We are starting our 4th week in the third trimester, and my goodness there is still so much to do! In just a short 9 weeks, our baby girl will make her big appearance.
For the past 31 weeks, I have been preparing (dreading) the last few months leading up to her birth. Are we prepared to have a baby? Do we have everything we need to sustain her life? Do I need to buy more underwear?
No. No. And probably no! But it doesn’t hurt to be 100% sure.
I have done my research and have created a checklist of the 7 most important things to do in your third trimester before your water breaks and all of a sudden you’re rushing to the hospital to deliver your first, third, or seventh child.
1. Create a Birth Plan
A birth plan is a helpful guideline for all mom-to-be’s, doctors, and hospital staff to have on hand during labor. When you get to the hospital, you’re not going to want to remember all of the little details of birth you feel so strongly about- nor can you remember! Your mind is going to be in a thousand other places while your body prepares to deliver a child.
Birth Plans go over details such as:
- Pain relief
- How you would like to breastfeed
- What medical procedures you would like performed on your child
- If you would like your child to stay in your room all of the time, some of the time, etc.
I found my birth plan template on TheBump.com! You can use this template, search the internet for another one that tickles your fancy, or you can create your own!
2. Put together the Nursery
Last weekend, my family and I spent time putting together all of the nursery furniture that Emily will need: Crib, changing table, and dresser. We got our furniture from Wayfair and put it together ourselves (our area doesn’t offer Handy services).
Getting the nursery ready early in the third trimester is extremely important, as you’re not going to want to build furniture or hang pictures when you’re worrying about your water breaking.
3. Choose a Pediatrician
This is something that most first-time parents may look over until the last minute. Choosing a pediatrician is something you should do at the beginning of your third trimester, as you will need to give the hospital your pediatricians name. We registered at The Center for Advanced Pediatrics in Connecticut! They have our name in the system, and all we do once Miss Emily is born is to call them to set up her first few appointments.
4. Clean! Clean! Clean!
Clean that house, mama!
This might seem like something that is insanely obvious, as I sit here writing this post instead of cleaning my own house, but cleaning the house doesn’t just mean vacuuming the carpet or cleaning the hair out of the shower drain.
When I say clean the house, I mean PURGE, BABY, PURGE! Take the time to Marie Kondo your kitchen, your study, your bedroom. In just a few short weeks you are going to have another human taking up space in your home, and you are not going to want to worry about where to keep his or her bottles while you’re on your way home from the hospital. Organize the nursery in a way that feels right to you. Get rid of the clutter thats been sitting in the corner of the living room for months. Enlist family or your spouse/partner to help as well! You are the one who has been building a baby for the past 8 months, after all!
5. Pre-Register at the Hospital
This is something that I didn’t even know was something you had to do!
Pre-registering at the hospital isn’t as scary as it sounds. This just insures that all of your personal and financial information is in the hospitals system for when you go into labor. You’re not going to want to fill out your insurance information while simultaneously pushing a baby out and screaming at your partner.
You want to pre-register between 27-30 weeks, right around the time you begin your third trimester. If something happens and you go into labor pre-term, you certainly want to make sure the hospital is prepared to take you in.
6. Pack your Hospital Bag. And your partners’. And your baby’s!
Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your hospital bag! This isn’t something you want to just throw together the second your water breaks. You want- and need- to plan what’s going in your bag ahead of time. If you get to the hospital and discover that you left your phone with the birth playlist at home, you’re going to be a tad upset (I’m looking at you, Pam!).
If you’re not quite ready to pack your hospital bag, at least create your packing list. This will help you when you reach your final few weeks of life without a baby and allow you to go through the list without thinking.
Hare are some important things to remember to pack:
- 2-3 outfits (nursing tops, socks, underwear, etc.)
- Breast pump (if you are planning on breastfeeding). You’re going to want the hospital to teach you how to use it!
- Going home outfit for your baby
- Overnight clothes for your partner (if they are planning on staying in the hospital overnight). Due to COVID-19, there is a chance that your partner will be allowed into the hospital room with you, but might not be able to come and go as they please. Pack for them like you’re packing for you!
- Toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, face wash, shampoo)
7. Stock That Freezer
Once your baby comes, you’re not going to want to spend hours on your feet meal prepping and cooking. You’re going to need that extra time for laundry and sleeping.
Buy or create freezer meals that can be reheated at a moments notice… that notice being it’s lunchtime and your little one is out cold. Your handy dandy Crock-Pot can come in handy here! You can spend a week or two making 1-2 meals per day and then freeze them in meal prep containers for easy access. You can check out my recipe for Crock-Pot Pot Roast here!
There are many other things you can add to your third-trimester checklist- these are just the ones I’ve been working on in the past few weeks. I’m excited to check off the things on this list as I move through the next few weeks leading up to the birth of our sweet baby girl!