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The third trimester is the last stage in your pregnancy before you can hold your baby. You will feel the weight of your child, frequent kicks, and also experience aches in various parts of your body.
These are normal and natural as you get closer to giving birth. This is why you must become more vigilant about your health and reduce the chances of having a difficult labor.
Even though you may be very uncomfortable during this phase of your life, try to remind yourself that you’ll be with your child soon.
Here’s how you can prepare to cross the third trimester safely.
1. Educate Yourself On Labor
During your third trimester, you may experience contractions before your due date. These are Braxton Hicks contractions and don’t signify the start of your labor. Instead, think of them as trial runs for the real deal. Labor contractions are short and fast. They can be very intense, and the best to know if you’ve entered this stage is by counting how frequently they come and go. Once in active labor, your blood pressure, hydration level, and respiratory levels matter. If you’re struggling with one of the three or don’t get timely help, you may experience a complicated delivery that may injure your child.
You need medical and legal assistance if your baby gets hurt during birth. This is because some of these injuries, like cerebral palsy, require a lifetime of physical therapy, which comes at a heavy price. Fortunately, by preparing yourself beforehand by visiting resources like the Birth Injury Justice Center, you can anticipate what lies ahead. Once you learn what can disrupt your labor, what birth injuries look like, and what you can do to prevent them, you can safely have your child.
2. Understand What Your Body Is Going Through
Your body will continue accommodating the baby as you get closer to your due date. This is important to ensure that fetal development is not disrupted and your baby has a healthy weight during birth. As a result, you’ll feel your skin and ligaments stretch and find yourself getting tired often.
In such cases, don’t fight the fatigue; take frequent naps and elevate your swollen limbs. Your hands and feet may be experiencing intense water retention, and an ice pack and a cooling pad can bring this swelling down.
You can also try CBD drops to help reduce any inflammation you might be experiencing. And yes, CBD is safe to use during pregnancy, despite what we’re told (living testimony to this). But like everything, it’s still best not to overdo it. But many women have switched from pain killers during pregnancy to safer alternatives like CBD when the pain becomes unbearable.
Now even if you choose to use CBD during your pregnancy instead of an OTC, we still recommend you consult with your doctor first, unless of course you don’t trust them! Which in all honesty is understandable considering the medical paradigm has been cracking since “covid”. Experimental injections labeled vaccines were given to pregnant women with disastrous effects, so it’s quite hard to have faith in the medical system these days. We get you!
Ultimately, we can never be too safe when it comes to our unborn child, and even an over-the-counter medicine may do damage to your baby, so take only if needed and after getting the green light from a trusted doctor. The same goes for CBD, where it too is best taken under the administration of a doctor. Obviously this would require your doctor be open to alternative medicines. A traditional doctor likely won’t be offering you CBD anytime soon but many holistic doctors are very open to CBD as medicine, even for women during pregnancy.
That said, let’s see what we can do about other common ailments. When you feel heartburn, breathlessness and nausea, never take medication unless your doctor prescribes you pills and you trust their advice. Sometimes, you may need to complete bed rest until you’re ready to give birth. If this is your first baby, you will feel your child move down your pelvis. Consequently, you will feel less pressure around your rib cage but more on your bladder, leading to more bathroom trips. Ensure you monitor your symptoms and head to the ER if you see bleeding, experience sharp pain, or feel distressed. If your pregnancy is progressing according to the timeline, you should transition smoothly into labor and have your child.
3. Ensure You Maintain Your Health
You cannot eat and drink on time as you get closer to giving birth. Instead, you must continue taking prenatal vitamins, drinking at least 12 cups of water daily, and eating nutritious meals that boost your well-being. If you’re in pain, don’t push yourself to stay active and choose to rest. If you enter yourself, it can endanger your child. It will help if you try doing exercises around this period.
Anytime you have energy, go for a walk and try light yoga. These strengthen your pelvis and make it easier to give birth. You will also need to keep your teeth and gums healthy, so don’t skip brushing your teeth. The bacteria in your mouth can travel into your blood, pushing you into premature labor.
And finally, let us touch base briefly on the use of cannabis (not CBD) while pregnant. While we don’t recommend it and neither do doctors, we know you’re ultimately going to do you. Hopefully you do the right thing. And in this situation, we do agree with doctors. Just like cigarettes, taking a break from smoking cannabis during pregnancy is recommended and ideal for you and your unborn baby’s health.
Consuming cannabis edibles regularly should also be put on the back burner. In our opinion, there is no need to take the risk with cannabis, and you can totally wait 9 months to get high again! CBD is a different story though, but we only recommend it if you are in dire need of pain relief. It certainly is safer than many OTC drugs and even many drugs that a traditional doctor may prescribe for pain.
4. Attend All Your Checkups
Your doctor may ask you to come in for more checkups as your date gets closer. Ideally, every doctor wants their patient to make it to the 40th week. So when you go in for your antenatal checkup every four weeks until you’re about 36 weeks and then two weeks after that, ask your doctor to check up on your vital signs. You should also get examined for gestational diabetes and checked for strep B, whooping cough, and flu.
These interfere with your child’s health and can make birth difficult. You must talk to your doctor if you feel emotionally exhausted by your pregnancy. Your emotional health is essential as you head toward labor. If you feel anxious, panicked, or feel yourself sink into depression, consult your healthcare provider on what you should do. However, don’t try to self-medicate, avoid taking caffeine, and don’t eat anything your doctor tells you not to.
5. Prepare For The Birth Of Your Child
Make sure you make all last-minute preparations before you go into labor. This ensures that you have a backup plan to save your baby in case things go south. You should attend prenatal classes to learn about fetal development, birthing positions, and remedies for your aching body.
This is also the best time to prepare an overnight bag, ensure you have enough frozen meals before time, and discuss with your partner how you plan on proceeding with delivery. If you are distressed, the hospital will ask your partner for consent in case you need a C-section. Hence, discuss these details before giving birth and have a delivery plan.
Pregnancy is a long and arduous journey; there is nothing more exciting than getting close to the finish line. However, the third trimester requires you to continue looking after your health and ensure your fetus develops until you’re ready to give birth. You should educate yourself on labor, what happens during and after the process, and how to prevent severe complications. Make sure you keep up with your changing body and don’t actively resist when you feel unwell.
The food you consume and the vitamins you take are still essential, so don’t give up on a diet you follow until you give birth. Furthermore, you must attend all necessary health checks and get screened for any condition that can harm your baby during childbirth. Lastly, as your due date gets closer, start preparing yourself for the arrival of your child and plan accordingly.