Toddler calling out for mother

what to expect during the third trimester of pregnancy.

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The third trimester is well and truly the final countdown, and for most moms-to-be, it’s when everything ramps up a notch. (At an earlier stage of pregnancy? Read our blogs on the first and second trimesters of pregnancy.)

Your body in the last three months

During this stage you and your baby are getting bigger, which can put the strain on your body. Finding a sleeping position that’s comfortable can be tricky, and of course there’s the heartburn.

‘My tip would be to speak to a healthcare professional about heartburn, as it can be severe,’ says Anthony, dad to six-month-old Aurora. ‘My wife had such an intense onset of heartburn that she couldn’t sleep, so we spoke to a pharmacist for advice on suitable treatment options, and that was really helpful.’

How to prepare for the big day

The irony is that while this is the stage you feel most exhausted, it can also feel like the time when the most preparation needs doing, from picking a pram (minefield) to learning how to fit the car seat. One way to try and avoid becoming overwhelmed is to focus solely on the basics – check out our hospital bag checklist, for instance, to see what you really need to pack. (It really isn’t all that much).

Reaching out – find a parenting community

Finding a parenting network around this time can also be of help, for support from people who really know what you’re going through. ‘The WhatsApp chats with my antenatal group were invaluable,’ says Caroline, mom to Ivy. ‘Every time one of us gave birth we’d fill each other in with how it went and bits of advice - one mom mentioned they’d run out of birthing balls (the big inflatable balls that can be helpful to sit on during birth) at her hospital, so I took my own in! Still now we’re regularly asking for tips, like what to feed fussy eaters, and advice from others in the same position is sometimes more useful than searching through books or forums.’

And of course, regular check-ups with your midwives and healthcare professionals to check everything’s going smoothly will help put your mind at rest during this crucial and important time.

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