10. Start stockpiling – There’s plenty you can start stocking up on now: diapers, whether cloth or disposable, wipes, baby shampoo, onesies and other clothes. Watch for clearance sales, yard sales, Facebook For Sale or Trade (FSOT) pages and sites like FreeCycle.com and ClothDiaperTrader.com. It’s a good time to make a few meals to put away, too, especially if you have an extra freezer.
9. Keep moving, or get moving- If morning sickness kept you from being active, this is the time to get back into it. Most exercises are still safe during pregnancy, although swimming, yoga and walking are ones that are most often recommended. You might need to make some modifications as your body shape and center of gravity changes, but keep at it! Check with your healthcare provider, if you’re unsure.
8. Start preparing siblings . . . - If you’ve got other kids, now is the time to start getting them ready. Babies and toddlers won’t much understand, but preschoolers might be expecting a playmate, and be disappointed with a new sibling who can’t play. Older children might be worried about their place in the family, and should be prepared for the amount of care a newborn requires. Many hospitals have “sibling class” to help with this.
7. . . .and pets –For pets, this might be a good time to take an obedience class for dogs. Cats like to sleep in places that are warm and cuddly, so start making some places off-limits, like the nursery. There is a lot of information on line about how to prepare your animal. If you have friends with kids, it might be a good time to invite them over for some play time! Speaking of which…
6. Make plans for siblings and pets during labor – You probably have already been thinking about who will watch your children during labor, but it’s good to have a couple of contingency plans and be sure everyone is clear on the who, where and whens of the plan. Many people don’t think to arrange for pet care, but you may be gone 24 hours or more; will your dog need to go out? Cat need water? Even if it’s just asking a neighbor on call to refill the water dish, having a plan in place will put your mind at ease during labor.
5. Take a “Babymoon” - This is a great trimester to get away and enjoy yourself. You’re past the morning sickness and not quite as big as you’ll be near the end. Once the baby comes, you probably won’t be getting away for awhile, so why not take a little break? We’ve heard of everything from a weekend at a B&B, to taking a soon-to-be big sibling to Disney World for their last hoorah as an only child.
4. Make your registry – This is a time it helps to have a friend or relative with young babies. Remember that “must haves” are different for everyone, but you definitely will need to have somewhere for the baby to sleep, some diapers, blankets, a carseat and a few outfits. It’s a good idea to at least have a couple of bottles on hand even if you’re planning to breastfeed. Ask friends what they loved and what they’d avoid, and have fun making your list.
3. Sign up for childbirth classes – Ideally, you want to take your childbirth class so that it’s done before you’re close to giving birth, but not so soon that you’ll forget it all as the pregnancy brain kicks in. Hospital classes fill up fast, so checking into when they are and when you can sign up is a good idea, if you’re going that route. You might want to check out all the options to figure out what’s best for you: Bradley Method, Lamaze, Hypnobirthing, private classes – there are a lot of choices!
2. Start setting expectations - Do you have family members that plan to be in the delivery room and you’re not sure you want that? Did your sister “offer” to stay with you for the first three weeks after the birth? Now is the time to start deciding what will work for you and having these conversations. Your doula can help with some suggestions about how to talk to your loved ones and manage their expectations. It’s easier to deal with that now than during labor!
1. Check in with your doula- If you haven’t already found a doula, now is definitely the time! While we often sign clients in their third trimester, women are seeking us out earlier, and we have even had months where we are overbooked. If you do have a doula, be sure you’re keeping her in the loop. Your doula wants to hear from you! Even a quick text letting us know that everything is going smoothly is appreciated. Your doula won’t get tired of talking about your pregnancy, so when you’ve worn out everyone else, give her a call!
Check out our entire Doula's Top 10 Series here!