Friday, June 25, 2010

Third Trimester Necessities & Recommendations

Drink lots of water. Hot weather + too little H2O  = UTI.  Bad UTI = kidney infection.  Kidney infection = pre-term labor.  Been there, done that.  Not fun.

More Tums (or whatever antacid your doctor allows)
As odd as it may sound, many women eat less during their third trimester than previous trimesters.  Two reasons mainly: there just isn’t that much room left to eat a bunch of big meals and, well, heartburn.  Everything gives me heartburn now.  It sucks.  Example: My husband and I went to Carmine’s in Atlantic City a few weeks ago and we ordered two entrees—truly gluttonous since it’s a family style restaurant and each entrée can feed 2-3 people.  However, my husband was starving and we just assumed that I would be able to chow down as per usual.  It was embarrassing.  My husband made a huge dent in the food, while I had like five bites.  I was stuffed and just uncomfortable.  Despite not eating very much, painful heartburn kicked in within an hour.  Argh!! 

I just cracked opened my second bottle of Tums this pregnancy and don’t go anywhere without them.  If this happens to you, just keep some antacid on hand! Also, consider eating less, but more frequently.  You still need those extra calories for the baby--this is an intense and important fetal growth period. Also, walk around after having a meal so you can digest better, staying seated for too long can increase your chances of a tummy ache.

New Shoes
Shoes feeling snug?  Well, I hate to break it to you but your arches may have fallen and your feet may have widened.  Suhweet, huh? Fortunately summer shoes are more forgiving than winter shoes, but you may feel it in your sneakers and dress shoes.  Also, you’ll probably want to wear comfortable/supportive shoes more frequently now, especially if you are a lover of high heels.  Having lower back pain?  Feet/ankles swelling?  The heels might be causing it.  I am totally guilty of not wearing proper shoes during pregnancy so I can’t preach too much about this one.  I wear flip-flops (hardly supportive) a lot and wore stacked espadrilles a few times last month. While I doubt I’ll kick the flip-flip habit, I think I am done with espadrilles for the season.  I was in crazy pain (back, legs, hips) after wearing them for two hours!

New Bras/Nursing Bras
I love wearing my maternity tank tops.  I’ll wear it alone or under just about everything I wear—a definite upside to a summer pregnancy.  However, the built in bra band in the tank has become too constrictive and is causing discomfort and heartburn.  The next size up is way too big so I am going to have to break out my nursing bras or get a few new ones.  Might be time for a proper bra fitting as well!  Medela and Bravado have great bras.  Oh and I mentioned this before, but it bares repeating – sleep bras – get a few! They are relatively flimsy but they hold the girls in at night and make sleeping more comfortable.  I wore mine for months after as well when I was nursing. 

Childbirth Classes
If you haven’t taken a childbirth class by now you should, um, really get moving on this.  Most classes last 4-6 weeks (1 night a week for a few hours) and you probably want to finish the class before having the baby!  We cut it kind of close last time and I was pretty nervous towards the end.  What class should you take?  Well that’s up to you. If you are planning a regular hospital birth and not a natural or home birth, then your doctor’s office or local hospital can probably recommend a class.  I will post some in the next two weeks as well. If you are planning to follow a specific natural birthing method, then you will want to take a class for that method (Bradley, Alexander, etc).  Next week I begin posting birth narratives by local women who chose different natural birthing methods.  The posts I have received thus far all have great local resources.

Hospital Tour
Usually a part of your childbirth class -- if it isn’t ask your Ob/gyn to set up a tour so you know exactly where to go when you go into labor.  The tour usually shows you a labor/delivery room, a recovery room, the lactation consultant’s office and nursery.   They also cover everything from parking and entrances to maternity ward security.  This may seem like superfluous information, but it is actually extremely helpful to know since you could wind up there in the morning or middle of the night, and let’s be honest, six centimeters dilated, mid-contraction is not the time you want to find out entrance B is closed for the night!  I can’t tell you how much the tour eased my anxiety.  I am a planner and need to know where I am going and what I am doing before I do anything.  Being able to see the room and visualize the event was extremely helpful and calming to me.

