Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The third trimester

Finally the end of a very creative phase is here, only to begin anew as another challenging phase of patience, love and bonding. The third trimester is full of emotional upheavals. All anxiety of whether we will be good parents? will the child be alright? Will the labor progress well? Will I bond with the newborn? Hope the water doesn’t break in a public place like shown in films! All this and more thoughts begin to cloud your mind. Even the most confident girl begins to waver in this phase. Why so? Why this excessive emotional phase? It’s your body preparing you for motherhood, a new surge of hormones, the final batch so to say is delivered into your systems, this should prepare your body for actual labor, prepare for the blood loss that follows and also makes provisions for your little one, in form of milk in your breasts.
Be very mindful during your entire pregnancy and don’t get swayed often by emotions, understand it’s the handiwork of hormones and learn to tide over them. It’s not for nothing that mothers and grandmothers advice you to keep smiling and be happy during pregnancy. It’s more like happiness should be your dominant state of mind, though there will be episodes of weepiness, excessive anxiety and depression. Tide over them quickly.
Now the unexpected tips for this trimester; firstly increase your fluid intake, keep adding more water, coconut water, fruits to your diet. Go easy on your fatty food intake towards the final month, and finally wean off food for the last few days and keep yourself well hydrated and sated, do not overeat. Why so? If you are going to eat more, your body is compelled to focus on digestion, rather than focusing on easing your labor, you certainly don’t want that! Also your body weight by now has gained the last 2-3kgs to hit the targeted mark from the first trimester.
Secondly keep walking, keep exercising. Don’t let your body shape or heaviness keep you from moving around, unless advised against by the doctor. You need all the muscle strength and agility to help you through labor. Now that brings us to a very crucial question, natural labor vs C-section. Most girls in urban and semi-urban places now a day prefer undergoing a c-section even in cases when it’s not needed. Unless there are some very strong reasons given by the doctor stating the need of c-section, go ahead and deliver naturally. Why? Well whatever does not kill makes you stronger! Keep in mind that giving birth naturally is well natural! Nature knows what she is expecting out of you! You are a part of nature aren’t you? If you have prepared your body in advance to give birth naturally, it would be easier than thought. Do not let film scenes cloud your judgment. These days hospitals offer you a pre-delivery labor room orientation. Ask your doctor, your hospital for a round of the labor room, and ask questions regarding what might happen that day, begin revising it mentally with positive thoughts about easy labor and healthy baby n you! It helps! Fear breeds from unfamiliarity, the unknown, once you know the staff in your labor room, the overall feel and look of the place, the bed and operating table, a sample of your hospital room, it becomes easier to train the mind to focus on the known objects and people. Also importantly it’s the birthright of your child to get the very important immunity bacteria from the vaginal canal and gradually be admitted in this world, as is the case with natural delivery. In case there is a last minute decision to have a c-section, do not consider this as a failure on your part or in your efforts, it’s just how it is meant to be. Look at the positives of an urgent c-section too! Your baby and you are safe, in case of a c-section, you do not face labor pain. Of course the pain that follows once the anesthesia wears off is going to be there, but at least you will be able to bear it better. Either case, target getting up the very next day of your delivery, better still the same evening, as much as it pains or you feel disoriented, it’s very important to gain control over your body, pain as early as possible. Because now you have the biggest responsibility of your life, your child! Why does all this have to be told in the third trimester? Forewarned is forearmed! It’s better to train your mind regarding all this in the final trimester, so that there is lesser rude surprise post child-delivery and you can focus on enjoying the blissful moments of motherhood. So for the third trimester, read about actual labor, brush up your GK about birthing techniques, explore them if you wish to, consult your doctor about your choices and if possible have a birth plan in place. Birth plan is a mutually decided piece of informal agreement between your doctor and you regarding the preference of natural birth and the kind of medications you should be administered during delivery.  Read more about birth plans if you are interested.

Thirdly, start packing your hospital bag in the last month. Well, if I tell you, you have a trip to a transformative planet far far way…what will you be doing 1 month before your trip? Of course planning what you’ll wear, check your camera if it is working, carry matching pairs of shoes and of course not to forget your favorite lip gloss! If for any trip you plan as much, should you not pack for a trip of a lifetime where you go as a couple and return home a family? Start asking around friends and family if they have recently had babies, welcome hand me downs, the gently used clothes and purchase baby wraps and blankets. Hand me downs are good because they are softer on the baby, and the baby needs a lot of clothes in the first few months and babies outgrow their clothes very soon. Than buying all new ones, and keeping them piling around the house, it’s better to circulate clothes between well meaning friends and relatives.
Plan what you should pack in your hospital bag. Watch out for a detailed post on this one next!
 Begin reorganizing your closets, buy an extra closet (small one) to accommodate excess clothes, toys etc. During the first three months you will have very little time, energy and enthusiasm to do anything around your home. Plan likewise and get the furniture rearranged, to accommodate extra set of parents, or relatives coming over and generally more suit your comfort in the days to come. Do not try pushing pulling any piece of furniture yourself, ask your spouse to do it.
If possible start sleeping on the left side so that your belly rests properly and you have no problem breathing. After the belly grows, it’s very difficult to sleep in your favorite sleeping positions which might range from curling up, to sleeping belly down. Also in order to ensure proper oxygen supply and to aid digestion during the final trimester, it’s advisable to lie on the left side of your body, so the lung cavity opens up better and there is no pressure on the heart or digestive system. As the baby grows within, the digestive track and other abdominal parts are cramped and pressurized. When you lie on your left side the pressure is temporarily eased.
Like I have mentioned in one of my earlier blog posts, start talking to your unborn child. It will be very useful! Read more about it here.
Lastly spend as much time you can with your spouse, discuss your fears, your joys, your dreams and aspirations. Prepare for the roles of parenthood, prepare for the changes in your lives as a couple. Assure each other of your unstinting support and be there at each step of this journey together. If you get your spouse to read and share the material regarding pregnancy, the birthing plan, the rituals if any involved, after delivery, even what you plan to post on social media, the pictures, the messages, discuss it all! Even the friends and family from either side who has to be informed about this news first etc! Your spouse literally takes over from you the charge of your wellbeing, your spouse is your moving self now on for at least the first few days. So trust him with your mobile phone, e-mail, social media and of course a host of other simple tasks around the house. All this will definitely bind you stronger to each other! Trust me go out on dates, get ready and go out to peaceful romantic places as often as you can! Some even have babymoons! Your last holiday together as a couple! Before you begin travelling with your baby! All this will serve as a beautiful memory when days post delivery mean you are confined to home for months on end. And romantic thoughts seem to have abandoned you altogether and patience is all used up for the baby and only yelling at the partner remains! All this won’t happen if you are prepared in advance and totally focused on enjoying parenthood positively! J
Congratulations for completing term! Best wishes for having a healthy happy baby! :)


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