I thought I’d get writing this now a little before I’m over the finish line. I vaguely remember having a newborn and although they are very lovely and smell divine, your brain turns to mush, it hurts to pee and you’re lucky to shower everyday let alone write a blog post 🙃.
So hopefully if you’ve been following, you’ll have read my posts on the first & second trimesters. Now for the third and maybe final instalment, this depends on how you feel about the idea of the Fourth Trimester. But I’ll babble something about that in a few weeks when I’m nappy deep in ours, so for now, the third.
The third trimester takes you from week 28 to weeks 40+. Women are considered to be "“Full Term” from week 37 - 40 and “Post Term” weeks 40+.
So what’s happening for baby? Well we finished the second trimester with a cauliflower, and during these last 12 weeks the baby will grow to around 14 inches long, crown to rump. Think Watermelon 🍉. From week 29 or so, baby will start to partially open his or her eyes. They will start piling on the pounds around week 31 and continue to until they depart the mothership, roughly half a pound a week 🛰 At my last scan the consultant suggested my beautiful baby boy resembled a pork chop. I have to say, I was thrilled. Obviously with their weight gain comes a lot of physical energy from you mama, so don’t be surprised if your appetite picks up. Your babies finger & toe nails are growing, the layer of lanugo (soft downy hair) starts to disappear although some babies have small areas when they are born - super cute 🐨. Around week 35 ISH - baby may turn head down. This is the optimum position for baby to be born in, know as the Cephalic position. If you find that baby is breech, meaning bum down head up, there are some great options to encourage baby head down, check out Spinning Babies & Align Your Baby. There’s also the option to try Moxibustin which is a dried herb and used regularly in Chinese medicine. The herb is packed tightly into a cigar type shape, and held burning over the acupunture point Bladder 67. The success rate of Moxibustin being used sits in line with the medical alternative of an ECV - External Cephalic Version. This is where a doctor will manually try to rotate baby from putting pressure on your tummy. Both options have a 50% success rate.
And for you mama? It’s usually within the third trimester that you’ll start to write up your birth wishes, start mentally preparing for having the baby and book into some Antenatal Classes, Birth Prep, Hypnobirthing etc etc *I offer antenatal classes and will be back up and running from December, but I’ve listed a couple of my fav’s at the bottom of this post too!
I wrote a post a couple of weeks back on the idea of a birth plan vs birth wishes, but essentially you will likely want to start jotting down what you are and are not comfortable with throughout and immediately after your labour. This could cover things like…
🌍 Where to have your baby?
🤓 Who will you have present? In all MLU & Labour Wards you are allowed 2 people. In theatre you are allowed 1. At home, you can have a village!
👣 Who’s cutting the cord, do you want delayed cord clamping?
🙏🏻 Do you want skin to skin? If you aren’t able to would you like your birth partner to?
🍈 Do you want to breastfeed?
🌡 What is your decision on Vitamin K for baby?
👶 Are you open to Induction? *it’s worth noting only 5% of babies are born on their Due Date. 65% of babies are born on day 40 weeks + 10 days.
Other than this (as if this isn’t enough to start thinking about!) you’ll likely notice your bump has gotten a little lower. This can be a welcome relief for your lungs as you feel more spacious up there & if you’ve suffered from heart burn, this might die off also 🔥 however what goes up, must come down, your bladder is now a bouncy toy and your lower back might start to ache if it hasn’t been already. You will probably also start to gather everything you need for babies entrance and first months earth-side. You will be exposed to a whole new world of BPA free baby baths, changing tables, super soft baby towels, swaddles, muslins, crazy cute outfits & ALL THE NAPPIES. So, a tip - you need 25% of what you think you do. You will master changing the shittiest of nappies with 3 wipes and a towel on your lap. A regular blanket will also double up as a swaddle blanket and your baby will enjoy bath time a whole lot more if you’re in there with him or her! So don’t put any extra pressure on yourself to have everything that’s on offer. Babies needs and surprisingly simple! Check out The Nappy Lady for a personalised quote on cloth nappies. If you’re going disposable there are some really great eco-friendly brands out there now including Beaming Babies & Naty.
The official stuff…
You will have an appointment with a midwife every 3 weeks or so from week 28 to 36. In each appointment they will continue to check your urine, blood pressure, listen in to babies heartbeat, measure you and feel around for babies position. Some hospitals are now also offering a 35 week scan to check in on babies estimated weight, measurements and positioning. Your midwife will start to ask about your birth plan around week 36, you can discuss all your questions and decisions with him or her. It’s a really good opportunity to ask questions so make the most of it!
From week 36 to 40, you will be offered a midwife appointment every fortnight. If you haven’t gone into spontaneous labour on your due date, at your 40 week appointment you’ll be offered a sweep - this is the first step onto the induction ladder. I will do another post on the different types of induction soon, but a sweep is essentially your midwife inserting his or her fingers inside to feel for the cervix. The Cervix is usually tilted backwards (away from the Vaginal opening) but it draws forwards in preparation for labour. If they can they will gently massage the opening of the cervix to encourage it to dilate (open). There isn’t a great deal of evidence that shows sweeps as being effective, but you never know! Again it’s one of those decisions that requires a bit of research, but worth remembering the stats around spontaneous delivery that I mentioned above. 65% OF BABIES COME ON 40 + 10 😱
A few highlights of mine from the last 10ish weeks…
#1 Napping - a lot! And it being allowed 😉
#2 Seeing my tummy grow & noticing how it’s making me feel… acceptance / frustration / all the feels good & bad.
#3 Treating myself to a Prenatal Massage - literally HEAVEN!
#4 Touching base with all my doula ladies & their babies
#5 Qualifying to teach Antenatal Education & Birth Prep 🎉 Now I’m considering a midwifery degree… pros & cons people??
#6 Turning 31 and being looked after by my boys
#7 A sneaky baby moon weekend to Ibiza with the hubby. We literally melted into relaxation. Heaven.
#8 Getting super nesty. Washing & organising baby clothes. I’m a bit of a tidy freak so this is me in my element!
Antenatal & Birth Prep
Resources for making decisions for your Birth Wishes