Many women consider the third trimester the most challenging aspect of their pregnancy. As your body continues to change and your baby grows, you may find yourself physically exhausted and emotionally drained.
We understand this, and we want to let you know that we’ve helped hundreds of area women through this final stretch of pregnancy joining them on the journey to motherhood and rejoicing with them at the birth of their child.
We’d like to prepare you for some of those third trimester symptoms as well as options for relief.
7 Common Third Trimester Symptoms
1. Braxton Hicks
These are irregular contractions that may grow stronger as your due date gets closer.
There are some differences between Braxton Hicks and labor pains. We go into them in greater detail in this article but in brief, actual labor pains occur when the contractions come at regular intervals and gradually increase in strength. If this happens to you, contact us.
You may notice that one of your third trimester symptoms is heartburn. This may vary in tensity. If you want relief, avoid fried foods and be sure to eat smaller meals. Spicy foods are also best to keep off your plate. If you’ve tried these techniques and still have issues with heartburn, contact us so we can find a solution.
3. Back Pain
This is one of the most common third trimester symptoms, and one that many pregnant women find the most challenging. Pregnancy hormones relax or loosen ligaments in the pelvic area to prepare your body for labor.
Following are some useful tips for alleviating your back pain that is a part of your third trimester symptoms:
- Avoid wearing high heels or flats—look for shoes with good arch support.
- Use chairs that have good back support.
- Engage in appropriate exercise that won’t hurt your back.
- Sleep on your side, not your back—you may need support pillows to ensure that you’re in the right position.
- Try a massage. There are massage therapists who specialize in helping expectant mothers.
4. Going to the Bathroom More Often
As your baby grows, they’ll place more pressure on your bladder. As a result, you will need to urinate more often. Don’t be embarrassed if you occasionally leak urine when you cough or laugh. This is not unusual. Panty liners can be an effective solution.
However, you should notify us as soon as possible if you think you’re leaking amniotic fluid.
5. Spider Veins
Don’t be surprised if you notice red-purplish veins that appear on your neck, arms and face. These are spider veins, and they typically disappear after delivery. You may also have varicose veins in your legs.
These cause itching in your anal area and can be one of the more irritating third trimester symptoms. Need effective solutions? Try the following:
- Eat plenty of fiber
- Elevate your legs
- Continue your exercise routine, or start one if you don’t have one (we can help you find safe and appropriate exercises)
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Soak in a tub of warm water
7. Emotional Challenges
Your body is experiencing a lot of hormonal changes. Whether this is your first or your third child, every pregnancy is different. You may find yourself anxious about the delivery and overwhelmed by the number of things that have to be ready for the baby’s arrival.
We’re here to support you emotionally as well as physically. We encourage you to take one of our Centering Pregnancy ® classes, especially if this is your first child. These classes offer support and encouragement and give you the chance to interact with other mothers who are due around the same time you are.
Chapel Hill OBGYN Will Help You Face and Overcome the Challenges of Third Trimester Symptoms
We have not only treated hundreds of women, but we have also treated generations of women in the same family. We consider this a special privilege and a sacred trust.
We can assure you that not only will we be there for you, but we will be quick to respond if you have any questions or concerns during your pregnancy. If you’re having difficulty with third trimester symptoms, we want to know. Contact us for an appointment.