Congratulations, mum-to-be! You have finally reached the third trimester of your pregnancy. While your little one is still on their way, pat yourself on the back for making sure both of you are staying strong. Keep doing so because things will get tough, but I believe the fighter in you is fiercer!
It may feel as if there is no way your tummy can grow any bigger, but during the third trimester, your baby will grow and develop still--at a faster pace even. In fact, during this period, they will gain more or less half of their birth weight. Their brain will evolve, too, allowing them to dream and to regulate their body temperature. By this time, they may even taste the food you eat and hear your voice! Hence, make sure to speak your love. Also, their movements will become more apparent, for their cartilages will strengthen into bones.
Their random nudges will sometimes feel painful, but these little flutters will be worth it--much like the bodily changes and other pregnancy symptoms that await you over the next three months or so. Now, what are these?
Heartburn and Shortness of Breath
As your uterus expands, it will press upwards against your rib cage and diaphragm, resulting in breathing difficulties and heartburn. Allow more room for your lungs by practising good posture at all times.
Your baby will take up more space in your gorgeous belly, which will bring about occasional abdominal cramps and sharp pains as it expands. Unfortunately, there is little you can do to alleviate the discomfort but to go for the coziest position when you are sitting or lying down.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
These irregular contractions in the uterus are your body's way of warming you up for labour. Such false signals will start as mild but may become painful and even develop as real labour contractions--which are continuous and more intense--as your due date nears. Move or change positions from time to time to shoo these discomforts away.
Lower Back Pain
The growing baby bump will push itself forward, and the additional weight will increase pressure to your back. Also, your pregnancy hormones will widen your cervix as well as relax the ligaments of your pelvis, causing it to expand. All these will result in back pain--which may extend to the lower extremities--and may make you feel like a mama penguin. Hence, try your best to practise good posture at all times. During the night, try sleeping on your side with a pillow tucked between your legs. You will benefit from regular walks and stretching, too!
During pregnancy, your precious body produces extra bodily fluids to meet your baby’s needs. Retention of extra fluids may result in swelling, commonly in the feet and ankles. Prevent these by minimizing sodium and adding potassium in your diet. Additionally, wearing comfortable footwear as well as elevating your legs when sitting and sleeping will bring relief.
Varicose and Spider Veins
Your body also produces extra blood to support two growing bodies. Increased volumes may cause pressure on the blood vessels, causing varicose and spider veins to surface. The former are bulging veins, commonly observed in the legs, while the latter are smaller, usually seen on the face, neck, or arms. Though these disappear after delivery, you can prevent these with a fibre-rich diet. Exercising your legs as well as elevating these in any resting position may help, too.
Some women develop these tiny tears on the skin, usually at their breasts, belly, thighs, and behind. Though these marks are permanent, these can be made less noticeable by regular moisturizing.
As you might know, your breasts started to produce colostrum--the first form of breast milk--during the previous trimester. As you near your due date, you might experience some leaks from your breasts. These are normal and nothing to worry about!
Frequent Urination and Lack of Bladder Control
As your baby moves deeper down into your pelvis, they may press and cause tension on your bladder. Because of this, you might find yourself at the loo more often than you did in the past couple of years. Kidding aside, you might experience little leaks when your body experiences pressure--as in when you laugh, sneeze, cough, bend, and lift. I recommend wearing a panty liner. Also, skip drinking fluids before bed to avoid bathroom visits at night. However, if you feel a flow of watery discharge, it could be the amniotic fluid or your water breaking. If this happens, contact your doctor at once.
In addition to sleeping difficulties, the physical demands of pregnancy and the psychological preparation for motherhood can take a toll on every expecting mother. Navigate the current and prepare for the next stages of motherhood like a queen with my colleagues from Baby Wonderland. Allow their wellness tips and excellent advice to guide you in every step of the way. They believe that a happy and nourished baby takes after a joyful and healthy mum. Hence, give your energy a boost by eating healthily and practising regular pregnancy-safe workouts. Above everything, make sure you get ample rest.
What better way to treat yourself than having a relaxing yet fun maternity photoshoot? If you want to have one in Brisbane, you can trust a professional maternity photographer like Renee Joanne Photography to capture the incredible changes in your body. Just flaunt your gorgeous bump and allow Renee to take captivating photographs that tell the story of this remarkable chapter of your life. She also offers special packages, which are a perfect gift for the little one you have been dying to meet. When little bub has grown, not only will they see how warmly you have welcomed them in this world but will appreciate the opportunity to keep mementos of your first intimate moments together.