Have you entered your third trimester? I partnered with The Motherhood, on behalf of Johnson & Johnson, to share tips for surviving the third trimester of pregnancy.
Making my way into my 34th week of pregnancy, I may have written this to boost my own morale… Maybe I wrote it for all of my fellow expectant moms out there who may give this a read and find something that will encourage them to keep on keeping on. I was at that point in my pregnancy where I knew it wasn't quite time for him to come just yet, but I was sooooo ready for this to be over. In fact, it was actually almost therapeutic to write that statement.
This pregnancy has been, and I say this considering everything I went through with my first, the hardest pregnancy to date. It's been an emotional rollercoaster, a hotbed of sickness (the first 4 or so months were the worst), a complete and utter drought of energy, a constant flood of contractions on a daily basis for weeks now (some of them making me wonder if that familiar gush is going to follow), and the pain… I can't even, I just don't even know how to describe the throbbing pain that comes with pregnancy… It's a pain that hardly anyone talks about. I've never experienced anything like what I've experienced with this baby boy, and I've had 2 other boys before this. It's been a rough one, to say the least.
Below are a few helpful tips for surviving the homestretch of pregnancy, that third trimester before it's finally time for delivery of that precious bundle you've been growing for 9 months. It's important to think about things from 4 different facets or aspects of life… physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In ways, they're all intertwined and focusing on one may help another.
Tips for Surviving Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy
These tips may help you not only to survive but to help build up energy during this grueling part of your pregnancy. (Disclaimer: All of these I've experienced on my own, so I'm writing from my own personal experience. Please consult with your doctor, midwife, or caregiver before embarking on any course of action.)
Put one foot in front of the other and start with one task. When you roll out of bed in the morning, plant both feet firmly on the ground and tell yourself this is a new day full of fresh new possibilities. It's another gift you've been given to love on your family, to complete that next project, to meet that work deadline head-on, to keep on keeping on. These aches and pains are temporary, and you can do this. Maybe you're feeling down. Maybe you're experiencing low energy. Just start with one task or project, maybe even a baby-related task like washing newborn clothes and putting them away or creating a space for baby. Just one task will lead to another, and it may give you a more positive outlook for completing that next task. Your creativity will begin to find its way back to you.
Drink more water. Listen, I get it… I'm preaching to the choir. But why is it so hard to put the amount of water that we need into our bodies? We know it's good for us. We know it's only beneficial. We know it's going to help give us energy, curb hunger cravings, curb constipation, and keep us going. But it's a daily struggle. Keep a bottle of water with you at all times, even a glass of water if you're at home. Take frequent sips. Maybe even flavor the water if you need to. Just drink more water.
Find a quiet spot each and every day. Carve out a little time, even if it's just 5-10 minutes, to be quiet each and every day. Whether you pray or read Scripture or read an inspirational story or even just lay down in the grass and stare up into the big blue sky, find those quiet moments to just be.
Exercise. It's hard when your energy is depleted, but it's so worth it. I've been trying to make it a point to exercise throughout my 2nd and now 3rd trimesters, going back and forth between yoga and walking at least 3-4 days a week. Even though it can be somewhat painful, I've found that yoga really relaxes me but still gives me a great workout. I even feel like it helps with the amount of sleep I'm able to get.
And now lately, I've found another great resource both for mind and body… it's the Johnson & Johnson 7 Minute Wellness for Expecting and New Moms™ app, available through both the App Store and Google Play. I am loving this app.
Why is this app a wonderful wellness resource for expecting and new moms? Because it's all about fitness and balance and takes all 4 facets of health (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) into consideration when customizing each session to you. You can choose from Mind and Body or 7 Minute Workout sessions on any given day. Each session is based on what week of pregnancy or what stage of postnatal recovery you're in. And you can pick your main motivation for wanting to renew your energy, whether it's priorities, family, etc. That way, you're able to see that motivation and feel that motivation every single day. Not only that, but before you begin each day, it actually asks you where your energy levels are and how you're feeling, then further customizes a workout or session that will be most helpful. Depleted is an actual choice.
Each customized session is guided by the soothing voice of performance coach Jenn Lea. I have to say, they picked the perfect voice to complement the app, because the voice you hear really does make a difference, especially when you're already tired but want to get through a workout so you can restore some of that lost energy.
My first Mind and Body session… and I was completely sold. It was a very rough day, I just wanted to get through school with my boys, I had a mountain load of work to do, I was feeling rather depressed (something I've struggled with throughout this pregnancy), even the cat was annoying me. When the app asked me how I was feeling, I chose the lowest point there was, Depleted. That short session with a few stretching exercises helped me pick myself up, dust myself off, and keep going. I felt myself breathing a little easier and my load begin to lighten.
And the workouts are no joke… You can pick from Beginner, Intermediate, or Advanced. But they are true workouts with several different sets of exercises, anything from yoga moves to partial lunges to modified push-ups and chair dips.
Fortify yourself with lots of fruits and veggies (and maybe even a good burger now and then). Keep a basket full of fresh fruit to snack on when you hit mid-afternoon and need a healthy snack. I've been craving pineapple like crazy lately. And yes, I know that red meat isn't always recommended, but a good burger or whatever your choice of meat is, can make all the difference. The owners of our local butcher shop knew we were having a boy before we ever told them… Apparently, my shopping habits had clued them in that I was expecting a boy. Steak, hamburger, roast beef… you name it, I've craved it with this boy.
Get outside. Get out and soak up some sunshine if at all possible. Sunshine is a key ingredient for energy and good health. Go somewhere. Just get out of the house and experience life beyond those walls. Even if it's exploring in your own backyard, finding bugs for a science experiment…
Make time for fun. Make time to laugh with your loved ones, to watch a movie, to explore somewhere new. Make time for the people and the things you love to do.
Take it easy. Soon, you'll be thrown into the whirlwind of a newborn. Take time now to take a few and prop your feet up, if at all possible. Making time for rest is just as important as all of the above. Rest replenishes and relieves.
And if I could add one more thing… Stay away from all the mom forums. Make the decisions that are best for you and your family. Don't be discouraged or stressed out by all the negativity, bashing, and judgment going on all over the internet.