Have trouble falling asleep? Struggling with back and hip pain? Perhaps you’re also feeling lightheaded? Don’t panic! These symptoms are perfectly normal during the third trimester of pregnancy.
You can add tiredness, heartburn, shortness of breath and spider veins to that list also!
Pregnancy comes with its challenges. For many women, the last three months of this journey are the most difficult. They feel more tired than usual, experience back pain and leg cramps, and have swollen feet. Plus, your uterus reaches the size of a watermelon. Luckily, it will all be over soon and you’ll finally be able to enjoy your baby.
Eager to learn more? Here are five third trimester symptoms to prepare for.
During pregnancy, maternal plasma water volume increases 45 percent to meet the circulatory needs of your reproductive organs. At the same time, your uterus is putting pressure on the arteries that transport blood to the heart, so the extra fluid builds up in your legs and feet. Try to sit with your legs elevated to reduce swelling. Avoid prolonged sitting and standing. Compression stockings can help too.
Many moms-to-be experience increased respiratory rate in the third trimester of pregnancy. That’s because the diaphragm elevates in pregnancy to make room for the term uterus. When this happens the air in the lungs is diminished. This is most notable climbing stairs or when out on a walk. Try to stay active, but don’t go overboard. Practice good posture so your lungs can expand. Place a large pillow under your head and shoulders during sleep so you can breathe more easily.
Approximately 25 to 35 percent of women develop hemorrhoids while pregnant. A staggering 85 percent report this symptom in the second and third trimester. The increased blood volume and fluid retention, as well as the weight of your belly, are all responsible for the onset of hemorrhoids. Constipation plays a role too. Take a warm bath to relieve discomfort. Add more fiber to your diet to prevent constipation. Ask your doctor to prescribe you an OTC hemorrhoid ointment.
Bladder and bowel incontinence are common symptoms among pregnant women, especially during the last trimester and after childbirth. More than half of future moms say that stress urinary incontinence affects their quality of life. This symptom is due to the extra pressure on your bladder and bowel as well as to the hormonal fluctuations that occur in your body. Again, it’s important to increase your daily fiber intake. Eat more fruits and vegetables, oat and wheat bran, psyllium husk, and other high-fiber foods. Do your Kegels more often.
Hip and Back Pain
Hip and back pain tends to worsen during the last three months of pregnancy. Your uterus is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, causing severe pain and aches. Heating pads, mild exercise, and certain pain relievers can help, stretching as in yoga helps as well as swimming to strengthen back muscles. Consult your doctor before taking any meds.
Third Trimester Symptoms Won’t Last Forever
Third-trimester symptoms may also include vaginal pain, insomnia, snoring, restless legs, and fatigue. Some women lose their appetite or can barely eat because of heartburn. No matter how difficult it may seem to cope with these issues, it will all be worth it. Remember, it’s just an inconvenience.
Don’t let these symptoms take over your life and ruin your experience! Plan a short trip to relax and take a mental break. It might be exactly what you need right now.