Fat, fat, fat. The baby’s brain is rapidly developing for birth. Fat is essential for this process. The baby is almost fully formed now. It is getting bigger and developing fat stores. During this stage of pregnancy, maintain your nutrition, but decrease your carbs. Carbs easily convert to fat and can contribute to large babies and gestational diabetes.
3rd Trimester Eating Goals - Fat and Balance
More information read:
Explore the postpartum eating section
As a reminder: Aphrodite Project is all inclusive and pushes no religious philosophy. For simplicity, we will use the term Spirit or God throughout the site.
Three Practices of the 3rd Trimester
Mantras for the 3rd Trimester - see article What is a Mantra?
Month 7: I accept all my emotions.
Month 8: My inner voice speaks wisdom. I’m listening.
Month 9: Baby, you will come with perfect timing.
A big problem is that when we sense something is not right in pregnancy, childbirth, or postpartum, we alert medical caregivers who do not listen. Healthcare advocates report a gender bias where doctors listen to men more seriously than they do to women. We see women are often ignored, but black women’s complaints regarding pain are dismissed at a greater rate than white women.
When asked about this in a CBS interview, Dr. Neel Shah, a professor of obstetrics at Harvard Medical School, and a practicing physician said, “This is going to be hard to hear: we believe black women less when they express concerns about the symptoms they’re having, particularly around pain.”
Looking into cases of medical mismanagement, moms and dads speak up, but are not heard quickly enough. Not being heard quickly enough results in near death experiences and, unfortunately, mortality. Please watch here for to understand this more deeply https://www.cbsnews.com/news/maternal-mortality-an-american-crisis/
So what do we do?
1. Vehemently Trust Your Instinct
It does not matter that your concern was dismissed, do not shut up until it is thoroughly looked into.
During pregnancy, and especially during birth and after birth have 2-3 people who are dedicated to advocating for you. Here you want people who have as much medical knowledge as possible and the most demanding personalities. Someone who loves you, but is shy or a strong rule follower is not the person to choose.
3. Remember This is Your Life, Your Baby
The doctor cannot feel your pain. Do not minimize your pain. I recommend being very clear about the pain and stating that it is not normal.
Toward the middle of your pregnancy you start to feel amazing. This energy inspires you to do, do, do. In this energized state we want to get things done and often feel that we can do them better, quicker, and more satisfyingly ourselves. Although that may be true, this is the time to practice receiving.
Receiving is the art of allowing others to do for you, accepting the care and attention of others, and comfort in being cared for by another. Mastering this art now will make the last trimester and postnatal life so much easier and less stressful. Perfecting the art of receiving will provide space to nurture yourself and baby making you both healthier..
Allowing another to help you requires strength and a deep appreciation for yourself. (If you feel like you have neither, fake it - it will come.) Strength to let go of the need to prove yourself. Strength to open yourself to another. My daughter likes to say, “In conscious vulnerability, there is intimacy.” Choosing to allow others to do for you strengthens the bond you have with them.
Abandon the idea that your worth comes from what you do - you are worthy, appreciated, and love because you are - because you BE. You were created by God, God created you specifically. You are not an accident, you were not haphazardly thrown together. You are God’s gift to life. You ARE, therefore you are to be appreciated, loved, and valued - all of us should. Believing this is great, but the action which demonstrates the belief is more profound: being able to receive from others is a deep affirmation of all that you are.
On a practical side, when you receive from others, there is less on your plate and you can spend your energy growing baby and caring for you. On a spiritual side, you greet the world with an open hand and heart. When our hearts are open, we can receive more of the good the Universe has to offer.
Ways to begin to receive:
Get a prenatal massage
Imagine you are a princess, and the massage therapist is giving you your royal massage. Take it in like a queen.
Let it Come
When people open doors, ask to carry something for you, make space for you, give their seat to you - accept it.
Plan a date and allow your partner to choose and do everything for you: your partner will pick out your outfit, decide on a place to go, choose your meal for you. This exercise of giving up control will help you see how much you’ve grown in receiving or how much more you can grow.
In the seventh month many, babies turn to their birth position - head down. For some babies, it will take until the ninth month. It is better for mom and baby that baby turn in the seventh or eighth month. Here are natural ways to encourage baby.
If you know your baby is not in position by week 30
The danger zone 9th month to 3 weeks postpartum
Aphrodite Project is infused with the positive. Your process of bringing this baby into the world is going to be one of ease, safety, and love. To get there, however, we must survey the land to know where the pitfalls are. This article focuses on the pitfalls.
Once you are past hearing the heartbeat, you are past the most delicate time of your pregnancy. If you keep up with the Aphrodite Project in eating, moving, meditating, and unwinding - you avoid most risk factors for complications and birth challenges.
Month 9 to 3 weeks postpartum is the danger zone because if concerns go unchecked, those concerns are likely to become life or death for mom and baby.
Remember above all, your intuition does not lie. If you feel something is off, it is!
Top concerns during this time:
Preeclampsia and eclampsia
How to avoid the danger zone:
No sugar, grains, rice, bread, pasta, potatoes, sweets
Rest A LOT - if you think you are resting too much, you are almost resting as much as you need to - PLEASE rest too much
During the end of your pregnancy do your best to do the following:
It is an EMERGENCY if:
Remember in an emergency, black women, more than any other race, are not listened to, their complaints are minimized - you must advocate strongly and have someone with you who can advocate for you. Your internal wisdom is more educated than a doctor. It knows things medical school cannot teach you. ALWAYS trust it.
