It’s time to prepare your body for a safe and healthy delivery. Here are a few pregnancy self care tips to help you survive the third trimester.
A Little Pregnancy Update
It’s hard to believe that I’ve already reached week 35. I feel like I blinked, and the month of January is just about over. This means that baby month is basically here and it’s a little bittersweet. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ready to meet my little bundle of joy, but I wish I would have soaked up this experience a little more especially since this is my last pregnancy.
I didn’t find out I was pregnant until I was nearly out of the first trimester, which was new to me because I found out extremely early with both Jade and Jaxon. And then the next five months were a blur. I was buried in the thick of life and sort of just surviving day by day. Documenting pregnancy was honestly the last thing on my mind, but I digress. Luckily, I’m alive and well, and baby J is progressing perfectly despite this being a high-risk pregnancy due to gestational diabetes.
Life-Changing Pregnancy Self Care Tips for the Third Trimester
As I expressed in my 2023 goals, this year is about reclaiming my life and prioritizing self care. Pregnancy and stress, anxiety, and depression do not go together as it’s not good for the baby. As part of my third-trimester update, I wanted to leave you with a few pregnancy self care tips and essentials that will be a lifesaver the next few weeks.
Now more than ever is time that I take care of myself and prepare my body for a safe and healthy delivery. These are the final moments when I can spend time alone with myself without being attached to a newborn 24/7. A little guilt-free indulgence is exactly what the doctor ordered.
Lean on your village
This is baby number three for me, and I quickly learned how important it is to lean on my village. As a first-time mom, I wanted to do it all myself. I had somehow convinced myself that I would achieve some imaginary “Mom of the Year” award by doing so. Spoiler alert: there is no award. I ended up stressed, depressed, and in therapy trying to figure out how to balance my new life as a mom, a newlywed, and a corporate professional.
Now when our extended family asks to take the kids for the day, I don’t hesitate to say yes. I’ve come to understand that “No, they won’t ‘parent’ the way that I do,” but if the kids return in one piece and remain healthy and happy, it’s okay. Plus, it is important for the kids to establish relationships with others outside of Mom and Dad.
It’s okay to say No
At this point in pregnancy, we simply can’t do it all. Kids got invited to a play date; say No this time. Asked to take on a last-minute project at work; see if someone else can do it. House is a mess; delegate tasks to your spouse or outsource. As moms, we try to do everything all the time and we must learn to say No.
This was hard for me because I don’t like disappointing others, letting people down, or releasing control. But therapy helped me learn that it’s okay to say No. I had to learn how to prioritize myself over how others may perceive me. And trust me, they’ll understand more than you think they will. If they don’t, that’s okay too.
Take naps when needed
I’ve been hit with the insomnia bug, and it’s been so hard for me to fall asleep at night. And once I finally fall asleep, I toss and turn all night long or I’m up hourly to use the restroom. So, you can only imagine how tired I am during the day on top of tending to the kids and going to work daily.
I’ve started taking naps during the day when I can. On the weekends when I put Jaxon down for a nap, mama goes down for a nap too even if it’s just for 30-45 minutes. I’ve also used my lunch break to catch up on sleep as well.
Being in tune with your body helps. I try not to fight against it because I know in just a few weeks it’ll be total chaos in our home with a newborn, toddler, and strong-willed 7-year-old. And something will have to be put on the back burner. So, listen to your body mama, and take that nap when needed. Those chores can wait!
Give yourself grace
This is where I’m currently struggling. As you all know, we recently moved into a new home a few months ago and I want to do all the things to make our house a home, but I don’t have the energy. The garage is still stacked with boxes. Add on the fact that we’re expecting a baby next month and I want to have the nursery finished yesterday.
But I’m learning to give myself grace. It’s okay if everything isn’t unpacked. We have all our necessities readily available, and I’ll get to the others when I have time. Same with the nursery. Baby J is coming whether the nursery is complete or not. It’ll get finished.
As moms, especially during pregnancy, we must learn that it’s okay not to have everything put together and that we can’t be everything to everyone. The third trimester is the time to relax and prepare our bodies for the beautiful experience that’s to come.
Last, but not least, the third trimester is the perfect time to pamper yourself. Make time to indulge in self care activities whether at home or at a local spa. I recently invested in skin care products and doing my nightly skincare routine is such a nice little treat that I look forward to daily. I also got a prenatal massage a few weeks ago and if you’ve never had one, you need to experience it. It was so relaxing, and I left ready to conquer the day.
Pampering yourself doesn’t have to cost a dime either. You can make time to catch up on your favorite shows or finish a book you started. Maybe you’ve been wanting to try a new recipe you found on Pinterest. Whatever that looks like for you, make sure that you make time for yourself because you deserve it.
Third Trimester Self Care Essentials
We all know how uncomfortable the third trimester can be. Here are a few self care essentials to help make the end of your pregnancy comfortable.
Comfy clothes are a must-have for pregnancy. Grab yourself something cozy that will not only work for the last few weeks of pregnancy, but for postpartum as well.
Baby typically drops during the third trimester to get in position for birth. With that comes lower back and abdomen pain. Wearing a belly support band will help alleviate some of the pressure. I recently ordered one for myself and it will come in handy as I travel back and forth to work and get chores done around the house.
If you haven’t discovered, your body craves water during pregnancy. Treat yourself to a pretty water bottle. It’ll be useful for postpartum too.
Applying oil to your belly nightly is a great way to practice self care daily. It also helps you connect with the baby a bit and you may prevent a stretch mark or two in the process.
I will admit that pregnancy pillows take up a lot of space and appear to be an unnecessary expense, but it’s so helpful during the third trimester, especially once insomnia hits.
Heartburn isn’t just a first-trimester issue. I’ve had heartburn on and off my entire pregnancy and tums has been my best friend.
If you’re on your feet a lot, or even if you’re not, soaking your feet in Epson salt at the end of a long day is so relaxing.
Who doesn’t love cozy slippers? Grab yourself a pair or two. You’ll also want to include a pair in your hospital bag as well.
If you’re having terrible back pain or sciatica, having a heating pad on hand will be your best friend.
Pro tip: If you have heated seats, turn them on to make your drive a little more comfortable. I’ve been doing this for the past week during my 45-minute commute into the office and it works wonders.
Essential oils and a cute diffuser are the perfect way to help you relax.