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As I write this, I’m actually already 9 months postpartum. I had meant to write this sooner, but well, life has been busy and blogging has fallen by the wayside. But recently I got the urge to write this up, not only because I wanted a complete trimester series, but because I knew if I went any longer I would forget so many things.
As I stated in my first trimester post, I wanted these to serve as a bit of a journal for me to look back on. And if they help any mamas out along the way, then yay!!! Honestly, I’m surprised I got so much detail in here. I’m glad I made some notes along the way, but I know I also forgot a ton…
On a side note, I also plan on writing about my birth story and breastfeeding journey too. So those posts will be coming in the near-ish future. I am still feeling somewhat on the fence about sharing my birth story because it was nothing like I had planned and frankly I don’t want to deal with any Negative Nelly’s telling me all the things I did wrong. But, I also wonder if sharing my story BECAUSE it wasn’t what I had ever planned might be helpful to other mamas. I’m going to write it up and then see how I feel. What do you think? Leave me a comment below.
Now, let’s talk about my third trimester!
The Third Trimester: My Favorite!
I have to say that of my entire pregnancy, the third trimester was my favorite. I know so many women say it is the hardest and most miserable but I actually loved it.
One of the reasons I loved it so much is that I finally started showing. The way my body carried this pregnancy made it seem like my belly never changed. I didn’t even have to buy any maternity clothes. All of my regular clothes still fit me. I did end up buying a few new pairs of yoga pants and a couple of gusseted shirts but those were all things that I could wear after pregnancy with no problem. I hate spending money on things I won’t use often and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy clothes that I’d only wear for a few months. So I guess as far as the budget goes, the way my body carried the pregnancy was a good thing! Lol!
One of the other reasons that I enjoyed the third trimester so much was feeling our baby boy move more and more. In my first and second trimester posts, I talked about how I sometimes felt a little disconnected from the pregnancy. I had a lot of fear around miscarriage and I think that kept me from fully embracing the pregnancy initially. I feel like the third trimester was when it really sank in that I was pregnant and that I was going to be a mama. With each passing day, I started to get more excited about meeting this tiny human.
Preparing for Baby in the Midst of a Pandemic
The Coronavirus pandemic really threw some unexpected curve balls at us. When we started our third trimester, we had no idea the crazy world that was heading our way. Who could have ever imagined it?!
The first round of COVID restrictions happened right after the first of March in our area and that’s when our plans really started changing:
- Hubby was no longer allowed to come to my prenatal appointments.
- We ended up not being able to use our doula (which was really upsetting for me, because I had wanted to use her for years before we ever even started trying).
- We went through a stressful period of time where we were afraid spouses/partners would be banned from attending births, but thankfully our hospital never instated that rule (other hospitals in Denver and around the country did though — my heart broke for those mamas who had to birth all alone with no loved ones).
- We found out no family could visit us in the hospital, which was disappointing too because that is such a traditional part of the journey.
- I found out that we had to wear masks while I was in labor. Yes, a laboring woman having to wear a mask the whole time. Not fun and total crapola. I’ll just leave that there…
On the upside, hubby’s company started all employees working from home at the end of March and he ended up being home with me for the rest of 2020! So he got to be with me during those last weeks of the pregnancy and then for almost the entire first year of Jacob’s life!!
Another unexpected upside of the CV-19 craziness is that I actually ended up with a new OB. The OB I had been seeing ended up being out of the office traveling (and then quarantining) and I got paired with a new doc. This ended up being such a major blessing because this new doctor was a waaaaay better fit for me. I’m so thankful she ended up being the one with me all the way through Jacob’s birth.
How I Was Feeling and What Was Going On During the Third Trimester
Since it’s been so long since my third trimester, and I know I have already forgotten so much, I thought I’d just share a list of the things that happened during this time.
