Third trimester checklist for pregnant mothers (step by step things to do)

Third Trimester Checklist – Exactly what to do before baby comes home!

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Are you pregnant and in your third trimester? Wondering exactly which third-trimester to-do items you should be marking off your list? You’re in the right place mama, let’s go through each item you need to do before baby arrives!

I’ll never forget being pregnant for the first time. As my due date approached, the panic of what still needed to be done set in.

  • Did I get the baby’s crib together?
  • Did I wash all his laundry?
  • Was our hospital packed?

The last thing any pregnant mom needs is to feel pressured or stressed out about completing a few last-minute tasks before baby makes his or her debut.

That stress is not good for you, your body, your partner, and of course, not good for your baby.

So, instead of stressing out, read over my third-trimester checklist below. It’ll help you focus on exactly what to do before your baby arrives without wasting time on any unnecessary tasks!

Pink background graphic with text explaining a free birth workshop for pregnant mothers

Third Trimester Checklist of Things To Do Before Baby Comes Home:

First, if you don’t have time to read this entire post, that’s fine! You can download a copy of my FREE BABY PREPARATION GUIDE, print it out, and go through it whenever you’re ready!

Otherwise, you can keep on readin’ this detailed step-by-step list below:

Take a breastfeeding class or baby class.

Your hospital should offer free or low-cost baby classes ranging from breastfeeding, preparing for baby, baby CPR, and more!

Now would be the time to get these classes squared away to help you and your partner feel a bit more ready for new baby’s arrival!

If you’re not a fan of the in-person styled classes (which I’m personally not), the classes below are the ones I’ve personally used and highly recommend for every mama to be!

Online Birth Classes: BIRTH IT UP 2.0 (Epidural Series) | BIRTH IT UP (Natural Series) |

Breastfeeding Course: The Complete Online Breastfeeding Course (Affordable breastfeeding course for beginners including nursing, pumping, and bottle feeding)

Postpartum Education & Support: Postpartum Mental Health Guide

Prenatal Core Training: The Tummy Team Prenatal Core Training

Have your baby’s sleeping area set & ready.

After the birth of our son, I knew he wouldn’t be sleeping in the nursery immediately.

Instead, we designated a safe sleep area in our room, in his own bassinet.

We also kept a little “diaper caddy” (this exact one) nearby for those late-night diaper changes and feedings. It really came in helpful.

Have the baby nursery up and ready.

I know it’s easier said than done, but trust me it will be the last thing you want to even think about after bringing home a newborn.

We used our nursery since day 1 (not for sleeping) between changing diapers in there and also practicing lots of tummy time.

Save yourself the trouble and try to have it done during the early third trimester of your pregnancy!

Get your hospital bag packed & ready!

You DEFINITELY want to have your hospital bag packed and ready sooner than later. Why?

Because pregnancy is so unpredictable. Your little bundle of joy may decide to be weeks early or weeks late.

Save yourself the stress and get that sucker ready to go!

Once it’s packed, be sure to set it in the car or next to the car you plan to take to the hospital when the big day comes!

I even have a FREE printable checklist to help you get your bag packed and ready! And if you want to read my full post, you can check out ‘How to pack your hospital bag for mom, dad, and baby‘.

Choose your pediatrician.

Did you know – most offices will allow you to do a ‘phone’ interview before selecting a pediatrician for your little one?

I highly recommend doing this, along with asking friends/family who their pediatrician recommendations are!

Your baby will need to have frequent checks after birth so getting this handled sooner vs later will be one less thing to worry about!

Some things to consider when looking for a pediatrician include:

  • What are their beliefs towards breastfeeding (do they align with yours)?
  • How often will they want to see your baby?
  • Do they have any references?
  • What’s their schedule like and what happens if you needed to see them for an urgent case?

Install the baby’s car seat.

This is a big third trimester to do tasks & something you’ll want to have done the same time you pack your hospital bag.

Remember, pregnancy is unpredictable. Have your car seat installed & ready to go, so that the baby can safely come home after the big day!

Finalize your birth plan.

Your birth plan is either a plan you can come up with by providing specific instructions to your doctor via your own written form OR use whatever handouts they provide for you. If you don’t yet have a birth plan, you can download one here (and by the way, it was created by an actual labor and delivery nurse — so you’re in great hands).

I personally didn’t have a specific birth plan, other than the fact that I did NOT want anyone in our delivery room beside my husband.

Our doctor’s office provided a ‘birth plan form‘ for me to write any specifications I had and return it to the office.

It’s also a good idea to bring it to the actual hospital with you in case someone drops the ball and they don’t have it.

mommy labor nurse birth plan

If you’re planning to breastfeed, get a breast pump & get it ready.

Even if you don’t plan to pump often, I promise there will be a point and time baby is being difficult to nurse and you will wish you had a pump (electric or handheld) to release the milk.

Make sure to sanitize all your parts appropriately as well.

Be sure to contact your medical insurance as most of them will provide a free pump (some give more options whereas others only offer one kind).

If you plan to buy a pump or register for one, I’d highly recommend a Spectra Breast Pump.

These pumps are powerful, comparable to hospital-grade pumps, are a closed suction unit to prevent any backflow issues, and extremely reliable!

Not to mention, their customer support team is incredible!

Schedule your hospital tour & preregister for the big day.

I never realized how many people skip their hospital tours. And I really don’t understand why!

It was extremely helpful going on the tour because they explain where you can park (family members/fathers), the fastest way to get to the L&D ward, where the NICU & important rooms are located and some will even allow you to preregister.

