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3rd trimester advice

 
pollinator
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We're approaching our 3rd trimester of our first pregnancy!
What are your top 3 pieces of advice -from a permaculture perspective- for the 3rd trimester?
PREGNANCY-3rd_trimester_by_george_ruiz_CC-BY-2.0-_flickr.com.jpg
PREGNANCY 3rd trimester by george ruiz CC-BY-2.0
PREGNANCY 3rd trimester by george ruiz CC-BY-2.0
 
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Stay home! If you *have* to go out wear a mask (home-made is better than nothing, although it's really everybody else who needs to wear them to protect you) and take every precaution you can. Statistically, people who were born during the Spanish flu who had moms with the disease, had long term health problems and did far worse in life than siblings born before or after.

Get exercise within your limits. I mowed the lawn up to the end, and bicycled until I was just too big for it to be comfortable. Think of what you can do now to take the pressure off when you've got a baby to nurse and change. What can you plant now that will give you pleasure and food when you won't be up to a lot of gardening? (gardening is good for exercise and strength).

One of the benefits of permaculture is that it helps people think in terms of working with the world, rather than imposing one's self *on* the world. Look around your house in those terms. Are their things you should pack up so you've got less dusting to do? Are the things you use the most in convenient places and heights? An example of that is in my house the saucepans I use the most are in the cupboard above the counter beside the stove. Most people would put them in a low cabinet, but that's more awkward to reach if you've got a baby on your back (which I often did way back then!).
 
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1.  If she wants a back rub, give her a back rub.  30 minutes later . . . give her another one.  She's earned it.

2.  Every time you feel what will most likely be a series of false labor pains, it's still a great chance to practice your breathing techniques . . . ah hee, ah hee.  Pain management through breathing is a real thing.  This is your chance to learn to focus your way through the pain.  It makes a huge difference when the real event eventually comes.

3.  As the body gets ready for delivery, a hormone is released that "loosens" the joints and makes the pelvic area more flexible, preparing the way for the little fella to make his/her way down the birth canal.  Unfortunately, it also loosens all the other joints in the body, making pregnant women seem clumsy or unable to navigate stairs or other seemingly simple tasks.  Ankles, knees, hips . . . even really athletic women find that walking suddenly becomes something of an adventure.  And the physics of the body (that big tummy) certainly don't help things.  It's crazy how many women break a leg or turn an ankle a week before they are ready to deliver.  So continue to exercise, but do it on flat, level ground, and take your time as you go for a walk.  Wear good shoes.  Walk carefully.  The last thing you want is to deliver a baby with a big cast on your leg.

Enjoy these days!  It's a miracle unfolding before you.
 
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3rd trimester is a really good time to work on making life easier when baby comes. Get the room set up, make LOTS of freezer/canned dinners.  We didn't have time to cook when our son was born, and we only had one person bring us food, and, well, let's just say between not having easy food to eat, and a colicky baby, I lost 20 pounds in less than 2 months. Not good!

In the garden, now's a nice time to put in perennials and low-maintenance foods. Put some logs or other places to sit by garden beds, so you can sit there and weed while holding baby. Being outside is often calming for the baby (and parents!), and I spent a lot of time outisde trying to maintain my sanity. It might be a good idea to install a water feature outside if you don't have one and it's not too hard to make one. Bubbling water was extremely soothing to my son. I'd hold him while standing next to our stream, and he would stop screaming.

One thing I did, and people thought I was insane for doing so, was to make a list of things to do with colicky baby. You might not have a colicky baby, but if you do, you might really be grateful for a list of stuff to do that soothes you and baby.  I know when I was standing there, holding the screaming baby, my brain kind of turned off. But, since I had a list, I could just let the list do the thinking for me. Here's the list I made. I found it helpful to think of all the songs before hand, so I didn't get tired of singing the same song:

 Read Shakespeare or other books aloud
 Go for walks outside
 Identify all the plants outside for the baby
 Sings songs from hymnal
 Dance to my favorite music
 Sing Silly Songs:
o Hi, My Name Is Joe
o Johnny Works with One Hammer
o Five Little Hot Dogs
o Five Green and Speckled Frogs
o Five Little Ducks
o Five Cans of Soda
o Five Little Monkeys Swinging in a Tree
o Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed
o Five Little Snowmen
o Wishy Washy Washer Woman
o Down By The Bay
o Peanut, Peanut Butter
o Oh An Austrian Went Yodaling On Mountain So High
o I’m Bringing Home My Baby Bumble Bee
o Where Is Thumbkin
o Teddy Bear Teddy Bear
o Willaby Wallaby
o Aaron Stole the Cookie From the Cookie Jar
o If All of the Raindrops Were Lemon Drops and Gumdrops
o If I Had a Hammer
o Do You Know the Muffin Man
o Found A Peanut
o Baby Shark
o And the Green Grass Grows All Around
o Bump on a Log in the Middle of the Sea
o Down the Dusty Trail
o Ants Go Marching
o One Elephant Went Out One Day
o Itsy Bitzy Spider
o Farmer in the Dell
o Roll Over, Roll Over (There Were Ten in the Bed)
o Hokey Pokey
o Head Shoulders Knees and Toes
o All Around the Mullberry Bush
o It’s Raining, It’s Pouring
o Rain, Rain Go Away
o I’m A Little Tea Pot
o I’ve Been Working on the Railroad
o Little Bunny Foo Foo
o Mary Had a Little Lamb
o Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary
o Little Miss Muffit
o My Bonnie Lies over the Ocean
o Michael Finnegan
o Old McDonald
o On Top of Spagetti
o Pat-A-Cake
o Row Row Row Your Boat
o She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain
o Skip, Skip, Skip to my Lou
o This Old Man
o Wheels on the Bus
o Zippidi Do Da,
o Bicycle Built for Two’
o There’s a Hole in the Bucket
 Sing Bible Songs:



I'd add to that:

  • Repeat back the sounds the baby makes and say a word that it sounds like, and put it into a sentence, like "Ba!" "Ba---ball! Balls are round. This is a red ball"
  • hold baby near a fan, or Christmas lights, or a stream. The movement and light is soothing
  • sit in a computer chair and spin--I would literally spin for 30 minutes at a time because it stopped him from screaming
  • Touch the body parts of the baby and say what they are
  • Count numbers, point to things on the wall.
  • lightly "toss" the baby up and down--don't shake their heads. My son was still colicky at 4 months, and my husband would send him way up into the air and catch him. It stopped my son from screaming.


  • One of the things that I did was put up the alphabet and shapes and colors (and planets, because I had them) in the baby's room, and I'd carry him from one to another showing them to him, saying what they were. There's a bunch more activities you can find online for babies of different ages. It doesn't really matter WHAT you do or say, just keep interacting with the baby in a way that soothes them and you!

    Now's also a nice time to do nesting--decorating the room, childproofing, making sure you have the stuff you need (a baby carrier!). The more you do to prepare now, the easier it will be when baby comes. Line up people who can help--you might be too tired/depressed to be able to ask for help once baby is there. I know I couldn't.

    You can also learn baby sign language. I signed at my both my kids. Neither cared to learn to sign, but they both started talking early...so the signing might have helped. I used to sit on the toilet while my son was in his car seat (or on a little toilet once he could sit) and I'd say "Airplane *make sign for airplane* VOOOOOM! Lion *make sign for lion* RWAR!" I learned a bunch of the transportation and animal signs, and I would go through all of them while we sat there, and it kept him happy while I got a chance to go potty!
     
    gardener
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    Keep in touch.  My wife and I were always introverts, but 3rd tri was even more of a hibernation.  I now believe that one of the most important aspect of parenting is choosing and maintaining community with other parents.  You need the support now, and your kids will need the non-parent mentors later.  Stay in touch with your friends during this time, so they'll still be around when you are homebound with a newborn.  Try, if possible, to mend relationships with in-laws, and get them aligned with your parenting values--IF POSSIBLE!! ha ha.  I'm afraid I don't have much insight into how this works out during pandemic days.


    Learn about baby wearing.  We got one of the mass-market baby carriers as a gift.  It wasn't horrible, but...  My wife eventually found that several of the "hippy" alternatives work much better, and baby-wearing was an absolute lifesaver.  I've no idea what technology the current generation is using on this front, but the benefits of learning to do it well are enormous.  Baby is happier, more comfortable, more attached.  Parents' backs are saved (at least enough to continue the parenting), and can actually get other things done (for the baby!) with a hand or two free. We had a hard time learning which one worked for us and how to use them, because we didn't start until the need was already great.  Practicing a little before-hand and asking other parents about it seems like it would've been a good idea.


    Be open to new experiences, and have patience with yourselves.  You may have your ideal parent journey all planned out... however...  Every baby is born with their own body and their own personality.   Our two were totally different from each other.  Both were different from our advance plans.  There will always be challenges.  The new challenges may take some time to find solutions and become proficient at them.   It's ok.  You're in for the long hall.  At 18 and 16 years in, we are still learning and adapting to situations that we didn't plan out in advance.