Fatigue and Exercise
The super insane fatigue from the first trimester came back. I was so tired most days, although I did have days where I felt great too. My stamina really started dropping around week 34 so I wasn’t able to exercise as hard as I was before, but I still made it a priority to get movement in every day. Despite the fatigue, I did keep up on my exercise up until the day before we headed to the hospital. I walked (slowly and with regular pee breaks), gentle stretching, and gentle weight training.
I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes at week 30, much to my dismay. I skipped the nasty glucola test and opted for testing at home with a glucometer. I tested from week 27 through week 30 and then got the diagnosis. From then on I had to meet with a Maternal Fetal Medicine doctor once a week, which wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I feel blessed that I got paired with practitioners who understood me and made me feel heard.
As a recovering perfectionist, this really hit me hard. I was doing all the “right” things and had been my entire pregnancy (and before). As a matter of fact, my MFM doc told me “Your diet and exercise is pristine. I literally could not tell you to do anything different.” Which made me feel a tiny bit better…but not much. 🙁
This was yet another lesson for me to exercise patience and grace with myself and understand that we can do all the right things and still get hit with health problems. None of us are invincible or immune. But I will say, I really struggled with this, especially because I ended up having to go on a small dose of insulin before bed to get my fasting numbers in a good place. Thankfully diet and exercise kept my daytime readings well within range.
One thing I will say about this is that if you are pregnant and want to test at home, spend the money to get a good glucometer with trusted testing trips. I went with a cheapo King Soopers brand initially and it gave me a lot of faulty readings. Plus it errored out on strips all the time causing a ton of $$$ waste.
I didn’t realize the issue with the faulty readings until I had already been diagnosed. I switched to this monitor (which has the best ratings via this independent study) and my readings were SO much better. My daytime readings all fell within or sometimes below the normal range and my fasting numbers came down drastically. It also lined up much better with the fasting glucose numbers that would be run when I had labs drawn. Based on this switch, I was able to lower my insulin dosage by half. It actually makes me wish I had this monitor from the start because it would have saved me a lot of stress and tears.
Heartburn, Sleep, and Peeing
The heartburn that I spoke about in my earlier posts was horrible. By the last few weeks of pregnancy, it was so bad that I would dread going to bed. I would occasionally have heartburn during the day, but most of the time it would hit between 1am and 2am and it would literally feel like a dragon was sitting in my belly breathing fire. Nothing I would do helped. I just had to power through it. Ironically, I never had heartburn again once he was born.
My sleep also got worse, not just because of the aforementioned heartburn, but just because I was growing increasingly uncomfortable. Pretty much any mama can relate. Getting comfortable in any position is difficult and you may feel comfy for a few minutes but then you get a cramp or you have to pee and then the struggle starts all over again.
Speaking of peeing, yeah. I was peeing all the time. I had to plan my daily walks and errands around the locations I knew had the cleanest bathrooms. Thanks, baby boy, for constantly doing gymnastics on my bladder during those last 12 weeks.
Pregnancy Hair and Nails
One thing I noticed is that my nails didn’t grow much during the first trimester and second trimester although they were a lot stronger. But during the third trimester, my hair and nails grew super fast.
Speaking of hair, my pregnancy hair was amazing! So thick and full of body. I normally have really fine hair and have to use a lot of product to get some good volume and thickness. But my pregnancy hair was incredible. I wish that was my hair all the time!
What Else Happened During the Third Trimester?
Let’s see, what other fun things happened during the third trimester? Here’s a list of all the things I can remember:
Cyst Surgery and GBS
At week 34 I had to have a cyst on my belly operated on. It just randomly grew and then one weekend it went from being a quiet lump to super red and inflamed and infected, even though I didn’t do anything different. My OB got it cleaned out but I did have to go on a round of antibiotics which REALLY upset me. 🙁
Oh, and I didn’t test GBS positive. Yay! And WHEW!
