Everything seems to be smooth sailing in your pregnancy and then, boom! The third trimester hits and suddenly the discomfort seems to increase with every passing week.
Mama, I know the third trimester is tough and uncomfortable. And as your due date draws nearer, the symptoms tend to only get worse! That’s why I put together this list of third trimester essentials. It’s the must haves that will help you survive the remaining weeks until baby’s big arrival.
So, let’s get to it, because I know relief from back pain and heartburn, better sleep, and an easier birth are all on your want list right now.
Birthing Ball (Yoga Ball, Stability Ball)
The third trimester is the perfect time to pull out your yoga ball or invest in a new one and put it to good use. There are so many ways to use your birthing ball now that your belly is getting bigger and birth is drawing nearer.
Here are a few ways to use a yoga ball during pregnancy
- Stretch: stretching is the ultimate way to loosen our bodies, relieve stress and prepare for birth. Sounds like a win, right? Your birthing ball can be used as a prop to get deeper into stretches that might otherwise be unattainable during pregnancy. Try a supported child’s pose, yogi squats supported by the birthing ball, or a modified bridge pose with your upper back on the yoga ball
- Relieve pain and pressure: you can help relieve some back and hip pain by swapping out your regular chair for a yoga ball as your belly gets bigger. You can do it at your desk, while you watch TV, and even at the dinner table
- Prenatal exercise: your birthing ball is the ultimate prenatal fitness prop. You can sit on it while doing light strength training with weights, do pelvic tilts by draping over the ball with your knees on the ground, or find a prenatal yoga routine that incorporates a birthing ball, like this one
- Get baby in optimal position for birth: As your due date draws nearer, you will want to start thinking about getting baby into the optimal position for birth. You can encourage baby to get head down with the help of your birthing ball. Simply do pelvic circles, sit on your yoga ball as much as possible, and use your yoga ball to do pelvic tilts
If you’ve gotten away with not replacing your bras until now, bravo, mama! But I’m willing to guess you are feeling a whole lot fuller than when you were pre-pregnancy. I definitely recommend investing in some great nursing bras now that you’re in your third trimester.
You’ll feel so much more comfortable day to day, and you’ll be glad to have them on hand once baby arrives. Be sure to get some daytime nursing bras and nighttime nursing bras (yes, it’s a thing). You will want some light support at night for comfort and to prevent leaking.
Many mamas find that they have more discharge during the third trimester and may even be prone to leaking urine due to all the pressure baby is putting on you down there. Wearing a panty liner can help you feel dryer and more comfortable from here on out. It’ll save you some extra underwear changes, too!
If you are a mama who prefers to make natural and non toxic choices whenever possible, I highly recommend looking for an organic, chlorine-free panty liner for use during pregnancy (and beyond). Rael’s Organic Cotton Panty Liners are perfect.
The back and hip pain that strikes during the third trimester is a force to be reckoned with. Seriously, with all the added weight and swelling the pain is just the worst. And I know you are already feeling just uncomfortable in general.
There is no reason you can’t use a heating pad during pregnancy as long as you don’t apply heat directly to your abdomen. I loved using my hot water bottle on my low back and hip flexors during pregnancy. Electric heating pads are also amazing.
If you are experiencing swelling in your legs, ankles, and feet, or if you have general leg pain or achiness, compression socks will make a huge difference in your day to day comfort.
This is especially true for mamas that are on their feet all day long or are unable to take regular breaks to elevate their legs above their heart. Compression socks can also help prevent unsightly (and painful!) varicose veins during pregnancy, too.
The idea is that compression socks help to promote blood flow back up to the heart. By keep your blood circulation flowing and regular, it can help alleviate heaviness, tension, swelling and discomfort in the legs, ankles, and feet. There is literally no risk or downside to wearing compression socks, so definitely give it a go!
Red Raspberry Leaf Tea
Red raspberry leaf tea is an absolute third trimester essential for every mama. It has been used for centuries as the ultimate women’s herbal tea.
Specifically, it is said to help tone and strengthen the uterus. Beginning in the third trimester, start drinking one cup of red raspberry leaf tea every day. Work your way up to 2-3 cups a day in the final weeks before labor.
So, old wives’ tales say that bad heartburn during pregnancy means a baby with a lot of hair, is that you? If you’re nodding your head yes, let me tell you, I know how annoying pregnancy heartburn is! It’s so hard to find anything that actually helps, too.
One natural option is papaya enzyme. It’s often referred to as an after-meal supplement because it aids in digestion (that overly full feeling) and can prevent heartburn.
Childbirth education is an absolute third trimester essential, especially if you are hoping to have a natural birth. Understanding the ins and outs of the birth process, knowing what to expect, and practicing strategies for an unmedicated birth will help you succeed in your goal.
Too many mamas want a natural birth without taking the necessary steps to actually prepare. Definitely put a birth class on your essentials list, mama!
Maternity Support Belt
Maternity support belts are basically a thick band that fastens with Velcro under your baby bump. The idea is that the belt helps create better support for your belly which in turn relieves low back pain, round ligament pain, and general hip pain.
What’s more, when you have a maternity support belt on, you are more inclined to stand with proper posture and engage your abdominal muscles appropriately which in turn reduces pain and strain on your body.
It’s important to know that you should only wear a maternity support belt for 2-3 hours at a time to prevent overdependence.
If you’ve read my first trimester and second trimester essentials list, you’ll have seen this already, but if you haven’t started using a tummy butter or stretch mark cream yet, get on that mama!
The third trimester is when your belly will really start to grow and stretch at an alarming rate. All that growth can result in uncomfortable and itchy skin. A thick and luxurious tummy butter or cream can feel so relieving to that itchiness.
Remember to keep your hydration up, too, because water intake is the key to skin that’s more supple and promotes elasticity.
During the third trimester it’s normal to start to feel some sense of stress and anxiety. There can feel like a lot to do and learn before your baby arrives! From stocking the house and completing the nursery, to learning about birth, breastfeeding, and caring for a newborn, some stress is to be expected.
Making daily meditation part of your day is a wonderful way to destress and prepare yourself mentally for birth. Learning how to focus within and clear your mind is a powerful tool for labor and motherhood. What’s more, taking some time out of each day to be fully present with your growing baby is a wonderful form of bonding.
Hypnobirthing is a labor technique that utilizes the power of mediation and positive thought to approach natural birth. If you take a hypnobirthing class, you will enjoy many soothing and thoughtful guided meditations to use during pregnancy.
These Third Trimester Essentials Are A Must, Mama!
The items included in this article will help you beat those third trimester discomforts and get you ready for birth. So much of the third trimester is focused on everything there is to do before baby arrives. Here we really focused on the things that will keep you comfortable before the big day.
Don’t miss my third trimester to do list for a complete guide that will get you totally ready for baby’s arrival!