Why Do I Have So Much Discomfort in My Last Trimester?

Discomfort During Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy can be the most exciting as your baby rapidly develops and your body continues to change in preparation for delivery. Your baby’s movements will likely become more and more obvious as you experience kicking, shifting and other sensations.

As exciting as this is, it can also mean additional and increasing discomfort on your body. Here are some common symptoms of late pregnancy and how to deal with them to help you understand what to expect and hopefully decrease your discomfort.

Why Do I have Backaches?

Backaches are a very typical symptom that will affect most women in the third trimester. Back pain is caused by the changes in your body. Strain coming from weight gain is the most obvious cause. Also, pregnancy hormones will begin to relax the joints between the bones in your pelvic area, which can cause aches in the back and hips.

Backache Relief Idea:

Try to avoid prolonged standing as this may cause strain, and when you sit choose a chair with proper back support. Putting your feet up on an ottoman or stool may also help to relieve discomfort. Massages can also be helpful, either from a professional or from your partner.

Why Do I have Swelling?

Swelling is an almost unavoidable issue during the third trimester. Your expanding uterus puts pressure on the veins that return blood from your lower extremities, causing swelling in your feet and ankles. Also, fluid retention and dilated blood vessels may cause some puffiness in your face.

Swelling Relief Idea:

To reduce the symptoms of swelling, use a cold compress on the areas that are affected. Lying down to rest and elevating your feet can help with foot and ankle swelling. Some women experience relief by a light swim or simply relaxing in a pool – as long as it’s approved by your doctor.

Why Do I have Heartburn?

Heartburn during late pregnancy is caused by your uterus pushing your stomach and shifting it out of its normal position.

Heartburn Relief Idea:

Eating smaller, more frequent meals instead of three regular meals may help to ease heartburn. Drinking plenty of fluids may help as well. Talk to your doctor if symptoms persist or are severe.

Stretch marks and Frequency urination

Stretch marks are common in the third trimester as your abdomen and other areas continue to expand. Pink, red or purple streaks can also appear along your breasts, buttocks and thighs. Though stretch marks can’t be prevented, moisturizers can help and they will eventually fade.

Frequent urination is a late pregnancy symptom caused by pressure on your bladder as your baby moves deeper into your pelvis. This pressure may also cause you to leak urine during a laugh, cough or sneeze. This is totally normal, however you should watch for signs of a urinary track infection which include burning during urination, fever, and abdominal or back pain.

With so many changes happening to your baby and your body, it’s no wonder that the third trimester can be exciting as well as uncomfortable. Remember to eat healthy, stay positive and if you have symptoms that seem severe, persistent or unusual, ask your doctor.

Third Trimester Tips: Weight Gain and Exercise

Pregnant Exercise

During a normal pregnancy, you should expect to gain around 25-35 pounds. This will account for the weight of the baby as well as the placenta, extra fat stores, fluid and other necessary elements of a pregnancy.

Extra calories are needed to support the nutritional needs of the baby as well as energy to fuel your body’s pregnancy. Some doctors recommend eating small meals throughout the day instead of three normal ones. This is because your uterus is pressing on the stomach, which can make you feel fuller faster.

Remember to talk to your doctor about prenatal vitamins, calcium, fiber, water and other nutritional elements for a healthy pregnancy.

The extra weight gain in the last trimester can cause discomfort, and many women may wonder if exercise is an option. Most doctors can recommend some type of exercise to keep you healthy, prepare you for delivery and help to relieve some symptoms of discomfort.

There are good exercises that are safe to practice while pregnant, but you should talk to your doctor about any routine before you start to ensure that it’s appropriate for late pregnancy. Heavy weights should be avoided, as well as anything that is too strenuous or causes strain on the spine.

Also, avoid exercising in very hot or humid conditions as this can cause dehydration. Always stay hydrated when exercising, and avoid getting overheating. Loose fitting, comfortable clothing including supportive shoes and a good fitting sports bra will help you stay comfortable as well.

Prenatal yoga classes may be a good option for pregnant women. These classes can help to strengthen your body as well as relieve tension and stress. And because they are specifically designed for pregnant women, they are a safer alternative to traditional workouts.

Walking can also be a good exercise to boost energy and improve your mood. Any approved activity that can maintain good posture should also be encouraged as your extra weight may cause back, shoulder and leg pain.

Other benefits of exercise are promoting better sleep and maintaining muscle tone and strength. These benefits can help to ease discomfort, but additionally can help to prepare the body for labor.

Maintaining an exercise regimen during pregnancy may also make it easier on you to get back into a workout routine after the baby comes. There are typically many classes available to help women lose the baby weight and get in shape so you can keep up with your little one as they grow.

Unless you have a high-risk pregnancy or other condition that prevents you from doing exercise, it should be perfectly safe to include healthy activities into your daily routine. Talk to your doctor about what they recommend and what you should avoid.