Food Aversions and Cravings
While my food aversions were pretty terrible during the third trimester, there were a few things I craved like crazy:
- Refried beans with butter and cheese
- Popcorn with butter, parmesan, lots of salt, and black pepper
- Chocolate almond milk
- A Burger King Whopper (I did not indulge this one, FYI, because I knew it would make me sick no matter how good it might taste)
- Peanut butter with melted chocolate chips
- Franks Red Hot on EVERYTHING
I literally ate popcorn with butter, parmesan, salt, and black pepper every. single. afternoon for the last 6 weeks or so of my pregnancy. And I always had chocolate almond milk to wash it down. YUM!
Braxton Hicks Contractions and Engagement
I started having very mild Braxton Hicks around week 34. Maybe a little earlier. What I thought was baby stretching in my belly may have actually been the Braxton Hicks. It was fun to start feeling that type of action. Between weeks 36 and 37 I stared having more intense twingy type feelings in my lower abdomen. Like mild period cramps. At week 38, I started having the dreaded lighting crotch feelings. That was interesting…
Between weeks 35 and 36, he dropped and I felt so much better. I could breathe better, although this is when the pressure on the bladder got even more intense.
At week 37 he had fully engaged in my pelvis. When my doctor did my exam, she couldn’t get a reading on his head because he had dropped so low. I also started having nausea and diarrhea around this time too.
Herbal Tea and Baby Shower
My friend and clinical herbalist, Lori, made me an awesome nutritive herbal tea that I had been drinking since my second trimester. She doesn’t sell this specific tea on her Etsy shop, but she has a ton of other amazing products. You can use my coupon DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your order.
At 34 weeks, I upped my red raspberry leaf tea and made it super strong every day. I actually didn’t mind the taste. It was pretty bitter, but I am a big fan of bitter flavors so I found it pretty tasty.
I was also fortunate enough to have the most amazing baby shower right before the COVID-19 madness started. I feel really blessed. Lori threw it for me and there were over 20 people who came to celebrate this little baby boy. I felt so incredibly loved! Had it been scheduled just one week later, we would have had to cancel because gatherings were prohibited.
Taking a Social Media Break and Pelvic Girdle Pain
I decided to take a social media break towards the end of my pregnancy. All the COVID-19 and political stuff were just too much for me. I felt myself feeling the need to draw inward and spend some time nesting and just being off of the Internet. I even removed the apps from my phone so I wasn’t tempted to get on there. LOL!
Pelvic girdle pain started around week 30. It got pretty intense towards the end and I was so bummed that I couldn’t go to the chiropractor. I had been seeing a chiropractor up until the COVID shutdowns and it was helping so much! I cannot recommend regular chiropractic work highly enough to pregnant mamas. It is a game-changer in how you feel.
Deciding to Induce
Also during this time, we made the decision to move forward with a labor induction if I hadn’t gone into labor by 39ish weeks. There was a lot that went into this decision and it was not one we made lightly, so please don’t leave any judgey comments because they’ll be deleted. I’ll talk more about this in my birth story post (if I decide to share it) because it is too much to unpack here.
My OB was really supportive of my wanting to go into labor naturally. She filled me in on the risks and benefits of each thing she suggested and encouraged me to stay optimistic even if my birth didn’t go as planned. She saw how much of a perfectionist I was and was very kind. I had spoken to a ton of mamas who were also naturally minded but had gestational diabetes and had chosen to be induced and had been told so many positive stories. So that helped me feel calmer about making this very difficult decision.
On a side note, the only reason that induction was suggested due to the gestational diabetes is because I was on insulin. Had my GD been fully controlled with diet and exercise, there would have been more flexibility around letting me go past my due date.
We decided to start with a membrane sweep at 38+5 in hopes it would stimulate labor and I could avoid induction. I lost my mucus plug/had the “bloody show” the next day. That was exciting because I was hopeful it meant things were moving along.
Shortly after, I started having some mild, erratic contractions. I also started feeling very, very tired. There was a sense of calm and deep introspectiveness that came over me. Feelings of needing to draw inward and reflect on what was to come.
Unfortunately, I didn’t go into labor naturally after the sweep so we moved forward with the induction at 39+1, for a couple of reasons. I actually had hoped to go longer, but my OB was on call that weekend and if I went longer, I would have been paired with another doctor from their medical pool. And frankly, after meeting some of the other doctors, I was scared to get paired with any of them. If I’m being 100% honest, I didn’t like any other doctor but her and I did not want them at my birth.
