Oh, the joys of being pregnant!
I love it when people tell me how wonderful pregnancy is.
Yes, there are some amazing things about it, but there are also some not-so-wonderful things that come with it – like third-trimester pains!
If you're pregnant and want to know what to expect, read on.
If you're already in your third trimester and struggling with one or more of these third-trimester symptoms & pains, keep reading – hopefully, this post will help ease your pain a bit.
What causes this: Around 30 weeks into your pregnancy, you may begin to swell in other areas of the body besides the belly. This is due to edema and is most likely to happen in lower extremities such as the feet or ankles.
Pregnancy causes your body to produce 60 percent more blood volume than usual. At the same time, the growing uterus puts pressure on large veins that bring blood back to the heart. This extra fluid then pools in your lower limbs.
The pressure may also make some veins look swollen, blue or purple.These are called varicose veins but they should go back to normal after the baby arrives.
What you can do: To help reduce or avoid swelling, try to limit the amount of time you spend on your feet. If prolonged standing is unavoidable, take a break every few hours to sit and raise your legs for ten minutes.This allows gravity to pull fluid from the legs back into circulation. After dinner is one of the greatest opportunities to take a rest. While you don't need them to be straight up, make sure they're as high as possible.
I frequently advise people to rest their feet on a couple of pillows on the coffee table. I propose that you perform these several hours before going to bed because all of those fluids that you're assisting return to the heart will be filtered by your kidneys and have to be eliminated. If you raise your feet before going to sleep, you'll most likely have to get up immediately after falling into a deep slumber for you to go pee!
Compression stockings and TED hose are a fashionable way to keep fluids from pooling in your legs, and they help move these fluids up to your heart. These stockings can go from your feet all the way up to your mid-calves or knees, depending on the style you choose.
And although you may be picturing your grandma's old-fashioned stockings, many manufacturers have created much more stylish versions of compression socks that are available today.
If your shoes feel uncomfortably tight, try wearing shoes with straps that you can loosen.
Or, if the weather is nice, put on some flip-flops.
When to be concerned: If you experience any sudden swelling, especially if it is asymmetrical or one calf is warmer or more tender than the other, you should seek medical attention immediately as this could be a sign of a blood clot.
Similarly, any swelling in non-dependent areas of your body such as hands and fingers may also be indicative of preeclampsia.
Why it happens: Women who are pregnant often experience insomnia, or sleeplessness, particularly during the first and third trimesters.
While hormonal changes contribute to this difficulty nodding off in early pregnancy, by the second semester you can finally enjoy some restorative sleep as your progesterone levels normalize. By your third trimester, it becomes more difficult to fall asleep because of your growing belly, making it hard to get comfortable.
What you can do: Find out which side is most comfortable for you to sleep on, whether it's your left or right. It makes no difference whichever way you choose. If you want to sleep on your back, it's not likely to be pleasant, but shifting your hips a little helps to keep the weight off your back.
C-shaped body pillows like the Snoogle are good for support under the neck, around the shoulders, and between the legs. Adopt good sleep hygiene habits, such as not watching TV or looking at your phone in the hour leading up to sleep.
Other things you can try before going to bed are sipping warm milk or tea, taking a warm bath, or using lavender scents in your bath or lotion.
When to be concerned: If you have tried all these things to no avail, consult with your physician about taking over-the-counter medication.
3. Reflux and feeling full faster
Why it happens: You may find that you can't eat as much as you used to because your uterus is getting bigger and pushing up on your stomach. This makes it difficult for food to digest properly, which can lead to reflux.
What you can do: Instead of three larger meals each day, eat five small meals. Find meals that keep you feeling full without adding significantly to your calorie count. Instead of a big sandwich, try a protein shake instead of before.
There are a few things you can do to minimize your reflux problems. Avoid eating spicy or acidic foods, and go for creamier options like yogurt instead. Also, don't eat within two hours of going to bed so that your food has time to digest before you lie down. Elevating your head while sleeping will also help immensely.
When to be concerned: If you're still dealing with reflux, talk to your doctor about over-the-counter treatments. If you have reflux that is not associated with what you ate or experience heartburn or abdominal pain that does not go away with Tums and Maalox, see a doctor.
This could be a sign of preeclampsia, which is a serious condition.
4. Restless leg syndrome
Why it happens: Restless leg syndrome is a feeling that your legs need to be moved. This might take many forms, ranging from vague discomfort to a burning or pulsating sensation. She likened it to being tugged on her legs by someone else. Restless leg syndrome is more common in the evening, making it impossible to fall asleep.
