There always seems to be new and interesting restrictions placed on pregnancy. As soon as one ban is lifted, another ban is put in its place. I admit, I was kind of obsessive over this when I was pregnant, which is probably why I now spend my days writing about it for others who are just like me. However, I've found that it helps to have the basics down so that the anxiety eases off just a bit. (And who doesn't love a good checklist?) There are some important things doctors say you can't do in the third trimester, and they're worth keeping in mind so you don't get too overwhelmed.
There's a lot pregnant women can and should do during their third trimester, which occurs between weeks 29 and 40, but there's almost as many things they can't do. Things like traveling great distances — especially in a plane — sleeping on your right side, and hot yoga are all no-nos during the third trimester. However, there are other restrictions you might not be as familiar with that are specific to the late period of pregnancy.
Whether it's keeping up with your fitness or forgetting to eat the right diet to maintain your healthy weight gain, knowing the important things doctors say you can't do during the third trimester will be clutch when it comes time to deliver.
1. Neglect Your Appointments
Yes, those appointments are numerous and start every two weeks in the beginning of the third trimester to every week at the end. It feels like you might as well live at your OB-GYNs office, but Antonio Asis, M.D., an OB-GYN on the medical staff at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital urged moms not to neglect these important appointments In a video from Texas Health Resources, he said, "During this time, there is the most stress on the mother and the most stress can take place." He said that everything from blood pressure to headaches needs to be evaluated frequently to ensure the safety of the mother.
2. Ignore Kick Counts
Your baby is getting so big that it's running out of room. It's nearly term, and preparing for its eviction. That means, according to Chris Allphin, M.D, an OB-GYN practicing in Idaho Falls, that their movements may slow down a bit. You don't need to panic, but you do need to pay attention because they should still definitely be moving around. In a video from Mountain Star Health, he said, "You may have a slight decrease as you approach your delivery date, and that's normal, but you should still have 10 distinct movements over two hours." You should be able to count these, but if you notice a lot of activity in general, you're doing well.
3. International Travel
The third trimester is no time to take a world tour. I remember very clearly my OB-GYN telling me, "Once you hit the third trimester, I don't want you stepping foot on a plane." Jason James, MD, medical director at Miami's FemCare Ob-Gyn, told Self, “As you get closer to your due date, you want to be fairly accessible to a hospital or doctor’s care.” 30,000 feet in the sky is a fairly inaccessible location. While some airlines will allow a mother to fly late into her pregnancy, most will not, so there's also that to consider.
4. Neglect Your Oral Health
As someone who absolutely hates the dentist with the fire of 1000 suns, I will look for any excuse to avoid the recliner of doom. However, according to Aharon Hagai, D.M.D., pregnancy "is a crucial period of time in a woman’s life and maintaining oral health is directly related to good overall health." He also noted in an American Dental Association release that a study he conducted "identified no evidence to show that dental treatment with anesthetics is harmful during pregnancy, and yet so many pregnant women avoid going to the dentist."
5. Skip Your Vaccines
Dr. Allphin also noted in the Mountain Star Health video that at some point during your third trimester, you will get the pertussis vaccine. This will happen every pregnancy. This protects your child against whooping cough, and is a crucial vaccine. My OB-GYN also recommended my partner and my child's caregiver also receive the vaccine against the deadly disease.
The flu shot may also become available during your third trimester. Julie Shakib, a pediatrician at the University of Utah School of Medicine who served as lead researcher on the benefits of flu shots during pregnancy, told National Public Radio that the antibodies and immune response that happens in the mother after a flu shot is "gift the mom gives her baby across the placenta" to protect the baby well into infancy.
6. Overdo It On Your Workouts
According to Melissa Walsh, MD, an attending physician in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, & Women's Health at Montefiore Health System in New York, you should stay active throughout your pregnancy, but be careful not to overdo it. She told Health, "the normal changes the body undergoes for pregnancy will make you more prone to dizziness," so things like hot yoga and the like are straight out. Be careful, and workout under the guidance of a good trainer and your OB-GYN.
7. Overlook Your Instinct
If you feel like something is wrong, it very well might be. Dr. Asis urged mothers, "If you don't feel well for any reason, please speak with your doctor." We often overlook the power of our own knowledge and intuition over our bodies, but it can mean the difference between a good outcome and a negative outcome.