Welcome to the third trimester. Just 12 weeks left. Phew! Has panic set in yet? Nesting? Anxiousness? Excitement? Just plain tired? Dealing with pregnancy brain fog?
We get it. The third trimester is an overwhelming time. It’s time to begin planning and preparing to welcome baby into the world! This is the time to get your ducks in a row as it pertains to your baby, your home, yourself, healthcare for your family, your workplace, and future childcare.
We’ve assembled some common considerations and things to do before baby comes in hopes it will help ease your mind, save you time and allow you to enjoy these last months of your pregnancy.
Pregnancy To Do List for Your Wellbeing
You keeping YOU healthy is of the utmost importance at this time. Remember that your mental wellbeing at this (often stressful) time is right up there with your physical health. Use this time in your pregnancy to investigate and plan the things that will help put your mind at ease now and when your due date is finally here.
Healthcare and Coverage
- Contact your insurance provider to discuss where you stand in terms of meeting your deductible. Confirm any and all childbirth and postpartum coverage. This means any out-of-pocket fees, co-pays, referrals, etc. Also, with your insurance provider, discuss what types of costs you may face if referred to specialists (before, during, after baby arrives).
- Work with 1 Natural Way to secure a free breast pump through insurance (most insurance plans offer breast pump coverage). Having a breast pump and breast pump accessories on hand, before the baby arrives, is a great idea even if you plan on mostly breastfeeding (from the breast). Start the qualification process here.
- Schedule all your third trimester appointments until 40 weeks. You’ll have a checkup every two weeks from 28 to 36 weeks. After that, you’ll visit once a week until delivery.
- Discuss when your obstetrician is commonly scheduled in the labor and delivery rotation and at what hospital(s). If they cannot guarantee they will be present, visit with or schedule appointments with other doctors within the practice who may be on call. This is a great way to get to know the person who will probably be delivering your little one!
- Confirm with your obstetrician how soon you will need to be seen after the baby arrives for a vaginal birth or a C-section.
Labor and Delivery
- Decide if you’d like a home birth or hospital birth. Although the choice for most women, a hospital environment is not for everyone. If considering a home birth, research your options for support and emergency care what-if’s.
- If you opt for a hospital, schedule a tour. Get to know the layout of the facility, where you will enter and where you will check-in, what the labor and delivery room looks like, where visitors can wait and check-in, etc. Also, confirm if you need to pre-register at the hospital so they have your information on hand for when the big day arrives!
- Research if you’d like a doula to help you during the labor process. Start off here!
- Pack your hospital bag and keep it in your car or by your front door. You can download a hospital bag checklist here.
- Create a birth plan. Do you want an epidural or any other pain management options? Who will be in the delivery room with you? Everything may not go according to plan, but it’s best to think about these things in advance!
- Enroll yourself and your partner or a loved one in birthing classes. Additional classes to consider are first time parent classes, breastfeeding classes, infant CPR and general infant care.
- Study up on stages of labor (early, active and transitional) and what false labor may feel like.
- Learn all about your feeding options. Breastfeeding vs. exclusively pumping vs. formula. Distinguish each pro vs con, as well as what supplies and accessories you will need.
Things To Do Before Baby Comes
Your baby will be in your arms before you know it. And when he is, you’ll want to spend time holding him and loving him - not making calls and buying necessities. Consider your third trimester as a time that is also ideal for getting completely ready for baby.
Healthcare and Coverage
- Reach out to your insurance company to determine when and how to add your newborn to your medical plan, as well as what will be covered and what will not be covered.
- Create a list of pediatrician possibilities and take the time to visit with and tour each facility.
- Create a short list of childcare facilities within close range to your home and/or workplace. Take the time to visit each facility (even if it is more than once) and get to know their management and caretakers. If necessary, due to demand, add your child to a waiting list.
- Work with your business and tax adviser to confirm if you can use child care as a tax deduction.
Nursery, Sleeping and All Things Baby
- Prepare your baby’s nursery, or you prep your room with a baby bassinet or co-sleeper.
- Before those sleepless nights arrive, take the time to assemble and test out all your baby big ticket items. These include your stroller, crib, bassinet, car seat, pack & play, mobiles, swings, monitors, sound machines, etc.
- Secure any items that you consider necessary from your baby registry that didn’t get purchased.
- Determine where you will be feeding your little one. If you are planning on breastfeeding, set up rockers in two areas (upstairs and downstairs) so that you have easy access to a comfortable place to feed.
- If you are exclusively pumping, stake out a place for setting up your primary pumping station. Create a comfortable environment (a cushy chair with armrests, foot stool, snacks and water within arm’s reach) where you can pump, but also keep yourself busy.
Car Seats and Strollers
- Infant car seats and car seat/stroller systems are plentiful, so take the time to research what company offers you a product for your lifestyle, as well as your price point.
- Install the infant car seat in your car several weeks before your baby is due. This will save you or your spouse from doing last minute work when it is time to bring baby home!
Babymoon and Other Bonus (Want) To Dos
Enjoy this time and make it memorable. Remember, your physical and mental wellbeing is critical in your third trimester. So, be just a little selfish and consider treating yourself to something that will ease your mind or body.
- Take a babymoon with your partner before baby's arrival! Make sure it is close to a hospital/medical facility and your doctor approves your travel plans. The internet is full of great babymoon ideas and babymoon packages (it doesn’t have to cost a ton)!
- Schedule a prenatal massage (or 10).
- Take maternity photos. Work with your photographer on a loose schedule for newborn photos as well!
- Have your house cleaned close to baby’s arrival. Imagine coming home from the hospital to a clean house!