Candice’s Pregnancy Journey: Third Trimester
Time: week 26 – birth day!
Theme: Getting through the home stretch & preparing for delivery and post-partum care
The final stretch! The third and final trimester is very exciting but it can also be quite uncomfortable for some. The third trimester is mainly about fetal growth so body aches, swelling, digestive issues, and trouble sleeping can be common complaints. After all, your baby started as smaller than a poppy seed and now it’s going to be as big as a pumpkin! In addition to the day-to-day, you’ll also start to be thinking about labour day and preparing your mind and body for the day you’ve been waiting for. Some mothers may even feel some anxiety during this phase so even though pregnancy isn’t new at this point, it’s always important to keep taking care of your health and well-being.
I mainly continued with my second-trimester diet, which you can read here. Upping your protein content is so important. It’s also good to think about the nutrients needed for wound repair and healing post-labour, like vitamin K in leafy greens and iron in animal protein. Hydration is also often overlooked. It’s so simple but so important. In addition to lots of water, I loved drinking room-temperature coconut water (the natural kind) to keep my electrolytes high too.
In terms of frequency, eat small meals every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This keeps your protein levels high throughout the day starting as soon as you wake up. My sister-in-law bought me a Bruno soymilk maker in second trimester and I LOVED it. I was making my breakfast every day with it with different grains and superfoods into blended hot cereals. I think this really helped fight off constipation (a common complaint for third-trimester women) and keep me regular. If I was beginning to feel constipated, chia seeds soaked in water really did the trick.
Supplementation for the third trimester is fairly similar to the first trimester. Check out the article on my first trimester for my full supplement protocol.
The only differences were as follows:
- Increased dosage for Cal/Mag/D (1 tbsp after lunch plus an additional 1 tbsp dose after dinner)
- Increased dosage for Collagen peptides on the days when I’m not eating enough protein (2-3 scoops a day mixed in soup or any drinks)
- I added Kiki Health’s magnesium oil and used it after taking a shower every night to support muscle relaxation and restful sleep
- I added Raspberry leaf tea starting from 2-3 weeks before the due date
- I added 1000mg EPO (Evening Primrose Oil) from Pure Encapsulations every day after breakfast
- Extra Magnesium before bed if sleep quality was not that great
I reduced my walking time to around 30 mins as I did not want my labor date to come too early. But I kept up my regular prenatal pilates and yoga practices. I also added in some home strengthening exercises such as squats and leg lifts, which were modified by my personal trainer to ensure it was appropriate for my late stage of pregnancy. Exercise is so beneficial for a healthy pregnancy and delivery, but always play it safe and consult a professional if you’re not sure what exercises are suitable!
Clean skincare is so important because our skin absorbs so much of what we put on it. And whatever chemicals may be absorbed from the skincare we use, can go straight to the baby. Check out my article on my second trimester for my full list of skincare products.
Massages were a great way to relieve some of the soreness of carrying a baby around! Just make sure to go to a professional who knows how to massage pregnant women safely. In my third trimester, I also begin self-massaging my boobs to make sure circulation was good and all ducts were clear for breastfeeding.
Placenta Encapsulation (After Birth)
I contacted a doula in Hong Kong named Molly Grenham to arrange to retrieve my placenta right after birth. My personal view is that consuming your placenta is the smartest thing you can do for your pregnancy. Your placenta has YOUR personal hormonal profile and nutrients. Ingesting it postpartum can be a tremendous help in preventing “baby blues” or full-blown postpartum depression, in easing fatigue, and in increasing milk supply. Molly can freeze-dry the placenta and put them into capsules so you don’t need to worry about preparing it yourself and there’s no disgusting taste. It will just be like taking supplements! I’m also making a tincture for longer-term use. DM me for her contact and say you’re referred by Candice!
That’s it! These are my top tips to not just surviving but thriving during your final trimester. Each trimester is so different so I really believe in celebrating and enjoying each stage of your pregnancy as much as possible. I know it’s not all fun! Thankfully I didn’t have too many unpleasant symptoms but I hope that sharing my health decisions can help support you during your pregnancy. Like I said, every woman and every pregnancy is different, so reach out to our fantastic team at LifeHub for personalized advice.
Will keep you all updated on my labour experience and postpartum tips! Wish me luck!
Candice Chan, CEO of LifeHub
Candice Chan is a Canadian-certified Doctor of Natural Medicine and nutritionist who co-founded LifeHealth Group, a private healthcare group based in Hong Kong which owns and operates both clinics and consumer health care spaces devoted to creating a new way of health care; and previously founded Younibody, a chain of 7 functional medicine based wellness centers in Hong Kong. Candice holds a Bachelor’s degree in nutrition science from the University of California at Davis and an International Certificate for Doctor of Natural Medicine, from the Canadian Board of Healthcare Practitioners and International Naturopathic College, and is also a certified reiki practitioner, bioresonance therapist and yoga teacher.