Your pregnancy: advice and to-do list for the third and fourth months

One morning, you wake up with a little round belly, and you don’t come back. This ray of sunshine brightens your day and the next months of your pregnancy. You are in the third month, and you thoroughly enjoy the pleasure of announcing the good news and start slowly thinking about the organization of your new life.

 

You
It’s no lie when they say that first trimester ultrasound can be shocking to future parents, especially when it comes to a first child. It is often only after seeing this little photo and hearing the baby’s heartbeat that they really allow themselves to rejoice and to project themselves into baby-mode. Everything becomes more concrete: you dare to talk about baby names (and make lists of names…), you quickly get used to answering the most common questions: “Are you going to find out the sex of the baby?” or “Do you plan to breastfeed?” Not to mention all of the questions about your due date and the implications of his astrological sign…

Advice from a midwife: When and how to feel the baby moving?
It can be between 16 to 20 weeks before you can start to feel your baby move. First, by small bubbles, then little by little you will learn to recognize it and feel real kicks! From that moment, your baby will remind you of his presence at least ten times a day, and often when you are at rest. If one day, you have the impression that it moves really less than usual and that it worries you, do not hesitate to talk to emergency or maternity service officials. If you are interested, you can find out about Haptonomy, a method of communicating with your baby.

 

 

Your body
Your belly is getting rounder everyday. You look at it with emotion, while the future dad can be impressed by this reality that becomes visible, even a little scared for some. For most pregnant women, the end of the first trimester announces the end of nausea and fatigue, and a boost of energy that benefits the couple: going out, moving, playing sports (with the approval from your gynecologist or midwife)… Life seems almost normal again, even if new rituals have been added, such as the use of oil or anti-stretch mark cream on the stomach, chest, thighs… You can now already feel the need to wear looser clothes: it’s time to invest in a wardrobe for the next few months. You will want to take care of yourself differently. Do not hesitate to do so. Listen to yourself and indulge in everything that makes you feel good: beauty products, food, leisure. Your job is to pamper your body as much as possible!

Advice from a midwife: Can you resume or start physical activity after the third month?
The practice of an activity helps maintain a good psychological state and limit the stress related to pregnancy. It is also a great way to ensure good physical condition and control weight. At this stage of pregnancy, you can still bike (but watch out for falls!), go to the pool, walk, dance, golf, water aerobics… Everything that makes you feel good, without forcing on the abdominal belt and without damaging your perineum. Yoga is a good compromise throughout the pregnancy to stretch and strengthen your body.
Know that the basic activity of the body increases by 10% from the beginning of pregnancy. It is estimated that the pregnant woman needs 25% more oxygen. It is therefore important to adjust your efforts and know your limits. Remember, if you are tired or have contractions… Rest!

 

To-do

  • It’s time to choose the hospital, maternity ward or birth house where you will give birth and register. This choice is not a trivial one, since the preparation for childbirth takes place there most often (one can also opt for childbirth classes in the cabinet of a liberal midwife), and because each establishment has its peculiarities and its reputation. The best way is to inform yourself of your options, to choose according to your needs and desires (for the preparation and for the day of delivery), to talk about it with those around you and to ask as many questions as possible to mothers who have recently given birth.
  • In France, It is during the 4th month that the prenatal interview with a midwife must take place, it will be suggested to you by the establishment where you are registered. This appointment, covered by your health insurance, will allow you and the future dad to ask all your questions about pregnancy and childbirth. You can even, with her, choose the type of preparation for the birth you want: theoretical classes, breathing methods, sophrology, prenatal singing, massage techniques, etc.
  • Inform your employer of your pregnancy by the end of the third month so that he has time to prepare for your absence.

 

To think about
The prenatal interview with the midwife raises some questions that you’ll have time to think about. Epidural, breastfeeding, childbirth positions… If you feel lost, take advantage of the coming weeks to inform yourself about these topics and make up your own mind about these important decisions with the dad. Again, talk about it, ask questions. Some readings to guide you on breastfeeding and childbirth techniques in French:

Allaitement : l’art de l’allaitement maternel by la Leche League, Pocket.
L’allaitement, by Dr Marie Thirion, Albin Michel.
Bien-être et maternité, by Bernadette de Gasquet, Albin Michel.

Thanks to Hortense, a midwife, for her helpful advice.

Find our tips for
the first month, second month, the fifth and sixth months, the seventh and eighth months of pregnancy.

Photo credit: thelittleumbrella.com

M. D.
Translation: Ashley Griffin

 

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