The third trimester most definitely can feel the longest! By this point, your body is housing a human that is fairly sizable and little things become difficult. Anything that falls on the floor becomes lost forever. Shaving my legs is no longer feasible. I shower constantly and sleep is never happening again. While those final few weeks can be overwhelming, there are some ways to make surviving the last weeks of pregnancy a little bit easier. As a third time expecting mom, I can say the end of this pregnancy has been my best yet. I hope other mamas in the same boat can snag a tip or some extra motivation for making those final few weeks a little bit more enjoyable! Here are 8 tips for surviving the last weeks of pregnancy before that sweet babe arrives.
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1. Ignore Everyone
This is one I learned after my first baby that still holds true this time. When people see a large belly, they cannot seem to help what comes out of their mouth. People like to give “helpful” advice or comment on how busy you will be (like you didn’t know.) People like to joke about how you must be having twins (even if you aren’t) or how tired you look (which you already know.) I like the approach of just smiling and ignoring. Most people mean well, and it you want to be sure that you keep your emotions in check. The belly rubs from random strangers is generally where I draw a sharp line.
2. Get As Much Sleep As Possible
The sleep thing can be so hard during the final weeks of pregnancy, Between the frequent peeing, limited comfortable positions, and insane heartburn, I am lucky to get a few solid hours a night. Some of the practices I started using during this third trimester that have helped a bit:
- No screen time/phone time right before bed- I have been diving into my huge book list every night!
- Ceiling fan, standing fan, all the fans (summer baby in the south!)
- Warm shower, lotion, and belly oil every night before bed
- Lemon tea and a snack more than 2 hours before bed
- Tums and/or something stronger for heartburn before bed
- Making my husband go to bed when I do so that I am not getting up again
- Mindfulness/meditation apps in the evening
Never underestimate the power of a nap, or several! I have two toddlers running around, but I try to squeeze in a couch power nap when possible.
3. Spend Quality Time With Existing Children
Whatever your current family size is, that chapter is coming to a close! Despite the back pain and inability to squat down easily, I cherish this time with my two toddlers as we get closer to our new normal. We have tried to pack in lots of family dinners and outings that will soon be harder with a newborn. We have been establishing routines together as we wait for the baby. This time with your kiddos is so precious and not to be missed. Take them on individual dates, take lots of pictures, and enjoy them just as they are. Surviving the last weeks of pregnancy is that much sweeter when you are reminded of why you are doing it by looking at your other kiddos!
4. Date Night
Date night might seem like the last thing you want to do. But new babies are very busy! Plan at least one date night, if not more before your due date to connect with your partner. Due to the pandemic all of our date nights have been at home with sleeping kiddos! Either way you do it, date nights are good for the soul and set the right stage for entering labor together.
5. Self Care
Up the ante with the self care mama! Get that pedicure, order the fancy coffee, and snag that mama bear item you have had your eyes on. The approaching fourth trimester is such a whirlwind and you will find yourself choosing between eating, sleeping, or showering. Take these last few days to focus on you, and enjoy the last few belly kicks from the inside. Make sure to keep up and make new connections also. Grab lunch with a friend when you have time, and show up at events that are happening. For me, I love my shower and skin care routine, and ordering some new postpartum essentials for mama. This go around, I found the perfect nursing and postpartum bras from Kindred Bravely and made my own “padsicles.” A new DIY adventure for this mama!
6. All The Nesting
For me personally, I love the intense need for nesting! I feel like I get more items crossed of my list during this time of life than any other. If you enjoy cleaning, painting, or organizing, take advantage of the nesting urge. It feels great to accomplish those items on your list, and can bring a sense of calm before the storm. We like to tackle a few big projects and tons of little ones so that there is no pressure to do things during the fourth trimester period. Throw on your favorite music, grab your favorite cleaner, and check off all the things!
7. Meditate and Prepare Mentally
I am a believer in the power of mindfulness and preparing your mind for changes ahead. Regardless of which pregnancy this is for you, adding a new baby brings profound change. Practicing mindfulness can be a powerful skill and easy to learn. Pregnancy and birth is no exception. There are tons of apps and videos available with easy mindfulness exercises especially geared towards birth preparation.
I did not discover the book To Have and To Hold: Motherhood, Marriage, and the Modern Dilemma until my third pregnancy, but the number of underlined and highlighted sections that I identify with is unreal. The postpartum period (which is YEARS and not weeks) is intense and difficult. It takes a lot of intentional work and self reflection to endure in the best way possible. I highly recommend this book for any mom, and especially for preparing for the realities of the next stage. There is nothing glamorous about suffering in silence or feeling shame about any part of motherhood. Connect with other moms (like me!) and embrace this season as best you can!
8. Get Outside
There is something about getting fresh air and moving your body that does freakin’ WONDERS during the last weeks of pregnancy. I swear that the long walks I took everyday leading up to my second labor gave me the best experience possible. Walking may be EXHAUSTING and it feels like baby might fall out at any given moment. But walking has incredible benefits for your body in preparing for labor. The pressure can support getting your cervix ready and the gravity doesn’t hurt either!
The Final Countdown
This is it, mama. You are almost there! Whether you have a few hours, or a few weeks left, these are the days to be remembered. As tough as it is surviving the last weeks of pregnancy, this time is a blink in the journey of motherhood. Make sure you are ready for all things headed your way during the postpartum period!
All The Best,