Third Trimester Essentials

With my due date just a few days away (Thursday!) I thought it would be a good time to share some of my third trimester essentials.  Going into the final three months, I had no idea what I'd actually need.  Turns out, leg cramps, excessive swelling, and a rapidly changing body dictated what items became more than just "that'd be nice to have."  Of course, with pregnancy effecting everyone differently, others may have different necessities but for me, these must-haves were vital to ensuring a manageable, slightly less uncomfortable third trimester.

third trimester essentials twentieth street

1 // Magnesium supplements - Right around 30 weeks, I started getting really bad leg cramps in the middle of the night.  So bad, they'd wake me from sleep groaning in pain so loudly that I even woke The Husband up a few times.  My sister-in-law recommended magnesium and, after checking with my doc, I ended up purchasing the biggest bottle I could find.  After just a few days of taking the supplement regularly, the leg cramps went away.  I've been taking them religiously ever since.  Magnesium is supposed to be good for other potential third trimester issues like insomnia and *ahem* digestive problems so keep it in mind if you have any of these troubles yourself.

2 // Compression socks - I don't know if it was the stress and exertion of the move itself or just coincidental timing but about two days after settling in to the new apartment, my feet, ankles, and calves were so swollen I could barely walk and my hands were like baseball gloves permanently attached to the ends of my arms.  I tried some standard compression hose and they helped a little bit but not really.  At my 36 week appointment, we found out my steady weight gain of 1-2 pounds a week had suddenly jumped to 8 POUNDS in two weeks!!  My doc noticed the swelling before I even said anything and said I needed to get medical-grade compression socks asap and wear them from the time I get dressed in the morning until I get into bed at night.  I told her I felt like such a wuss for complaining about swelling, which is probably the most common pregnancy symptom women experience.  She turned to me and said, "Your swelling is significantly worse than what I see in women who are full term 40 weeks pregnant.  You're definitely not a wuss for complaining about it!"  I went home and ordered a few pairs of these socks.  They were delivered two days later and I put them on immediately.  Within a few hours, the swelling went down dramatically!  My toes and tops of feet still get puffy (as do my hands) and my legs still have that heavy feeling, but the feecankles are diminished and it doesn't hurt to walk anymore.  Basically, these things were a lifesaver.  It takes me about 5 minutes each morning just to put on a pair of socks but, hey, it's worth it.

3 // Nursing bra - I've tried many different nursing/maternity bras over the last few months and the Lamaze nursing bra is by far the most comfortable.  Don't underestimate your size, though.  I ordered one size larger than I thought I needed and it actually fits almost perfectly.  Even though I'm not nursing yet, I wear these almost everyday simply because underwire bras at this point feel like a medieval torture devices.  I will definitely be ordering a few more post-delivery when the real nursing fun begins.

4 // Maxi dresses - I don't care where you buy them from - Target, Old Navy, a fancy-pants maternity store - just get yourself some maxi dresses whatever the season.  They're even more comfortable than yoga pants, especially if you work from home and spend most of your time out of an office environment, and you can always throw a sweater over them if it's chilly out.  They're like oversized nightgowns and all you need is one article of clothing to look put-together.  Due to the compression socks, I still wear my jeans or leggings when going out but for those staying-mostly-at-home days, I live in these lovely frocks and am super grateful to be pregnant at a time when they're actually in style and don't look like giant mumus.

5 // Raspberry leaf tea - My doctor actually recommended I start drinking this everyday to help prepare for labor and delivery.  Apparently it's great for uterine health and helps prevent post-delivery hemorrhaging.  With a little bit of honey, it's pretty tasty, too!

6 // Lace up shoes - Oh man.  Back in January, I bought these particular shoes as a birthday treat because I'm a little bit in love with the stylish sneakers look.  Boy am I glad I did.  When the foot/ankle swelling started, even my flip-flops were too tight to be comfortable and left strap marks on the tops of my feet.  Now that I have to wear compression socks all day e'ry day, flip-flops aren't even an option.  Enter lace-up shoes.  I don't care what kind you get, just as long as you can loosen the laces and make them as wide as needed.  These are basically the only shoes that fit me right now and I wear them pretty much every time I need to go out in public.

7 // On Becoming Baby Wise - I've moved on from the pregnancy/delivery books and started to look for resources on actually taking care of a newborn baby.  This book has so many great tips and advice for baby's feeding, sleeping, and overall scheduling.  We're not born instinctively knowing how to sleep - it's a habit that needs to be taught - and considering my struggles with insomnia, I want to help this kid learn the best sleep habits possible as early as possible.  Plus, it'd be nice to have a baby sleeping through the night in just a few weeks/months, right?

Moms and soon-to-be moms, anything I left off the list?  What have been/were your third trimester essentials?

If you'd like to see my first and second trimester essentials, click here and here.




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