So, we did it. And nothing went as planned. And it was insanely hard — the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. But God is good in ALL circumstances and after 23 hours of insanely intense, scary labor, baby Jacob arrived safely and life was forever changed!!
Products I Couldn’t Live Without in the Third Trimester
- Customized Herbal Pregnancy Tea from Vital Roots Herbal Care – Lori, the owner of Vital Roots, is a clinical herbalist and a dear friend. She made me a custom herbal pregnancy tea to start drinking in my second trimester and my morning would not be complete without it! If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order!
- Organic Green Rooibos Tea – I loved drinking this both iced and hot with lots of lemon or lime juice and a couple of drops of stevia. Green rooibos has a smoother, milder flavor than the red rooibos and to me tastes more like green tea than rooibos tea. You can learn about the health benefits of rooibos tea, as well as the different types, here.
- Primal Kitchen Collagen Bars – These bars were a life-saver this second trimester. They tasted so good to me and were the perfect option to get some extra protein in if I couldn’t stomach much in the way of other foods. The Macadamia Sea Salt and Coconut Cashew flavors are my favorite.
- Primal Kitchen Protein Bars – I loved these bars too and often paired them with the Collagen bars for a snack or meal replacement. The Peanut Butter and Coconut Lime flavors are my favorite.
- Perfect Supplements Collagen Powder – My all-time favorite collagen powder and my go-to for some extra animal protein each day. It’s the ONLY collagen tested to be completely free of glyphosate (Roundup) residue. I mainly used this in my hot tea or sprinkled into my soups. If you ever order any Perfect Supplements products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your order.
- Paleo Valley Greens Powder – I love that this greens powder doesn’t have a bunch of hard to digest cereal grasses in it. The only thing I don’t love is the mint flavor. It’s so strong that it often made me gag, but I choked it down anyway because I was trying to get as much nutrition in as possible. I really doubt I would have minded the flavor if I wasn’t pregnant…
- Choice Organic Decaf English Breakfast Tea – I stopped consuming caffeine when I was pregnant (except for a little chocolate here and there). Once I got into my second trimester, I was really craving black tea. This decaf version has just a teeny tiny bit of caffeine in it and has a really smooth, strong flavor.
- Vital Roots Herbal Care Happy Baby Salve – This product is handcrafted by my friend and herbalist, Lori Roop. I’ve used this salve on my dry, cracked hands for years, but I started using it on my belly to help soothe my itchy, stretching skin. If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order!
- Vital Roots Herbal Care Luscious Herbal Baby Oil – In addition to the Happy Baby Salve, I also used this product on my belly to help soothe the skin. I’ve also used this oil as an all-over moisturizer when I get out of the shower. If you ever want to order any of her products, use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your first order.
- Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm. I have always loved this stuff, but I love it even more now. My skin always gets super dry during the Fall and Winter, but all the pregnancy hormones seem to be exacerbating that. I’ve been using the balm as my overnight mask almost every night and it makes my skin so soft, supple, and glowy. I’ve also been using it on my rashy legs.
- 2 Long, Straight Body Pillows + 4 Regular Pillows – Getting comfortable when you’re pregnant is no joke, especially as your belly grows. I loved my U-shaped body pillow up until about week 18 and then I found it super uncomfortable. So I created a new bed set up that worked well: 1 long, straight body pillow on each side of me (kept down low so I can prop both my knees and ankles up), 1 regular pillow on each side of me to hug and support my top shoulder, 2 regular pillows for my head. Shout-out to my dear hubby for allowing me to take up 3/4 of our king size bed with all of my pillows. 🙂
- Crane Cool Mist Humidifier – Such a huge help with the congestion issue. Colorado air is so dry already, plus running your heat during the winter dries out the air even more.
