Third Trimester of Pregnancy Checklist

This article may contain affiliate links. These opinions are our own. If you buy something, we may earn a small commission, helping us keep our content free to our readers. ❤️

How exciting that you’re now in the final trimester of pregnancy. You’re finally in the home stretch! I know you can’t wait to meet your baby and are preparing for their grand entrance. You only have a few months left, which means it’s time to check off the last items on your to-do list. Here’s our third-trimester checklist to help you know what to do before the big day!

Month 7: Weeks 28-31

The third trimester can feel like the longest trimester because you’re beyond ready to meet your little one (and possibly very over being pregnant), but no worries. We have a list of what you should focus on this month to keep you busy that will leave you feeling super prepared for baby’s arrival and early motherhood:

  • Go to your prenatal appointments (every other week). Your prenatal appointments are now every other week. They will be routine health checks to ensure you and your baby are healthy and doing well.1
  • Take a tour of your hospital or birth center (if you haven’t already). I know this was on the second-trimester checklist, but if you already knew exactly where you were giving birth and haven’t taken a tour of the facility yet, now is the time! You’ll want to know where to park, where you need to check in, what the check-in process looks like, what your rooms (labor and delivery and your postpartum/recovery room) look like, and what items are available in each of your rooms.
    • Reconfirm the best route to your birthing location and where to park (if you took a tour already). Review this with the person who will be driving you to the hospital or birthing center on the big day.
  • Pre-register at the hospital. While you’re taking your maternity hospital tour, see if you can pre-register right then so you don’t have to be bothered with lots of paperwork when you come in with contractions. If not, see if you can do it online or schedule a time to go in to pre-register and fill out the paperwork.
  • Do your kick counts. Now is when you need to start monitoring your baby’s daily activity. Around the same time every day, sit down and focus on your baby’s movements. See how long it takes for your baby to move 10 times.2 Ideally, that should be within two hours. If not, consult with your care provider. Those movements could be kicks, jabs, flutters, rolls, etc.3 I recommend doing this after eating a meal since that usually is a good time for your little one to be awake and active.4 Doing kick counts is an important practice that helps monitor your baby’s health.2,4 Talk to your care provider if you notice any changes.
  • Attend your childbirth and parenting classes. You signed up for your classes in the second trimester, and now is the time to attend them! I recommend finishing your classes before 36 weeks of pregnancy. You never know when your little one will arrive, and if they decide to be born early, you’ll be glad you took these classes in advance:
  • Choose a pediatrician. Ask around (your friends, mom groups, doctor/midwife, etc.) for recommendations of good pediatricians around your home or work area. Do your research on those recommendations, and see if you can visit their offices and/or meet with those pediatricians. Decide who’s the best fit for your family and notify them that you’d like to add your baby as a future patient. Remember the name of your pediatrician and their practice because the hospital will ask you who your child’s pediatrician is when your baby is born.
  • Get your RhoGAM injection (if you’re Rh-negative). If you’re Rh-negative and your baby is Rh-positive, most experts recommend a RhoGAM shot at 28 weeks and after the baby is born to prevent sensitization.5,6 Rh-negative pregnant women can experience a condition called Rh factor incompatibility if their baby is Rh-positive.8 This can happen when a small amount of fetal blood mixes with the mother’s blood during pregnancy, labor, or birth.7 The mother’s immune system will recognize the Rh-positive fetal cells as foreign and produce antibodies to destroy them. These antibodies can cross the placenta and attack the baby’s red blood cells, causing them to swell and rupture. This can lead to serious health problems, even death, for the fetus or newborn.6,7,8 The RhoGAM shot works for about 13 weeks, and baby’s blood will be tested for Rh shortly after birth. If baby is Rh-positive, you’ll receive another dose of RhoGAM within 72 hours.9
  • Enjoy your baby shower! Whether you had loved ones plan and host this special event for you or you planned it yourself, I hope you feel loved and know how much everyone already loves you and is excited to meet your baby. This is a special time, so celebrate!
  • Call your insurance to:
    • Check if you can get a free breast pump through your insurance. If you plan to pump, check with your insurance to see if you can get a free breast pump. If so, review the ones you’re eligible for and select the best breast pump for you.
    • Pre-authorize your hospital stay. Many health policies require this before hospital admissions in an effort to manage costs.
    • See how you can add your baby to your policy. Adding your baby to your health insurance can help reduce out-of-pocket expenses for things like tests, vaccinations, and wellness visits.10 Some insurance plans cover newborns retroactively from birth if you add them within a certain time frame, usually 30 days. After that time, coverage may be delayed, so it’s good to talk to your insurance now.
  • Take maternity photos! You’ll never regret having priceless photos of your beautiful bump and sweet baby growing inside you.
  • Reserve and schedule a newborn photographer. I recommend asking around and researching newborn photographers so you can capture your baby’s newborn freshness in professional photographs. They’ll never be that little again, and you’ll be so happy you captured it with a professional photographer who knows how to take those perfect shots.
  • Finalize points on your birth plan:
    • Who will be in the labor and birthing room with you? Will it just be you and your partner? Will you have your doula? A birth photographer/videographer? Your parents or in-laws? Discuss this with your partner and determine what you feel most comfortable with.
    • Will you encapsulate your placenta? If so, you need to book this with a specialist who can provide this service. Confirm how they’ll pick up your placenta and when they’ll drop off your “happy pills.”
    • Will you circumcise your baby (if you’re having a boy)? Do your research and determine the best choice for your son.
    • Who will watch your older children and pets while you give birth? Are your parents going to be in town? Do you have a neighbor who can help? Are you hiring a sibling doula who can be on-call to watch your older kids and pets? Confirm with this person and have a backup plan ready, just in case.
  • Take bump pictures. Your bump is growing and beautiful. Capture this miraculous stage!
  • Treat yourself. You deserve the time to do something just for you.

