Third-Trimester Blues: Quick Tips To Elevate Your Mood During The Long Wait For Baby

By Alex Frost

As I write this I’m approaching 36 weeks pregnant with my fourth baby, and time has never moved slower. It’s possible it has stopped completely, who knows. I, along with most (all?) third-trimester pregnant people, share similar aches, pains, and a fun and confusing mix of anxiety and excitement about finally meeting the babies we’ve been growing for nearly a year. These are the things that have made time tick by just a little faster, and made this physically and emotionally challenging trimester just a little more bearable.

Enroll in a class or workshop

Just a few days into my third trimester, I decided to take a bit more control of pain management and mindset during labor, and found the Hypnobirthing audio workshop on the app, Expectful. The course isn’t short, but is divided into very short segments, some only three minutes each. I made a goal to finish by the time I actually went into labor, giving me something “productive” to do when my mind fixates on how tough it is to get around or how many weeks are left. It could be a great time to find other workshops, seminars, classes, and talks while you await the birth of the baby and your mind is acutely aware of parenting, postpartum life, and possibly ready to absorb some new info.

Food prep for postpartum days

With one of my four pregnancies, the first and most ambitious one, I started ordering more food and setting aside half of every dinner for the freezer. Super brilliant. We ate well for months postpartum, long after the neighbor’s lasagna was gone and we couldn’t fathom (or afford) to get take out one more time. The second and third (and fourth) pregnancies were well-intentioned but less productive. There’s hardly any food in the freezer for the future, but now’s a great time to start. Even increasing your dinner quantities by a third is enough to save for when you just can’t cook after baby time.

Find a new and seriously binge-worthy show

Game of Thrones wasn’t the most emotionally light show to watch during pregnancy, but it sure helped to pass the time. This comprehensive list from Cosmopolitan has us coming out of our Mad Men rut and finding something new to chat about, other than swollen ankles and birth plans. It also can’t hurt to get hooked on a show that you can keep watching when you are recovering on the couch from the birth. Just don’t make the mistake of choosing Call the Midwives–no need for nail-biting labor stories right now.

Take a (short) walk

The benefits of moving around throughout pregnancy–and I say moving around because exercise seems like a daunting feat right now–but not many people keep it up through the end. Try walking just a few houses up the street a couple of times per day, or turn on a prenatal yoga class to get the blood flowing. Not only does it help prepare you for labor, but it can get rid of some of those aches and pains and even improve sleep. I recently found some relief from pelvic pain by using a big exercise ball and some random YouTube videos to try prenatal stretching and birth positions at the same time.

Grab a mocktail with a friend

While the couch and hot pad and Netflix are tempting, sometimes you really just need to put on some “real” clothes that aren’t loungewear and get out of the house. Try finding a safe way to invite a long-lost (vaccinated) friend for a drink, and explore the extensive mocktails available before you can have the real thing again. Keep your outing short so you don’t get too tired, and enjoy checking out your favorite local taco place with good company.