- Epic Dental Sugar-Free Chewing Gum – Up until I got pregnant, I hadn’t chewed gum in probably 10 years. But I found that it was one of the only things that helped me feel less gaggy/pukey when my congestion was at its worst.
- XLEAR Saline Nasal Spray – I normally would use a neti pot for sinus health, but my sensitive gag reflex made that impossible. So I grabbed a bottle of this nasal spray and it really helped.
- The Dirt Peppermint Breath Spray – Most breath sprays are alcohol-based and this was the only one I could find that wasn’t. It’s a bit sweeter than I like, but it helps when my stomach is hurting.
- Ricola Extra Strength Glacier Mint Cough Drops – I kept these next to my bed, even after my colds were gone. When the heartburn would get really bad, I could suck on one of these and be able to get back to sleep.
- Transdermal Magnesium Spray/Lotion – Because digestion slows down so much when you’re pregnant, there’s a good chance that even if you’re taking a lot of magnesium, you’re not absorbing enough. I think this was the case with me so I added in my transdermal magnesium oil and it helped a TON with the leg cramping. You can buy it pre-made (my favorite is Ancient Minerals brand), or make your own using my easy tutorial.
- Compression Socks – I’ve always had some varicose veins on my legs, but with the increased blood flow, some of them started popping out (before pregnancy, they were flat). The veins didn’t hurt, but I didn’t want to take any chances on them getting worse. My ND suggested compression and since I was also wanting to avoid the classic pregnancy swelling so I grabbed some compression socks (after doing about 3 hours of research trying to decide on a brand) and they really helped. These have also been a game-changer in the nighttime leg cramp department.
- Beautycounter’s Adaptive Moisture Body Lotion – This lotion is so amazing. It goes on without feeling greasy and makes my skin feel so good. It’s pricey for a lotion, but IT REALLY WORKS and helping balance your skin out. I ran out recently and haven’t had time to reorder and I’m bumming!
- Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Moisturizing Cream – I always keep a tub of this on hand. It’s often too heavy for my skin, but at times like this, it worked really well. Even though it’s a thick, oil-based lotion, it soaks in really well and doesn’t leave you feeling overly greasy.
- Beautycounter’s Cleansing Balm – I used this on my face almost every night. I find it to be super hydrating and makes my skin feel so smooth and soft, especially the rough patches that I was feeling develop on my cheeks. I even used it on the rashy patches on my legs when they were at their worst.
- Ceremedx Natural Ceramide Therapy Ultra Moisturizing Cream – Not the cleanest skincare product, but when my skin was feeling the worst, this gave me immense relief.
Supplements I Couldn’t Live Without in the Third Trimester
- Wish Garden Herbs Immune Boost for Pregnancy Tincture – My ND recommended this line of pregnancy-safe tinctures. I was still a little concerned about the alcohol (even though it is a tiny amount), so she had me squirt the tincture into a tiny bit of hot water and let it sit for a couple of minutes before drinking to cook it off.
- Wish Garden Herbs Cold Seasons for Pregnancy Tincture – I used this tincture in addition to the immune boost one above.
- Pure Synergy Whole Food Vitamin C Powder and Capsules – Whole food forms of vitamin C are better during pregnancy, as too high of doses of synthetic C can be harmful to the baby. I like this powder specifically because it’s affordable and really allows you to customize your dosage when you are sick. The capsules are also super convenient when you just don’t have the energy to measure powder out.
- Nature’s Answer Sambucus (Elderberry) Syrup – Classic immune system support. This is their alcohol-free version. You can also make your own at home easily using this tutorial.
- Seeking Health Optimal Prenatal – Specifically formulated for those with genetic polymorphisms (like MTHFR). My ND loves this brand because of the amount of time and research the creator puts into the formulation. I’ve tolerated it very well. No weird burps, heartburn, or other issues.
- Choline (KAL brand) – Choline is one nutrient that many doctors and alternative practitioners are starting to recognize as necessary during pregnancy. Some prenatals will contain choline, but it’s not usually enough and this is one supplement that there’s no known toxic dose of so you don’t have to worry about overloading the system as long as you take as directed.
