Motherhood is a series of endless adventures, sometimes trivial but fun like The Adventures of Winnie The Pooh, once in a while gut-wrenching and jaw-clenching like Mission Impossible and other times plain hilarious like Johnny English. But one thing is for sure: motherhood starts at the very beginning when women were naive little adults with giddy news about being pregnant and lasts until becoming the wise old sage (hopefully) of the golden years.
People learn about the do's and don'ts of motherhood early on from the pregnancy stage. But just what do we really take away from the pregnancy stage? Are the things we are allowed to do different for each trimester? (Moms around the world wisely nod their heads.) Are there taboos and real practices that cater to each trimester ? (Moms worldwide nod eagerly again.) Is there a list that new moms race to complete before they reach the third trimester? (Every seasoned mom chants 'yes! yes! yes!'). And so, to ensure that each and every new member of the motherhood club is well prepared for what is to come, we present to readers the bucket list that we should try to cross out before the last trimester kicks in. So hurry up, ladies, the clock is ticking. Better do these things before the whole waddling as little penguin thing starts.
20 Jetset Around The World
The U.S. Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists ( ACOG) encourages women to travel before they hit the 36 week mark (this is generally lumped into the final leg of the third trimester). Some airlines limit pregnant women from flying as early as the 32nd week. This is to prevent any possible labour or complications that might occur. So before the big 3 looms ahead, gather your passports and get ready to jetset around the world. Travel to your heart's content ( ya'll might not get to travel like a diva for the next decade or so. Oh no honey, not with the incoming little diva on the way) so book your tickets, check out the latest fares and promotions and pack your bags. You are ready to roll!
19 Have Fun With Spouse
Many say that a woman looks and feels her best in the second trimester. This is the time when her skin glows the brightest ( is that a spotlight shining?), her hair the smoothest ( Rapunzel, did you dip your hair in oil or something? ), her nails the strongest ( Wow, look at her break down the wall with her nails!) and her, well, let's just say her 'assets' are the most attractive. So it's only normal for women to feel more confident and attractive than usual. They will get more creative with the fun and games that they usually play with their partners but as the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Why you might ask. Well, when the third trimester comes, all the extra activities enjoyed may be a no-no as these activities might physically tire out the mom to be or even endanger the womb. So girls, make sure you have your fun before the time runs out.
18 Soak Up In The Sauna
Saunas are famous for their detoxification as well as stress and pain relief properties. And while this practically screams 'come and soak in me!', pregnant women are discouraged from spending too much time in the sauna. According to Healthline, women in their second trimester should spend no more than 15 minutes in the sauna. This is because saunas are usually kept in a temperature range of between 180 to 190 deg F. Add this to the fact that our fetuses cannot regulate their body temperature in our uterus. So it can be literally a bun cooking in the oven for them. This is especially crucial for women in the third trimester. Tell any sauna centers you want to enjoy a session or two and they'll probably blacklist you for life. Kidding! But the bottom line is, limit the amount of sauna sessions in the second trimester and skip it all together in the third.
17 Backbreaking Household Chores
Ahhh, housework. Chores never end, do they? It seems like no matter how much we clean up the house, there will always be more to do. But take it easy. While we may still be able to handle carrying tons upon tons of laundry and balancing between juggling a cartful of groceries while frantically searching for our car keys in the blazing car park, let's just take a backseat and chill in the third trimester shall we? The house is only going to get messier by the time little juggernaut makes his or her entry. So why bother? Chill and relax. ( Gets pelted with eggs by Marie Kondo fans). But in all seriousness, we can still clean the house. Just don't over do it.
16 Sleep On The Back
Sleeping on the back is something every woman takes for granted , until pregnancy hits them smack in the face. Then we will crave them like guys crave their Nintendo and soccer games. As our fetuses grow in size, their weight will also increase. And by sleeping on our backs, the weight of the baby will inevitably compress our vena cava (fancy scientific name for one of our body's major vessels) and therefore obstruct important flow to our babies. No flow equals danger. And danger screams 'get off your back lady!'. So enjoy sleeping on your backs while you can because for the final 3 months, you'll only be able to sleep on your sides. And trust us when we say it's not that fun.
