Yes! You’re in your third trimester!!!
You can see the light at the end of the tunnel. And there’s no doubt from the looks of you that you’re definitely pregnant.
My belly is tightening, are these contractions?
First, let’s talk about your belly. Most likely you are experiencing some tightening of your abdomen. Most women at this time do. Some women begin to feel them around 6 or 7 months. Some moms feel them even sooner. These are called Braxton Hicks Contractions. Did you know that your uterus begins to contract around the third month and it contracts several times an hour? WOW! Who new? It’s an actual mini work out that your uterus goes through so it’ll be strong and ready for labor. These contractions are usually painless and last less than 45 seconds. Some women describe them like mild menstrual cramps. They come and go (irregular) and happen more when you’re tired or have over extended yourself. Drink a big glass of water, lie down, rest and practice your breathing techniques. Or jump into a nice WARM bath. Not too hot!
Check out my blog on Signs of Labor - What You Should Know If You're Pregnant
True labor contractions show a definite pattern. If you’re concerned that you’re in labor, apply the 5 – 1 – 1 Rule. If your contraction are 5 minutes apart, 1 minute long, and continue for 1 hour, you are most likely in labor. This is when you would call your doctor or midwife.
As a precautionary note, watch out for preeclampsia symptoms. Preeclampsia is when a pregnant woman develops high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week (late 2nd or 3rd trimester) of pregnancy.
Call your doctor if you have any of the following symptoms:
- Vision loss, blurred vision, or sensitivity to light
- Major headache
- Decreased urination
- Nausea (other than morning sickness)
- Sudden weight gain of more than 4 lbs. a week
- Excessive swelling
- Abdominal (stomach area) or shoulder pain
- Racing pulse
- Heightened sense of anxiety
Always check with your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns!
For more information: Preeclampsia Foundation
Appointment tips. Things that need to get done!
- Sign up for my week to week pregnancy guide plus learn how your baby is growing week to week.
- Call your health insurance provider and find out if there are any requirements they may have about adding a baby to your policy.
- Get a life insurance policy and get a trust and/or write a will if you have not all ready.
- Time to become aware of your baby's movements or fetal kick counts. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommends that you time how long it takes you to feel 10 kicks, flutters, swishes, or rolls. Ideally you want to feel at least 10 movements within 2 hours. You will likely feel 10 movements in less time than that. Here's one common approach: Choose a time of day when your baby tends to be active. It would be best if you could do the counts at roughly the same time each day. Sit quietly or lie on your side so you won't get distracted. Time how long it takes for you to feel ten distinct movements – kicks, punches, and whole body movements all count. If you don't feel ten movements in two hours, stop counting and call your midwife or doctor. Remember that your little one does sleep and rest.
- Start researching about cord blood banking.
Parent's Guide To Cord Blood http://parentsguidecordblood.org/
Cord Blood Center http://www.cordbloodbanking.com
- Start baby proofing your house. Safe Kids Worldwide – child safety and childproofing tips safe kids.org
- Buy a car seat and install it. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration – travel safety and car seat installation instructions nhtsa.gov
- Buy a baby book and a breastfeeding books. These are my favorites.
- Consider signing up for a baby 101/newborn class. They're very helpful!
- Read this blog The Best Newborn Essentials Guide- Preparing For Baby
- Start interviewing a birth doula or postpartum doula if you plan on using one. How do you find one? Ask friends or your healthcare provider if they recommend anyone. OR visit: Doulas of North America (DONA) http://www.dona.org/mothers/find_a_doula.php
Studies have shown that when doulas attend birth, labors are shorter with fewer complications, babies are healthier and they breastfeed more easily.
What’s a Birth Doula and what does she do?