Register/Order Nursery Furniture
If you’re having a baby shower I’m sure you’ve registered by now.  If not, get on that ASAP!  If you are buying new baby furniture it could take up to four weeks to come in—so you may want to order it soon!  If it doesn’t come in until after the baby is born don’t freak out—the baby will most likely be in your room in a bassinet or pack and play for the first few months.

Pack Hospital “Go Bag”
This is the bag of everything you’ll need at the hospital for your delivery and after.  My childbirth class instructor actually recommended packing two small bags so things don’t get too confusing.  One is for mom and dad to get through the delivery (contacts/glasses, water, birthing ball, chap stick, camera, video, music, magazines, nursing bras, socks, etc).  Bag two comes into play on day two and includes toiletries for first shower, change of clothes for mom, baby’s first outfit, etc).   While I know there are many stores/sites out there that offer pretty hospital pjs for mom post baby—I wouldn’t get too extravagant—they’re going to get ruined. E-mail me if I need to explain this further. Here’s a website that offered a pretty thorough checklist

* I totally forgot this when I first posted - pack your favorite shampoo/conditioner and body wash or soap!  I can't tell you how comforting it was to use my own stuff when I took that first shower after delivering Sophie.  I felt refreshed and ready to take on my new life as a mommy.   It definitely beat using their little scentless soap and shampoo.  Also pack socks!

Birth Plan and Delivery Day Plan
These are two very different things. The Birth Plan is your plan for your delivery.  You can write your own or find a template online.  Some are cut and dry, while others are very very detailed.  You don’t have to do this.  However, if you do, you must talk to your ob about your “birth plan” and pass it by them at one of your appointments PRIOR to going into labor!  Not all doctors/hospitals will/can abide by your birth plan! Know in advance what requests your doc/hospital will accommodate to avoid any conflict when you get to the hospital.

A delivery day plan is between you and your husband/significant other. Basically it’s just a game plan for when your water breaks. Know where your “go bag” is, what route you are taking to the hospital, how long it will take to get to the hospital, have someone lined up to feed/walk any pets, etc.  If you are being induced or having a scheduled C-section then this may not be as pressing since you actually know when you are giving birth. 

Post Delivery Visitor Strategy
Schedule your family visits now so you have help, but aren’t overwhelmed—especially if your relatives are from out of town and will be staying with you!  I had four people staying at my house four days after having Sophie.  Only one was really helpful (my mom) and it caused a considerable amount of stress for my husband and I.  Talking about it now with your parents, in-laws, friends and family will make the situation much more relaxed and manageable.  If you wait until you go into labor and everyone descends upon you—it’s pretty much impossible to have any control over the situation without hurting someone’s feelings.  You are also much more likely to meltdown on someone! Not that I did that or anything!  It’s great to see family, but what you will really need post-partum is help around the house and sleep.  Lazy/high maintenance family members need not apply. 

Post Delivery Meal Strategy
Ok, I didn’t think about this one that much last time because I knew my mom was coming for a while.  This time she’ll only be with us for a week and will have to watch (er, run around after) Sophie most of the time.  My mom and I are both going to make a few things ahead of time that we can freeze. Also, my neighborhood Moms Club (Shout out to Alexandria West Moms Club) has a meal program, Sunshine Meals, where moms in the neighborhood can volunteer to make meals and deliver them to the family.  Fingers crossed this program doesn’t suddenly go belly up right before I am due!  Belly up—kind of funny?

Outside Help
Family live on the West Coast?  You might need to call in local reinforcements those first few weeks if your budget permits.  Consider hiring a doula to help you out until you get back on your feet.  Depending on how you deliver, your recovery could take nearly 2 months.  Even with an easy delivery you still can’t drive for about a month!  I will hopefully post a list of doulas and mommy’s helpers in the next few weeks.  Also, if there isn’t a Moms Club or anyone to make meals for you, you might want to consider a homemade meal delivery service like Let’s Dish (Alexandria, Fairfax & Ashburn) or Entrée Vous so you eat some balanced meals and not a just pizza and fast food those first few weeks.  (Thanks for the recommendation Zoë!)

Ladies: If this is your second child, do have any other 3rd trimester necessities/recommendations you think I should add?

1 comment:

  1. I had a gift in hand for my older child when he came to visit us at the was from his younger brother. Three years later, he still refers to those toys as his 'special big brother gift'. When I had my third, she gave her brothers a photo-book that was all about them as brothers.