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35 Essential Tasks for Your Third Trimester To Do List You Can’t Forget

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What do I add to my third trimester to do list?

So, you’ve made it through your first and second trimesters and you are coming into the home stretch.

This is when things start getting real. And I’ve got a third trimester to do list already prepared for you.

Hopefully, you’ve taken all the classes: childbirth, breastfeeding, childcare and CPR. And you should be having a baby shower soon, so you have all the necessary baby items to set up a beautiful nursery.

Once you’ve checked everything off this done-for-you third trimester to-do list, you can relax and enjoy the rest of your time as a couple before baby’s grand entrance.



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What should I be doing in my third trimester?

Continue to take care of yourself. Drink enough water and get enough rest. (You won’t be getting much sleep soon.)

Make final arrangements with your doctor and the hospital. Write out your ideal birth plan and share it with your healthcare provider and your birth partner.

Attend your baby shower, if you haven’t already. Make a list of any baby essentials you didn’t receive and purchase those before baby’s arrival.

Be sure to have a safe place for baby to sleep, whether it’s in the new nursery or in your room. And get that infant car seat installed. (They don’t let the baby leave the hospital without one.)

Make sure you continue to attend all of your doctor appointments and follow any recommendations they may give. (Bed rest may be needed as your pregnancy progresses.)

For other things you should be doing in your third trimester, keep reading. And get the third trimester to do list to keep track of everything.

What should you not do in your third trimester?

Everything that you haven’t been allowed to do in the first and second trimesters goes for the third trimester as well: smoking, drinking alcohol or too much caffeine, eating unsafe foods, using harsh cleaners, using saunas or hot tubs, and back sleeping.

You should also be avoiding people who are sick, as your immune system is weaker. And you shouldn’t just be sitting all day (unless you’re on bed rest). This can cause legs cramps and possibly blood clots.

How do I prepare for my third trimester?

The thing you’re most concerned with during your third trimester is baby’s movement and going into labor. You’ll want to start counting kicks at 28 weeks and should seek medical attention if you find any inconsistencies.

You’ll also want to read as much as you can about labor or take a childbirth class to really be prepared. You should have an idea of what contractions feel like so you know when you may be going into labor. (Although I was having contractions and couldn’t feel them at all, so that’s not always helpful.) You may even experience Braxton Hicks contractions, so call your healthcare provider if you notice any type of contractions.

Finish reading your copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting to understand the symptoms of labor.

Also, pick up a copy of What to Expect the First Year. It gives a month-by-month guideline of what your baby will be doing the first year and helps with knowing what to do after you bring the baby home. (Now is the perfect time to read it, while you still have the time.)

Third Trimester To Do List: Take Care of Your Health

woman holding a glass of water
Photo by Lisa Fotios from Pexels

1. Continue taking prenatal vitamins

Don’t forget to continue taking those prenatal vitamins through the end of your pregnancy. And it is even helpful to take them after delivery, especially if you’re planning to breastfeed. And it can even help with post-pregnancy hair loss (yeah that’s a thing).

2. Drink plenty of water

It’s important that you continue to drink water throughout your pregnancy. Regardless of how much time you may be spending in the bathroom these days, you need to continue to get enough to drink.

You are at a higher risk of contracting a UTI. Water is the best way to cut down on those leg cramps. And it is best to not become dehydrated at this point in your pregnancy.

Your body is going through a lot, and it’s best to get enough water while gearing up for the big day. Get yourself this cute water bottle to keep track of your water intake.

3. Exercise

At this point in your pregnancy, you might not feel like getting off the couch.

However, I do recommend something as simple as a 10-15 minute walk each day. Something you can do on your lunch break. Or even break it up throughout the day.

Labor and delivery is a long process, so it’s best to keep your body and muscles loosened up. And it’s a great way to back to your pre-baby body.

4. Continue Kegel exercises

And while we’re talking about exercise, remember to keep up with those Kegel exercises.

Not only is it going to prepare you for childbirth, but it’s going to heal your pelvic area quicker. Even moms who give birth via c-section benefit from Kegel exercises, having the baby pushing down on those muscles for so many months.

This is also one exercise you want to continue even after the baby comes to get everything back to normal.

5. Get enough sleep

This might just be the hardest thing to do on your third trimester to do list. Between the middle of night bathroom breaks and your ever-growing bump, finding the time or the right sleeping position makes getting enough sleep tortuous at this time in your pregnancy.