Preregistering is helpful so that when your little bundle of joy comes, you’re not spending a ton of time on paperwork, instead, all your info is in their system with your preferences and plans and you’re good to go!

Prep some freezer meals in advance.

Cooking is another item you will not be in the mood to tackle for at least 1 month. I’m just saying.

Do yourself a favor and prep at least 1-2 weeks worth of easy go-to meals you can stash in the freezer. Then pop them into the oven or microwave to warm & eat! You can also give dad kitchen duty if he’s up for the challenge!

Stock up on household items.

Hands down a third trimester to do. Regardless of you having a cesarean or vaginal delivery – you will not want to leave the house for at least 1 week.

Start stocking up on things like toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags, groceries and anything else you can think of that may cause you to desperately need to leave the house!

You can also use Amazon PRIME PANTRY for the convenience of having your everyday essentials delivered right to your door!

Have a plan for pets/other children in place.

If you have other children or pets, it’ll be a good idea to finalize those arrangements ahead of time.

Have a relative or sitter prepared to be on standby, leave them all your contact info and emergency contact info in the instance you’re unreachable.

If you aren’t sure how to even go about preparing your pets for your new baby’s arrival, check out this article I wrote covering everything you need to know to prepare your dog for a new baby!

Finalize maternity leave plans.

Are you planning to go on maternity leave? Make sure you get these details squared away at least 2 months before baby’s planned arrival. Have your forms filled out and ready to send out to whoever will be needing to file them!

Pass on any projects or tasks to your coworkers and leave them detailed instructions during the time of your absence.

When the baby is here, trust me, you’ll be so caught up in these moments you won’t even have time to think about a project at work!

Prepare yourself a POSTPARTUM RECOVERY KIT & keep it nearby! *A third trimester to do MUST*

Let me tell you – recovery from having a baby SUCKS! I am not here to lie to you. I’m here to tell you that you NEED to make yourself an at-home postpartum recovery kit and keep that sucker nearby or in the bathroom.

I purchased all my items online between target and amazon and also stocked up on the free things the hospital sent me home with.

Stock up on Nursing tops, Nursing Bras and Comfortable clothing!

You will not go back to your pre-baby weight the day after baby is born. In fact, it can take weeks.

Be sure you have comfortable clothing and comfortable nursing clothing if you’re breastfeeding. Having a top/bra that is easy to use is a lifesaver!

Keep track of your fetal kicks!

Starting in the third trimester, monitoring the baby’s fetal kick counts are important. It’s a way to monitor your baby’s activity in your belly to track their consistent patterns and movements.

Should you ever notice or feel anything is off such as the baby not moving for a prolonged period of time or an immense amount of painful pressure, that could be an indicator that something is wrong hence you should contact your doctor immediately!

To learn even more about fetal kick counts, check out this post by The Bump!

Set your bills to auto-pay.

This sounds silly, but I cannot tell you how many times I came so close to almost missing a payment because I was just so focused on adjusting to motherhood.

It was week 2 that my husband took a feeding/change session and I put as many bills as I could on auto-pay.

If you can’t do that or aren’t comfortable with it, delegate the job for dad to do until your memory is feeling fresh and ready for more tasks to handle!

Move and stay active!

Yes, being pregnant during the third trimester will start to wear you down. You’ll find yourself saying “I’m SO ready for baby to arrive already”. The one thing that helped me on my worst days, was moving around and being active.

I would do small circuits in my living room like bodyweight squats, lunges, shoulder press, literally anything to be moving.

However, I did these things with a limit in mind. Being able to balance your activity and rest is a special task at hand!

Third Trimester FAQ’s for mom to be:

When is the third trimester?

Your third trimester of pregnancy is the final stretch before baby arrives.

It includes weeks 28 until birth (which is typically week 40 or week 41 of pregnancy).

What NOT to do in your third trimester of pregnancy?

The third trimester is a special time in your pregnancy because it’s literally the final trimester before you meet your baby!

That said, there are some things you may want to consider taking a pass on in the third trimester, here’s what they are:

  • Long vacation or travel – as you know baby can make his or her debut any minute (even if they need more time in the oven), it’s best to play it safe so that you’re close to your delivery hospital or center in the event of an early labor situation.
  • Sleeping on your back – your baby is continuously growing which means every time you lay on your back, all the weight of that growing belly is right on top of some major blood vessels & intestines that can lead to low blood pressure, lower circulation to baby, hemorrhoids, respiratory difficulties, and more!
  • Eat huge meals – you might be feeling extra hungry, but avoid a huge meal if you can, your belly simply doesn’t have the room it once had and the last thing you need is horrible heartburn or digestion troubles.
  • Hold your pee (seriously, don’t do it) – I know you’re probably tired of getting up to use the bathroom every 10 minutes, but don’t hold your pee. This could lead to leaking urine on yourself and causing pelvic floor weakening or discomfort during your last trimester.

What is the point of using a third trimester checklist?

A third-trimester checklist (or also called third-trimester to-do list) is a great way to keep track of which tasks need to be done and which have been completed.

You’ve heard the term “pregnancy brain”, right? Well, it’s pretty easy to forget things you need to do while pregnant. Just another reason a checklist like this is great to follow to keep yourself on track.

Now that you know EXACTLY which tasks to do in your third trimester before baby arrives, which are you going to work on next?

Looking for more pregnancy tips, hacks, and support? Check these out below:

The only third trimester checklist pregnant moms NEED

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