The third trimester is the weeks between 28 and 40 weeks of pregnancy. This is a phase that can be challenging for most moms-to-be emotionally as well as physically. As the due date approaches, you may be anxious about delivering, especially if this is your first baby.
Some of the things you may have noticed are that your body aches a lot more, and you feel tired soon. You may find it difficult to sleep at night or experience swelling in your feet and legs.
Be Knowledgeable About Your Body
The best way to understand your body in the third trimester is by being prepared. Learn about what you can expect and what is normal. It is also important to know what is not normal so that you can seek medical attention immediately.
During the third trimester, your baby gains a lot of weight and will also grow in height. As a result, your body weight will increase because of an increase in amniotic fluid, fat storage, increase in blood and other fluids.
While you should not aim to lose weight during this phase, try to remain active and avoid unhealthy food cravings. Sometimes too much weight gain leads to issues like high blood pressure, a premature baby, gestational diabetes, and heavy birth weight.
Since your baby is growing, your belly may have less space, and you will begin to notice your baby kicking more often. These movements and kicks might be painful, but apart from this, your body will ache because of all the extra weight that you have put on.
It is common for most moms to feel pain in their knees, lower back, and neck. Use a cold and warm compress to ease your pain and rest as often as you can.
You may feel like you are running to the bathroom every little while. This is because your baby drops into your pelvis and puts a lot of pressure on your bladder. Don’t drink too much fluid at night. Frequent urination may be annoying, but it is not a problem. But if you notice severe back pain or blood in your urine, seek medical attention as it may be a urinary tract infection.
Swelling of the legs and ankles is a problem that affects many moms during the third trimester. If your body retains extra fluids, avoid salty food and drink a lot of water to flush it out. Because of this extra pressure, you may develop varicose veins or spider veins. Wear support stockings to ease the pain or lift your feet up whenever possible.
Sudden swelling could indicate preeclampsia, so contact your doctor if you notice any sudden swelling, headache, abdominal pain on the upper right side, and high blood pressure.
Vaginal and Breast Changes
You may notice that in the third trimester, your vaginal discharge appears to be more mucous-like, and it may even have a reddish tint. This means that it has a little bit of blood in it. If you pass a big blob of mucus, that means you are nearing labor, and your cervix is thinning out. Seek medical attention if vaginal discharge is cheesy, green, yellow, or thick or if you noticed blood coming out from your vagina.
Don’t be surprised if your breasts grow a few cup sizes larger. It’s because you are gaining breast tissue, and it may even leak or yellowish fluid, which is colostrum. This is totally normal.
Other than this, you may have trouble sleeping at night due to discomfort and insomnia. You may also experience heartburn, shortness of breath, hemorrhoids, and increased Braxton Hicks contractions. Always follow your instincts and seek immediate medical attention if you ever feel that something is truly wrong.