I’ll share a secret with you though: this is the last quality sleep you’ll be getting for quite a while. So, enjoy whatever sleep you can get. (Even if it’s a nap in your car at lunchtime.)

Third Trimester To Do List: See a Doctor

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6. Choose a pediatrician

You should have been researching pediatricians as one of the items on your second trimester checklist. (And I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t follow this rule.)

But you will need to give this information to the nurses at the hospital once your baby is born. And you’ll need to check in with your pediatrician within three days of your baby’s birth.

So, gather those recommendations, set up interviews with the doctors, and make your best decision. Don’t forget you can always change your mind later. Just go with your gut for now and see what comes of it.

7. Attend all final prenatal appointments

You’re going to be scheduled for more doctor appointments the closer you get to delivery and even more if you go past your due date. Be sure not to skip any of these appointments. They are just as important for you as they are the baby.

8. Find a lactation consultant

If you’re lucky enough to have a lactation consultant available at the hospital where you’re delivering, then there’s not much for you to do right now.

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, you’ll want as much help as possible to learn the proper way to latch, how long to feed, and the signs you are doing something wrong. If you won’t have a consultant provided to you, then request a consultation with a board-certified lactation consultant.

Third Trimester To Do List: Share the News

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9. Attend your baby shower

Your baby shower is one of the best things you can have on your third trimester to do list.

Regardless of how you’re feeling, if your ankles are swollen and you feel like a beached whale (I’ve been there!), you get to spend a fun-filled afternoon with people who love you and will tell you “you’re absolutely glowing.”

Enjoy the festivities! Have fun opening presents and eating cake. Revel in the hugs and warm wishes. And if anyone offers you help after the baby is born, get their name and number immediately!

10. Write baby shower thank you notes

Oh, this is less fun than actually attending the shower.

However, it is much easier to get those thank you notes out the door before that little one comes along. Even if you can find the time to write a note, you might be too sleep deprived to put together a coherent sentence.

Be sure to have someone write down all the gifts and givers while opening your presents at the shower to make this process less of a challenge.

11. Make a list of people to inform after birth

There’s going to be a lot going on after you deliver your baby. And you might not have a clear head, or you just might want to enjoy all those brand-new baby snuggles.

So, make a list of everyone you want to know that your baby has arrived. And if the list is too large, delegate pieces of your list to other family members. Your time with your new baby in the hospital is the most important.

Third Trimester To Do List: Plan for Baby

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12. Count kicks

Add kick counting to your third trimester to do list to track the baby’s movements to prevent problems. You should start counting kicks at 28 weeks.

Count them every day at the same time of day. You should also do it when you’re less active, as that usually means the baby is more active. Set a timer and see how long it takes to count 10 kicks (preferably under an hour).

Track the kick counts each day to compare the times and number of kicks to previous sessions and report any changes to your OB. Visit Count the Kicks to download an app to make it even easier. Honestly, this is one of the most fun things to do before your baby comes!

13. Set up the nursery

Unless you plan on sharing a room with your baby, you’ll need to have your baby’s nursery set up before you head to the hospital. If you’re looking for ideas on just how to go about that, check out everything you need for the perfect nursery.

And let dad be in charge of putting the furniture together. It will give him something to do to keep his mind off of what is to come.

14. Wash baby’s clothes and sheets

This is one of those tricky things you may or may not want to add to your third trimester to do list. If you received a lot of newborn clothes, you may not want to wash everything right away, since you may not use it all.

If you end up having a bigger baby, he might not be in those newborn clothes for long. And if you leave the tags on, you can return what you don’t use.

However, you don’t want to be doing a ton of laundry in those early days after you get home from the hospital. So, wash all the bedding and wash about two weeks’ worth of clothes. Mostly onesies, since they can be worn alone, as an outfit, or even under pajamas.

And as far as clothes soap, you don’t have to use special baby soap. Any detergent without dyes and fragrances will do. I would also recommend washing your own clothes in this detergent as well, since your baby is going to spend a lot of time against your clothing. I use this soap on all of our laundry.

15. Hire childcare

It’s time to get serious about who will be watching your baby after you return to work. Are you sending him to daycare, hiring a nanny, or have family that will help out?

Now is the time to make the decision and also determine the cost. Of course, you always can decide to become a stay-at-home mom. Check out the benefits I’ve discovered while being a SAHM.

16. Install baby’s car seat

As your due date approaches, this is one item on your third trimester to do list you don’t want to put off. Those car seats can be mighty tricky to install correctly.