- Garden of Life Organic Digest+ Enzymes – Ahh, digestion. What a mess it gets during pregnancy. I have not been one to have a lot of digestive issues, but pregnancy changed that with the onset of bloating, indigestion, heartburn, and loose stools. Thank you, hormones.
- American Health Super Papaya Enzyme Plus – My ND started me on this when I began complaining about the bloating. I believe it helped, although it didn’t take away the bloating completely. Some days I still looked like I was 6 months pregnant, regardless of what I ate or took.
- Dr. Clark Store Betaine HCL (this is a pork-free product*) – Hydrochloric acid is really important to our digestive function and it also decreases with age and stress. So, it’s a good idea to give the body some extra support during pregnancy and beyond if you tolerate it well. As an added bonus, HCL is our body’s first line of immune defense and since our immune system is suppressed during pregnancy, it’s not a bad idea to make sure you’re giving the body a little extra. *Note: most HCL supplements contain pork (the pepsin and pancreatin in digestive support supplements are almost always derived from pork).
- Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C – Super dosing vitamin C during pregnancy can be a bad thing, but you want to make sure you are still getting enough. But I did still take this whole-food form daily (multiple times per day) to offer my body extra support since I was heading into cold and flu season right when I got pregnant. And, since this is a whole-food form, I wasn’t as worried about overdoing it.
- Source Naturals Magnesium Malate / Solaray Magnesium Glycinate / Perfect Supplements Magnesium Citrate* – Depending on how I was feeling and how my bowels were acting, I would take extra magnesium. It does help with relaxation and sleep (glycinate form) and digestion (malate form). The citrate form I actually used in my homemade electrolyte drink on the days where I worked out and sweated a lot more. *Note: If you shop Perfect Supplements, make sure you use coupon code DELICIOUS10 to save 10% on your order.
- Biotics Research Bio-D-Mulsion Forte – My vitamin D levels are always really low, no matter what I do (one of the side effects of autoimmune disease). I supplemented with a small amount (4000 IUs) and had my doc check my levels so I knew how to adjust.
- Barleans Fish Oil – Those omega-3 fatty acids are so important for your developing baby and you, mama! They’re good for your cardiovascular system and your brain, both things that get taxed extensively during pregnancy.
- Megaspore Biotic* – My very favorite gut health supplement. It’s a 100% spore-based, broad-spectrum probiotic clinically shown to maintain healthy gut barrier function. This unique all-spore formula effectively reconditions the gut by promoting microbial diversity and maintaining key health-promoting, commensal gut bacteria. *Note: It’s only available through health providers so if you’re ever interested in ordering, let me know!
- Solaray Pre/Post Natal Probiotic / Nature’s Way Fortify Women’s 90 Billion / Garden of Life Raw Probiotics Vaginal Care – I rotated through these probiotics, depending on what was on sale at my health food store. To be honest, I have never found a probiotic that works as well for me as Megaspore, but I do have to say these three all helped with my yeast infection flare and keeping my nether regions happy.
Other Products I Couldn’t Live Without During the Third Trimester
- Leslie Sansone’s Walk at Home Programs – I love these since we are in the middle of winter and there are days when it’s too cold or icy for me to walk outside. I was doing Leslie’s videos before I got pregnant, but I’ve been enjoying them even more now.
- Misty Tripoli’s Body Groove Dance DVDs – This was another one that I was doing before pregnancy, but it’s been super fun and helpful during this time. Especially on the days that I feel stiff and tired but know that some gentle movement will really help. I love Misty’s approach to dance and intuitive movement and I HIGHLY recommend it!
- Spinning Babies Daily Essentials Exercise – This has pretty much taken the place of my regular yoga routine. These exercises are geared towards getting (and keeping) our pelvis in proper alignment, as well as creating space in our pelvis so baby can drop into place more easily. I think every single mama needs to do these exercises and starting sooner, rather than later. I started at week 20 and have been doing the movements consistently almost every day. I’m going to be doing a more detailed post about this in the future.
