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Thirty-Two to Thirty-Six Weeks Pregnant

Thirty-two to Thirty-six weeks pregnant

Thirty Two to Thirty-Six weeks Pregnant

As baby gets bigger, the issue of how you are going to get the baby out may start to feel more relevant. Many mothers find that they become quite preoccupied with planning and daydreaming and thinking about their impending labour. Talk to your partner or birth helper, meet with your doula. This is a good time to be taking childbirth classes.

How you might feel between thirty-two and thirty-six weeks of pregnancy:

  • Your growing belly and growing baby are putting more strain on your body. You may start to feel quite weary, especially towards the end of the day. Napping is a useful skill to start cultivating now!
  • Back pain, caused by the increasing weight of the baby and softening joints, may get worse. Consider seeing a massage therapist, physiotherapist or chiropractor.
  • Baby is moving a lot. The baby’s movements may keep you up at night, or wake you up even. Baby’s hiccups – a little, slow, pulse-like feeling, deep inside you.
  • As baby moves, and your back hurts, and you get less exercise during the day, you may start to find it difficult to sleep at night. Try having a high-protein snack before you go to bed. Practice your breathing exercises and isten to soothing music. Think of it as free time to rehearse for labour.
  • Constipation may become a problem. Remember to eat lots of high-fiber vegetables and whole grains. Make sure you drink enough water too.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions, also called pregnancy contractions, may start to become more intense. Remember your uterus contracts more if you are dehydated or over-active. Take it easy and have a glass of water if the tightenings start to bother you.

Things you may do between thirty-two and thirty-six weeks weeks of pregnancy:

  • Planning for your baby’s birth. What is really important to you about the experience of giving birth? Where will you give birth?
  • Consider your preferences and values with regards to your baby’s birth. How would you like things to go? How would you like to cope with labour pain? What interventions would you like to avoid, if possible?
  • Discuss your birth preferences and values with your partner or birth-helper.
  • Gather home birth supplies and/or start to pack your hospital birth bag.
  • Are you having the support of a doula? You will probably meet with her in this month, if you have not already done so.She will want to know about your plans and preferences for your baby’s birth so that she can help you carry out those plans.
  • Plan for the postpartum period. Who will help with household tasks after you have the baby? Who will visit? How much time will your partner take off?

 Between thirty-two and thirty-six weeks of pregnancy, your care-provider will probably:

  • Be seeing you every two-three weeks at this stage.
  • Weigh you at each visit and discuss healthy weight gain.
  • Check your blood pressure.
  • Check your urine for protein and infection.
  • Palpate and measure your abdomen.
  • Listen to the baby’s heart beat using a hand held Doppler ultrasound device.
  • Review test results.
  • Check the position of your baby to screen for breech presentation (bum first) or other variations in presentation.
  • Offer screening for Group B Strep.
  • Provide you with information about how to reach your care provider when you do go into labour.
  • Provide information about when yo go to the hospital – if that is where you are having your baby.
  • Discuss the possibility of a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) if you had a Caesarean at the end of your last pregnancy.

Your care provider is one of your best sources of information.  Keep a list of questions to ask at your monthly appointments.

Things you can do for your health and your baby’s health:

  • Pay attention to self-care. Take time for a massage or acupuncture session.
  • A very large amount of calcium is transferred to the baby in the third trimester. Focus on good sources of calcium: dairy, tofu, leafy greens, dried fruit and nuts.
  • You may want to start doing some perineal massage to increase health of perineal tissues and give you practice relaxing as perineum stretches.
  • Aquafit classes or swimming really help with swollen feet and legs, and backache.


Finding a Doula in Victoria, BC: Greater Victoria Doula Directory

Deciding where to have your baby – Hospital or Home? Hospital or Home?

Deciding where to have your baby – Hospital or Home? Place of Birth Handbook

What to pack in your hospital bag: Packing for the Hospital.

Home Birth Supplies – an example: Access Midwifery, Victoria

Group B Strep: HealthLink BC

Group B Strep: BC women’s Hospital

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Buying a Home on a Budget

On March 20th Patricia Kiteke, a Realtor in Victoria, will be hosting a FREE presentation at Mothering Touch about buying a family home. Her passion is working with families and here is what she has to say to you:


buying a home

If you feel that buying your family home is challenging or daunting then we need to talk.