Once you have it installed, have it double-checked by a specialist, so you know your baby is protected. And remember they won’t let you take the baby home without a car seat. It’s that important!

third trimester to do list: pregnant woman with blue and pink ribbons on her belly

17. Set up help at home after baby

Remember all those well-wishers at your baby shower? Now is the time to see who was serious about helping you out.

This is the time you need to rely on your support networks: family, friends, neighbors, fellow church goers; whoever that may be.

People are going to want to see your new little bundle of joy. So why not make it a little easier on yourself and set up a schedule?

Whether it’s having someone stop by in the morning, so you can take a quick shower. Or someone who comes in the evening, so you can get some time to eat dinner. Or even if you only want one or two people coming by each day.

Give people options of a day and time so you’re not stressed about having too many visitors.

And if anyone should ask if you need help with anything, prepare a list ahead of time and hang it on your fridge. Just tell them that it’s a list of things you need to get to and see if they’re interested in crossing something off for you. The worst they can do is say no.

18. Purchase a baby keepsake book

If you didn’t receive a keepsake book at your shower, you’ll definitely want to purchase one before the baby comes, so you can start tracking all those milestones right from the start. I recommend packing it in your hospital bag, so you can get one of those tiny footprints on record.

19. Start nesting

I never actually hit the nesting phase during my pregnancy. My baby didn’t really want to come out, and I had to be induced. So maybe my nesting phase was still yet to come.

Apparently, new moms get this super intense urge to clean every inch of their homes, meal prep months of food for after baby’s arrival, and redecorate the nursery day after day.

Whether or not you get that urge, it’s best to clean and cook as much as you can before that little one comes along.

Between taking care of the baby and taking care of yourself, there’s not much time left to work around your home. And it’s not something you want to worry about when all you want is to cuddle with your baby.

20. Make freezer meals

Since we’re on the subject of cooking, now is the time to make some meals ahead of time.

This was something I didn’t think was very important. (Or maybe I just didn’t want to think about it, as I’m not one who enjoys cooking.)

But worrying about feeding yourself and your spouse will take a backseat to learning about and caring for your new baby. And you’re going to wish you hadn’t skipped this important item on your third trimester to do list.

21. Set up a diaper service

With a new baby, you’re going to go through roughly 3,000 diapers in the first year alone. Hopefully, you’ve created a diaper stockpile (with the help of friends and family).

But you don’t want to run out of diapers in the middle of the night and have to run to the store for more. Be sure to sign up for a diaper service subscription to lessen the new mom mental load. Just select the quantity and a schedule that works for you. You will receive a notification before each delivery to make any adjustments.

22. Prepare to breastfeed

If you’re planning on breastfeeding, now is the time to learn as much as you can on the topic. Whether you take a breastfeeding class online or in person, it’s the best way to get as much information as you can from a reliable source.

And while you can’t really practice this before your baby comes, you can be as prepared as possible by having all the essential breastfeeding products cleaned and ready. And if you plan to go back to work, get your pumping products gathered up and packed in your breast pump bag.

Related: Why You Should Set Up a Breastfeeding Station

Third Trimester To Do List: Prepare for Childbirth

man and woman holding woman's pregnant belly
Photo by Amina Filkins from Pexels

23. Write your birth plan

This can actually be a fun item on your third trimester to do list.

I suggest thinking of your ideal birth story. What are the most important things to you?

  • Who is in the room?
  • Are your having a natural birth or medical assistance?
  • Is it a water birth?
  • What can you smell?
  • What do you hear?
  • What are you wearing?

Now take all of that information and put it in your birth plan.

Your birth plan can be as simple or elaborate as you want. Realize though that just because it’s in the plan doesn’t mean it will turn out that way.

You’re writing out your wishes of the best-case scenario. If something medically necessary needs to happen, then you will need to pivot from your original plan.

And it’s in your best interest to write out your wishes for those cases as well. Again, it may not happen just as you want, but it will give you power over the way you are treated during delivery.

Be sure to give a copy to your doctor, the nurse when you arrive at the hospital, and keep a copy to share with your birth partner so they are aware of your wishes. They will be the best person to advocate for you when you are busy pushing out a tiny human.

24. Decide who will be in the delivery room

This is a big decision. Is it your husband, your mom, your sister, or a doula? Is it all these people? Is it none of them?

