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monique in a turtleneck holding her pregnant belly

The Third Trimester

Read all about my third trimester of pregnancy including preparing for labor, body changes, sleeping, supplements, expectations, exercise and so much more!

This blog post covers weeks 28 weeks and beyond of my pregnancy.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I make a small commission off items you purchase at no additional cost to you. Please read my policy page.

I’m so happy to be finally writing this post at 39 weeks pregnant. Our little man could be here any day now and I can proudly say that we feel ready. Ask me how I feel in another week though.

Our nursery is finally complete (I’ll do a reveal soon!), we have all his clothes hung, diapers and wipes ready and all the things we need to help us mentally feel well-prepared. Truthfully, he could have showed up a month ago and none of the things I have stressed about would have mattered. All that matters is that soon we’ll have a healthy baby boy in our arms soon, and that he’s very, very loved.

monique taking a pregnant mirror selfie

Even though I say all of these things, I admit that the last month has been WILD. Between working nonstop to get ahead on content, enjoying the holidays, buying Christmas gifts, celebrating birthdays and going to all of the prenatal appointments, I can’t say it’s been the easiest. I’m sure many of you mamas felt the same way during the last month of your pregnancy.

What I can say, is that I’m SO glad that I gave myself some time to chill and decompress over the past week, especially to just get all of my last minute to-do’s checked off my list. BECAUSE HONESTLY… HOW IS THERE SO MUCH TO DO?! From putting together the nursery and washing all his clothes, to figuring out the car seat and stroller and taking CPR/breastfeeding classes, it’s truly been chaotic.

monique in a turtleneck holding her pregnancy belly

I do want to extend a huge thank you — for your support, positive advice and words throughout this pregnancy; it’s meant so much to me to have a community that’s encouraging and uplifting throughout this transitional period of time in my life. You’re all such amazing humans.

Today I wanted to focus on giving you a little update on how things have been from weeks 28-39 of my pregnancy journey. Be sure to also check out my first trimester post, second trimester post, baby registry and ask a doula as references too.

monique taking a bathroom mirror selfie

Baby updates

We had a few things come up during the pregnancy that made us a bit nervous. First, we found out that we had a marginal cord insertion, which basically means that the umbilical cord is inserted into the placenta at the very bottom versus the center. Sometimes this can be an issue and cause low-birth weight, but most of the time it’s no big deal. Turns out for us, it’s no big deal!

Next, we found out that I had a minor placenta previa, which meant that my placenta was too close to my cervix for a vaginal delivery. At first, I was feeling disappointed and a bit nervous about the whole thing. However, this cleared up as my uterus grew and now I’m all clear for a vaginal delivery as my placenta has moved.

Other than that, baby is doing well and moves and grooves constantly, but especially starting around 10pm every night. Oh and his head is down and has been since about 34 weeks. Whoo hoo!


Many of you asked what my third trimester symptoms. Here are a few things I experienced:

  • Exhaustion. I did get very tired for a few weeks, but then I found out that had a low iron count and needed to supplement with an iron supplement. I just got a test back a few weeks ago and am no longer anemic — yay! FYI — if you find yourself craving ice while pregnant, there’s a good chance you might be anemic.
  • Low appetite. I couldn’t eat much at meals, probably because of my big belly taking up too much space, so small meals were best for me. This all changed around 38 weeks when I became extremely hungry every hour or so, especially at night.
  • Out of breath. This hit me hard around 34/35 weeks and has recently gotten better. Some days just baking muffins would make me feel out of breath. And don’t even talk to me about the stairs!
  • Peeing 3x a night. I usually pee at least 1x per night, but sometimes it’s been up to 4! So annoying but at this point, I’m kinda used to it.
  • Insomnia and anxiety. I put these two together because I feel like they go hand and hand. The more anxious I was, the less I was able to sleep. It’s gotten a bit better lately, but sometimes I wake up around 4am and don’t fall back asleep for quite some time. Warm baths before bed with these epsom salts help a lot.
  • Weight gain tapering off. Around week 36, I reached a weight gain of a beautiful 29 pounds. I haven’t gained any since and my midwife told me this is normal. To be honest, I could gain 10 more pounds and not care one bit. My attitude has completely shifted when it comes to weight gain during pregnancy — all I care about is having a healthy baby boy in my arms.
  • Back pain. This is probably the worst symptom I’ve had and usually is at its worst in the morning when I wake up. I’ve found that my birthing ball and foam roller really helps. Also getting moving in the morning usually makes it go away.
  • Restless leg syndrome. SO ANNOYING. I’ve tried incorporating magnesium into my supplement routine and even warm baths which sometimes help, but not always.
  • On and off bouts of depression. This has probably been the most difficult for me to manage, but I take it one day at a time and really have leaned into trying to take care of myself.

monique in a black dress

Maternity photos

I took maternity photos around 32 weeks when I was still feeling comfortable. To be honest, my belly really didn’t get ‘big’ until around 35 weeks, so I wish I would have waited just a week or two longer, but I’m SO happy with how they turned out — so fun and different! Thanks to Alisha Tova for the gorgeous photos.

bags of vitamins

Supplement Routine

I’m still taking my Binto vitamins and love them! If you aren’t familiar, Binto vitamins are tailored to your needs and body. You just fill out a survey online and then get your results based on your goals. They have regular women’s multi-vitamins, but also have focuses on prenatal, pregnancy, postpartum and menopause. The vitamin packages start at $35/month and are directly delivered to your doorstep. They’re also gluten free, vegan-friendly and preservative free.

