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Pregnancy Tips for Third Trimester- Weeks 28 to 40

Last Trimester of Pregnancy

Welcoming the Third Trimester:

Well you deserve an applause to have crossed the milestones of first trimester and second trimester so far and reached the third trimester of pregnancy. The third trimester of pregnancy is calculated from the 7th month till the end of the 9th month, until you deliver. This phase will again bring in different kinds of changes, signs and symptoms. Lets look at all the variations that will happen in your body as well as the growth in your child.

Signs and Symptoms of Third Trimester of Pregnancy:

1. Aching Back:

This starts in your second trimester of pregnancy and continues to become more and more painful. As your child grows, sleeping on your back is both uncomfortable and non recommended. Sleeping on your back will cause breathing difficulties and the blood supply to your child may reduce. Thus you must avoid it. The left side of your back is the ideal side to sleep. You may also sleep on your right side alternatively to relax your body. Apply pain balms and external creams for relief. Take hot water massage. Do not consume any pain killers as they may be detrimental to the health of your child. Use lots of pillows to support your aching back while sleeping.

2. Swollen Feet and Legs:

Since the weight of your body is increasing, your feet may swell up. A few women begin to experience this from their second trimester itself. Soak your feet inside a bucket full of hot water. Add some rock salt to this hot water. Your feet will begin to feel better. Apply ointments or massage oils to relax the muscles and nerves.

3. Uncontrollable urge to Urinate:

As your child grows, your bladder is pressurized. This makes you take the rounds of washroom more often than earlier. It becomes difficult to strike a balance between drinking lots of water and also tolerating the urge to pee. Do not worry, these are parts and parcels of pregnancy.

4. Heartburn:

If you haven’t experienced heartburn until you reached your third trimester, you are lucky. If you have, well the bad news is that the problem may just increase. The child exerts pressure on your stomach the the acid is thus pressed up across the esophagus. This causes acidity and heartburn. The doctor may prescribe medicines for relieving heartburn. With your doctor’s advice, take these medicines. One home remedy to treat acidity is to take half water and half cold milk in a small cup. Drink this milk. You will feel instant relief.

5. Lots of Baby Movements:

Your child is going to do all kinds of activities it can inside the walls of the amniotic sac. You are going to feel the fists and kicks of your child. Now you will also feel it moving inside you. The feeling is absolutely wonderful.

7. Leaking Breasts:

All of your body is preparing for the arrival of your little one. Your breasts also become tender. You will notice more dark area on your breast. They will also become heavier. Not only this, you may notice water discharge or leakage from your breasts too. This is a sign that your breasts are preparing to nurse and feed your child. This is the perfect time to start massaging your breast so that they may be ready to feed while your child is born. Use hot water to massage your nipples and loosen them up.

8. Braxton Hicks Contractions:

In your last trimester, you may feel contractions. Your stomach may ache. You may feel sudden shooting pain in your back. These are braxton hicks or false contractions. If resting or lying down reduces the pain or relieves your discomfort, then these are false contractions. They will occur in your final weeks of pregnancy. These are the early signs and symptoms of labor and one must pay attention to baby movements at this juncture.

9. Breathlessness:

In your final trimester, the size of your child is fast growing. This exerts pressure on your diaghram making breathing extremely difficult. You may have to spend your nights sitting. The reason for this will be the incapacity to breath while you lie down.

Baby Developments in the Third Trimester:

1. Seventh Month of Pregnancy:

This month is the first month of third trimester. In this month, your child will develop sensitivity to light. If you flash a torch light on your stomach, you will feel your baby moving inside. In this month, your doctor may also tell you about the position of your child. If the child is in breech position, the doctor may ask you to walk so that your child may change its position to head down.

A breech position is one in which the legs of the child are facing downwards. If the child does not change this position, it becomes difficult to have a vaginal delivery and the doctor may opt for a cesarean section mode of delivery. The doctor thus asks you to walk and be active so that your little one’s head may face downward and it may be delivered vaginally. If your child does not change position by the end of 7th month, do not panic. Most children change their positions even in the ninth month or sometimes a few days before delivery as well.

2. Eight Month of Pregnancy:

This month is again a crucial one. Your doctor advises you to take some rest again during this period. Your child will continue to develop inside. From the seventh to the ninth month, the weight of your little one becomes almost double. You may now begin to feel more and more uncomfortable with the amount of space that your child occupies in your stomach. Do not worry, you are coming closer to the day you hold the little magic in your hands.

3. Ninth Month of Pregnancy:

In your final month of pregnancy, your midwife or gynecologist will ask you to pay visits once in a week or once in ten days. She will examine your cervix for dilation. When you are closer to the delivering your child, your cervix becomes thin and it also expands to make space for your child. All this will be examined by your healthcare provider. Remember to keep your hospital bag ready. If you deliver your child anytime around 37th week, it will be considered normal. Some women deliver in their 39th week also.

List of Things in Your Hospital Bag:

Prepare two different bags. One for your child and one for yourself.

Things for the child:

Pair of clothes for your new born

Pack of Diapers

Small quilt and a blanket

Baby wipes

You may carry baby products like soap and shampoo for bathing and grooming of your little one. Most hospitals also offer these products. However you may choose what you want to use for your child well in advance and request the staff to use those.

List of Things in Your Bag:

Sanitary pads

Underwears

Spare clothes which are comfortable while feeding your child. Maternity wear is exclusively sold in the market. Choose the right clothing to suit your comfort and requirement.

The ID proofs of your husband and yourself.

The hospital file or the case file as prepared by your healthcare provider

Something to eat while you are in the hospital. It could be a healthy snack too.

Socks to avoid feeling cold in your feet

What You Can Eat in Your Third Trimester:

The good news is that you can eat everything during this phase. but the bad news is that your heartburn and increased discomfort caused due to the size of your stomach will not let you to do so.

In your ninth month, you can eat papaya and pineapple too.

What you must not Eat/Drink:

1. Alcohol

2. Fishes which may be contaminated with mercury like shark, swordfish, mackerel, etc.

3. Unpasturized milk or other dairy product

4. Raw Sprouts

5. Smoking

6. Raw or smoked fish

7. Too much caffeine. Limit your caffeine intake to one cup of coffee a day.

What to Do:

1. Continue walking and being active.

2. Kegel exercises

3. Breathing Exercises and light stretching in yoga

4. Take plenty of rest and sleep

5. Drink lots of water

6. Avoid taking long car trips and flights.

7. Eat well. Around 300 calories per day.

 

Enjoy this phase. This is the best time of your life. If you are a first time mother, you will not get this phase and me time back for yourself for some time in future. Get a maternity shoot done. It is trending these days. Read and prepare for your child’s arrival. Read about Cord Blood Banking and the Procedure to Register for Cord Blood Banking too. Take your medicines on time and pay timely visits to your healthcare provider.

Shabnam Vandeliwala

Venturing into writing is my second most admired hobby after litigating in courts. An advocate by profession, writing gives me immense sense of satisfaction especially in the time that I'm free from other work.