I believe that our homes are the foundation from which we grow, thrive, and develop. From family dinners to arts and crafts to discovering wonders in the backyard, your family home is the place where first memories will be made.


Join me Friday, March 20th at 7:00-8:15pm where we’ll unravel the top 3 challenges new families face when buying a family home on a budget:


1) Navigating strata age restrictions


2) Understanding mortgage lending rules


3) Balancing monthly affordability with buying in desirable neighbourhoods


After years of working for a Master Builder, I decided to focus my real estate background to working with families. I guarantee that you will receive the full benefit of years of high-level real estate experience tailored to your family’s needs!

Contact Mothering Touch for registration for this FREE presentation!

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Yoga for Labour and Birth



Come and try out our Monday night Drop-In Class taught by Yoga Teacher and Therapist and DONA-trained Birth Doula, Ann-Kathrin Martins.

Yoga for Labour and Birth focuses on preparing, toning and stretching muscles and joints which will be supporting and working for you through labour. We will practice yoga postures for various stages of labour. We will practice relaxation and breathing techniques as well as visualization, affirmations, mantras and helping the mother learn self-healing methods to allow for mind/body/breath connection.

Yoga for Labour & Birth is suitable for mothers at any stage of pregnancy who are ready to think about and prepare for labour and birth.

Monday Evenings : 5:15pm – 6:30pm

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Elle TENS Machine Rentals

Have you considered using a TENS machine in labour? Or maybe you’ve heard of it but do not know what it is?

Elle TENS Machine Rentals

The Elle TENS machine is a small handheld device that uses mild electrical impulses through the skin to stimulate nerve fibers.  In labour, a woman can use a TENS machine to help reduce back pain while having full control over the machine and the impulses.

We are excited to now offer our clients Elle TENS machine rentals!

Click here to learn more about the Elle TENS and how it might help you during your labour.

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Chef Laura to Visit Pregnancy Happy Hour – January 24 – 5pm

Chef Laura MooreNothing focuses our attention on nutrition quite like being pregnant: we now have the growth and development of another brand new human being to think about, not just our own health! Join whole food personal chef and caterer, Chef Laura Moore of the Good For You Gourmet, for a 20 minute presentation on Whole Foods Nutrition and Snack Ideas for Pregnant Moms. A mother herself to a thriving, home-birthed 8 year old boy, Chef Laura will cover:

1) Maximize Nutrition during different stages of pregnancy: now more than ever, the nutrition that we take in and absorb is important for the development of our baby. Yet there are times when nausea makes eating difficult: hear some fresh ideas for how to cope. Make a point of picking highly nutritious foods, with the best possible nutrient density.

2) Non-nauseating Snack Ideas that offer maximum nutrition: minimize strong flavoured and greasy foods such as onions, garlic, sausage, fish especially salmon, possibly cruciferous vegetables, fermented foods and stinky cheeses. Everyone is unique: these are guidelines. See ‘Simple Snacks’ list, plus snack platter.

3) Coping With Cravings: what can we do instead of reaching for the nitrate loaded pepperoni when we are craving protein? great ideas for healthy options presented, using Macrobiotic balance chart as a guideline.

In addition to trying out some great snacks in class, participants will receive a handout ‘5 Great Snack Tips for Pregnant Moms’ together with ‘Simple Snacks’ to take home with them.

Find out more about the personal chef and catering services offered by Chef Laura, plus FREE cooking classes at Planet Organic each month, online at

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Yoga & Preparing for Childbirth

Yoga is an excellent form of exercise in pregnancy.  While gently stretching and exercising the body it also quiets the mind.  Prenatal Yoga classes are carefully planned to include postures (aasanas) which as safe for the pregnant woman and her baby within.  The principles of yoga include a respect of and compassion for the body and its troubles and limitations.  Through prenatal yoga, a pregnant women learns to listen to her body and treat it gently.  She learns to respect her body’s strength and resilience.  She learns to relax and breather and quiet her mind, important skills for coping with the stress and sleeplessness of pregnancy and parenting.  Although few scientific studies of yoga in pregnancy have been carried out, those that have (like this one from Bangalore, India) show positive effects of yoga on both mother and baby.