- ProBody Pilates Mini Exercise Ball – This has been really helpful for doing pelvic floor exercises. I learned about using one in the Spinning Babies program and I’m really glad I got one.
- Resistance Bands – I ended up ordering two different styles and I like both. They each have different uses, depending on the style of exercise you are doing. The first set I got was the Azurelife Resistance Bands, which are the long flat bands. The second set is the Letsfit Resistance Loop Bands, which are smaller circular bands. They are super affordable too!
- Birthing Ball – Since I was investing so much work into creating space and flexibility in my pelvis, I thought I’d help support that by sitting on my birthing ball more often, rather than slumping into the couch (like I had been doing for the first part of my pregnancy because #tired). I actually moved this ball into my office and started using it while working since I started finding standing for long stretches of time to be too tiring.
- Home Blood Pressure Monitor – I actually monitor my blood pressure at home regularly and have for years since I’ve struggled with so many anxiety issues. I also have white coat hypertension, so getting an accurate reading at my doctor’s office is sometimes challenging so this has been a great way to track what my BP is doing through the course of my pregnancy.
- Thick Mexican Blanket – I used this A LOT for sitting on the floor and doing any yoga or stretching. It helps elevate my hips making it more comfortable to get those deep groin stretches.
What I Read/Studied During the Third Trimester
I’m going to do a separate blog post about the books I’ve found most helpful, as well as the online courses we’ve taken. But this is a little snapshot of what I’ve been reading/doing (I used these products during the second and third trimesters).
- Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth (The “Updated With New Material” Version) by Ina May Gaskin – This book came highly recommended by my ND and it’s GREAT! Full of positive, uplifting birth stories and practical information from the one and only Ina May.
- The Belly Mapping Workbook by Gail Tully of Spinning Babies – Learn about how to figure out what position baby boy is in when the time comes to start mapping (around 32 weeks).
- Redeeming Childbirth by Angie Tolpin – This book really has had a profound experience on the way I view and approach my pregnancy. I would recommend it to any Christian woman.
- The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding (Completely Revised and Updated 8th Edition) by Diane Wiessinger – This was recommended by my La Leche League group leader. It’s such a great book to set you up for success with breastfeeding.
- Sleeping with Your Baby: A Parent’s Guide to Cosleeping by James J. McKenna – Another one recommended by my LLL leader. A great primer on sleeping with your baby safely.
- The Mama Natural Week-by-Week Guide to Pregnancy and Childbirth by Genevieve Howland – I’ve been following Genevieve for a gazillion years and knew that she would be one of the primary sources for info when/if I ever did get pregnant. Her book is both fun and informative.
- The Mama Natural Birth Course – Because of my hubby’s work schedule, we were not able to attend a local birth class. I always knew I would take the Mama Natural course and when I got pregnant, I purchased it right away!
- Spinning Babies Daily Essentials Program – This program focuses on specific exercises that you can do to help open your pelvis and create more space for baby to properly drop into position (and stay there). The sooner you can start this program, the better in my opinion.
- Spinning Babies Parent’s Course – I feel like this course was the perfect adjunct to the Mama Natural course. It goes into a lot more depth about proper pelvic alignment, getting the baby to turn into the right position, and strategies to avoid unnecessary interventions during labor. I HIGHLY recommend it!
- HypnoBabies Home Study Course – My doula recommended this course. Honestly, it took me a little bit to get into it, but once I did I knew it would help me get my mind in a better place around labor and birth. It’s definitely an investment (financially and time-wise), but I am optimistic that it will be worth it.
Whew! What a Journey the Third Trimester Was!
Well, that’s it! Thank you for reading! I know I have forgotten a ton of stuff, but at least I had made some notes along the way so I didn’t forget everything. Thank you to everyone who shared in this journey with me. Your kind words and emails have really meant a lot to me. If we’re not already connected on Instagram, let’s meet over there! That’s where I am the most active and share snippets of my every day life.