Month 8: Weeks 32-35

I know you’re getting tired, but you’re doing great! You’re almost at the finish line, and there are a few more things to wrap up. Here’s your third-trimester checklist for the eighth month of pregnancy:

  • Go to your prenatal appointments (every other week). These visits will be like your other routine prenatal appointments.1 Now that you’re getting closer to your due date, I recommend preparing all your questions and asking about when to get to the hospital in labor, details about false labor, etc.
  • Go over your birth plan with your doctor or midwife. Ensure you’re both on the same page about your birthing preferences and that they support your wants and wishes. Give them a copy to keep in your chart.
  • Schedule your group B strep (GBS) test. This test is done between 35 and 37 weeks, so you’ll need to make sure you schedule it.11
  • Plan your postpartum recovery:
    • Start lining up your helpers. Organize who your support system will be, when they’ll help, and how they’ll help after you give birth. Will your family come to help you in the first few weeks? It’s essential to build a support system around you:
      • Lactation consultant: If you plan to breastfeed, look into local lactation consultants to help you learn how to breastfeed.
      • Postpartum doula: Live far away from family and friends? New to an area and need support after giving birth? Look into local postpartum doulas who can support you.
      • Night nurse/night nanny: If you want more sleep at night, consider hiring a night nurse or night nanny. They can book up fast, so reserve now!
      • Pelvic floor physical therapist (PFPT): No matter if you had a vaginal birth or a cesarean section, your body and pelvic floor have been through a lot during pregnancy and birth.12 Seeing a PFPT can really help.
      • Therapist/counselor/psychologist: Get someone who specializes in working with postpartum women.
      • New moms group: See what moms groups you can join to help you meet other mothers and make new friends. It’s good to get out of the house and socialize with other moms who may be experiencing the same things.
    • Write a postpartum plan. You already wrote a birth plan, and now it’s time to write your postpartum plan! Writing out your wishes for those first few weeks and months with your new baby is so helpful. Check out this postpartum plan template for inspiration.
    • Make a to-do list for family and close friends. They will all want to know how to help after the baby comes. Write out what would be helpful for you so they know exactly what you need. Do you want them to bring you food? Would you like them to spend time with your older kids? Would you like them to bring you a coffee or hold baby while you shower or get a little nap? Write it out!
  • Buy any baby items still needed. After your baby shower, you may still need some big-ticket items, such as a baby carrier, stroller, or car seat. Now is the time to check what you don’t have and get the must-haves. Also, make sure you’re stocked up on diapers (of multiple sizes) and wipes!
  • Send out thank-you cards for your baby shower gifts. People will understand if you can’t get these out, but if you want to send thank-you notes, do it now before baby arrives.
  • Finalize your maternity leave plan. Reconfirm your maternity leave plans with your employer and HR department so you’re all on the same page. Be sure to set boundaries and be specific. You’re not on vacation; you’re giving birth and will be taking care of a newborn. You deserve the time and space to rest and recover.
  • Confirm you’ll have what you need when you return from work. If you plan on pumping when you return, talk with your employer about when/how often you’ll need to take pumping breaks. Have them create a place for you to pump and a place where you can store your breast milk.
  • Finalize childcare for when you return to work. Whether you’ve chosen a family member to watch your baby, a daycare, an au pair, or a nanny, confirm with them and reserve the time you need.
  • Pack your hospital bag or birth center bag. Or, if you’re having a home birth, have your home birth items purchased. Make sure to include lip balm, phone chargers, an outfit for baby to go home in, your insurance information, and more.
  • Practice your breathing and relaxation exercises. Just like before any physical activity, it’s good to practice. If you were running a marathon, you would train to have a successful race. And your body will be pushed like it’s running a marathon. Practice the things that will help you reach the finish line and meet your sweet baby!
  • Have a blessingway or nesting party. Unlike a baby shower, a blessingway is all about gathering with the expecting mom and celebrating her. Guests share well wishes, prayers, or blessings on her birth and postpartum journey. A nesting party is a fun gathering where loved ones help the expecting mother prepare for the new baby by helping with washing baby’s clothes, washing baby bottles and pump parts, making freezer meals and padsicles, and more! It’s a party that prepares the soon-to-be mom for postpartum. I highly recommend them both!
  • Buy a baby book. This is where you can put your baby’s tiny handprints and footprints and log all the sweet memories of your precious baby.
  • Complete the nursery. By now, you’ve probably gotten most of the pieces for your baby’s nursery: the rug, the artwork, the storage bins, etc. This is the time to put everything together and finish decorating the room.
  • Wash your baby’s clothing and bedding. Wash and fold everything, and put it all away.
  • Assemble your baby gear. During the third trimester, have the stroller, bouncer, baby swing, etc., set up and ready to go! Also, check that your baby monitors and other baby essentials are working perfectly.
  • Set up a safe place for your baby to sleep. A lot of babies don’t immediately sleep in their nurseries. If you’re going to have baby sleep in a co-sleeper or crib in your room, get their sleep space set up.
  • Install baby’s car seat and have it inspected. The hospital or birth center won’t let you leave without your infant car seat in and correctly installed. It’s also a good idea to practice using the car seat. This means practicing putting the car seat in and out of the base, using the buckles, and tightening the straps. The more you practice ahead of time using the car seat, the more confident you will be putting baby in there and buckling them in properly!
  • Decide what you’ll use for birth control after baby arrives (if using contraception). Understand what your birth control options are, and decide which works best for your family planning preferences.
  • Take bump pictures. You won’t have many more weeks of baby inside you. 🙂
  • Treat yourself. Always!