For a woman who has been very active and fit before she became pregnant, prenatal yoga may not feel strenuous enough in the first and second trimester.  An active woman with a low-risk pregnancy is encouraged to maintain her usual activities as long as she can through her pregnancy.  But even a very fit woman will find, sometime around her 6th or 7th month, that she is feeling a little heavy and a little slow, and that a more relaxing form of exercise would be welcome.

Besides exercise and relaxation, prenatal yoga provides pregnant women with a place to meet other women who are at the same stage in life.  Meeting and talking to other pregnant women is important in a woman’s development of her identity as a mother-to-be.  It helps her to feel pregnant.  It also helps her to realize that she is not alone in her experience, that other women are having the same sensations and emotions.

Click here to read about the pre and postnatal yoga and fitness options available at The Mothering Touch Centre.

* This article is an update to our post from September 2010.

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When Survivors Give Birth : A workshop with Penny Simkin & Phyllis Klaus

When Survivors Give Birth:
A workshop with Penny Simkin & Phyllis Klaus

Presented by the Doulas of Victoria – workshop proceeds being donated to The Umbrella Society (see bottom of page)

DAY 1: When Survivors Give Birth
Friday, September 19, 2013, 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, 2400 Arbutus Road, Victoria B.C.

 This workshop is intended for:  Doulas, midwives, doctors working with childbearing women, nurses working with childbearing women, psychologists and other mental health professionals, perinatal social workers, anyone who works with trauma, sexual assault, and domestic violence shelters, any other professional servicing childbearing women.  It is the prerequisite for the Advanced  Counselling Skills Workshop which takes place on the next day.

A not-to-be missed opportunity to learn from renowned experts Penny Simkin PT and Phyllis Klaus MFT, LMSW, authors of the book When Survivors Give Birth.  Join other maternity care, mental health and allied providers to focus on the issues of the least understood of pregnant clients.  Advance your understanding of an all too common issue for childbearing women and families—a history of early sexual abuse and/or other trauma.  Expand your care practices for women at risk of poor physical and psychosocial childbirth outcomes.  Improve your response to women who express emotional concerns about childbearing.


  • Definition of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and other child abuse
  • Common manifestations of any type of child abuse on the childbearing woman
  • Unique manifestations of sexual abuse specifically on the childbearing woman
  • Neurological and behavioral sequelae of child abuse
  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on conscious memory
  • Impact of childhood sexual abuse on the adult woman
  • Impact of CSA on pregnancy
  • Impact of CSA on labor and birth
  • Relationship between the woman and her caregiver

DAY 2 – Advanced Counselling Skills Workshop
Saturday September 20, 2013 – 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Queen Alexandra Centre for Children’s Health, 2400 Arbutus Road, Victoria B.C.

REQUIRED READING:  When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on the Childbearing Woman by Penny Simkin and Phyllis Klaus.

This Advanced Counselling Skills Workshop is intended for:  experienced maternity care providers, mental health and allied providers.  Attendance in DAY 1 is a prerequisite to attendance in Day 2.  


  • Counseling strategies to prepare nulliparas with fear about the upcoming birth
  • Counseling after a traumatic birth
  • Counseling the pregnant woman with a previous traumatic birth
  • Modification of common childbirth preparation techniques for CSA survivors
  • Impact of CSA on postpartum recovery, breastfeeding, and postpartum mood disorders
  • Self-help techniques to reduce distressing symptoms

To Register:   Click here to register online (PayPal or Credit Card via PayPal) or register by phone by calling Mothering Touch at (250)595-4905.

Course Fee: (includes refreshments, lunch and door prizes)
Day 1: $135 (plus GST) before September 1st.   After September 1st – $150 (plus GST)
Day 1 AND 2 : $250 (plus GST) before September 1st.    After September 1st – $275 (plus GST)

For Additional Information
click here to to email Doulas of Victoria
or call Mothering Touch at 250-595-4905

DONA International Continuing Education Credits HAVE BEEN APPLIED FOR

Books will be available for sale.

Workshop leaders:

Penny and Phyllis

Penny Simkin PT is a renowned author and speaker.  Penny has devoted much of her forty year career to exploring the impact of early trauma on pregnant women in our maternity care system and developing strategies to avoid retraumatization during birth and facilitate the process of healing.  The workshop provides information, insight, and practical advice for individualizing prenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.  Penny’s book, When Survivors Give Birth, co-authored with Phyllis Klaus CSW, MFT is the essential guide to the topic.

