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3 Things You Need to Do During Your Third Trimester

As you approach the third trimester of your pregnancy, you may experience feelings of excitement, impatience, and apprehension. The 28th week of pregnancy marks the beginning of your third trimester, meaning that you now only have a few months or less until it is time to deliver your baby. While you anxiously await the arrival of your little one, make sure to add the following tasks to your to-do list.

1. Decide How You Want to Feed Your Baby

Take a moment to decide how you plan to feed your baby. Though your decision is not set in stone, having some idea of your preferred feeding method can help you make the necessary preparations.

If you plan to breastfeed, you will likely need to pump milk for your baby at some point. See if your insurance company covers the purchase of a breast pump. Some will cover a pump for any breastfeeding mother, while others require a medical condition for the mom or baby.

Once the baby arrives, you may want to schedule a few meetings with a lactation consultant to learn different breastfeeding techniques and answer any questions you may have. Again, check your insurance to see if visits with a lactation consultant are covered by your policy.

You might want to gather the names of a few reputable lactation consultants in your area. Though the hospital where you deliver may have a lactation consultant on-site, many mothers prefer an outside consultant with more experience or a different approach. 

2. Explore Potential Birth Control Options

After you deliver your baby, your OBGYN will discuss potential birth control options at your follow-up appointments. However, start doing your research now so that you can ask questions and address any concerns about specific options. When selecting an alternative for birth control, keep your individual health needs and your personal preferences in mind.

Oral contraceptives are popular with women due to their ease of use. Just take a pill each day to prevent pregnancy. Since oral contraceptives contain hormones, many women find that they also help with menstrual cramps or hormonal acne. 

If you are concerned that you will not remember to take an oral contraceptive each day, you can choose a monthly form of birth control, such as the birth control shot, patch, or insertable ring. An intrauterine device (IUD) is another long-lasting selection ideal for women who don't want to have to worry about remembering to take a pill each day. IUDs also have an extremely high rate of effectiveness.

Should you decide to breastfeed, you will want to explore progestin-only birth control options. This class of birth control is least likely to disrupt your milk supply. Progestin-only birth control choices include the mini pill, the birth control shot, and IUDs that release progestin.

When considering permanent birth control options, such as a tubal ligation, talk to your OBGYN a few months before you plan to have the procedure so that you understand exactly what you need to do. Your doctor may require that you sign paperwork regarding your decision a couple months in advance.

3. Research Your Pain Options for Labor

Decide if you prefer an unmedicated birth or if you want to explore your alternatives for pain relief. Many patients who desire unmedicated births attend some type of class to help with pain management. Lamaze classes, courses that cover the Bradley method of pain management, and hypnobirthing classes are a few options that you may wish to explore.

If you plan to utilize pain relief options during childbirth, see what alternatives your hospital offers. Practically every hospital offers an epidural or spinal block, but some also have other alternatives, such as IV opioids and nitrous oxide (laughing gas). You should also read your insurance policy to understand how it covers pain relief during labor.

Ready to start planning for your new baby? Contact North Park OB-GYN, PC, today to schedule an appointment.