As you enter into the third trimester of pregnancy, you will find it to be an exciting and transformative season of your pregnancy. Your anticipation for the arrival of your beautiful baby is growing each day. And so is the importance of taking those action steps to get ready for your postpartum challenges.
When preparing a postpartum plan, take a holistic approach and prepare not just your body but also your mind, spirit and home for life as a mama to a newborn.
From mindfulness and routines to physical preparations and creating a nurturing home environment, these third trimester tips aim to empower you to create a strong foundation so that you can thrive.
Here are 12 practical insights and mindful strategies that will set the stage for a smoother transition into the beautiful and challenging world of early motherhood.
Meal Plan: Plan out your meals, especially dinner for the first night and week home with your baby. Each week prepare 1-2 extra meals that you can freeze to eat in the first month after birth. If you prep and freeze 1 meal a week you could have breakfast and dinner ready to go for the first week, or dinners for the first two weeks.
Belly Wrapping: In the third trimester, your belly might start to feel extra heavy. You can use your stretchy baby wrap to practice wrapping your pregnant belly. This also helps to build more connection with your baby and your body and will make it easier to start up your own postpartum belly wrapping practice after birth.
Therapy Plan: Mental health issues can come up at any time during the perinatal (before and after birth) season. It’s better to be proactive than reactive, especially if you have a mental health history. Check in with your therapist, counselor or mental health specialist regularly throughout your pregnancy. In your third trimester you can start to discuss issues that you think might arise and coping strategies plus your postpartum mental health care plan.
Baby Blues: Many mothers will tell you, postpartum can be a rollercoaster of emotions. It’s important to know what’s normal and when you should reach out for support. Take time to learn about the baby blues, postpartum depression and Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs). You can read about the differences and warning signs to look out for in this article by Mommy’s Bliss 360 expert Nicole Kumi, PhD Perinatal Mental Health Professional. Also spend some time looking up local resources that you can reach out to if you need help.
Educate Yourself: There is a huge learning curve when it comes to parenting a newborn. And for the most part you don’t know what you don’t know. Luckily, there are classes designed to teach you all of the things you didn't know you needed to know - but come in so clutch. Be realistic with yourself about how much you know about newborns, how to care for them, their patterns and temperaments. Take prenatal classes so that you can learn all about newborn care and what to expect after your baby is born. You will feel much more confident and comfortable in your new role.
Communicate: Between sleepless nights, taking care of yourself and nourishing your baby, communicating about what’s working, not working or changing can become harder and harder. Take time out now to talk about your expectations of and from your partner. What roles will each of you focus on? Who will be responsible for what?
Document Your Journey: With so much focus on your baby and how much they are growing, it's easy to forget that you are on a journey of growth, too. You are about to be reborn as a mother. What does that mean to you? Write a letter to yourself 1 year from now and share how you are feeling, share encouragement and share your hopes for your future.
Find Community: Once the whirlwind of bringing your baby home calms down, you might start to feel isolated and alone. Even when you have lots of family and friends around you. They don't always get it though. But there are other moms out there who are in the same season of motherhood as you. And they do get it. Find moms you can connect with by searching for local moms groups, classes and programs for new moms or moms and young babies.
Kitchen: Postpartum and newborn life come with lots of gear, supplies and stuff. You’re most likely bringing bottles, a breast pump, sippy cups, a bottle sterilizer, a bottle drying rack and more into your kitchen. Make room in your kitchen for all of your breastfeeding and baby feeding supplies by clearing off countertop space and at least one cabinet that you can dedicated to these items, if possible. This is a great time to declutter items that you are no longer using.
Bathrooms: Much of your postpartum care will take place in the bathroom. You’ll need some extra room for things like medications, postpartum pads or disposable underwear, your peri bottle, witch hazel wipes, etc. A basket, caddy or rolling cart are all great options for organizing your postpartum supplies. And set up postpartum care stations in each bathroom so that you’re never stuck without your essentials.
Stock Up: While you or your partner might be making last minute or late night store runs after you come home, that is not the time to do major grocery trips. Spend some time now stocking up on pantry and household essentials. This includes making sure you have plenty of your favorite snacks and pantry items. You might also want to consider stocking up on toilet paper and cleaning supplies as well.
Simplify Your Routines: Once you bring your baby home, the demands on your time will change a lot. Now, you can devote more time to different activities, hobbies, and chores. With a newborn, most of your time will be spent feeding and caring for them. And that means less time for other stuff. Start simplifying your daily routines and pay attention to the things that have to get done each day and what can wait until baby is a little older.
- Meal plan and prep for the first two weeks home
- Wrap your belly with your stretchy wrap
- Connect with postpartum mental health support
- Learn about the baby blues and postpartum mental health
- Learn about newborn care and what to expect postpartum
- Communicate and talk about expectations, roles and responsibilities
- Document your postpartum journey through journaling
- Find your local new mom community
- Make room in your kitchen
- Make room in your bathrooms
- Stock up on essential
- Simplify Your Routines
This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.