This stage of pregnancy marks the end of your long awaited period of pregnancy, a time where you expect the arrival of your baby. This stage is from week 28 – week 40 and can be seen as the most challenging period due to how you feel.
This is when you having contractions and you need to get used to the signs of real labor which involves signs like strong and regular contractions, vaginal discharge, and back pain e t c.
During this period you tend to feel tired and feel excited or worry about the baby as the position of the baby tends to be very important at this stage of pregnancy.
You may tend to be very strong at this period but gradually you will discover that your body is slowing down naturally and you will discover that your belly gets much bigger.
All you need at this period is attending aqua natal or Pilate’s yoga classes and walking will help to keep you active and strong.
Symptoms of Third Trimester Pregnancy
1. Tiredness – during this period you tend to feel weak and tired the more due to the extra weight you are carrying and the waking up several times at night to visit the washroom and the thought of how the delivery day will tend to affect your energy level.
All you need to do at this period to keep you going is relaxing on a chair with good back support, engaging in regular exercises such as prenatal yoga and swimming, eat healthy meals and snacks always. But if the tiredness gets worse, talk to your doctor for advice on what to do.
2. Breast enlargement – during this period your breasts tend to be very big due to the preparation of your breast glands to feed your baby, also you may experience some yellowish substance called colostrums leaking from your breast.
It is normal as this is the first milk that will nourish your baby after birth. All you need to do is to wear a supportive bra so that the weight of your breast does not affect your back.
3. Vaginal discharge – during this period you tend to experience some vaginal discharge, when your day of delivery gets closer you may see slight blood discharge or thick clear discharge, it signifies that your cervix has started opening getting ready for labor.
In cases where you experience a sudden outbreak of fluid from your vagina it means your water has broken and you need to call your doctor immediately.
4. Shortness of breath – during this period your uterus gets enlarge till it reaches under your rib cage giving your lungs a little space to expand due to this you tend to have shortness of breath as a result of this pressure on your lungs.
All you need to do is to engage in exercise or try to raise your head and shoulders while sleeping with the help of pillows or practice good sleeping posture to help your lungs expand the more.
5. Swellings – during this period you might experience some mild swellings on your ankles, face, legs or hands due to your body retaining more fluids but if you experience sudden swellings on your body call your doctor as it might be sign of preeclampsia, a dangerous complication during pregnancy.
In cases of the mild swellings all you need to do is to avoid crossing of legs while sitting, avoid standing for a long period of time, always place your feet on a stool or box when you sit for a long period of time and raise your feet with pillows while you sleep.
6. Backache – when you get to this stage of pregnancy you will experience some sore and achy feelings on your back due to the added pressure on your back. This is because your pregnancy hormone relaxes making your protruding belly to pull to the centre of gravity also making your joints to be looked between the bones in your pelvic area and hips as your body prepares for labor.
All these adds more pressure to your back making it more achy, all you need to do is to always sit on chairs that gives your back adequate support and at night when you sleep try sleeping on your side with pillows tucked between your legs.
Also when choosing your foot wears, opt for low-heeled shoes that have good arch support, you can always ask your partner to give you a back massage. In cases where the pains persist please call the attention of your doctor.
7. Frequent visit to the ladies – due to the size and weight of your growing baby, he or she will be lying upside down that is the head facing downwards preparing for labor.
This position adds more pressure on your bladder making you to visit the washroom or ladies consistently even at night, you might even experience leaking urine whenever you laugh, exercise, sneeze or cough all these are normal signs.
All you need to do is to wear a panty liner to absorb your leaky urine and avoid drinking lots of fluids before going to bed at night so as to minimize your frequent visit to the ladies at late nights.
In cases where you feel pains or any kind of burning whenever you urinate, these may be signs of urinary tract infection please report to your doctor immediately as this could be signs of pregnancy complications.
8. Forgetfulness – during this stage your protruding belly is throwing you off balance making you to forget things easily, never mind just take things easy and feel happy always.
9. Stretch marks – due to the size of your baby your skin is over stretched to the limit, you will see some tiny tears on your belly. Never mind it will disappear after delivery, all you need to do is to keep your skin moisturized to reduce its appearance.
10. Waddling – as your due date draws near your baby switch positions, dropping slightly his or her head facing downwards in preparation for delivery. This can make you waddle like a duck towards the end of your pregnancy.
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11.Braxton Hicks contractions – during this stage of pregnancy you tend to have some mild feelings of contractions, these contractions are usually considered as warm ups for the real labor to come as they come and go unpredictably.
All these prepares your uterus for the real labor, the difference between the real labor and this is that in real labor the pains comes often and more intense. When this is noticed call your doctors immediately as the baby is near.
12.Spider veins – due to your increase in blood circulation, this makes you to experience some tiny veins on your skin known as spider veins. This may be more during this stage of pregnancy but never mind it will fade away after delivery.
13.Varicose veins – this is as a result of the added pressure on your legs from your growing baby, this leads to the surfacing of some purplish or bluish swollen veins on your legs known as varicose veins.
This develops mostly on your legs, calves, thighs even the rectum, this cannot be avoided during this stage of pregnancy but can be prevented from getting worse by raising your legs with the help of a stool if you tend to sit for long period of time, by moving around rather than standing on a particular spot for a long period of time and by wearing a support hose. But never mind as it will fade away after delivery.
14.Increase in weight – as your pregnancy ends, you should have added about 25 – 35 pounds to your weight. These added weights consist of your baby’s weight, added breast tissues, the placenta amniotic fluid, and volume of fluid in the body and the increase in the volume of your blood. The estimated size and weight of your baby will be checked by your doctor for advice through the ultra sound result given.
15.Fetal activity – during this period of pregnancy you will experience some fetal activities such as kicking, poking and other movements from your baby. These are normal signs as it shows how healthy your baby is.
16.Hemorrhoids – these are varicose veins formed around your anus, it veins expands because of the increase in your weight and increase in blood flow through them whereby adding more pressure to your anus.
This feels itchy and gives you discomfort, all you need to do is to talk to your doctor before taking any medications such as stool softener or ointment.
17.Heart burn and constipation – these happen due to the extra production of progesterone hormone which causes some muscles in your body to relax including the muscles in your esophagus that helps to keep food eaten and acids down in your stomach.
You can reduce your heart burn by avoiding fried foods, eating smaller meals throughout the day, avoiding spicy, greasy and acidic foods like citrus fruits. You can reduce constipation by drinking lots of fluids and increase your fiber intake. In cases where the heart burn and constipation persist report to your doctor for advice that may be safe for you.
18.Bleeding – if this sign is noticed during this stage of pregnancy it indicates serious problems most times such as placental abruption which is the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall or placenta previa which is when the placenta grows low whereby covering the cervix or it indicates preterm labor. Whenever this is noticed cal your doctor immediately.
Things that require urgent doctor’s attention during the third stage of your pregnancy are:
Severe cramps or abdominal pain.
A sudden increase in weight more than expected or sudden reduction in weight.
Severe vomiting or nausea.
Feelings of burning or pains when urinating.
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