I try not to tell other people how to live their lives (except when it comes to giving the early-aughts reboot of Battlestar Gallactica a try), but having been through one and a half pregnancies already in my life, I do feel equipped to offer some gentle suggestions for anyone who may be inclined to hear them. Of course, all pregnancies and all women are different, but if you’ll allow me to make some sweeping generalizations about the third trimester (hint: it’s hard), perhaps these suggestions for things pregnant women should do before the third trimester will resonate with you.
That’s not to say that any trimester can't be hard. In fact, it's a known fact any trimester can be pretty damn difficult. This fact is truer than true, on par with concrete facts like leggings are pants, elephants are the best animals, and Paul Rudd never ages. Kidding, I’m only kidding. Of course, we all know Paul Rudd does age, just approximately a zillion times slower than the rest of us. Seriously though, however one’s pregnancy might be progressing, I think most of us would agree that it’s best to not leave everything until the end when, you know, you’re feeling fatigued and weary and huger than huge.
So, with that in mind, and because I need a list to kick ageless Paul Rudd out of my brain, here are a few suggestions for what you might want to get out of the way, before that third trimester begins:
So maybe it’s not possible to do absolutely everything, but I recommend getting as much out of the way as you can, whatever that looks like for you. The fewer things you have to worry about as your baby’s arrival gets closer, the better. Not only because you’re likely to be dealing with more physical limitations than before, but because sometimes babies come early.
Register (If You Plan To At All)
The reason I suggest this is because, if by chance you put crucial things on your registry that you will end up buying if you don’t receive them, it helps to have that figured out sooner than later and not at the last minute.
Start Getting Through Those Last Questions You Haven’t Gotten Around To Asking Yet
I mean, questions for your doctor and for your partner and for other people who matter when it comes to parenting. I don’t mean for Google. Google is a frenemy when it comes to pregnancy.
Check-in With Anyone Hosting A Baby Shower On Your Behalf
Most baby showers I’ve attended (including my own) were hosted in the mom-to-be’s third trimester, probably because we all want to see her pregnant belly in all its glory. Plus, there’s more information available about the baby by that point.
Still, if you’re someone who hates surprises (like me) or if you like planning in general (like me), it’s probably worth at least a text or phone call to see what you can find out about your big event. Plus, the same logic that applied to registering also applies here: you want time to put together gifts, take inventory, and see what you still need.
In the immortal words of Levar Burton, you don't have to take my word for it. There are awesome, thorough, and complete pregnancy checklists on just about every mom’s website and in every pregnancy book, and the writers often know what they’re talking about. Even if you are usually good at staying on top of things, it’s helpful to double-check.
Make Sure You Know The Route To Where You’ll Deliver
Technically, I suppose you can still figure this out later, but it's one less thing to worry about. Plus, and hopefully, it brings a little extra peace of mind to have a game plan in mind for when contractions start.
Plan For A Birthing Class, If That's Your Thing
My birthing class met at the hospital over two Saturdays. There was one couple who was at the first session, but not the second because their baby arrived. Just saying.
Start Saving For Baby’s College
Just kidding. Everyone knows that that’s supposed to start at least 3-5 years before conception, anyway.
Pre-Forgive Yourself For Any Laziness That Happens In The Third Trimester
You’re growing a person. If your friends and family are anything like mine, they’ve been reminding you of this fact all along. However, I still appreciated the reminders to go easy on myself for succumbing to tiredness and exhaustion and frustration every time I was faced to exert myself (which was, like, taking ten or more steps in a row, or tying my shoes). Remember, you’re allowed to put your feet up.
Plan Something Fun For The Third Trimester
If you’re a babymoon kind of couple, or a daycation kind of couple, or a leave-me-alone-to-brunch-solo kind of person, I suggest doing your best to squeeze in something that will make you happy. I have great memories of a spur-of-the-moment dinner out and walk in the park that my spouse and I shared the week before our son arrived, and I’d wish the same for any other parent-to-be.