Third Trimester Prep: Crucial Steps to Not Overlook
Is your due date approaching quicker than you anticipated? Like many other pregnant women, that date can creep up on you fast causing additional stress to get everything ready for your baby's arrival. Don’t worry though, this article will help identify the crucial steps you’ll want to take in these last few months of pregnancy to ensure the important things are taken care of before giving birth.
Paying Medical Bills
These will pile up quickly throughout your pregnancy and after giving birth and can be quite expensive. No one really talks about the logistics of paying off medical bills and how to use health insurance to help keep the costs of expanding your family down. So we’re here to give you the inside scoop on tackling these expenses.
Your first step is to make sure you and your baby have medical insurance. Most of the time this is offered through your employer, where you can sign yourself, your spouse, and your children up to receive coverage. Typically you will enroll during your employer's open enrollment period, but what if you miss open enrollment? No worries, having a baby qualifies as a major life event and allows you to adjust your enrollments anytime throughout the year.
You will need to get in touch with your HR department to make these adjustments and ensure that your baby is insured before they are born. Another important thing to check is whether your current insurance covers the cost of doctor's appointments and delivering a baby. These should be covered, but if they aren’t, now is the time to make the appropriate changes so that you aren’t hit with thousands of dollars in medical bills after your baby is born.
Pack Your Hospital Bag
While this may seem obvious, packing your hospital bag must-haves can easily get forgotten about or pushed off until the last minute. Be sure to pack your hospital bag early on as 80% of women have their babies between 37 and 42 weeks. Waiting until the last minute could result in you having to rush to the hospital early without all of the items you might need during and after labor.
For first-time moms this may not have been something you’ve even thought to prep in advance, so here are some essentials you might want to include in your hospital bag. While this list can vary from person to person, it is a great place to start when making your unique packing list and includes items such as important documents and cozy clothing that you won’t want to forget!
Prioritize Your Health
While the health of your baby is likely at the forefront of your mind every day during your pregnancy, your health is something you will want to keep just as close of an eye on, especially during the third trimester. This focus will not only ensure you’re in great health for delivery but will result in stellar health for your baby too.
Start by staying active, this can and will likely be the hardest thing to do during those last few months of your pregnancy, but it’s very important. Look into some smart ways you can stay fit while pregnant to keep yourself active while keeping your baby safe. It’s smart to run these activities by your doctor and closely monitor how you’re feeling before, during, and after exercising. The last thing you want is to cause unnecessary stress or injury to yourself or your baby, especially in the third trimester.
Preparing Your Home & Family
While there isn’t a ton of baby-proofing to do just yet, you will want to prepare your home before going into labor. Tackling this in advance will help you when it’s time to bring the baby home allowing you to relax and enjoy your time with your family. Things like deep cleaning and putting together a diaper caddy are all going to make it easier on you and will allow you to spend quality time with your newborn baby.
Lastly, preparing your family can be no easy task, but is just as important to allow the growth of your family to be an enjoyable experience. Start by setting firm boundaries with your extended family. They are all probably just as excited about your baby as you are, but it can be overwhelming to be bombarded with people right after delivery. Establish a timeframe that works for you and your family when planning when you want to introduce them to your baby.
For those of you who already have children, it is crucial to prepare them for the arrival of their new sibling. This can be tough for a lot of children but it will be a huge factor in their introduction being successful. All kids react differently as this is turning their entire world upside down, so if yours are having a hard time with it, the best thing to do is validate their feelings and just know that they will come around eventually.
These four things are the most important to handle before going into labor and will set you up for success without the stress. The best way to remember them is “The Four P’s”; pay, pack, prioritize, and prepare. Once you complete these easy tasks your last thing to do is wait for your little miracle to make its way into the world!