Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms and Relief
Every pregnancy can produce different symptoms. Women who have more than one child may have very dissimilar experiences from one pregnancy to another. Following is a list of common symptoms during the third trimester, alone with simple relief measures.
This is the home stretch! Take comfort in knowing that all the symptoms will be over soon. You can expect to become extremely uncomfortable at this point. Toward the end, it's difficult to sit, stand, or sleep. You may feel an increase in energy and the urge to nest. Just take care not to overdo it. You still need to conserve your resources.
Shortness of breath - As the baby grows, more pressure is put on your lungs. Mild shortness of breath is normal and can usually be overcome by taking a rest and consciously deepening your breaths. However, if you feed a sudden shortness of breath or chest pain, you need to call doctor right away.
Difficulty sleeping - Anxiety and physical discomfort often lead to trouble sleeping. Consider it training for the weeks ahead with a new baby! Take naps when you can, even if it's only for ten minutes. Indulge in every opportunity for rest.
Braxton Hicks contractions - These are the false contractions that get your uterus ready for labor. They are actually real contractions, but they are not productive - meaning they don't open your womb to let the baby out. You may feel your abdomen tighten, or you may just feel a cramping sensation. You know they are Braxton Hicks because they are painless and irregular.
Leaking breasts - Some women will have the thick pre-milk substance known as colostrum leaking from their breasts late in pregnancy. Consider yourself lucky. Your breasts are ready and waiting for baby. This leaking will make it easier for baby to get at the first nutrient and antibody rich colostrum.
Stretch marks - These red streaks turn gray or white after pregnancy. They are caused by hormonal changes combined with the stretching of skin. Some women are genetically disposed to get stretch marks and others aren't. The best defense is to avoid gaining excess amounts of weight and to keep skin moisturized.
Nesting instinct - This is one of those symptoms that seem pretty hokey until you actually experience it. But ask any mother and you'll get a consensus. There is some kind of biological change that has the effect of making us want to clean out cupboards, scrub floors, and fold tiny clothes. It means you're close!
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