While you're pregnant, you spend plenty of time learning about and preparing for the big day: the birth of your child. Since this is the crowning moment, it's no surprise that labor and delivery hogs the spotlight. But the real show starts after your little one is out in the world and you're doing life all day, every day with a kiddo. As you prepare for your new role as a mother, you might want to consider the things you can do in your third trimester to make your first two weeks postpartum easier. Trust me, you'll be thanking yourself when the time comes.
When it comes to having a new baby, there are lots of unexpected things that pop up. Like, who knew they could poop through diapers and why do they eat like they're training for the 500 meter relay at the Olympics? Surprises like these are enough to keep you on your toes, so being prepared for some more predictable occurrences will give you more time to focus on your recovery in the first few weeks home with your little. Doing these 12 things while you're still in the third trimester will save you time, energy, and worry once your dumpling arrives.
1. Do All The Laundry
Don't let that baby laundry pile up — wash all baby clothes, burp clothes, bedding, and blankets that you have before baby comes. You'll be surprised by how many outfits and burpies you go through in just one day, so having enough clean ones on hand will be to your advantage.
2. Stock Up On Pads
After the pleasant period break for the past nine months, it would be wise to stock up on pads during your third trimester. "Whether you have a vaginal delivery or a C-section, you'll have vaginal bleeding (called lochia) that's heavier than a typical period," as Parents magazine explained. Since tampons are a no-no after delivery, being prepared with enough pads will keep you from a late night run to the pharmacy.
3. Schedule Helpers
The first few weeks at home with your little one can be a whirlwind, so make sure you have a few helpers locked into your schedule. As The Huffington Post pointed out,a new mother benefits from others caring for the baby so she can take some much needed naps throughout the day. Don't be afraid to reach out to family and friends in that last trimester to see who's willing to pitch in.
4. Pack The Freezer
Although some friends may have promised to drop off meals after you deliver, you can't put all your eggs in that basket. Take the third trimester to stock your freezer with meals you can thaw out and chow on when you have a night or two that no one is bringing you dinner. This will give you peace of mind and fill your belly.
5. Buy Ice Packs
No body part is exempt from postpartum recovery, and stretching, pushing, and tearing makes the situation more intense for you, downstairs. New moms should have ice packs on hand to ease inflammation and pain, as Fit Pregnancy magazine recommended. These can make sitting a whole lot more comfy.
6. Workout Your Lady Parts
After giving birth, the muscles in your vageen need a minute. Both pregnancy and childbirth weaken your pelvic floor muscles, as Mayo Clinic explained, so to help them regain strength sooner, do plenty of kegels (tightening and releasing your pelvic floor) while you're still in the last trimester.
7. Assemble All Gear
Being prepared to bring baby home means you'll need to have their car seat, bassinet, and any other gear for your little ready to go before they arrive. Take a weekend and put together anything you're going to need once the baby is born so you aren't scrambling in the those first weeks postpartum when you should be recovering.
8. Pick A Pediatrician
Even though you might not anticipate any medical problems in the first few weeks you have your baby home, it's important to have a plan in place in case something unexpected pops up. As Parents recommended, choosing a pediatrician should be on your third trimester check list.
9. Pick Up Some Witch Hazel
It's very common for new moms to have hemorrhoids after delivery, as Baby Center pointed out. To help ease the discomfort, grab some witch hazel or hemorrhoid cream while your shopping, so you have it on hand when needed.
10. Have Medicine On Hand
I'm one of those unfortunate souls who can't take any prescription pain medication without barfing every 30 minutes. So after having my babies, my only option was over the counter pain relievers — and lots of them. Whether you're sensitive to medications or not, having some ibuprofen or asprin on hand is a good idea.
11. Buy Stool Softeners
Even though the baby came out, some other things may be a little clogged up. According to What To Expect's website, constipation is a common postpartum annoyance. Be ready to take on this issue by having stool softeners at the ready. You can also eat plenty of fiber and stay hydrated to help things move along.
12. Meet All The Doctors
The OB-GYN practice I went to had 10 doctors, so I made sure to meet all of them before having my baby. This way, no matter who it was, I would have a familiar face in the delivery room and not be seeing them for the first time.