If your reading this it probably means you’re in the third trimester yourself. Congrats mama you’re almost there, just a few more weeks left.
These next few weeks are going to fly by and at the same time they’ll feel like they drag on forever. So in these last few weeks there are a few essential things you want to make sure you get done. These things that we’ll cover in this post are going to greatly prepare you mentally, physically, and emotionally to bring your bundle of joy into the world.
Think ahead, schedule your hospital tour:
We went on the hospital tour when I was 36 almost 37 weeks. I had called them at the end of April or beginning of May and their first opening was 3-4 weeks later. So don’t wait until you’re 35 weeks to mark this task off.
So don’t procrastinate scheduling your tour you never know what the hospital availability will be like.
Why I’m glad we did the tour:
I like order, and knowing what I’m doing and where I’m going. This tour was perfect for getting all of those details. We got to find out all about what they offer during labor, they used to offer tubs and now they just offer showers for you to labor in (I didn’t know that before the tour, I had thought about using a tub but now I know it’s not even an option). We also got information on how to preregister.
Call your insurance
- Some insurances will give you a free breast pump. Give yours a call and see what needs to be done to get yours. I had to wait until 30 days before my due date to get this set up.
- Ask them how to set up your newborn on insurance. I called and asked what I needed to do, they gave me the phone number for my company’s HR/benefits and they gave me all the information I need to add our little one right after she’s born
- Verify with your insurance how long they cover for a hospital stay
Set up maternity leave
This is something I had to do 30 days before my due date. I would recommend talking to your HR representative to find out your workplace policies on leave. (also don’t wait until you only have 30 days to do this! I talked to mine probably at the start of the third trimester, and that’s when I found out I needed to call the companies insurance within 30 days of the due date to apply for short term disability).
Find a pediatrician
Most places won’t take your information until your child is born. But do your research find a pediatrician that you like so that you’re not trying to do this task days after having your baby. Some doctors will have you take your newborn in within the next couple of days up to a week after they’re born. So find someone ahead of time.
Install the car seat
Around 34-36 weeks I’d recommend installing the car seat if you haven’t bought one yet… I recommend buying one asap. Below are a few from Graco that I would recommend getting! We have kind of a smaller car and needed a compact car seat and Graco’s fit the absolute best! (I am an Amazon affiliate all that means is I recommend products I use and love if you decide to buy something I recommend I get a small commission)
Write your birth plan
I didn’t think this was all that important, but it is! And here is why: I’ve done so much reading and if you have proper expectations of what labor is going to be like you will realize you are not going to be able to think as clearly as you can right now, you won’t be able to adequately express yourself.
The birth plan is for your doctors, nurses, and loved ones to know what you want when you’re in too much pain to communicate or think clearly.
Other baby essentials
Here are a few other things you’ll want to make sure you get in the last trimester for baby:
- Baby tub
- A bassinet
- A stock of diapers & wipes (if you’re having a baby shower you can expect to get a nice supply from friends and family. If you’re not having a baby shower check out my post on how to get Free Baby Stuff)
- A few different sized onesies, mittens, socks
- A swaddling blanket
- Car seat
- Shampoo/body wash, and lotion
- Wash the baby clothes (I did this around week 30 when I was in hardcore nesting mode)
Stock up your house
You are not going to want to go anywhere right after having a baby. Make sure you have enough of the essentials to get you by without having to run to the store. Stock up on things like trash bags, laundry soap, dish soap, hand soap, body wash, feminine products, self-care products, toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo/conditioner, etc.
Another good idea is to create some freezer meals. Things you can just pop in the crockpot or oven so you don’t have to spend money on ordering food and you have very little cooking that you have to do.
Pack the hospital bags
Pack a bag for you and the baby. If you have a partner staying at the hospital with you make sure they have their bag packed too. After going on the hospital tour we realized how nice and essential it will be for my husband to make sure he brings his own pillow and blanket. I plan on doing the same because I want some of the comforts from home with me.
I got my bag out at 35 weeks and slowly added stuff to it over the next few weeks. Some people will have it completely packed by week 34, and some will wait until week 38. It’s totally up to you, there isn’t a set rule to follow on when to pack your bag.
I say pay attention to your body if you’re having lots of contractions then it might be a good idea to start getting things ready sooner.
Get ready for postpartum care
This is probably one of the most important things you can do for yourself in the third trimester. Not gonna lie, it’s not gonna be pretty. Set proper expectations for yourself and how much of a toll birth is going to take on your body. If you have the right expectations you can better prepare.
Here’s what I suggest getting to prepare yourself for the aftermath of birth:
- Make padsicles
- Buy a stool softener (your first poop is going to be a killer so take a stool softener)
- Buy Dermoplast (this spray eases pain and burning, hundreds of moms swear by this product and the reviews don’t lie either)
- Buy a girdle not only will this help everything stay in place after your baby is out, but it’ll help with recovery and getting your body back to pre-baby.
- If you plan on breastfeeding make sure you have nursing bras or tank tops, nursing pads, and some good ol’ nipple cream.
Obviously, there’s quite a bit to do and remember in the third trimester. Which is why I’ve created a free printable checklist to help keep you on track and organized: