How Your Body Changes In The Third Trimester

Often touted as the most uncomfortable period of pregnancy, third trimester can leave you physically and emotionally drained and you probably can’t wait for the delivery to happen, especially with frustrating false alarms and sleepless nights. Along with the discomforts, there is an undeniable excitement building up to meet your little one for the first time. Expect to undergo quite a few of the symptoms mentioned below:

  • Frequent Contractions:

What started as mild, infrequent contractions can now seem stronger and slightly more frequent. Towards the end of this trimester, you could even see impressions of your baby’s feet, part of buttocks; head etc as he/she tries to make space in the already overcrowded uterus. If the contractions are too frequent, call the doctor right away.

  • The Return Of The Reflux:

Heartburn and reflux from the first trimester is what you had been dreading and it will return to give you sleepless nights but can be managed to an extent if avoid spicy, sour, fried food and also too much water. Always drink to thirst and have small frequent meals to keep yourself filled up. Most women sleep with their upper body proper up to avoid heartburn.

  • Leaky Breasts:

You might experience leakage from your breasts as you get closer to your due date. This yellowish discharge is called colostrum1 that would be your baby’s first food after birth. Do not try to express at this stage. Use washable or disposable breast pads if you feel uncomfortable.

  • Huffing And Puffing:

Have you wondered why taking climbing up or down your regular flight of stairs is leaving you panting for breath? Shortness of breath is a common complaint in the third trimester because your growing uterus keeps putting pressure on your diaphragm and you end up feeling breathless. Practice your prenatal breathing exercises and maintain good posture to give more space to your lungs.

  • Increased Urination:

All the first trimester issues are here to pay you a visit all over again. As your baby prepares for birth, it moves downward into your pelvis and places more pressure on your bladder which is why your washroom visits will become frequent. You might also tend to leak some urine while laughing, sneezing or coughing. Continue practicing your Kegels2 to keep your pelvic floor intact.

  • Swelling And Varicose Veins:

The blood vessels in your legs and feet are continually under immense pressure and this might lead to swelling in legs and feet. Since blood circulation is also increased, you might notice bluish veins under the skin of your legs that are otherwise known as varicose veins3 and can be quite painful. These can be avoided with proper posture.

  • Vaginal Discharge:

Frequent vaginal discharge is common towards the end of pregnancy but if it is accompanied by a foul smell, itchiness or any other discomfort, contact your doctor immediately. If you sense the leakage of amniotic fluid, rush to the nearest hospital.

Expect yourself to be nervous and excited at the same time. The unpredictability of birth and after might give you frequent jitters but remember to sleep and eat well and stay as active as your body permits.

References:

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colostrum
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kegel_exercise
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varicose_veins