Pregnancy has its joys ... and its challenges.
Snuggle Into A Cozy Nest Getting a good night's rest is essential to your health and your baby's too. Doctors recommend sleeping on your left side to optimize blood flow, and supporting yourself with pillows. You can make your bed a very cozy and supportive place with specially designed pillows that cradle your whole body. Visit The Gentle Nest to see a variety of affordable maternity pillows. Indulge In A Prenatal Massage Everyone loves a soothing massage, and during pregnancy, a massage can actually help with important health issues like swelling, sciatic nerve pain, and hormone regulation. Be sure to visit a massage therapist who is trained in prenatal massage therapy. Visit the American Pregnancy Association to find a therapist in your area. Take Care of Your Feet And Your Back Will Thank You As your pregnancy progresses you may experience back pain. In addition to practicing good posture and avoiding lifting heavy objects, comfortable shoes can help you be more comfortable when you are pregnant. Visit MommyFeet.com for more information and advice from podiatrist Dr. Sam Sanandaji. Choose The Right Bra A good maternity bra gives you support that can help with back pain. And, designers today offer styles that are as pretty as they are practical. Cake Lingerie not only offers a beautiful collection, but also has a step-by-step guide for how to determine the best fit. Soothe Your Itchy Skin As your tummy expands, itchy skin can be annoying. You can soothe the itch and help prevent stretch marks with good lotions, creams, and oils. Visit Belli Skincare, founded by a physician and his cosmetics-industry wife, for high-quality products that have been extensively tested for safety. You are almost there! Aside from counting the days until you finally get to see your new baby (and see your very own feet without craning your neck), what should you be doing? Here are five things to do in your third trimester that will help make the days fly by and help ensure that everything is ready for the big day. Rest Up First and foremost, take it easy. Do gentle prenatal yoga stretches to help ease the strain your growing belly has put on your body. Put your feet up and watch fun movies. Eat healthy small meals or snacks to keep your energy up. Plan For Game Day Map out your route to the hospital or birthing center and even put the car seat in about a week before your due date so it's ready for the ride home. Make sure you have a list of key phone numbers handy - your doctor, midwife, doula, or anyone else who you want with you when you go into labor. Also, your doctor will know where to go, but make sure everyone else has directions to the hospital or birthing center. Finalize Your Favorites Of the top five things to do in your third trimester, the most fun may be choosing names for your new baby. Take some time to settle on the perfect one, or whittle the list down to a few favorites. Pack Your Bags About a week or so before your due date, pack the things you will need for yourself during labor and after you give birth, and the things you will need for your new baby. Baby Center has a very detailed list of the obvious (toiletries) and the not so obvious (picture ID) things you won't want to forget. And Don't Forget Your Carry On Luggage! If you plan to save your baby's cord blood, don't forget to put your cord blood kit in or next to your personal bag. If you haven't made arrangements to save cord blood, but you want to, call a cord blood company now so they can get you registered and send you the kit you will need to take to the hospital.