Every woman has her own experiences of becoming a mother that make their journey unique and special. The third trimester symptoms usually occur from the 29th week and continue till the 40th week until delivery.
The most common symptoms during this period include discomfort in movement and anxiety, which eventually results in a wonderful journey ahead as a parent.
Here in this article we shall discuss the third trimester symptoms and some important tips that expecting mothers must follow:
Changes in your body during the third trimester
- Pain at the back and hips
You may experience hip and back pain as you reach two third of your gestation phase. Hence, you may need to change your sitting or sleeping postures according to your comfort level.
During the third trimester, your progesterone level increases leading to relaxation of your pelvic joints and muscles. This happens in order to accommodate your uterus, which has fully expanded by now.
- Restless leg syndrome
During the evening, you may feel restless and may want your legs to be pulled by someone. Although there are various theories behind this particular symptom, doctors are not very sure about the reasons that cause restlessness of legs. It usually disappears once you have delivered your child. This is called the Restless Leg Syndrome.
- Varicose veins and oedema
Swelling of feet (oedema) and varicose veins are two prominent third trimester symptoms faced by women during their gestation period. Your feet and ankles are swollen when there is retention of fluid in your lower part.
Varicose veins are bulging of your blood vessels in which blood flow in the backward direction. It happens when the valves inside your arteries become weak and soft and cannot circulate blood properly. Sometimes, the varicose veins may cause pain in your legs.
By the end of the eighth month you may feel Braxton-Hicks contractions or as they are commonly called pre-contractions. This is one of the major symptoms of labour and a thrilling experience for an expecting mother. Such mild contractions are usually felt at the frontal part of your abdomen and disappear after some time.
The pre-contractions actually prepare your body for real contractions and labour.
Symptoms of labour
There are few more symptoms you should not ignore as they may indicate your impending labour:
- Contractions occur at regular intervals. They are progressively closer, longer and more intense. Your back pain during third trimester pregnancy may be an early sign of imminent labour if it gradually transmutes to the frontal part of your abdomen.
- Mucous plug is shed off. Often there are bloody stains.
- You may need to keep changing your body position although that may not seem to be quite helpful.
- Loosening of joints due to secretion of the Relaxin hormone. This hormone makes your pelvic joints soft and loose.
- Watery stools due to relation of the pelvic muscles before delivery.
- Vaginal discharge becomes frequent and thicker in consistency. This is an alarming symptom of the third trimester, which you should not ignore.
- Dilation of your cervix that happens few hours before your delivery. Your doctor or mid-wife will confirm you about that during pre-natal check-up.
- Eventually, you may feel water breaking. It is a major third trimester symptom of labour.
Third trimester ‘to-do’s
As you experience third trimester symptoms from the seventh month of pregnancy, you need to take care of a lot of things.
Below are listed a few last trimester tips that will prepare you for a smooth delivery:
- Observe your baby’s movements as it is a significant third trimester symptom of pregnancy.
- Be aware of the third trimester symptoms not to ignore e.g. spotting, pre-eclampsia (which usually occurs on the 20th week of gestation), high BP, blurred vision etc.
- Include food with high iron content as your baby will draw iron from your body. It may lead you to anaemia if you do not replenish it externally.
- Do some free hand exercises and stretches every day. It will make your pelvic joints flexible and prevent you from stomach and back pain during pregnancy third trimester.
- Keep your hospital bag ready well ahead of your delivery date for an emergency.
Things to avoid during third trimester
- Lifting heavy things may give you back pain during pregnancy third trimester. Avoid lifting heavy bag or things alike.
- Don’t stress yourself with your labour. It can make things worse.
- Avoid eating out or having street food. Healthy eating plays an important role in safe delivery.
- Do not pay heed to rumours about childbirth. If you have any confusion, consult your doctor or midwife and get your queries answered.
Now that you have gained considerable information about the third trimester symptoms and the ways you can deal with them, get ready to welcome a new life into your family!