the home stretch
Welcome to the 3rd Trimester! Your baby is fully formed . . . now his or her top priority is just to grow. This is a great time to focus on good nutrition, fitness and movement, and healthy lifestyle choices. Now is the time to increase your NORA+ infusion to a quart per day. There is lots of information on this page so read to the end.
I have a new homework assignment for you . . . and I'd love if you do it daily until you have your baby is in your arms. As you round the corner into the 3rd trimester, you will notice that you are even more aware of your baby.
Every evening after dinner, please lay down, and see how many minutes it takes your baby to move 10 times. You will quickly see that with lots of good nutrition on a full stomach, your baby will move 10 times in about an hour. Most babies will “move it out” in 10-20 minutes. Your baby's movement is the best indicator of how well they are doing.
There are many great apps out there, but if you are a pen and paper kind of person, here’s a handout to keep track of your baby's movements.
There Really is Good Bacteria
If you have not already started taking probiotics regularly, this is the time to begin. Research supports that taking particular probiotic strains can reduce the chances of vaginal and/or rectal GBS colonization. You can find my favorite ones listed on the supplement page.
Everyone should take birth classes. Ideally, you should finish your classes by 36 weeks. You can find my favorites on the childbirth education page.
Time to get a Doula
Doulas are probably the second-best investment you can make to help you have the birth you desire. There’s plenty of research that points to the benefit of having skilled labor support. A doula can help you avoid a hospital transfer for pain, exhaustion, malpositioning, stress, and more. She can also help you have great memories, good food, and lots of emotional support. Doulas are experts at helping you navigate all of the various challenges of labor. I truly believe every laboring family should have a doula. You can find my favorites on the doula page.
Finding who works for you
One of the most difficult things you will do as a parent is having to take care of your child when they are hurt or sick, and no one wants to figure out who is the best person to see when you are in the middle of the ordeal. As a midwife in Texas, I can care for your well newborn for the first 6 weeks of their life, but should they need a little extra care, it is good to know whom you will turn to in that situation. You will find my favorite pediatricians on the client resources link above. Each of these providers is different in how they practice, and for that, I am thankful because every family is different in how they raise their children. If you are looking for a specific type of care, let me know, and I will do my best to guide you to someone who matches your goals.
Finding what works for you
Every day, you use various natural, instinctive skills that you have used over your life to manage stress and various discomforts. Many of these natural “coping skills” are so “normal” you don’t even know you do them. One of the exercises you can do to help prepare for birth is to identify what you naturally do to manage physical and emotional discomforts.
I am adding a worksheet you can download to help you find what already works for you. In your birth class, you will learn and practice coping skills that some people use in labor. As you learn and practice labor skills, recognize the similar parts to what you already do.
One of the most important things you can do during labor is to change positions to help the baby navigate the bones in the pelvis. Position changes can also help the laboring mom be comfortable. You’ll learn and practice more labor positions in your birth class. This handout will be a great reference for you as you begin to practice coping skills for birth.