Once labor begins - including prelabor do not:
Immediate medical attention
In the seventh month, begin counting your baby’s kicks. Your doctor or midwife will ask you to count your baby’ kicks sometime this month or the next. It is good to start counting daily to make you familiar with baby’s habits and personality.
Sit down in a comfortable place, put your legs up if you can. Count how many movements you feel in 30 minutes.
It helps to choose a time of day when baby is active. Place your hand on your belly. See how long it takes to feel 10 movements. If baby is sleeping, drinking water, moving around, music, or a glass of orange juice will wake him.
In his waking period, most babies will have 10 -15 movements within 15 minutes.
Self Care when you are pregnant is not optional.
Each trimester you will have an Aphrodite Project Self Care Program. Taking care of you will make you healthier, lower stress, and help your body make the baby. Stress interferes with normal pregnancy. Aphrodite Project Self Care Program encourages you to do activities that reduce stress - this puts you on the side of a healthy pregnancy and baby.
You will be slower and need to take more rests in the last trimester. Do not let this discourage you from walking as much as you can and exercising. See videos for the last trimester. The workouts are gentler and more aimed at preparing you for birth. Print out weekly workout program here. Read How to Help Baby Get in Position.
8-12 hours daily, see article Sleep the Magic Elixir for more info on sleep. Sleep can get uncomfortable at this stage. See articles on Restless Legs, Relief through Bathing, and video on sleep positions.
Recommit to all the wonderful habits you have been forming. The last trimester is just as important as the others. You will begin the kick count, and refer to article on the Danger Zone. Our healthy habits will minimize the possibility of having complications.
Daily stretch will prepare you for birth and relieve sciatic and pelvic pressure. You only need 5-10 minutes a day. If stretching and walking is all you do, that’s perfect.
Prepare for After Birth
This preparation is not baby focused - it’s mommy focused. Do things you love, go out, see friends, explore - fill yourself up, so after birth you can focus on healing and connecting.
Continue your meditation practice with visualizations. Visualize your birth going exactly how you wish. Finish each visualization with the simple phrase, “This or something better.” This begins to prepare us for the best birth and opens us to how birth chooses to unfold.
Feeling bigger as baby grows larger
An array of emotions as you prepare to greet baby
The highest transfer of DHA from mom to baby. Eat a lot of healthy fats to provide for you and baby (olives, nuts, seeds, avocado, coconut, fish)
The baby during the 7th month:
The baby during the 8th month
The baby during the 9th month
Sleeping challenges. This is your biggest stage (although at the end of pregnancy you do lose some water weight). It is also your most uncomfortable in terms of sleeping.
Bed rest is prescribed limitations on your movement to preserve the health of the baby and mom. Occasionally, a woman is put on full bed rest with her movement completely curtailed and work stopped. Other times, it is a modified lifestyle including less activity and movement outside the house with frequent rest periods. Either way, abide by bed rest for yourself and the baby. Most often bed rest is temporary.
When in a period of activity restriction, be sure to continue healthy eating habits and hydration. Also, stretch frequently to loosen your muscles and tendons. Try to do activities you find relaxing, to recharge and fortify the body.
Bed rest is most frequently required to:
As your pregnancy progresses, taking good care of your legs will make you more comfortable and better able to sleep. Use the tips below to rest and renew your legs.
Edema is the retention of fluid in the ankles, legs, and sometimes feet and hands. It is a normal part of pregnancy; however read below for signs that the swelling indicates a medical emergency called preeclampsia. And it is always a good idea to notify your doctor or midwife if you experience swelling.
Steps to Alleviate Swelling
If you have any of the signs below, see your midwife or doctor. Have her assess you for preeclampsia. If you do not have one, go to the emergency room. This is a life or death condition. It is imperative that the healthcare provider takes you seriously. See article on preeclampsia.
Warning signs of preeclampsia:
Stretch marks are a part of pregnancy. Your skin is asked to accommodate an ever growing uterus. However, how you eat and hydrate will be the prime factors determining how your skin responds to pregnancy. Check out the Aphrodite Eating Principles and aim to drink a gallon of water a day.
Ways to Minimize Stretch Marks
Hydration is more important during pregnancy than in normal life (the exception here is when you nurse - you need even more water. The water is going into amniotic fluid, increased blood volume, the baby, and ridding the body of toxins and waste.
Drinking 8-10 cups of water is the Mayo Clinic recommendation. You can best gauge if you have enough by the color of your pee. It should be pale yellow.
Your 8-10 cups can be water, decaf tea or coffee, milk, nut milks, green juices, herbal tea, flavored drinks, seltzer. Sodas do count as hydration, but the sugar, sugar substitutes, and additives in them are not good for baby or mom. Fruit juices should be taken in moderation. They contain a lot of sugar which can cause excess weight gain and insulin resistance which leads to gestational diabetes.
If water get boring, add fruits or herbs to the water or a splash of fruit juice.
Julia Erickson, the founder of Aphrodite Project, is a wellness authority who uses food, meditation, and movement to create extraordinary health and wellness. Julia's practice is focused on helping women thrive and heal from chronic disease. She is also mother of seven.