The third trimester is like the last 5 miles of the marathon. You’re pushing towards the finish line but it’s become a slow, painful slog. You’ll probably start to experience some new symptoms, most of them uncomfortable. Here we take a look at some common third trimester symptoms and what you can do about them.
By the time you reach the third trimester of your pregnancy, you’re in one of two camps – you either feel like time is flying by far too fast, or you’re wondering when it’s ever going to end. This totally depends on the type of pregnancy you’ve had. But by the time trimester number three comes your way, you’re a giant leap closer to meeting your little mister or miss.
You’ll know at this point that the first trimester can be extremely draining, tiring, and quite nauseating. Then you entered the (sometimes) harmonious phase of the second trimester. You probably felt full of life and energy, glowing from head to toe. Now, you’re in in the third trimester, and you’re wondering what those hormones are going to throw at you next.
The third trimester can be summed up in one word – uncomfortable. From an aching back to poor sleep, vomiting to constipation – all the symptoms can be hard to live with.
1. Your Feet Might Get Bigger
Seriously, your feet. You’d be surprised how many women in the third trimester complain that their shoes don’t fit them anymore. This is down to your body producing extra fluids, necessary for the health of you and your baby, and for some unknown reason it can actually make your feet longer and wider.
Obviously, your feet getting a bit bigger until your pregnancy is over isn’t a huge problem, unless you can’t fit into your favorite shoes, that is. Your feet should return to normal once you’ve delivered, but occasionally some women report that they stay a size bigger.
2. Hello Sickness – Again
You thought the sickness and nausea was over after the first trimester, right? The second trimester lulled you into a false sense of security. Some women can experience sickness again during the third trimester, and it can go the other way too, with diarrhea making an appearance. It might even feel like you have food poisoning, but unless you have genuinely eaten something dodgy, it’s likely to just be a third trimester symptom coming your way.
We should point out that diarrhea can be one of the first signs of early labor, so do bear that in mind. The best thing to do is to drink plenty of water and rest it out. If you believe you really might have food poisoning, head to see your doctor.
Ladies, it’s time to get back at your partner for all of those years they kept you awake with their snoring. Yes, a third trimester symptom is snoring. Of course, it’s not going to bother you, because you’re asleep.
A huge number of pregnant women suddenly start snoring, when they never did before. You can blame the hormones for this, because the mucous membranes in your nose can become swollen, causing you to become a little sniffly – hello snoring!
If you do want to make life a little better for your partner at this point, you should try to sleep on your left side, and perhaps try and use a mist humidifier in your bedroom.
4. Bowel & Bladder Problems
Pregnancy plays havoc with a woman’s body in so many ways, it’s no surprise that issues with the bowels and bladder can come to the fore too. By the third trimester, it’s not unusual for a woman to cough or sneeze and find they wet themselves a little. Diarrhea and constipation are also super-common at this point too.
The reason for this is because of the pressure that is building up from the size of the baby at this point, and you’re likely to be feeling quite uncomfortable as a result. The best way to avoid that annoying sneezing/coughing size effect is to practice pelvic floor exercises throughout your pregnancy, and before if you can. In terms of diarrhea or constipation, this is down to your diet, and a little gentle exercise could also help, especially if you are experiencing constipation.
5. You Catch Colds And Flu Easily
You might find that someone only has to sneeze close to you, and you’re suddenly feeling a little fluey too. During pregnancy, your immune system doesn’t get a sudden jolt of invincibility, it actually goes the other way. Your system is trying to protect not only you, but your baby at the same time, so you’re likely to pick up the common cold pretty easily, especially during the third trimester when your body is working extra time.
How to avoid it? You can’t really, all you can do is make sure that your diet is packed with healthy foods, you stay hydrated, and that you get regular exercise. If you do find yourself feeling a bit under the weather, be kind to yourself and rest up. Avoid taking cold and flu medications however, as many of them aren’t suitable for pregnancy.
6. Sudden Clumsiness
You could be forgiven for suddenly becoming a little on the clumsy side, you are carrying a rather large human being inside of you after all. Clumsiness is one of the main symptoms of the third trimester, and it’s all down to balance. You’re likely to be waddling around, not used to the size you have suddenly become, and your bump knocks you right off balance. In addition to this, it’s yet again down to your hormones. You’re tired, your body is aching, you’re wobbling around, is it any wonder you drop things occasionally?
The best way to deal with the myriad of third trimester symptoms is to take your time, and don’t try and take on too much. If you need to sit down and have a rest, do it. Listen to your body. If you need to delegate a task to someone else, go for it. If you’re still at work and you have the chance to start your maternity leave early then seriously consider it. You’re about to have a baby, remember, and your health is paramount right now.
The third trimester of pregnancy is a wonderful yet strange time. You’re so close to meeting your new baby, yet you’re not quite there yet. Hang on in there ladies, it’s almost time!