15 Sleep Through The Night Like A Baby
Not only should we savor sleeping on our backs, we should also thank the stars for every second of a good night's sleep. What once came naturally will begin to elude us in the third trimester. The bladder will get fuller faster, our stomachs will growl often, our babies will Kung Fu kick more, our tongues will dry out faster and our brains will go into overdrive. That is but a mere description of the things to come in the third trimester so sleep as much as you can during the second. Bask in the glow of the morning sun after a good sleep and enjoy every bit of it because lady, this opportunity won't come again in the next decade or so.
14 Go To The Gym
The gym is a wonderful place for workouts, even more so when one is pregnant. It allows us to tone our muscles and help prepare us for the arduous task of pushing the baby out. So go and sign up for a gym membership, heck, some even have special prenatal gym classes especially tailored for women with the bump. And while lifting weights and working on the treadmill is great and all, one should try to scale it down by the time the third trimester comes around the corner. After all, too much of something is never a good thing.
13 Eat Big
Ahhh, in the second trimester, the heartburn and all the agonizing and drama inducing sensations would have subsided ( yay! A great cause for celebration!). So now would be the best time to eat to your heart's content. Within limits of course. Women will find their appetites tuned up a notch or two with cravings taking over and they will find themselves chowing down meal after meal like no one's business. However, as the baby grows bigger in the third trimester, they should watch out the amount of food intake as the heartburns will make a comeback. This time, with a vengeance. So be prepared (Lion King's Be Prepared looms on the background) .
12 Strut Around In Killer Heels
Heels are to women a symbol of power and confidence. They lift us to greater heights (literally speaking) and allow us to strut around town with poise and self assurance. Heels can be a head turner and a headline maker so it is only normal for women of all stages and ages to want to own and wear a pair or two. And pregnant women are of no exception. However, many advise pregnant women, especially those in the last few weeks of their pregnancy to wear only flat soles. For obvious reasons of course. The higher one gets from the ground, the less stable one becomes and not only that, heels put extra pressure on the tips of the already swollen toes of pregnant women so it can be extremely uncomfortable (not to mention unsafe and unstable) for anyone pregnant women to even consider going near them.
11 Sushi & Sashimi
Sushi and sashimi.....ahh...those juicy tender salmon and tuna that melt in your mouth. Think of how sweet and smooth the texture is and how great they taste with the vinegar infused rice. Hmm mmm. Heavenly. Go to any Japanese restaurant and sushi and sashimi are a must. A great number of pregnant women with cravings usually end up consuming a large number of these Asian delicacies. But wait, while they may taste wonderful, many advice women in their third trimester to reduce the consumption of these mouth watering foods. The main reason is because raw fish usually contain parasitic worms ( one of its fancy names is anasakis) that can make one pay numerous visits to the bathroom and get a scolding from the gynecologist. So if one really needs to eat them, make sure that the fish are thoroughly frozen beforehand.
According to the Wikipedia, planking strengthens the abdominals (abs baby, abs), back (cue to Justin Timberlake's song about bringing it back) and shoulders (oooh look at them broad shoulders honey). So basically, planking is a good thing. In fact it's positive traits are so numerous that many health gurus encourage pregnant women to take on planking. And while there is no denying that planking has helped many pregnant women to strengthen their pelvic muscles and enabled them to face D day with more confidence and ease, many women are also discouraged to continue planking in their third trimester to avoid overdoing it. So remember to scale back when the time comes.
9 Skip A Visit To The Dentist
The National Health Service ( NHS) in UK recommends everyone to visit the dentist ( no, not for a chat) once every 6 months for a dental check-up. This applies to pregnant women as well. In fact, pregnant women are encouraged to visit the dentist more often because of the drop in the level of calcium and immunity in their bodies. This will in turn give rise to more cavities and weaker teeth. However, if one really need to visit the dentist, please do so before the third trimester as dentists do not recommend anything other than a simple teeth cleaning session once we pass the second trimester.
8 Go Behind The Wheel
Keys? Check. Mirror? Seatbelt? Check. Handbrake? Check. Coast clear? Check. Ready for a fast and furious ride? Check. Oh no, wait. Uncheck that. We may be allowed to go behind the wheels but let's just take it slow and easy shall we? A little life is at stake here. Coast down the highway or drive along the country side, but always remember to avoid long or high risk rides. And when the third trimester comes, try to avoid driving if possible. Having a seatbelt strapped across a bulging belly isn't exactly a very comfortable feeling. And in the event of any accidents, the airbags sure as heck won't do much to protect our little buns in the oven. So lay out the damsel in distress card and get someone, anyone with credible driving skills chauffeur you around.
