It honestly doesn’t feel that long ago that I was lumbering my way through the third trimester…and yet Stella is now nearly four months old! Time sure does fly with a newborn. I still wanted to share my third-trimester must-haves, as it was the most challenging months of the pregnancy – and these items made it much more bearable.
Red Seal Raspberry Leaf Tea
Raspberry Leaf Tea is thought to help tone the muscles of the uterus, helping you with labour. I started drinking the tea about 6 weeks out from my due date, and apparently, nothing less than 3 cups a day is effective. We were going into summer and so each morning I made up a big jug with three teabags in it, and put it in the fridge to cool – and drank it cold. It made it much easier to get down…as the taste of Raspberry Leaf is a bit odd. To make it more palatable I added a couple of extra bags of a fruity herbal tea, and actually found it quite refreshing!
Venerdi Paleo Bread
Dealing with the dietary restrictions of Gestational Diabetes was a challenge I didn’t expect with pregnancy, and my daily meals became pretty bland and boring. Regular Gluten Free bread tended to raise my blood sugars and so I was really happy to discover Venerdi Paleo Bread – made out of nuts and seeds. It tastes like cardboard unless you toast it, but then I was able to enjoy it with peanut butter, avocado, tomato or eggs on – and it didn’t spike my blood sugars at all. Finding Venerdi Paleo Bread really saved me – there wasn’t a lot I could easily eat and so this became my go-to.
Parents Centre Antenatal Classes
There’s a range of antenatal classes out there – some you pay for, and others are free. I had been strongly encouraged by a couple of friends to look into the classes run by Parents Centre New Zealand – and I am so glad I did! I had to book in pretty early (I think I did it around 12weeks!) and it cost a couple of hundred dollars, but the classes were really good. 2hours after work on a Monday night, every week for 6 weeks throughout November and December (plus a 3 hour practical session on a Saturday) – it seemed like a slog at the time, when all I wanted to do was get home after work and get into bed – however after each class Jase and I both agreed that it had been a good session. The classes were interactive and quite humourous, and the dads really got involved too.
While most of the stuff we talked through I generally knew about, it was good to cover it over again (and for Jase to be a bit more prepared too). However, the REAL benefit of the Parents Centre classes is the strength of the coffee group that they set up for you. While it might seem a bit like “paying for friends” the reality is, all 12 of us gals that were at the classes really wanted to meet other first time mums who lived in the area – and we have now created a strong bond. Our babies are growing up together, we meet up weekly for coffee and chats, we have monthly weekend BBQs together, and our husbands have become mates too and started a beer club!
The leg cramps were absolutely wicked in the third trimester – I remember waking up screeching and holding my calf, and my muscles throbbed for days afterwards. Taking magnesium was an absolute must. It helped with the cramping and I noticed it immediately if I had forgotten to take it before bed. I was able to get a practitioner grade magnesium from my acupuncturist, but a high-quality magnesium from a health food store would be sufficient.
Out for Indian – 39weeks pregnant
All the Wives Tales
If you’ve heard of it – I tried it! Clearly from my birth story none of them worked – but it did give me something to try out each day. I drank the raspberry lead tea, I ate 6 dates a day for 8 weeks, I ate a whole pineapple, I had the spiciest Indian curry on the menu, I walked, I bounced on the swiss ball, I rolled on the swiss ball, I LAY on the swiss ball, I had homeopathic birth mix, I had acupuncture, I tried acupressure, I used evening primrose up (2 up, 2 down – if you don’t know what I mean, DON’T WORRY), we drove fast over speed bumps…anything and everything!
I was so lucky to have two pregnancy massages gifted to me towards the end of my pregnancy – and I saved them up for when I went on maternity leave. You have so many aches and pains that it is just bliss to have someone massage the knots away. If you can afford it, definitely try and get a massage in your third trimester, it makes you feel amazing.
What were your third trimester must-haves? I also have a few post-partum must-haves in a blog post coming soon.