It’s a long but exciting journey from discovering you’re pregnant to meeting your bundle of joy. Each trimester is important in it’s own way and you should treat it as such. Here’s how to make the most of your pregnancy and enjoy every stage.
The REST-ACTIVE-REST sandwich
Senior midwife and best-selling author Kathy Fray shared with us the best way to spend each trimester so that your pregnancy is smooth all the way through.
“During your First Trimester of pregnancy, the one thing your body wants to do, more than anything else on the planet (!), is to maintain the pregnancy. To accomplish this, your ovary (the one the pregnancy egg originated from) sends out MASSIVE amounts of the muscle relaxant hormone Progesterone, as a huge effort to prevent your womb from contracting and miscarrying the pregnancy.
The side-effect of all this Progesterone, is that you feel TIRED! Oh so, sooo, TIRED! Oftentimes more tired that you can ever recall being in your whole life. And the ONE thing you should do during this First Trimester, is REST, REST, REST! Listen to your body! Your Body is trying, real hard, to grow your Baby.”
"During your Second Trimester of pregnancy, the Placenta is now taking over production of pregnancy hormones – and did you know a pregnant woman will produce more Oestrogen in one pregnancy, than a non-pregnant woman will produce her entire life?!
This is your period of Activity. This is when you can typically be feeling physically pretty comfortable, and emotionally reasonably energised, making this the perfect and most ideal time to prepare for childbirth, and the arrival of your baby. So get all your baby nursery equipment sorted, attend your antenatal education classes, fill the freezer full of heat-and-eat nutritious all-in-one dinners for after the baby arrives … bearing in mind one in twenty babies arrives early too!”
“This is the time when you are most at risk of developing complications, especially Preeclampsia, Diabetes, slowed Fetal Growth, and Premature Labour – all of which have significant risks to your Baby’s wellbeing. This is the period when you also need to remind yourself you don’t have a “Due Date” – you have a “40-Week Estimated Date of Birth”, because it is normal for a ‘Term’ baby to be born at 37-42 weeks. So, absolutely the most important thing you can be doing for Yourself and your Baby at this stage, especially beyond 32-weeks, is REST, REST, REST!”
Find more from Kathy on MotherWise, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Make a list, check it twice
Nine months, three-quarters of a year; however you spin it pregnancy sounds like it will be a long run. But it’s common for pregnant women to become forgetful as their pregnancy progresses and leaving things to the last minute is a recipe for unwanted stress.
Get ahead of schedule by making a baby to-do list. From the baby essentials you’ll be buying to every appointment needed along the way. You’ll be glad when you’ve left ample time to research the best baby and kids products or to shop around for a suitable pram. A prioritised list will even make it easy to outsource activities to your partner or family on those days you’re feeling less than glowing.
Start your paperwork early
Just because you have a due date doesn’t mean you should wait till the last minute to sort out your life admin. It may be more time-consuming than you expect, as accountant and mum of two Lisa Levison discovered. She created Your Family Budget to help parents through the often complex process of applying for parental leave and child rebates. Her biggest tip? Start your paperwork months before your due date, not days.
“I always recommend for mums-to-be to be to get all of their paperwork sorted in those last few months before their baby arrives.
Did you know that you can apply for Paid Parental Leave up to 90 days before your due date?
Although you're more than likely uncomfortable sitting at a desk during that last trimester, imagine spending the time going through the application process and managing a newborn! It takes hours so the time taken now to get it sorted is less stress for you later on!”
Find out more on Facebook.
Track your journey in a journal
Each pregnancy is unique and you’ll want to make the most of every moment. Keep your memories close with a beautiful pregnancy journal - we love this journal by Rhicreative.
It’s designed to document every stage of your pregnancy in 4-week blocks and includes sections for photos, the baby shower, gender predictions and even wishes for your baby. The perfect keepsake to show your child one day or for reminding yourself when they’re all grown up.
Follow them on Facebook or Instagram.
Before you know it the time will have passed and you’ll be a glowing mother. Hopefully with these tips you’ve enjoyed the journey as much as possible.
Nervous about becoming a parent? We answered some common new parent questions over in our other blog.