Month 9: Weeks 36-40+

This is it! Your final month of pregnancy. You’re so close to meeting your little one. Here are the final things to consider and prepare before baby arrives:

  • Go to your prenatal appointments (every week starting at 36 weeks). At this point in your third trimester, you’ll see your care provider weekly now, so your visits might be shorter. They’ll continue your routine health checks and answer any of your questions.1
  • Return any duplicate baby items. Run to the store (or have your partner or a friend) return any duplicate items that you have. Look to see if there are any things you’d like to exchange them for.
  • At 36 weeks:
    • Eat six dates daily. This may sound strange, but eating dates during pregnancy helps with uterine tone.13 It’s been shown that women who ate around six dates a day have had shorter labors!14 Yes, please!
    • Drink raspberry leaf tea. This is another great uterine toner.15
  • Make sure everything is squared away at work before you leave. You want your maternity leave to feel like a real leave and not have coworkers or your boss contacting you during your time away.
  • Have your house cleaned. There’s nothing better than having a clean house when you bring your baby home. If you can, hire someone to clean your home.
  • Download a contraction timer app. Rather than counting the minutes and doing the math in your head, have a contraction timer app already downloaded on your phone and your partner’s phone. This is a great thing your partner can help with before you get to the hospital.
  • Download a baby tracker app. Once baby is here, it’s helpful to have a baby tracking app to log baby’s activities (eating, wet/dirty diaper, sleeping, etc.), rather than writing everything down in a notebook. Some apps even sync together, so everyone who cares for your child (nanny or grandparents) can log in and track everything going on with baby, too!
  • Reconfirm who’s going to watch your older children and pets. You could go into labor at any moment now, so it’s critical to confirm the person or people who will take care of your other children and your pets while you’re in the hospital.
  • Prepare freezer meals and grab-and-go snacks. Think chili, soups, casseroles, etc. If you didn’t have a nesting party, now is the time to pre-cook meals you can keep in the freezer and some easy, one-handed snacks you can nourish yourself with when you need something quick. This will help for those nights when you’re too tired or busy to cook a nice meal at home.
  • Stock up on postpartum essentials. Get a caddy and put in all your postpartum supplies (postpartum underwear/diapers, pads, numbing spray, peri bottle, etc.). Place this postpartum caddy in your bedroom bathroom so these items are ready when you need them.
  • Make a “nursing center.” You’ve set up baby’s sleeping space, and now you need a nursing space. Set up a comfortable chair with a footstool and a small table (or three-tiered caddy) where you can store water, snacks, and a good book nearby. Your new baby will need to nurse (a lot!), so make a space where you’ll be comfortable. You’ll be spending a lot of time there.
  • Name your baby! You’ve made your lists, and now is the time to decide on a baby name. You may have already chosen a name, but if not, talk with your partner and finalize your decision.
  • Try your best to rest and relax. Soak in these last few days of pregnancy. You’re probably over being pregnant and ready to meet your baby, but do your best to cherish these last days with your bump.
  • Take bump pictures. These are your last opportunities!
  • Don’t panic if you go past your due date. It’s very rare for babies to be born on their due date.16 Take a deep breath and know that your baby will be here soon.
  • Treat yourself. Get a massage, a mani-pedi, or whatever you enjoy! The end is almost here. Or should I say the beginning? 😉

You’ve done it! You’ve completed the third-trimester checklist. You’ll be grateful that you prepared yourself and your home so thoroughly. I hope our checklists make you feel ready and confident for what’s to come. Congratulations!

View Sources +