Phyllis Klaus, MFT, LMSW is a licensed psychotherapist, marriage, family, therapist, and social worker.  Formerly at the Milton H. Erickson Institute in Santa Rosa, California, she currently practices in Berkeley, California, providing psychotherapy, hypnotherapy, and counselling to individuals, couples, families, children, and groups.  She has worked with the concerns, both medical and psycho-social, of pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum period for the past 30 years, and has been involved in research and the training of maternity caregivers.


We are delighted to announce that after administrative costs, all proceeds from this event will be donated to the Umbrella Society and designated for a special fund for the childbearing women that they serve.

Umbrella is a small and savvy peer outreach organization, serving people in the Greater Victoria area for whom substance use has become a problem.

Executive Director, Gordon Harper, and his team work tirelessly and with tremendous dedication to serve some of the most marginalized members of our community, providing help to about 750 individuals with mental health and addictions struggles every year. Most of their clients are between 19 to 29 years of age.

We are pleased to note that donated funds will not be used for any kind of staffing or administrative expenses. Rather, they will be held in a special account and spent according to parameters outlined by Umbrella’s steering committee, and used exclusively to service the childbearing women they serve.

The Umbrella Society is thrilled to have our support. As Gordon Harper so eloquently wrote in his thanks, “there are moments when even a small gift, a small act of kindness, can make all the difference in the world.”

Thank you for your participation in this workshop!

For more information about the Umbrella Society,  please visit their website:  

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MotherFest – Friday May 10, from 2-7pm!


For those who may not know yet, MotherFest is our annual Mothers’ Day Extravaganza!  This is the third year that we are running it, and it has grown into a great, fun, busy, chatty, but also strangely peaceful and relaxing event.

Well, the store is busy and chatty and the big meeting room at the back is dim and quiet and relaxing.  Most of the hands-on practitioners are in there and moms can go and have an acupuncture treatment or a little massage or reflexology treatment in a quiet, relaxing environment.  There is a belly-painter for the moms-to-be who want to show off their beautiful baby-bumps, and a photographer to immortalize the artistic creations.  And for the less adventurous, there are manicurists and an esthetician doing eyebrow threading.

Meanwhile, in the store, there is a sale going on and there are practitioners running information tables about their services.  There is live music (my son Simon and his friend Gabe and also our friend Avram McCagherty) and lovely snacks from Patisserie Daniel.  Many of the doulas in town come to hang out and help with holding babies and making everyone comfortable. And our store manager, Janice, always arranges for some lovely give-aways.

To give you a preview of the services and information that will be available tomorrow, here is a list of our participating practitioners:

Amie McColl – Registered Massage Therapist – Aria Health-Wellness Clinic
Amie has been supporting Victoria moms during their pregnancy for the last 6 years.  She has a passion for women’s health, and loves to assist in the nurturing and growth of mom while she is pregnant.  You’re going through so many changes – massage can ease some of those discomforts and encourage rest and relaxation.

Christina Chan – Registered Acupuncturist – Heart and Hands Health Collective
Heart and Hands Health Collective is a grassroots social enterprise located at 851 Cormorant St.  The core service is community acupuncture; high quality sessions provided in a supportive group setting at sliding scale rates.  The goal is to increase accessibility so individuals can receive care as much and as often as they need to get well and stay well.

Christina Cheply – Professional Face & Body Artist – Danger By Design
Danger By Design provides creative services ranging from pregnancy belly painting, maternity henna designs, pregnancy body casts, custom paintings, illustration & portraits, graphic design, window painting, murals and much, much more!

Corrin Adams – Thai Massage Therapist – Living Art Yoga & Thai Massage
Corrin is a 25-year practitioner and teacher of Yoga. She is a certified Doula and Mother. Corrin is a certified Thai Massage Therapist and also teaches pre and postnatal Yoga.

Heather Minielli – Registered Clinical Hypnotherapist & Certified Doula – Birth and Beyond
Heather has practiced as a doula in the community for the past 12 years and has recently achieved the designation of Clinical Hypnotherapist.  As a clinical hypnotherapist, Heather is trained and interested in helping to address anxiety, fears/phobias smoking cessation, weight loss, PTSD, sleep issues, emotional healing and pain management.  Heather is strongly dedicated to helping women achieve a more positive birthing experiences through hypnotherapy and teaching self-hypnosis.

