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Third Trimester To-Do Checklist

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As the big day looms closer, it can be overwhelming trying to know what needs done. Also realize that you probably can't do it all at least not by yourself. Let your partner, family members and friends pitch in as well. Pace yourself as this last trimester can be an exhausting time for you.

Continue with your prenatal visits.

Finalize your birth plan with your provider. Write it up so that you have a formal easy to read document.

Write down your doctor's instructions about what danger signs to be on the lookout for, what requires a call to the nurse, what requires a trip to the ER, and how often you should do kick counts and what to do if the baby isn't as active as normal.

Take a birthing class and hospital tour if you haven't already done so.

Decorate the nursery.

Prepare for your baby shower by creating your baby registry. Consider adding some big ticket items to the regular smaller priced ones. Sometimes people go together to buy a larger item such as a stroller or crib.

Sleep on your side every night starting in the third trimester to ensure proper blood flow.

Keep active. It might be a bit more daunting as you get bigger and feel less graceful but it will help you feel better, improve your mood and make sure you are physically ready for labor. It will also improve your sleep, which can be problematic during the third trimester.

Finalize maternity leave plans with your employer.

Pre-register at the hospital or birthing center.

Decide: bottle or breastfeed or a combination approach.

Once you've decided prepare by buying bottles and equipment, or breastfeeding items such as a pump and breast pads.

If breastfeeding, attend a lactation class. Most hospitals or birthing centers have these classes regularly.

Sign your older children, if you have them, for sibling classes. These can do a lot to help prepare other children for the baby's arrival and make them feel an important part of the family.

Start setting aside extra meals for the freezer to ease the burden of cooking after the baby is born.

Practice the drive to the hospital.

Avoid stress such as listening to birth horror stories, overdoing, and getting caught up in the grandma battles. To eliminate these, set up a schedule ahead of time. Let your mother come for the week after you bring home baby, and your mother in law can come the week following that. Whatever you decide, stick to it and make sure your partner backs you up. Everyone wants to be a part of the excitement but don't sacrifice your sanity for everyone else's demands.

Choose who will be present during your labor, and delivery. Check with your physician and the hospital for their regulations.

Become familiar with cesarean sections as this is a possibility for any birth. By having some knowledge of the process you won't be as fearful or feel as caught off guard if a complication arises and one becomes necessary.

Settle on your baby names list. Choose one for each sex no matter how sure the sonographer was of the baby's sex. You might want to avoid telling anyone what the names are though. Many times people will share negative thoughts to try to change your mind but will hold their tongues and grow fond of the names after the baby is born.

Pack the hospital and labor bags. Pack your labor bag and baby's bag with necessary supplies. However, many hospitals supply you with a number of items as well so don't over pack.

Work on baby announcements and thank you's.

Purchase a baby memory album and have it ready to take to the hospital for the first photos, and mementos such as the footprints and wristbands.

Read baby books now not just pregnancy ones. It's sort of like the wedding and the marriage. Sometimes you can get so caught up in preparing for birth you neglect to prepare for parenthood.


Related Articles

Second Trimester To-Do Checklist

First Trimester To-Do Checklist

Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The Third Trimester

Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The Second Trimester

Pregnancy To-Do Checklist: The First Trimester

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