In this phase of pregnancy, the body is preparing itself to give birth to a new individual, a baby. So most of the physiological changes happen as a result of that process. Some symptoms of the first and second trimester may continue into this phase as well. However, a few common symptoms particular to this phase of pregnancy are given as follows.
1. Heartburn: Women in their third trimester of pregnancy often complain of acidity and heartburn. This happens as a result of the growing uterus pushing on the stomach and other organs.
The increased level of hormones produced by the body to relax the muscles preparing for birth also relaxes the stomach walls. This slows the digestion of food causing heartburn. Eating a diet low in fatty foods, taking enough fluids and eating in small quantities can provide some relief.
2. Swelling of feet, face: Swelling of feet or face is also quite common. Sitting with feet resting on any elevated platform, continuing with regular soft impact exercises like swimming, pregnancy yoga, pregnancy pilates, and walking may help. If there is swelling, along with rapid weight gain, consultation with the doctor is essential.
3. Tender Breasts: As the pregnancy comes to term, the body starts adjusting for the birth and aftercare of the child. Changes occur in the breasts for the production of milk and hence they feel tender and big. There may even be some leaking and at this stage you may be required to wear breast pads.
4. Aches and Pains: Throughout your pregnancy you would be experiencing some form of aches and pains in your body. However, by this stage of the pregnancy women become far more aware of them. The uterus grows to accommodate the growing baby. And so it pushes up against the ribcage to rise about two inches, pushing the lower ribs to spread outwards. This can cause some rib pain and even sore ribs, towards the end.
With the pregnancy nearing full term, lower back pain is quite common as well. The center of gravity is altered with the ever increasing weight of the baby. The loosening of the pelvic joints as the body prepares for the imminent birth will not help the situation either, Regular soft-impact pregnancy exercise can still help to reduce discomfort. Wearing of flat shoes is also advised.
5. Sleeping Problems: As the "bump" increases in size finding the right comfortable position while sleeping can become quite challenging. Mostly sleeping on the side with one knee to the chest and the other stretched out would probably be the most comfortable sleeping position. An aid of a pregnancy pillow too is highly recommended. These can be found in most stores specializing in pregnancy related products- like Mother Care or they may be obtained online.
6. Increased Urination: As the baby pushes into the bladder the need to urinate more and more frequently will increase.
7. Contractions: Braxton hicks contractions is when the uterus hardens and then contract. It is like a practice run the body goes through for labor. Many women are not even aware of having them as they usually last for about 30 to 40 seconds.
Life is magic, the way nature works seems to be quite magical. - Jonas Salk
- Pregnancy - Version (II) Dec. 2009.
- Conception pregnancy and birth, by Dr. Miriam Stoppard, Revised version 2008
- Practical Parenting Pregnancy and Birth – Gill Thorn
- The best Friends Guide to mother hood – Vicki Lovine
- Ask A midwife – Catharine Parker Littler