Wellness During Pregnancy,
Third Trimester Challenge Support

Click here to access and print the Wellness During Pregnancy,

Third Trimester Challenge

During the Challenge you will access resources from the employee well-being portal in the Wellness Initiatives 

In the third trimester your baby and your body will experience tremendous physical growth. Many babies gain 4½ additional pounds or more and grow 6 additional inches. During your third trimester, you will continue to focus on health and giving your child the best possible start in life. You will learn about the signs of labor and other potential medical issues. You will finalize your birth plan, prepare your home and car for the new baby, and finalize your family leave plans.

Third Trimester, Wellness During Pregnancy Supports:

  • Healthy lifestyle habits around tobacco, caffeine, alcohol, substances, physical activity, sleep, and stress

  • Optimizing nutritional practices and weight gain including foods, beverages, and supplements

  • Proactive management of your health and medical conditions and preparing for labor

  • Avoiding environmental exposures to toxins and chemicals and preparing your environment for a new baby

 

During this challenge you will focus on the 4 areas of Lifestyle, Nutrition, Medical, and Environmental at the same time. The Challenge Support material offers an in-depth focus on one of these topics at a time.

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1: Lifestyle 

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“Truthfully, being pregnant is changing me as a person. Each day is part of this amazing journey that has completely shifted the focus of my life and made me re-evaluate my personal and professional goals.” Holly Madison

Many women are less active in the third trimester. Fatigue, heartburn, increased urination, and difficulty sleeping are frequently “side-effects” of a growing baby.

During your entire pregnancy refrain from tobacco, marijuana, alcohol and recreational drugs. Moderate your caffeine intake.

 

Lifestyle tips for the third trimester:

 

  • Modify activities as your center of gravity changes

  • Practice breathwork and paced breathing

  • Sleep on your side — a body pillow can help

  • Slow down and reduce commitments

  • Plan couples’ activities and keep communication open

  • Allow friends and family to help you

  • Prepare the nursery and pack your bag

  • Plan for help with your newborn — be specific about your requests 

There are many decisions required before you a bring a new life home. 

Decisions before delivery:

  • Choose a pediatrician

  • Breast or bottle feeding

  • Cloth or disposable diapers

  • Finalize family leave plans

  • Think through childcare options

Continue improving your lifestyle habits that optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your third trimester.

“Not a waddle. Just pregnancy SWAG.” Anonymous

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2: Nutrition

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“The more we learn about the role of early nutrition in later cognitive function, the more important it becomes to ensure that every child is adequately nourished during this sensitive period of brain development.”   Lise Eliot

In general, you will need an additional 300-400 calories per day in the second and third trimesters. For a twin pregnancy you will need an extra 300 calories per day per baby, 600 total. Weight gain varies for each woman. Average weight gain in the third trimester is 10 pounds. For multiple pregnancies expect to gain more weight. Weight gain often tapers off in late pregnancy.

Nutrition in the third trimester:

  • Choose whole foods for meals and snacks

  • Purchase organic fruits and vegetables for the “Dirty Dozen” if possible

  • High fiber foods can help with constipation

  • Small, frequent meals will help reduce the pressure the uterus puts on the stomach

  • Eat your meals and snacks slowly

  • Stay hydrated with water and avoid sugar-sweetened drinks

  • Minimize foods with added sugars and salt

  • Take a high-quality prenatal vitamin that includes 600 mcg of folic acid, 300 mg of DHA, and 450 mg of choline

  • Aim for 1000 mg of calcium daily through foods or take a supplement

Continue improving your food and beverage habits that optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your third trimester.

“Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch.” E.B. White, Charlotte’s Web

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3: Medical

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“To be pregnant is to be vitally alive, thoroughly woman, and distressingly inhabited. Souls and spirit are stretched — along with body-making, pregnancy is a time of transition, growth, and profound beginnings.”

Anne Christian Buchanan

During the third trimester, most women will see their healthcare provider every 2 weeks until week 36, and then 1 prenatal visit each week until delivery.