If you are interested in trying BINTO, you can use the code ‘ambitiouskitchen’ for 20% off your first order!

Check out this post dedicated to the supplements I take on a daily basis and have incorporated into my routine during this pregnancy.

monique taking a mirror selfie at a gym

My exercise routine

The frequency and intensity of my workouts have definitely tapered down since around 34 weeks. I really learned to modify a lot of the exercises I was previously doing, which I was fine with. I still try to exercise 3x per week but it’s not always possible. Most of all, I just remind myself to take it easy and to do what I can. If something doesn’t feel good in group fitness classes, I modify with any of these pregnancy safe exercises:

I still plan on working out this week and until I go into labor. Wish me luck!

monique taking a mirror selfie with a turtleneck on

Preparing for labor + delivery

Truthfully, I’ve done a gigantic amount of work preparing physically and mentally for labor and delivery to feel empowered and ready. Here are a few things that were recommended by my doula to encourage a positive birth experience:

  • Eating dates: my doula suggested eating 6-8 dates a day starting at 36 weeks. There have been some small studies that suggest eating dates can help to ripen the cervix for labor and even decrease labor time. Others suggested raspberry leaf tea, but there actually haven’t been any conclusive studies so I decided to skip it.
  • Bounce on the birthing ball. Not only is this extremely comfortable, it’s also supposed to help move baby into proper position. Bounce baby bounce.
  • Sex. The more sex the better! I basically had zero interest in it for a few weeks of my third trimester because hello GIANT BELLY but that’s all changed and we make it work.
  • Drinking magnesium. I use this magnesium drink and LOVE it. It generally makes me feel better after I drink it and helps keep me regular too.
  • Seeking out POSITIVE birth experiences. For some reason, I’ve gotten a lot of people telling me about their negative birth experiences, even though there’s always a positive side to every story. I wish I heard those more, or just encouragement from other mamas. Something to be mindful of when I share my journey and story.
  • Allowing myself to rest and rejuvenate. For me this means feeling organized and prepared, but also giving myself some chill time. Being a first time mama is SO overwhelming, especially with the endless advice, things to learn and do. I’m truly so happy I took these last two weeks to have some downtime for me and for my husband. It’s OKAY to be selfish during this time. My motto: give yourself what you need.
  • Spending quality time with my partner. Having alone time, date nights in and just being together has been SO nice. We probably won’t get another date night for a few months without our babe, so we’re really soaking it in.
  • Learn to be gentle and kind to yourself. So many things have changed and will continue to change that are out of your control. Give yourself some grace. This process will alter you forever.

Products I’m loving

I plan to share more about what I’ve purchased lately when I share what’s in my hospital bag, but I’ve gotten a few things I’m loving:

  • I got this nursing nightgown for my hospital bag — it’s super soft and I’d much rather wear this than a hospital gown.
  • I just got this bra and have been LOVING it. It’s super soft and not only great for lounging around in, but also perfect for breastfeeding.
  • I’ve been living in this inexpensive super soft pajama set that’s also breastfeeding friendly.
  • I also got this nightgown for just lounging around the house because sometimes it’s just annoying to wear pants.
  • Madewell maternity jeans: have really enjoyed these throughout my entire pregnancy. So comfy!
  • Lululemon align leggings: there is a reason that a lot of pregnant women rave about these leggings and it’s because they are incredible. I still am wearing my same size because they stretch so much and plan on taking a pair with me to the hospital. I now own three pairs ha!
  • I know I already mentioned this in my first and second trimester post, but I’ve been loving the Zoe Organics Belly Oil; I rub it all over my stomach and hips before I go to bed every night.
  • I also have been really digging the Binto x Clary collection. The belly oil could be my favorite and I’m excited to try the nipple balm too!

My birth plan

A lot of people have asked about our birth plan. This is really unique to each individual pregnant woman so please know that sharing mine shouldn’t influence yours. Do your research and do what feels best for you and your baby.

Right now, my hope is to have an unmedicated natural vaginal birth but I’m also allowing for flexibility as I know there are some things that could be out of my control.

I used Motherboard to build my birth plan and create a visual template and highly recommend because they provide you with evidence behind the choices you may need to make or want to make during birth. I made one for spontaneous labor, an induction, and cesarean.

monique holding a smoothie and a sandwich in a restaurant


These days I’m all about nesting, which basically means I just clean the house, organize and relax until the baby comes. It’s kind of a natural thing that just happens. Seriously, you just feel the urge to CLEAN EVERYTHING and get rid of all the junk you don’t need. Tony thinks I’m nuts, but if I want the shower scrubbed, this preggo is going to scrub the hell out of it.

I’ve also stocked up on things I can snack on like soups, nut mixes, dried fruit, energy bites, frozen fruit for smoothies, etc. I haven’t really done any of my freezer meals yet but perhaps if I get a moment this week I will.

Staying comfortable tips & tricks

I started to get uncomfortable right around 35 weeks. A few things that helped me to feel better:

  • warm, epsom salt baths.
  • long, warm showers.
  • bouncing on the ball
  • rolling out on the roller
  • using a lacrosse ball to help my hips relax
  • walking outside
  • prenatal massages (life changing!)

Shop my pregnancy favorites & recommendations

Head over to the Ambitious Kitchen shop to see everything I recommend during pregnancy & beyond.

P.S. Don’t forget to check out our baby registrypregnancy books I’m reading and my first trimester and second trimester post.

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