The Third Trimester : Getting Ready For Birth
During the last trimester of your pregnancy your uterus will expand more than you thought it possibly could. The pressure on your bladder and rectum will return, but now you will also have to deal with pressure on your lungs, making it difficult to breath.
Some other discomforts may include:
- Swelling Feet and Ankles
This is especially common during the hotter months, although most women will suffer from this during their pregnancy. As your pregnancy nears the last few weeks it is a good idea to try and stay off your feet as much as possible. Read our articles on bloating during pregnancy to help with methods to try and ease this discomfort.
- Varicose Veins
Many pregnant women develop varicose veins on their legs or even in the vagina or vulva, and these can be especially uncomfortable. Walking is a good way to encourage circulation through your body but remember to try and keep off your feet as much as possible to avoid excessive swelling.
- Loose Hips
The bones in your pelvis are linked together with cartilage and near the end of your pregnancy this cartilage softens to make it easier for the baby to pass through. This is what makes women in late pregnancy seem to “waddle” when they walk. Sometimes these changes cause an aching feeling in your hips or at the pubic bone.
- Braxton-Hicks Contractions
Most women experience what is known as braxton-hicks. As your body prepares for labor, your will experience some tightenings of the uterus that may be uncomfortable but are not usually painful. The more pregnancies you have had the general trend is that these will start earlier and feel stronger.
- Disrupted Sleep
At this late stage of your pregnancy, between the baby kicks, your frequent visits to the bathroom and constantly trying to get comfortable, most women find a good nights sleep to be very difficult to come by. Perhaps this is training you for the sleepless nights which will be coming your way after your pregnancy?
Pregnancy Danger Signs
There are always going to be some discomforts and physical changes during pregnancy, but should you feel any of the following then your should contact your healthcare provider ASAP!
- Severe Nausea
While some queasiness and vomiting is common in early pregnancy, if you are so sick that you can’t eat, vomit frequently or are losing weight your doctor should be contacted.
Some spotting, usually a slight red, pink or brownish vaginal discharge is not unusual early in the pregnancy. However, if the bleeding is heavy at any time during your pregnancy, this is not normal and should be seen to immediately. Read our article on Spotting or bleeding during pregnancy.
- Severe Headaches, Blurred Vision, Dizziness
All these may be signs of high blood pressure, which can be a problem during pregnancy. Our article on headaches during pregnancy will offer you some methods of relief from this common side effect.
- Regular Contractions, Even If Not Very Painful
Some premature labors begin with contractions that seem mild and with only moderate intensity. If you are not sure if this is real is labor, it’s better to check with your doctor – especially if it is only a few weeks before your due date.
- No Fetal Movement
If you notice that the baby seems to have not moved for 12 to 24 hours you should contact your doctor promptly. Read our article on kick counting for more info.
- Ruptured Membranes
Once the membranes that contain the amniotic fluid have ruptured, labor is likely to begin soon and the risk of infection is slightly higher. Call your caregiver for advice on how to proceed. Read more on ruptured membranes.