9 things to do to make your unborn baby happy in your third trimester

Treat your bump using our top tips from 29 to 40 weeks of pregnancy

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Watch a funny movie

Laughter eases blood pressure and reduces your risk of heart trouble, and recent research shows that your baby thinks it’s funny when you’re laughing, too. ‘When we’re watching the foetus on ultrasound and the mum starts to laugh, we can see the baby bounce up and down, as though on a trampoline,’ says Janet DiPietro, psychologist at John Hopkins University in the US. ‘When mums see this on-screen, they laugh harder and the foetus goes up and down even faster!’

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Rub your tummy

If you take time out each morning and evening to gently rub a little oil into your tummy (vitamin E oil is great for stretchmarks), your baby enjoys the little massage, too. These gentle touches can help stimulate your little one’s brain development.

Listen to Mozart

Although the theory that listening to Mozart will make your baby brainier is an urban myth, classical music soothes her from as early as 5 months. ‘Most babies in the womb react very well to the slow movements of baroque-type music, such as Mozart or Vivaldi,’ says Dr Thomas Verny. ‘These rhythms, which are similar to the mum’s heartbeat, have an almost calming effect.’

Tell a story

By this trimester, research shows that your little one will remember stories if she hears them over and over again. That same story might even help her nod offcontentedly once she’s born. Well, it’s worth a shot!

Make a banana smoothie

Blend a banana, skimmed-milk, yogurt and brown sugar. Bananas are great low-cal energy boosters and they’re full of the calming mineral, potassium which, along with the calcium from the milk, is great for your rapidly growing baby. Tastes good, too.

Take some rescue remedy

The Big Day is approaching, and you may be a little anxious, nervous, terrified – none of which are good for your little one. Bach flower remedies can be useful for calmingyour nerves: Impatiens helps you relax and eases the frustration of waiting, and mimulus eases fear about the birth.

Put your feet up

It helps reduce swollen ankles. Also, if you relax for 10 to 20 minutes a few times a day, it’s great for your baby. ‘Deep, persistent patterns of feeling have an impact on the foetus,’ says Verny. ‘If you take time out two or three times a day, you’ll really reduce stress for your baby.’

Meditate

Spend 20 minutes meditating every day and you’ll raise levels of the mood-boostinghormone DHEA, which makes your baby feel great. Try Meditations For Pregnancy CD by Michelle Leclaire O’Neill .

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Get daddy to sing

In the last month, your baby can recognise daddy’s voice, too. Many parents find the lullabies they sang during pregnancy help soothe the baby after the birth, so your partner will find it easier to put your baby to bed – how fab is that?!

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