7 Skip Rest
Perhaps you are the CEO of a start-up company or a Lead Engineer at a manufacturing plant. A banker perhaps or even a madam police officer. Whatever job title it is that you hold, give it your best. So what if you're pregnant? The company needs you. Who cares about getting a good night's rest? Your colleagues are pulling an all nighter. And ignore your spouse's constant nagging about needing to give your body a downtime. Heck, forget what your gynecologist said about not moving too much for the umpteenth time. What do they know? You're the master of your body. Except wait.... you are now responsible not only for yourself but also for a little life growing inside of you. So while you may try to maintain your pre-pregnancy lifestyle of working and partying, do try to slow it down for the sake of your child when you reach the third trimester.
6 Forget To Count Fetal Movements
According to the webMD, fetal movements start between the 16th to 25th week of pregnancy. This roughly translates to the second trimester. And it is right about this time that the gynecologist would encourage you to count your fetal movements. But like all humans, we sometimes tend to forget. And that's okay as long as we can feel them wriggling and moving inside. During this trimester, the baby's movements are easily felt so missing a count for a day or two during the second trimester is okay but it is a no no during the third trimester. During this time, the baby would have grown so much more, hence there will be a lack of room for movement. So it will be vital to keep an eye on whatever kicks or punches they roll.
5 Coffee Or Tea
We all know that coffee and certain teas contain caffeine and we also know that high intakes of caffeine are not good for the baby. Caffeine is a stimulant, it keeps us and the baby really alert . Plus caffeine is also known to increase one's heart rate and that is not something be played with when one is pregnant. Still, if you are a devoted Starbucks fan then a minimal amount of caffeine intake (less than 200mg a day.....coffee lovers around the world cry foul) is tolerable. However, once past the third trimester, high caffeine intake is very much discouraged as studies by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) suggest a risk factor in fetal problems, particularly if the fetus is a boy.
4 Laze Around
Lazying around is everyone's forte. It is a universal must and a hobby that millions enjoy. And pregnant mothers are no different. In fact, they tend to laze around more due to the fact that most of their bodies' nutrients have been channeled elsewhere (cough *baby's fault*cough) and they have to walk around with extra baggage. So it is only normal to see pregnant women dozing off every once in a while. But come the third trimester, slap any pregnant woman silly if you see them lazying around as they need to move , move, move! Being stagnant for too long will not do their muscles any good and also reduces the flow throughout their body so this spells 'not healthy' for both the momma and the baby.
3 Hide Your Pregnancy
Some women prefer to hide their pregnancy from the world (for personal reasons which we will not discuss here) and hide they can during the first and second trimester when their bellies are still rather small. A proper attire put together can hide the bump and an excuse for not having exercised can also be used to cover up the ever growing pouch. But no secret stays hidden forever. Eventually the bump will show and the truth will come out so the cat will define let out of the bag during the last few weeks do pregnancy.
2 Enjoy Water Sports
Some women love water sports. Swimming, jet skiing, kayaking, surfing, you name it, they've done it. These women live and breathe water sports. And so, when a number of these women get pregnant, they find it hard to just let go of all these adrenaline filling activities. Thus they choose to continue to enjoy splashes of water all the way to the end of the second trimester. During the last leg of pregnancy though, any form of extreme water sports is a no no in case there might be physical injuries to both mother and child. So if you're a sports lover, do try to take it down a notch for a few months before ramping it up again after the birth of your little one.
1 Do The Catwalk Gracefully
Where once we could walk like divas and give America's Top Model a run for her money, pregnancy will come and test our real abilities to walk gracefully while carrying the bump. The authoritative strut and bounce will not come naturally anymore. In fact as the pregnancy progresses, we will find ourselves moving more and more like penguins. And by the time we are in the final leg of our pregnancy, we can consider ourselves lucky for being able to walk without tripping and falling over. So much for the catwalk. Heh.
Sources: Parenting.com, National Center for Biotechnology Information