7 best tips for the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy
“Nesting is usually something that only occurs towards the end of your pregnancy, and shows labour is imminent,” says doula Lucy Symons (www.lucysymons.squarespace.com).
“It’s a totally irresistible need to tidy, sort, clean and clear, and can be logical (painting the baby’s room) or bonkers (I had a client who insisted on getting her wedding dress out of the attic and ironing it). It’s always a good idea to indulge these urges as you may find you don’t relax fully until everything on your list of ‘things to do’ is done.”
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2) Leaving work and starting maternity leave
- You can start your maternity leave any time from 11 weeks before the beginning of the week when your baby’s due.
- As your maternity leave gets closer, work with your employer to make things easy for whoever is covering for you during your absence.
- Arrange a handover meeting where you can pass on your work. This makes it easier for the person stepping in to your role, and can leave you free to enjoy your leave without the worry.
3) What maternity pay do I get?
You’re entitled to receive Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) if you have been in your job for at least 26 weeks from the first day of the 15th week before the week your baby is due. To qualify, you must also earn an average £95 or more a week before tax.
If you receive SMP, your employer will pay you 90% of your average weekly earnings for the first six weeks of your maternity leave. For the remaining 33 weeks you will be paid £128.73 a week, or 90 per cent of your average gross weekly earnings depending on which is lower.
You will pay tax and National Insurance on your Statutory Maternity Pay in the same way as on your regular wages.
If you don’t qualify for SMP you’re likely to get Maternity Allowance, which is £123.06 per week or 90% of your average weekly earnings (whichever is less) paid for up to 39 weeks from when you leave work.
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4) What to pack in your hospital bag
“I took my favourite shower gel and washing things, along with hand cream to make me feel like ‘myself’. I also found Lansinoh nipple cream was an essential, and I made sure my mobile phone and camera were charged. Among the boring stuff were more maternity pads than I imagined using, plus disposable pants,” said Jo Holland, 36, from Kent, mum to Harry, 10, Bridie, 9, Erin, 7, Arthur, 4, Arwen, 2, Matilda, 19 months and Merlin, 5 months, on what was in her hospital bag.
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5) What is Braxton Hicks?
“Braxton Hicks are practice contractions,” explains doula Lucy Symons. “What you’re feeling is your uterus tightening and then releasing again, and it’s quite normal to experience this occasionally through your pregnancy, but most usually towards the end of the third trimester.”
“Your entire tummy will tighten when you have a Braxton Hicks contraction, and can remain tight for a few seconds. There can be discomfort when you experience one and it may even stop you in your tracks, but generally they’re uncomfortable more than actually painful. Think of them as practice contractions and a good thing to help you get ready for childbirth,” explains Lucy.