Jesse Hlady – Photographer – Jesse Hlady Photography
Jesse has been specializing in portraiture for 10 years.  Since the arrival of is own son in 2009 Jesse has turned his focus to Maternity, Newborn & Families Portraits.  His aim is to provide something unique and artistic that captures the emotional connection between a mother and her unborn child.

Jodi Ganton – Registered Physiotherapist – Lifemark McKenzie Physiotherapy
Jodi is a registered physiotherapist who specializes in pelvic floor dysfunction.  She has particular interest in treating post-partum moms and helping them regain their fitness after baby and prevent future problems with urinary incontinence and pelvic organ prolapse.

Julia Young – Homeopathic Practitioner (DCHM) – Julia Young Homeopathy and Labour Support
Julia is a certified homeopath and doula focussing on services for women and families.  Her interest in homeopathy began with her years working in natural medicine and was highlighted with the birth of her children.  It was here she experience the great benefits of this safe, gentle and effective form of medicine.

Kate Shelton – Spa therapist/aesthetician – Tonic Spa-Tique
Kate is the owner of Tonic Spa-tique located in Fernwood Square.  The spa has a focus on quality aesthetics, pure plant based products and a walk-in brow and lash bar.

Maria Korpecky – Esthetician – Homespunspa Mobile Spa
Maria is a licensed esthetician and owner of homespunspa mobile spa.  Maria has a passion for everything spa and enjoys helping others relax and feel better by providing healing facials, manicures, pedicures and massages to people wherever they live in the Victoria BC area.

Michele Powell – Pleasure Activist – Tellmia
A trained counsellor and group facilitator, Michele now focuses her energies on her passion of encouraging and supporting people towards more fulfilling and exciting sex lives.  Her dynamic and comfortable approach to sexuality is refreshing and always a lot of fun.

Michele Mork – Registered Canadian Reflexology Therapist- West Coast Reflexology
Michele has been certified as a Foot Reflexology Therapist since 2010.  Her maternity clients have found her treatments to be relaxing and rejuvenating, relieving constipation, nausea, fatigue, back pain and insomnia.

Ranjit Sharma – Esthetician – Grace Esthetics
Tanjit has been working as an esthetician for ten years and opened Grace Esthetics, a home-based esthetics service, two years ago.  Grace Esthetics offers a full range of aesthetic services, but threading is a speciality.

Sheila Hobbs – Registered Massage Therapist – Modalities Massage Therapy
A RMT for nine years and a mom for 4, Sheila appreciates the challenges and joys of balancing motherhood with self-care.  "I can only care for others if I care for myself."

Stephanie Curran & Rachelle Goulet – Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine – Elements of Health Centre
Stephanie and Rachelle are both mothers and licensed practitioners of acupuncture and Chinese medicine; they both have a special interest in treating women’s health issues and have completed extensive training in the treatment of fertility and obstetrics.

Stephanie Gillett – Registered Massage Therapist – Elements of Health Centre
Stephanie has a special interest in treating women and women’s health issues.  Stephanie takes a holistic, preventative approach to massage therapy, she believes health care is collaborative; together, you can work with her to identify both immediate and long term health care goals.

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Pregnancy Happy Hour – Happy Feet!


Pregnancy Happy Hour – our drop-in group for pregnant women on Friday evenings from 5-6:30 – is one of my favourite times of the week. I love sitting with the moms-to-be and chatting about how they are feeling, how their lives are changing through the pregnancy. I love hearing their questions and helping them to find answers. I love how the moms bond with each other and form friendships which see them not only through the pregnancy, but on into motherhood. We talk about the joys and challenges of pregnancy, their concerns and plans about labour and birth and their dreams for motherhood.

One of the things I think helps the group work really well, it that it’s just for women. Groups of women often achieve intimacy very quickly, and Pregnancy Happy Hour is no exception. But I am often asked by the women and their partners, if the partners couldn’t be invited along to the group sometimes, as a special event. And I though Valentine’s Day was a good time for that to happen.

So on Friday February 15, we are inviting the partners to come to Pregnancy Happy Hour and we are going to have a special guest. Michele Mork of West Coast Reflexology will be coming to teach us all some fabulous foot massage techniques. And lest you think this is just a sneaky way to get our partners to rub our feet, I assure you, the partners will get their feet rubbed too. After all Valentine’s is about spreading the love to ALL.