- Recognizes birth as a key experience the mother will remember all her life
- Understands the physiology of birth and the emotional needs of a woman in labor
- Assists the woman in preparing for and carrying out her plans for birth
- Stays with the woman throughout the labor
- Provides emotional support, physical comfort measures and an objective viewpoint, as well as helping the woman get the information she needs to make informed decisions
- Facilitates communication between the laboring woman, her partner and her clinical care providers
- Perceives her role as nurturing and protecting the woman's memory of the birth experience
- Allows the woman's partner to participate at his/her comfort level
Numerous clinical studies have found that a doula’s presence at birth:
- tends to result in shorter labors with fewer complications
- reduces negative feelings about one’s childbirth experience
- reduces the need for pitocin (a labor-inducing drug), forceps or vacuum extraction and cesareans
- reduces the mother’s request for pain medication and/or epidurals
What’s A Postpartum Doula?
- Offers education, companionship and nonjudgmental support during the postpartum fourth trimester
- Assists with newborn care, family adjustment, meal preparation and light household tidying
- Offers evidence-based information on infant feeding, emotional and physical recovery from birth, infant soothing and coping skills for new parents and makes appropriate referrals when necessary
Research shows parents who receive support can:
- Feel more secure and cared for
- Are more successful in adapting to new family dynamics
- Have greater success with breastfeeding
- Have greater self-confidence
- Have less postpartum depression
- Have lower incidence of abuse
Ultra wellness tips for weeks 29 - 32 (choose a few that seem appealing to you):
- Read about the Group B Strep Test - This test is done between weeks 35 – 37 at your doctor's office. There are things you can start doing now for prevention. Tips for Weeks 33 - 37: Hang In There!!! You're Almost There!!
- Nap whenever you need to.
- Continue walking, getting fresh air and sunlight.
- Drink 3 quarts of filtered water a day.
- Take probiotics. Eat yogurt and fermented foods if you haven’t started all ready. Your baby is counting on your healthy bacteria flora.
- Take omega 3’s, especially DHA. Your baby’s brain is growing rapidly during the 3rd trimester and needs omega 3’s. Eat flax seeds, chia seeds, walnuts, and wild caught Alaskan Salmon.
- Journal – write about your thoughts, dreams, and feelings! Draw them!
- Talk to your little one. Explain to him/her what’s happening. Your baby is so in-tuned with everything you’re feeling and thinking. Your baby feels what you feel and it is important to explain things to them. He/she is listening!
- Do what brings you joy.
- Practice you kegals and breathing exercises!
- Write a letter to your partner and give them 5 - 10 reasons why you’re grateful for them.
- Write a letter to your partner telling them 5 reasons why they are going to be a great parent. If you can think of more, even better!
- Make sure you are eating a healthy diet and drinking 2 - 3 quarts of water a day. This is super important because your baby is made from what you eat!! Literally! So be mindful of what you put into your mouth and body. Check out my blog ‘12 Tips to Eating Well During Pregnancy’. If you want to learn more about prenatal power foods and what will make you and your baby thrive, 12 Days To A Health Pregnancy, Healthy Baby & Beyond - Prenatal Nutrition 101.
- Wondering what you should be avoiding? Check out my blogs:
- Attention Moms! Top 12 Things To Avoid While Pregnant.
- Attention Moms! The Yucky Seven NON-FOOD Items Pregnant Women and Kids Should Avoid
- Attention Moms! 8 Environmental Things Children and Pregnant Women Should Avoid
Don't forget to check out Tips for Weeks 33 - 37: Hang In There!!! You're Almost There!!
QUESTIONS: Whats your biggest fear about labor and why? How are you going to approach labor? Are you planning on a natural birth or are you planning on using medication and why?. There is NO RIGHT OR WRONG ANSWERS. NO JUDGEMENT! I would love to hear from you so please write your answer in the comment box below.
If you find this information useful please feel free to share it with your friends and loved ones.
Sears M.D., W., Sears, R.N., M. The Pregnancy Book. 1st Edition. Published by Little Brown and Co. NYC 1997
Doulas of Northern America - http://www.dona.org/mothers/index.php
Preeclampsia Foundation - http://www.preeclampsia.org
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - High Blood Pressure: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq034.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130727T2017201171
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists - How to Tell When Labor Begins: http://www.acog.org/~/media/For%20Patients/faq004.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130727T2019071132