THIRD TRIMESTER TIPS

 

The third trimester is really a time to slow down and take even better care of yourself. Below are some good reminders and resources:

 

Below are some great resources, we have many more gathered on our Resource Page too!

 

FOR BABY

Some good online checklists for your baby registry.

 

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Sleep:  

As your belly grows, it’s probably getting more tricky to sleep well -- so don’t hesitate to nap when you can!  You’re growing another human and it’s exhausting work. Some women have great luck with lots of pillows -- try one between your knees and under your belly when you’re on your side.  A pillow under your shoulders will give a slight incline to your torso - this is especially helpful if you’re experiencing heartburn. They also sell special pregnancy body pillows, which can be great too!  

FOR YOU

Great self care encompasses four things: 

  1. A wholesome diet 

  2. Sleep and rest… Do it!

  3. Body movement 

  4. Connection with others 

Diet:

A wholesome diet is going to look different for everyone. Try to stick mainly to foods with ingredients you can pronounce, and sourced from places you trust.  Eating well can really be an art form - so enjoy it! 

  • Choose protein first, in general, when you are hungry.  It fuels your body longer.

  • You can never go wrong by adding more leafy greens. 

  • Pregnancy tea with nettles and red raspberry leaves are also great!  Ginger Webb at The Herb Bar downtown makes a nice blend, as well.

  • You might also consider adding 6 medjool dates per day to your diet in the last month of pregnancy. Anecdotally, dates can help ripen and prepare your cervix for labor. (NOTE: If you have gestational diabetes or any dietary concerns, please consult with your provider before adding dates to your diet as they are high in sugar.) Six dates is a lot, so we love smoothies to help hit that number. This is a great one!

or After Baby

Postpartum Preparation:

This trimester is a great time to plan for your postpartum period. Make a plan now for who will be able to help you with chores, errands, meals, and rest once the baby arrives.  Don’t hesitate to ask for what you need -- even if that includes asking your mother to not fly in immediately, or asking your best friend to do your laundry and take out your trash.  Check out our Postpartum Plan to help plan for this time!

If you think you’d like some help for the first days of being at home with baby, or for the first day or so that your partner goes back to work, or even after your family “helpers” leave, check out our Postpartum services.  You can fill out the client needs assessment now, and our amazing postpartum manager, Cary, will give you a call to learn more about what our postpartum doulas can do for you!  (Postpartum doula packages can be a wonderful grandparent gift -- start dropping hints now!)

Connection:

  • If you haven’t signed up for a childbirth class yet, you should definitely set that up soon.  Some classes are 12+ weeks long, and fill up fast.  There’s many different approaches to childbirth education. 

    • ATX Doulas: we offer Childbirth, Breastfeeding, Infant Care, Cloth Diapering  and Birth Plan Preparing. Learn more about our offerings here: ATX Doulas class offerings 

      • Get Prepared: If you’d like a good overview of what to expect at your chosen place of birth, and you and your partner would like to learn some easy techniques and get hands-on practice with some great comfort measures, our Get Prepared! class might be ideal for you.  It’s held monthly at Birthwise Birth Center, in central Austin. In the class, we won’t focus on any specific “dogma” for birth.  We’re used to supporting moms who want epidurals, moms who need medical interventions, and moms who want a natural birth. Get Prepared! meets for two three-hour sessions, and you’ll get key information and tools + hands-on practice of techniques that will help both you and your partner to be more calm and confident during labor and birth.  

      • If you’re strapped for time, or this isn’t your first rodeo, you might simply want to attend our two-hour, one-session Comfort Measures class.

    • Bradley Classes (people that have great reviews around town):

      • Marci Coleman - North Austin

      • Hannah Neas - North Austin

      • Bridget Brown - South West Austin

    • HpynoBirthing Classes:

  • Our Postpartum Groups are a great place to find connection, support, and process the significant transition into motherhood.

Common Pregnancy Ailments and Remedies:

  • Heartburn -- Papaya enzyme.  These chewable tablets can be taken after meals, and naturally help with digestion.  

  • Restless legs/muscle cramps -- Natural CALM magnesium supplement (can also help with insomnia and constipation!)

  • Lower back/pubic symphysis pain -- Invest in a pregnancy support band. We’ve heard good things about the Gabrialla brand, and recommend getting one made of breathable cotton. Yoga can also help with this, as can chiropractic care and/or physical therapy. See above for chiropractor recommendations, and for physical therapy we like Sullivan Physical Therapy.

  • Swelling -- Eat some watermelon! It’s great for lowering blood pressure and is super hydrating. Use cold compresses on swollen areas, and try to minimize your time on your feet and in the heat. Swim if you can. 

Body Movement: 

Movement is incredibly important throughout pregnancy and labor. Aim for activities to support a range of motion and alignment in order to reach a healthy mix of mobility and stability for the pelvis. In doing so, you can help align the uterus and pelvis to allow space for baby and release tight ligaments or muscles that may cause discomfort.

  • Prenatal yoga, swimming, and walking are great pregnancy exercises to do.

  • Spinning Babies recommends these daily activities which are designed to stretch, balance, and align the muscles surrounding your baby so that they can get into the best position possible.

  • Squats versus kegels? Every woman is different and what helps one woman can really damage another body. It’s best to talk with a Pelvic Floor PT to see asses what’s best for your body.

  • Get a birth ball! A birth ball is just an exercise ball, but they are great for minimizing back and hip pain, opening the pelvis, and optimal fetal positioning, to name a few.  As a general rule, if you’re 5’8” or below in height, it's best to get a 65cm ball. If you’re 5’9” or taller then it's best to get a 75cm ball.

  • Yoga is great for all over body alignment, fitness, stamina and strength, and it’s gentle enough for most women to practice throughout pregnancy. 

  • Chiropractic work and massage are both important tools to take advantage of during pregnancy, and can make both sleeping and moving your body regularly much more comfortable and effective. They can also better prepare you for birth as your body is aligned and balanced.

    • Chiropractic care - ideally, start this BEFORE you’re experiencing any pain!

    • Massage therapists - shoot us an email for the most current Massage Therapists we recommend

Placenta encapsulation:

If you haven't thought about getting your placenta encapsulated, now might be a great time to learn more about it.  Placenta capsules are really incredible for balancing your hormones after the birth of your baby.  They can help with mood swings, breastmilk supply, energy, healing and blood loss after giving birth.  Placenta capsules are as simple to take as vitamins, and we at ATX Doulas will handle all the details for you!  Read more about our placenta encapsulation services here.

Routine tests you may encounter during the third trimester:

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