The third trimester of pregnancy is probably the most exciting of all - your baby’s arrival is just around the corner! But, it’s also a busy stage of pregnancy. Now is the time to really be getting prepared for taking care of your little one, and you should be making sure that you’re ready for the birth. There are also still some body changes you can expect too. To help you with all of this, we’ve compiled a complete third trimester checklist and guide that you can follow.
When does the third trimester start?
The third trimester starts at around week 28, and it’s the final stage of your pregnancy. Things are really starting to happen at this point, and you might be experiencing a lot of new symptoms as your baby gets ready to leave the womb!
Third trimester symptoms
Knowing what to expect during the third trimester is a great way to prepare for all the changes your body will experience before they happen. This is probably the most difficult stage of pregnancy physically - you are carrying around an almost full-size baby after all!
Here’s some of what you may experience:
- Braxton Hicks contractions - these can also occur in the second trimester and are mild contractions that occur when you're not in labour. If you're unsure about whether your contractions are part of labour or just Braxton Hicks then always consult a medical professional.
- Sensitive skin
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent urination - your bladder has a lot less room!
- Swollen ankles and feet
- Hardening of your stomach
You may also experience back pain in pregnancy, third trimester mood swings, and heartburn. Don’t worry - it’s all completely normal!
Even though you’ve probably felt a lot of tiredness during pregnancy, third trimester exercises are vital to keeping your body in good health and strong enough to go through labour. Make sure you keep pregnancy exercises in the third trimester gentle, taking up activities such as yoga, walking, or joining prenatal exercise classes. You should also have a healthy third trimester diet, giving your body everything it needs to stay strong.
Third trimester checklist
Here’s a run through of what to do in your third trimester of being pregnant:
- Recognise the signs that you’re going into labour
- Create a birthing plan
- Wash all your clothes and baby’s clothes with a kind-to-skin laundry detergent and fabric conditioner to avoid irritation, such as Sunlight washing powder and Comfort Pure
- Put together a hospital bag
- Stock up on supplies for after the birth
Now that you know what to do and what not to do in your third trimester of pregnancy, remember that it’s important to be gentle with your body. Call in help from friends and family if you need it and remember that resting and keeping yourself safe comes before all else. Your body and your baby need to be protected, so put your feet up and enjoy your pregnancy - there’s not long left now!