The third trimester was undeniably my favorite with my first pregnancy, and it's proven to be very true with this pregnancy as well. I feel so much gratitude for my body... for making me my babies, for making me a mother. Even though this pregnancy has brought more challenges than my first, I’m sad to see it come to an end. Although I’m also getting pretty desperate to meet this little creature!
Pregnancy Related Symptoms
The nausea & vomiting that plagued me during the first and second trimester finally subsided at 33 weeks. Although I was incredibly surprised that it kept up as long as it did, I‘m very appreciative to have a few weeks reprieve at the end of this pregnancy.
Any and all food aversions have completely disappeared as well. My aversions were less severe during my first pregnancy, but a few of them did linger well into the postpartum period.
I’ve also been lucky to avoid the swollen feet and ankles that I experienced at the end of my first pregnancy.
What I’m Eating
I really believe that a woman’s intuition never speaks to her more loudly than when she’s pregnant. We should honor this and pay attention to our instincts when it comes to the food we choose to eat. Our bodies often tell us what we need or what to avoid, we just have to practice tuning in. The third trimester had my body (or my baby) calling for healthy fats. Healthy fats are incredibly important in the final trimester to build baby’s brain, help them add protective padding for the outside world, reduce my risk of postpartum depression, and build stores for breastfeeding. Wild salmon with crispy skin, avocado and raw walnuts have been favorites.
Nutrients & Supplementing
I’ve been focusing on the same nutrients that I did during the third trimester of my last pregnancy with a few additions.
Iron & Protein: Increased amounts are required to support blood volume levels and the growth and development of the baby. Sources here
Calcium & D3: To support the baby’s rapid bone development in the final months. Sources here
K2: Modern breast milk is low in vitamin K, and newborn vitamin K deficiency is likely the result of insufficient maternal intake in the 3rd trimester. Traditional cultures consumed significantly more vitamin K2 rich foods than we do today: such as fermented foods, pasture raised egg yolk, grass-fed butter, & organ meats. Vitamin K2 has a very high transfer rate to breast milk and colostrum contains much higher amounts of K2 than mature milk. So unrestricted breastfeeding in the first hour after birth, from a well nourished mother, serves as an immediate transfusion to newborns to assist with proper blood clotting.
Probiotics: So much more is being understood about the important transfer of healthy bacteria from mother's birth canal to an infant during vaginal birth. By nutritionally prepping your birth canal you can help your newborn begin populating their own beneficial microbes to strengthen their immunity, improve digestion, and lower their risk of allergies, asthma, thrush & eczema. Fermented food & drink in the 3rd trimester increases your body's healthy bacteria. Naturally fermented foods often contain a wider variety of strains than probiotic supplements, but supplementing 'in addition' can be beneficial as well. Also be mindful to reduce/avoid things that can negatively alter vaginal pH: sugar, refined foods & the use of antibiotics.
Raspberry Leaf Tea: One of the most widely used herbs in pregnancy. I started taking it at 34 weeks as a tea to support and strengthen the uterus. It's too warm for hot tea right now, so I brew it and ice it.
Gelatin & Collagen: I also alternated supplementing with these to support my joints & connective tissue and to help with some pelvic pain I experienced in the second trimester. I quickly noticed a substantial improvement and have been pain free through my third trimester. I added grass-fed collagen to smoothies and used grass-fed gelatin in these Kombucha Gummies.
And We Wait
I’ve definitely felt a distinct shift that’s happened over the last week or so. My body has been feeling a lot closer to birth. My husband’s also mentioned that I often seem like I’m off in a distant or dreamy place. There’s a brilliant article called The Last Days of Pregnancy that I highly recommend for anyone in their final days or weeks of pregnancy. It does a wonderful job of articulating the time and place where mothers linger, waiting to be called forward.
“It is a time of in between. Neither here nor there. Your old self and your new self, balanced on the edge of a pregnancy. One foot in your old world, one foot in a new world.” Reminding us to “go with it and be okay there”.
My home birth kit is packed, my house is clean, the baby's clothes are neatly folded, and my body seems to be gearing up (I lost my mucous plug a few days ago!). So we’re ready for you to join us anytime now little one and change our lives forever more. See you soon sweet baby.