You’ve made it to the third trimester! You’re in the home stretch and soon you’ll be bringing your baby home. Unfortunately, there are still a few hurdles to get over. The third trimester can bring new symptoms and intensify symptoms you already developed in the first and second trimesters. It can be a rough few months but will totally worth it when your baby arrives. Here are 7 common third trimester symptoms you should prepare for.
None of the information in this post should be used in place of medical advice. These are simply my opinions based on experience and research. Always consult your healthcare professionals if you have concerns.
This is post 19 in my series, 31 days of tips for the mom to be.
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Tums may soon become your new best friends. I highly recommend keeping some in your purse for on the go. While the heartburn starts a little for me in the second trimester it tends to increase a lot in the third trimester. Your baby is growing quickly and pushing organs upwards and out of the way which can wreck havoc with your digestive system. Even water can give you heartburn late in your pregnancy. Luckily mine went away as soon as my daughter was born and yours may do the same.
2. swollen feet and legs
With the extra weight and your circulatory working on overdrive, you may find your feet and even your legs can become swollen. Try to stay hydrated, avoid large amounts of sodium, and keep your feet elevated when you’re sitting. You may also need to purchase compression socks to help combat the swelling.
If your swelling is severe or comes on quickly, especially in areas other than your legs and feet, contact your care provider as these can be signs of preeclampsia.
3. spider veins/varicose veins
Those compression socks may also come in handy if you’re dealing with spider veins or varicose veins. Spider veins are noticeable veins near the surface of the skin that can appear in a web type pattern. They occur more often in the legs but can appear anywhere on the body. Varicose veins are enlarged veins caused by the increased blood flow and occur most often in the legs. While both of these are usually harmless be sure to bring it up to your doctor to be safe.
Compression socks, elevating your feet, exercise, and staying hydrated can all help to combat these vein issues. If you keep the blood flowing and avoid allowing it to pool and create pressure in the legs it may reduce these vein issues. But unfortunately, some of it is just genetic.
Constipation is often experienced across the entire pregnancy as your body changes. But, often in the third trimester, a pregnant woman will be asked to take extra iron supplements as the baby may begin to make you anemic. While the iron is important for mom and baby the supplements can be hard on your digestive system. You may need to ask your care provider about taking a stool softener as well to help ease things along. Constant constipation can contribute to hemorrhoids.
Hemorrhoids are actually a form of varicose veins that occur in the rectum. The biggest cause of hemorrhoids during pregnancy is constipation. The increased pressure down there can also contribute to the problem. Hemorrhoids are often uncomfortable or even downright painful and can even cause bleeding from the area.
Take measures to prevent constipation to help avoid the issue. If you develop hemorrhoids you can use tucks pads, these will also be your best friends post-partum. A warm bath with or without baking soda may also help ease discomfort.
6. leaking breasts
If you notice a wet spot on your shirt or feel something dripping from your breasts don’t panic! Throughout your pregnancy, your breasts have been growing and preparing to serve as a food source for your baby. The dripping liquid is colostrum, this is what your baby will get as nutrients before your milk comes in fully.
To stop embarrassing wet spots you can buy some simple breast pads. You can get both single-use breast pads as well as reusable breast pads. Even better, you can try to capture and save that liquid gold. Colostrum is full of great nutrients and having some on hand before your baby is born is great! It can also help if your baby has any latch issues in those early weeks.
To collect it you could try using milk savers if you are leaking quite a bit. Otherwise, you can try hand expressing colostrum with the permission of your doctor or midwife. DO NOT use a breast pump as this could cause you to go into early labor. The best person to consult about breastfeeding questions, including collecting colostrum, is your local lactation consultant.
Despite all these potential uncomfortable symptoms you may get hit with the nesting bug which will make you want to clean and organize despite feeling a bit physically run down! There is a certain biological urge that hits many women later in pregnancy to clean and create a safe environment for their soon to arrive baby. Just be careful not to overdo it! You may also need to be careful of what chemicals you use to clean with and always work in a well-ventilated space if you are using strong chemicals. Check out my non-toxic products series for some ideas on less toxic alternatives.