 

Childbirth classes, facility tour, sibling preparation: Attend childbirth classes with your partner. This is the time to develop your birth plan and address any concerns or fears. Expect a discussion of pain management options during delivery and a review of the benefits of breastfeeding. Attend facility tour where you will give birth. Have your older child or children attend a sibling preparation class.

 

There are medical conditions that can develop in late pregnancy relating to a mother’s health, a baby’s health, and labor and delivery.

 

  • Preeclampsia – high blood pressure, swelling or fluid retention, and protein in the urine

  • ROM – rupture of the membranes (amniotic sac) is normal and results in a watery fluid leak. It can signify the beginning of labor.

  • PROM – labor that does not begin soon after the rupture of the membranes is called PROM or premature rupture of the membranes.

  • Preterm Labor – regular contractions that lead to cervical changes before 37 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Late and Post Term Pregnancy – late term refers to a pregnancy that is 41 weeks. Post term refers to a pregnancy that lasts 42 weeks

  • Induction – refers to the use of medication to attempt to create labor or contractions.

  • HSV – Herpes Simplex Virus or genital herpes can be passed to your newborn during pregnancy or delivery and is a serious complication of childbirth.

 

It is important that you become familiar with the signs and symptoms of labor and learn when to call your healthcare provider when contractions begin. Review what to expect with a vaginal and C-section delivery as well as pain management options. 

Continue with a proactive approach to medical care while pregnant. Schedule your medical visits, get involved in your care, prepare questions for your medical visits, be aware of your changing body, and notice the signs of labor. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your third trimester.

“Waiting for this baby is like picking up someone from the airport but you don’t know who they are or what time their flight comes in.” Anonymous

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4: Environmental

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“A baby fills a place in your heart that you never knew was empty.”              Anonymous

Continue to avoid environmental toxins and chemicals in your home and all of your environments — work, yard, car or other transportation.

 

It is extremely important that you prepare a safe environment for your new baby. This includes an appropriate car seat and stroller, a safe sleeping environment, and a home environment free from chemical hazards.

 

Getting Home from the Hospital:

  • Before you leave the hospital, you will need a properly installed rear-facing car seat

  • If you are taking a taxi or rideshare home, research the requirements in your area

 

Stroller

  • There are many styles, designs, and features available to suit your needs

  • Many new parents choose a travel system that includes a car seat and stroller

 

Safe Sleeping Environment* 

  • A safe sleeping environment decreases the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)

  • Share a bedroom, but not the same bed, for the first 6 months

  • Place the baby on their back in a crib without blankets, pillows, soft toys, or crib bumpers

  • Avoid baby’s exposure to secondhand smoke, alcohol, and drugs

*Recommendations from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

 

Home Environment

  • Put poisons, cleaners, prescriptions, and other hazardous chemicals out of reach

  • Install child safety latches on cabinets where these products are stored

Continue taking an honest inventory of your exposure to harmful chemicals and toxins. Improve your environment to optimize your pregnancy and the health of your baby. Research and choose an appropriate car seat and stroller, and prepare a safe sleeping environment for your baby before you go into labor. Take action now and incorporate into daily living. Use your Challenge Sheet to track your progress throughout your third trimester.

“Let’s clean up our environment. Let’s clean up our bodies, but most importantly, let’s not permit our babies of the future to be polluted before they are even born.” Louise Slaughter

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Congratulations!

 

You have made a conscious choice to manage your health and well-being throughout your pregnancy. It’s one of the most important decisions you can make as future parents. You are continuing to improve your lifestyle habits, nutritional practices including foods, beverages, and supplements and incorporated more healthy habits into daily living. You’ve taken a proactive approach to your prenatal medical care in preparation for delivery. You have reviewed your environments to minimize exposure to environmental toxins and chemicals and have prepared a safe environment for your baby. We hope that you have learned from the Virtual Exhibit, read the articles, and watched the videos from the employee well-being portal, and found ways to improve your lifestyle and environment in your third trimester. Keep up the momentum by continuing to use the Challenge Sheet throughout your third trimester of pregnancy.

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“There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.”

Jill Churchill

Click here to access and print the Wellness During Pregnancy,

Third Trimester Challenge

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