Pregnancy Happy Hour costs $2, and we will put out a donation jar for contributions to Michele’s fee. A $5 contribution (per couple) is suggested.

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Pregnancy Happy Hour!

Wow!  You’re pregnant!  How exciting!  How wonderful!  How miraculous!  How terrifying!

It’s all you can think about.  It’s all you want to talk about.  But most people’s eyes glaze over when you list the symptoms of your morning-sickness-which-lasts-all-day.  No one else is quite as interested in when you due date really is.

How do you go about finding a doctor or a midwife?  Where is the best Prenatal Yoga Class?  Can you exercise while you are pregnant?  What about prenatal / childbirth preparation classes – when should you register for them?

Your partner and your friends and your mother are doing their best, but really you need to chat with some other pregnant women.

Where do you find a group of pregnant women to talk to?  We always have newly pregnant women here, daydreaming over the baby booties and asking shy questions about what books they should be reading – so we decided to run a group just for pregnant Moms!

Pregnancy Happy Hour runs every Friday afternoon from 5-6:30pm (so it’s actually Pregnancy Happy Hour.. and a half!).  The format is just like our Drop-In Baby Groups – we sit around and everyone gets a chance to talk about how she is feeling this week.  A friendly childbirth educator facilitates the group.  All pregnant women are welcome, regardless of their age or the stage of their pregnancy.  The cost is just a Twoonie.

It’s amazing how hearing other people’s worries and questions makes you feel so much better about your own.  You realize you’re not alone.  Pregnancy and early parenthood are a time when we make strong connections with other new parents.  So come and join us for Pregnancy Happy Hour and start making new friends to support you through this journey.

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Those First Three Months With The Baby : The Extra Trimester

Baby weeks 0 – 12 : The first twelve weeks of baby’s life is full of joys…

The smell of a new baby, the sweetness of feeling that baby cuddle into you, the silkiness of the baby’s skin, the bliss of baby’s little toes.  The feeling of accomplishment, or learning new things, of falling in love, all of these are wonderful.

But Trimester 4 is also a difficult time for everyone.  For the baby, it’s a challenge learning to live outside the uterus, dealing with the sounds and smells and tastes and feelings and sights of this big noisy world.  For the mother, it’s a challenge to learn to breastfeed and understand and respond to the baby’s cues.  For the mother’s partner and/or the baby’s other parent, it’s a challenge to learn to care for baby, support a tired and emotional mom and deal with increased household responsibilities.  It’s very important at this time for you all to be very forgiving and accepting of each other.  You are all learning your way to being a family.  Soon it will all be much easier.



  • Learn to read baby’s cues – the baby will set her own agenda…
    • Spend time just sitting and watching your baby.
    • Listen to the sounds your baby makes.  Which ones are cries?  Are there any other sounds?
    • Usually babies cry about two things: loneliness and hunger.  Try picking the baby up and holding and carrying and then nursing.
    • If those don’t work, you could try diaper changing.
    • But then see if there are other things that work:
      • talking
      • singing
      • dancing
      • swaying
      • bouncing
      • going out for a walk
      • having a bath together
  • Recover from childbirth…
    • Mom needs rest.  She needs to stay home and in a semi-horizontal position for several days.
    • After four or five days, she could go out for a short walk, with a companion.
    • She really should not be alone at home with the baby for long periods in the first week of the baby’s life – it can be very overwhelming.
    • Mom’s partner, who was probably with her during labour, needs sleep.  Make sure the birth partner gets naps during the first few days.  It’s very easy for the non-breastfeeding parents to do a lot of running around and get quite exhausted too.
  • Take care of the parents.  Make sure you both get…
    • sleep – to make up for the night wakings
    • good food when things are disorganized – ask friends and family to bring a meal
    • company – when the working-outside-the-home parent goes back to work, make sure the stay-at-home parent gets visitors and support
    • entertainment – caring for a bay intensively can get a little boring.  Funny movies and good music can help.
    • exercise and fresh air – after the first week or so, a daily walk can really help mood, and sleep
  • Become a family…
    • Do things together.  There is a temptation to split the work up so one parent cares for the baby and the other does the shopping/cooking/cleaning/laundry.  Instrad, try doing things all three of you together, if you can.  It gives the non-breastfeeding parent time with baby, and teaches both of you to include your baby in family activities.
    • Make family cuddle time every day – in the morning in bed or in the evening on the sofa, for example.
    • Make family singing and dancing time.
    • Family bath time?
    • Family meal time – possibly one of the most important.

