be able to still get a session. The third trimester is the time to take them when your belly is nice and round. If funds are tight, a mini session is plenty of time to get some keepsake photos of this special time in your life!
If you have maternity photos taken, ask your photographer if they also do newborn photography. They may have a package to save you a little bit of money. You’ll want to schedule your photo shoot around a week after birth, while the baby still sleeps a lot. If you aren’t having an induction or scheduled C-Section, just plan around your due date. Many photographers will be understanding of the unpredictable situation and can be flexible with scheduling.
Send Thank You Notes
Take this as excuse to put your feet up and write your thank you notes for your baby shower gifts. Now is a great time to do it because time will be limited after the baby comes. You’ll be thankful to take a shower, let alone write thank you notes!
Figure out your birth plan
The third trimester is when you need to decide on a birth plan. Do you need a C-Section? Do you want an epidural or do you want to labor as naturally as possible, maybe even a water birth? Does your hospital offer nitrous oxide (laughing gas) for pain therapy? Do research on what you would ideally like to happen during your delivery. But understand that labor and delivery are just the beginning of the unpredictability of motherhood! Things may not go 100% as planed. They might not even go 50% as planned. Hell, they might go NOTHING as planned.But a healthy baby is ultimately the most important. Both of my children required vacuum suctioning. It definitely wasn’t part my birth plan but it was necessary for the safety of both me and my babies. Now they are happy, healthy little girls! Having to deviate from your birth plan may make you disappointed or frustrated at the moment, but I promise all of that goes away when you hold your baby for the first time.
Plan for siblings and pets
Who will be watching your older child or children or your 4 legged fur babies? Ask friends and family ahead of time, or have a baby sitter on call so you don’t have to worry about it frantically on the way to the hospital.
Go on a baby moon
A baby moon is a great way to get one last vacation in as a party of two! Have a stay-cation at a local hotel or travel to a destination. Either way, you will always remember it! It will be a long time before you are able to take a vacation alone together again!
Make freezer meals
You’ll be happy to have food prepared and easy to heat up with an infant at home! Lasagna is a great make ahead dish that can be frozen and makes quite a few easy meals. Stuffed shells, enchiladas, pulled pork for barbecue sandwiches, nachos, or tacos, and breakfast burritos are all easy make ahead meals that you will be happy to have on hand! Label each container with it’s contents and cooking instructions.
Get a manicure and pedicure in the third trimester. Have your hair cut. Get a prenatal massage, a foot massage, or even a facial. Just take a little bit of time to yourself to relax and be pampered. Once your baby is born, your mindset will be on their care and wellbeing and yours will go straight to the back burner. You’ve made it to the third trimester of pregnancy! You deserve it!