By the time the third trimester begins, you already have gone through two-third of the journey. But the baby inside still has a lot to be grown. Looking at your tummy you may feel that there is little scope for expansion but it will expand and at a rate faster than ever before. These changes are crucial for the baby’s extra uterine survival. The more the pregnancy advances, the safer it becomes for the baby. It can be the most challenging period for the mother with the variable feelings of tiredness and excitement.

Expected body changes:

Most of the inconveniences you face are attributable to physical expansion. Knowledge about expected body changes can help you enjoy the climax without unnecessary worries, such as:

Backache: The back supports the extra weight of baby and also yours and partly because of high secretion of the pregnancy hormone relaxin, the joints tend to loosen up. The back muscles tend to be stiff and at times it may pain badly. Practice of a good posture, healthy diet, consult your exercise expert for help, prevention of undue weight gain are helpful preventive measures. A heating pad can be used.

Braxton Hicks Contractions: This refers to the stiffness you may feel in abdomen and it may occur frequently in the third trimester. These are due to changes in the uterus that prepares itself for childbirth. The main difference from labor pains is that these are not as intense, do not increase in frequency and to gradually wane off without treatment.

Breast Enlargement: By the end of your pregnancy, your breasts will have grown by as much as two pounds. Wearing a good supportive bra will prevent the pain. Some women may experience yellowish fluid or milky secretion from the nipples, due to pregnancy related hormones. Rest Assured! It is perfectly normal.

Fatigue: The fatigability may once again trouble you. Besides hormones, the added causes are extra weight, frequent urination breaking your sleep cycle at night and anxiety.

Frequent Urination: This is mainly because the growing baby presses on the bladder. You may also find that you are leaking urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise, again due to pressure effects and loosening of ligaments. Do consult your doctor in case you are wetting to differentiate it from water bag rupture around baby.

Epigastric pain and Chest Discomfort: The expanding uterus rises up and sits just under your rib cage responsible for difficult breathing and hardness in upper abdomen. Breathing exercises are helpful.

Spider & Varicose Veins: Overall increased blood circulation can cause tiny veins on the skin, known as spider veins. These fade after delivery. Also, the blood stagnates in lower limbs leading to visible superficial veins, known as Varicose Veins. Varicose veins also generally improve within a few months after delivery.

Heart Burn & Indigestion: Once again, these two related ailments of the first trimester tend to aggravate, mainly because of smooth muscle relaxation along the entire gastrointestinal tract.

Stretch marks: To accommodate the growing size of baby your body stretches to the extent that stretch marks start showing up.

Swelling: Your rings might be feeling tighter and you may notice swelling around your ankles and that your face is bloated. A mild degree of such changes is unavoidable due to fluid retention. But a sudden onset swelling and rapidly increasing swelling, immediately consult your doctor.

Weight Gain: Aim for a weight gain of .25 to .5 Kg per week during the third trimester of pregnancy. Both Too less or Too much weight gain are troublesome.

  • Aim for a high fiber diet with lots of fruits and vegetables and low-fat form of protein
  • Keep the body active. Walking is best exercise. Yoga, Pilates, antenatal exercises are good ways to stay active in the third trimester. Work out your pelvic floor by Kegel’s exercises.
  • Sleep on your side, use pillows to support your upper leg and back for better comfort.
  • Practice good sitting posture. Sit up straight and use a chair that provides good back support.
  • Wear low heeled, comfortable shoes with good arch support.
  • Avoid long standing, don’t sit with feet hanging for long duration
  • Time to discuss your birth preferences with your treating doctor and good idea to take childbirth classes
  • Make less demands on yourself
  • Cut down fluid intake at night time to avoid frequent urination at night
  • Severe Abdominal Pain or Cramps
  • Bleeding
  • Water Break
  • Severe dizziness
  • Severe nausea or Vomiting
  • Pain or burning while passing urine
  • Rapid weight Gain
  • Headache
  • Rapid Swelling

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