While there are a variety of theories, we don't know why restless leg syndrome affects so many pregnant women.
What you can do: While there's no real cure for restless leg syndrome, drinking more water and taking calcium and vitamin D supplements may help to ease the symptoms. Pregnant women should drink 80 to 100 ounces of water each day. If you're feeling restless leg syndrome, take a 20-30 minute walk or try massaging the legs. You can also use heat or ice packs to relieve the sensation.
When to be concerned: If these methods don't work to relieve your symptoms and your rest is disrupted, talk to your doctor about medication.
5. Back and hip pain
Why it happens: Progesterone levels during pregnancy not only relax the joints and muscles to accommodate a growing uterus but also increase flexibility in your pelvis so the baby can pass through the birth canal more easily.
However, this increased level of progesterone can cause pain. If you're carrying extra weight, your posture may start to change. You might lean more to one side, which can cause lower back or hip pain.
What you can do: You can help reduce the strain on your hips and back by wearing a support belt over your clothing, and under your belly. There are many types and brands available, so you're sure to find one that suits you. Keep in mind that this won't hurt your baby – just make sure it's tight enough to offer adequate support.
When you sit down, place cushions beneath your hips or instead of a chair on a balance or yoga ball. To assist with the discomfort, take a warm bath or use a heating pad on your hips or back. Remember, your center of gravity has changed considerably as a result of your expanding midsection.
Until you give birth, avoid wearing stilettos.
When to be concerned: If you have severe, deep, or sharp pain that won't go away and hasn't gotten better with rest, see your doctor. Also, if you're having a low backache every few minutes accompanied by rhythmic pain, it's possible that you have uterine fibroids.
6. Breast pain
Why it happens: It's not uncommon to experience sore breasts during pregnancy. Hormonal changes are preparing your body to feed your baby, and you may find that your bra size goes up a few sizes. Women with smaller breasts may find they have more pain than women with larger breasts.
What you can do: Too many women try to wear the same bras in their third trimester as they did before pregnancy. Be sure to buy new bras a couple of times throughout your pregnancy – your breasts and back will appreciate it.
When to be concerned: If you are comfortable breastfeeding in a sports bra, great! However, if they are too tight, it can reduce milk production. If you don't plan on breastfeeding or want to dry up your milk supply, wearing a tighter-fitting sports bra may help.
But for those of you who do wish to breastfeed, make sure your support is good without making the fit too constrictive.
7. Frequent urination
Why it happens: Running to the washroom every five minutes is quite possibly the most frustrating element of the third trimester that happen after the second trimester. The volume of fluids running through your kidneys increases by 100% during pregnancy, which equates to needing to urinate twice as often.
Furthermore, as your baby bump grows bigger, he or she may start pressing down on your bladder and you will get weight gain.
What you can do: Unfortunately, there's not much you can do about it. To avoid frequent urination, don't stop drinking water.
You must remain hydrated. Dehydration can induce contractions, dizziness, and lightheadedness, as it's just a part of pregnancy progresses.
Being prepared by knowing you will have to visit the restroom more frequently can help lessen any discomfort. Choose your seat wisely, for example sitting on an aisle or near the exit at events, so that you won't miss anything important if you need to make a quick trip.
When to be concerned: A sudden change in your urination habits may be the reason for alarm, such as if you find yourself peeing much more often today than yesterday.
Additionally, if you feel pain or burning when going to the bathroom, or if there is blood in your urine, contact your doctor immediately.
8. Lightheadedness and dizziness
Why it happens: If you experience swelling and fluid pooling in your legs, this can lead to dizziness or lightheadedness. This is more likely to occur after standing for a long time or if you get up too quickly.
What you can do: Compression stockings help by promoting blood flow out of the legs and to the heart. If you have to stand for a long time, keep moving to increase circulation – shuffle your feet or bend your knees by bringing your lower leg up toward your rear end a few times.
Don't get up too quickly from a sitting or lying position. When you're ready to get out of bed in the morning, sit up, put your feet on the floor, and wait a minute before standing up and going. This will allow your body to adjust.
Staying properly hydrated can also assist with this good night's sleep.
When to be concerned: If you're continuously lightheaded or dizzy, if it happens even after a short period of standing, or if it's accompanied by a racing heart, see your doctor.
We hope this article has helped prepare you for the third trimester. Remember to stay positive and take care of yourself – your baby will be here before you know it! If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact your doctor or midwife.
And finally, we want to hear from you! What were some of the biggest challenges you faced during your third trimester of pregnancy?
Like stomach pain, leg cramps, high blood flow(blood pressure issues), or else...
Leave us a comment below and let us know.