It’s entirely up to you (barring any covid restrictions). Although I do suggest keeping the numbers limited, so you can focus on the task at hand.

Doctors and nurses are all up in your business every hour prior to delivery, so be sure you are completely comfortable with whoever you have in there.

25. Decide on cord blood banking

I gave you a little insight into cord blood banking as part of your second trimester to do list. Hopefully, by now you’ve made a decision on whether or not you will do it, where it will be stored, and how you will pay for it.

If it’s something you plan on doing, be sure to include it in your birth plan and discuss it with your doctor ahead of time. Your medical team needs to be aware of your decision prior to delivery. And someone will need to be available to complete the procedure.

26. Pack hospital bags

As you enter your last weeks of pregnancy, give yourself some peace of mind by having everything packed and ready to go. You don’t want to go into early labor and be rushing to find all your hospital essentials at the last minute.

Don’t forget to pack a bag for dad and baby, as well. And make sure that car seat is properly installed. Grab our hospital bag checklist so you don’t forget anything.

27. Practice the hospital run

This might not be as important if you live near the hospital where you will be delivering.

My hospital was 45 minutes away, and the only time I drove that way was for doctor appointments.

It’s always a good idea to practice the hospital run at least once, so you’re certain of how to get there.

I would even go one step further and suggest you practice it at different times of day to get a feel for the level of traffic you might run into. Go close to your due date to make sure there are no construction obstacles.

And double-check if there are any alternative routes that may be quicker. I’m not saying you can’t give birth in a car, but I wouldn’t think that would be at the top of your list.

28. Get a contraction timer

You can use the timer setting on your phone to track your contractions. Write down the time your contraction starts and the duration. Of course, you can always download an app to make this easier. And discuss with your doctor when you should head to the hospital.

29. Set up help for older children or pets

If you already have older kids or pets at home, don’t forget that they’ll need someone to look after them. As a second-time mom, it may not be something you automatically think of because you didn’t have to worry about it the first time.

But you’ll need someone you can rely on to be there if your water breaks at 2 in the morning. And someone who is willing to stay with your kids or fur babies until you return from the hospital.

30. Waterproof your bed

You never know where you may be when your water breaks, and you probably don’t want to have to get a new mattress after just giving birth.

Be sure to take the time to waterproof your bed, either with a mattress protector or some puppy pee pads placed just under your side of the bed. It may sound ridiculous, but it’s better than buying a whole new mattress if yours gets soaked through.

Third Trimester To Do List: Treat Yourself

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Photo by Denise Rodrigues dos Leal from Pexels

31. Take maternity photos

Another fun task for your third trimester to do list!

Of course, you remembered to book your photoshoot during your second trimester. So, now all you have to do is show up in your perfect outfit and take those gorgeous pictures.

Don’t forget to include dad, siblings and your fur babies for some unique photos.

32. Get nursing pads for leaking breastmilk

This can be a most embarrassing moment during your third trimester of pregnancy, if you’re not prepared. As you get closer to your due date, chances are your breasts will start to leak as your milk comes in.

So, get some breast pads to keep in your purse. These pads are slim and can easily be hidden under your clothes.

33. Stock up on postpartum supplies

You’ll receive many baby care items and postpartum supplies from the hospital (and I recommend taking all of them – especially those mesh undies).

But you’ll also want to be a little prepared at home ahead of time. Keep these items in a basket in your bathroom for easy access and replenish that thing after every use.

34. Purchase a postpartum belly band

You may also want to add a postpartum belly band to your list of postpartum must haves. I received a simple one in the hospital, and it helped tremendously with strengthening my core and my lower back, especially while I was breastfeeding.

They also help with shrinking your uterus back to its normal size and can be worn under your clothes when you go out to give you a slimmer look.

35. Get help for hemorrhoids

As you near the end of your pregnancy and even after your baby is born, you may have trouble with hemorrhoids. The nurses should set you up with ointments and witch hazel pads while you’re in the hospital.

But talk to your OB, if you’re experiencing issues beforehand. They will be able to direct you to items that are safe for pregnant and breastfeeding women.


There you have it: the 35 tasks to add to your second trimester to do list. Remember to take care of yourself, continue showing up for your doctor appointments, share the news when the baby comes, plan for your baby and childbirth, and take time to treat yourself before the baby comes.

Grab a copy of our third trimester checklist before you go so you don’t forget any of the important third trimester tasks. Good luck, momma! And congratulations on your little bundle of joy!

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