Click here to visit our Resources page for a list of local pregnancy, birth and early childhood resources.

Or refer back to…

An Introduction to The 5 Trimesters

The 0th Trimester : Planning To Get Pregnant

The 1st Trimester : The First Three Months of Pregnancy

The 2nd Trimester : The Happy Middle Months

The 3rd Trimester : The Last Months of Pregnancy

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Getting Ready For The Birth : The 3rd Trimester

Weeks 29 to 42 : This is the time when many pregnant women start to feel more uncomfortable…

You may feel big and swollen and your back may be sore.  Your body is sending you a lot of messages: slow down, take it easy, relax – Listen!  Be kind to yourself and your baby.



  • Many women don’t think a lot about labour and birthing until this trimester.  That’s just fine – there’s lots of other stuff to think about.  As you start to think about getting the baby out, you might want to watch some videos or read some good books, such as Birthing from Within by Pam England or Birth Matters by Ina May Gaskin.

  • Your care-provider will offer you the option of being screened for Group B Strep and will want to see you every week after week 36.  During this time, the position of your baby will be checked to screen for breech or other variations in presentation – head-down is best!

  • Attend your Prenatal Childbirth Preparation Classes with your partner or birth-helper.

  • Consider your preferences and values with regards to your baby’s birth.  How would you like things to go?  How would you like to cope with labour pain?  What interventions would you like to avoid, if possible?  What is really important to you about the experience of giving birth?

  • Discuss your birth preferences and values with your partner or birth-helper.

  • Meet with you doula, if you have chosen to have one.  She will want to know about your plans and preferences for your baby’s birth so that she can help you carry out those plans.

  • If you’re planning a home birth, you’ll need to gather supplies as requested by your midwife.  Click here for more information.

  • Take a Parenting the Newborn or Infant First Aid class.

  • Organize equipment, supplies and a space for the baby.  Babies don’t need a whole lot, but gathering stuff for your baby is part of the process of getting ready, physically and emotionally, as well as logistically!

  • Think about daycare.  It sounds ridiculous, but if you are planning to go back to work outside the home after your maternity leave is over, you need to think ahead.

  • Start planning for "Trimester Four"…  Who will be available for physical support right after the baby is born?  Partner?  Birth-helper?  Family?  Friends?  Post-partum Doula?  All of the above?

  • How much time can your partner take off work after the baby comes?  Can your partner work flexible hours for a few months?

    Plan meals for after the baby comes.  Cook and bake and freeze.  Ask friends to throw you a shower where they all bring casseroles for the freezer or tell a friend about MealTrain (I think this is really cool!) and get them to set up a meal rotation for you after the baby comes.

    Learn about Postpartum Mood Disorders.  What might it feel like?  Where can you find help if you need it?  20-40% of women are diagnosed with some mood disorder (anxiety or depression) after giving birth.  We’re pretty sure other women have the same feelings but never seek help.  Support makes it all easier to deal with.

  • Take a little time off to rest and enjoy the calm of a child-free house before everything changes.  Try not to work flat out until the last minute.  Becoming a mother is a rite of passage and requires a little pause, an interruption in your usual life, for you to prepare mentally.

  • On the other hand, having a baby is not the end of your life.  You will still be able to do many things.  I see some moms-to-be shopping as though they were preparing for a siege.  Shopping is actually a great activity to do with a baby (after the first few weeks).

  • Enjoy your partner.  Talk and talk and strengthen your relationship.  There are difficult days ahead and you need a strong team to get through them well.  Do cozy pleasant things together.  Run out to a movie on a whim.  Go for long leisurely walks.  Have a fancy dinner out.  You will be able to do these things together again someday, but not right away.

Click here to visit our Resources page for a list of local pregnancy, birth and early childhood resources.

Continue on to…

The extra Trimester : Those First Three Months With The Baby

Or refer back to…

An Introduction to The 5 Trimesters

The 0th Trimester : Planning To Get Pregnant

The 1st Trimester : The First Three Months of Pregnancy

The 2nd Trimester : The Happy Middle Months