    P.S.  I love Nicole's post above.   All her advice would've been good for us, even though our babies were not colicky.  There are plenty other reasons baby won't sleep!
     
    pollinator
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    Just drop all of your preconceived ideas of how this will go and give yourself mondo amounts of grace.

    I was famous for saying, I will never, or I will. Guess what, kids have a way of making it so you eat those statements.

    I made myself miserable for a time with the first so determined was I to breastfeed. After a particularly good cry session (son and I both) my husband took him, gave him a bottle and told me it was enough. I am forever grateful he did that. Life was way more pleasant when I wasn't tormenting us both.

     
    Mike Kenzie
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    This is so great! Thank you everyone!

    Nicole Alderman wrote:I found it helpful to think of all the songs before hand, so I didn't get tired of singing the same song...


    Awesome. Thank you so much for sharing your list. Luckily mommy knows A LOT of songs. She's a musical theatre person! :-)
     
    Mike Kenzie
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    Kerry Rodgers wrote:Learn about baby wearing.  We got one of the mass-market baby carriers as a gift.  It wasn't horrible, but...  My wife eventually found that several of the "hippy" alternatives work much better, and baby-wearing was an absolute lifesaver.  I've no idea what technology the current generation is using on this front, but the benefits of learning to do it well are enormous.  Baby is happier, more comfortable, more attached.  Parents' backs are saved (at least enough to continue the parenting), and can actually get other things done (for the baby!) with a hand or two free. We had a hard time learning which one worked for us and how to use them, because we didn't start until the need was already great.  Practicing a little before-hand and asking other parents about it seems like it would've been a good idea.


    Thank you! Does anyone have links to "baby wearing gear" that worked really well for them?
     
    Mike Kenzie
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    elle sagenev wrote:Just drop all of your preconceived ideas of how this will go and give yourself mondo amounts of grace.
    I was famous for saying, I will never, or I will. Guess what, kids have a way of making it so you eat those statements.


    This must be true, as it's been corroborated by many folks we've asked advice from thus far! :-)
     
    pollinator
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    Great advice already.

    As permaculture is in one aspect relearning what our ancestors knew...lets revisit native American wisdom on pregnancy dietary supplementation.

    Nut broths were made from hickory and/or white oak acorns and pregnant and nursing moms were given priority (along with the sick and elderly).

    Fast forward to today, and Weston price foundation, publishers of nourishing traditions, also extol extra good fat in the diet for pregnant and nursing moms.

     
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    Nesting--get it all ready, work a little at a time. Get your space ready for how you want to live. Spot to set baby while you pee, spot for outside naps, etc.
    Sleep lots.
    Eat lotsa greens and eggs and protein every day.
    Walk lots. squat tons, and stretch.
    If you come from slow birthers, when labor starts, try to ignore it as long as possible. My mom had c-sections from failure to progress, and I found it really helpful to keep working when labor started. All our births were natural and healthy at home, though long, late labors. Most of my births took days, not hours, and came very late. First time moms are often more than a week late. We blew up the birth pool, did the laundry, baked a bunch, took walks. (This wouldn't apply to fast birthers--lucky you if you know your family's birthing history. If not, just be prepared and learn to relax.)
    Get cloth diapers ready, learn about elimination communication if you're interested. Seriously reduced the volume of diapers we used and made potty training easier.
    Sit forward for optimal fetal positioning. and sit less.
    Belly dancing--Amira's bellydancing for pregnancy and birth totally helped turn my breech babies, turn a posterior baby, and birth them.
    Get a long cloth for babywearing, won't need till baby is much bigger. Learn to tie with a friend and a bag of rice. Slings are better for newborns, but don't let baby get squished. Or just carry.
    Make a basket or pack for nursing with dried fruit and nuts, big water container, good stuff to read near places you want to nurse. La leche league groups are great for nursing support and meeting moms.
    Good time to get or make toddler and preschool clothes and activities that will be easy to pull out later.
    Make a baby quilt. Or do stuff you're good at. Especially anything that requires concentration and focus that might become rarer for you soon.
    Build good communication with the primary people in your life.
    Find friends, family, neighbors who will bring you some meals in the first few months. If possible, get to know parents you can admire.
    Make a plan for friends to pray for you when labor starts--just call one person, and they call others.
    Good luck--you're going to do great! I was surprised by how much I loved mothering and how kids just get better and better as they grow.
     
    Mike Kenzie
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    Libby Jane wrote:Get cloth diapers ready, learn about elimination communication if you're interested. Seriously reduced the volume of diapers we used and made potty training easier.


    Wow! Epic post Libby! Thank you so much!
    What is "elimination communication"?
     
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