Your third trimester is the final stage of your pregnancy, and once you reach this milestone, it’s inevitable that you will be experiencing a wide range of emotions. You may be feeling apprehension, excitement, joy and perhaps even sadness. It’s hard not to be acutely aware that your life is about to change immeasurably with the addition of your new bundle of joy.
While your emotions may be in a state of flurry, you’ll also notice several physical symptoms that you will need to monitor and take steps to alleviate and manage. Maintaining your health during the third trimester is of paramount importance to avoid pregnancy complications. Feeling your best as your labour approaches will help to ensure that you have a safe and fulfilling birth and are able to make a speedy recovery and care for your baby in the best way possible. This blog will help to ensure you feel well-informed about the third trimester, know what to expect and offer strategies and solutions to common third trimester ailments and complications, as well as provide general pregnancy health tips.
Understanding the Third Trimester
Whether it’s your first of third pregnancy, the third and final trimester of any pregnancy can feel unknown and complicated. Need help unpacking it? We’ve got you covered.
What to expect
During the third trimester of pregnancy, which typically spans from weeks 28 to 40, you can expect a range of physical, emotional, and practical changes as you prepare for childbirth. As your baby continues to grow, you might experience more physical discomfort, including backaches, pelvic pressure, and overall fatigue.
Your body is under immense amounts of pressure, which is why it’s so important that you take time for yourself and practice self-care during the third trimester. As your due date approaches, be sure to take some time out for yourself. This stage is all about preparing yourself for labour, so consider sipping on our Raspberry leaf tea, specifically formulated for the third trimester.
As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may notice signs of labour including Braxton Hicks contractions, which are thought to be the body’s way of preparing for true labour.
Common ailments and complications
Ailments and complications during the third trimester of pregnancy are extremely common and can come in several forms, affecting each woman uniquely. Third trimester nausea is less common compared to the earlier stages, particularly the first trimester when morning sickness is more prevalent. However, some women may still experience nausea or queasiness in the third trimester for a variety of reasons including hormonal changes and the pressure being placed on your stomach due to your expanding uterus. If you are experiencing any nausea Myrtle & Maude offer a range of Natural products that can help
A more common complaint during the third trimester is back pain as your body undergoes significant changes to accommodate your growing baby. Though much more uncommon, preeclampsia in pregnancy is a serious pregnancy complication characterised by high blood pressure and damage to organs, most commonly the liver and kidneys. Generally, this will occur after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Gestational diabetes, a type of diabetes that occurs during pregnancy, means that your blood sugar is excessively high, but this condition can be managed through diet and exercise.
Tips for Managing Common Third Trimester Discomforts
Though you may not be able to avoid some of the uncomfortable and frustrating symptoms that accompany the third trimester, there are steps that you can take to manage your discomfort and try to ensure that the final stage of your pregnancy is as enjoyable as possible.
Diet and exercise
A healthy pregnancy truly starts from the inside, so what you put into your body and the ways that you choose to move throughout your pregnancy are both important. To maintain your health and wellbeing during the third trimester with diet and exercise, ensure that you are opting for nutrient-dense foods that will help you feel your best. These include fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy or dairy alternatives.
While weight gain is normal and healthy, gaining excessively during pregnancy can put extra pressure and strains on your body and can heighten aches and pains, so ensure that you eat foods that you enjoy mindfully and make healthy choices most of the time. Exercise should be gentle and enjoyable, and don’t use the third trimester as an opportunity to create any new exercise habits. Slow gentle exercises such as walking, swimming and yoga are great options that also promote mental wellbeing.
Coping with nausea and heartburn
Heartburn during pregnancy is common due to a combination of hormonal changes and physical factors that affect the digestive system. Luckily there are several strategies you can try to counter your heartburn. Consider eating some yoghurt or a glass of cold milk, both of which help to promote a healthy balance of bacteria in the stomach.
If you are still experiencing nausea during the third trimester, you could opt for ginger & peppermint tea instead, which is known to help alleviate pregnancy related nausea. Myrtle & Maude offer a certified organic & vegan herbal tea specifically for nausea that will help ease Heartburn too.
It’s important to look at what you are eating if you are experiencing nausea and try to steer clear of high fat, greasy foods, which can be responsible for nausea. Consider eating small, healthy meals more frequently to aid your digestion and prevent the nauseous feeling that persists for some women in the third trimester.
Managing back pain
Back pain in pregnancy is extremely common and is caused by weight gain and increased pressure on your joints. To manage this, ensure you get enough rest and enjoy a long soak in a warm bath. You could even use our therapeutic bath soak to manage your back pain, the perfect companion to your bath time routine. Consider also trying some of these NHS approved strategies for alleviating back pain.
Recognising Serious Complications
Serious complications in the third trimester need immediate medical attention to ensure the safety of both your and your baby. Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms: vaginal bleeding, severe abdominal pain, decreased foetal movement and extreme headaches. Remember that you are only one experiencing your symptoms, so contact your doctor if anything feels unusual for you.
Preparing for Childbirth
As you progress throughout pregnancy in your third trimester, it’s natural to spend more time thinking about your birth and labour in general. Even if this isn’t your first pregnancy it’s normal to feel nervous, concerned and even fearful about your impending birth. The best thing you can do to counter those negative emotions is to ensure you are preparing for childbirth properly. Rely on prenatal care and a carefully curated hospital checklist to help you feel on top of your birth, even when so many things feel out of your control.
Importance of prenatal care
Prenatal care is an umbrella term that encompasses regular medical check-ups, screenings, tests, and guidance provided by healthcare professionals throughout the course of pregnancy. Prenatal care will enable healthcare professionals to track and assess your health and wellbeing throughout your pregnancy through several strategies including weight and blood pressure and will be able to advise about any health concerns you may have.
Prenatal care will also mean regular check-ups for your growing baby and will monitor the growth and development of your baby. Ultrasound scans and examinations help assess the baby's health, size, position, and any potential abnormalities. While checking the physical development of your pregnancy and baby are both important, prenatal care is also an outlet and opportunity to discuss any concerns about your pregnancy and anxieties you may have about birth. Make sure you attend all your appointments as this will ensure nothing is missed and the necessary care for you and baby is provided.
Checklist for the hospital
Preparing and organising a checklist for the birth of your baby is a great step to take to manage any anxiety that you have about labour or being in hospital in general. Packing in advance will also help to ensure you don’t miss out any important items you’ll need while you are in hospital.
Remember to include any important documentation and your hospital notes first and foremost, as well as identification and a copy of your birth plan (if you have one). After that, it’s all about packing items that will ensure comfort for both you and your baby.
Consider packing loose fitting clothing and nursing bras, as well as toiletries you will need during your stay. Anything you can pack that will help calm your nerves is a positive, so include our Myrtle & Maude’s Labour aromatherapy nasal inhalation stick which is 100% Natural and formulated with Lavender, Clary sage, Bergamot and Basil, see the benefits below...
Some women experience nausea in labour so it might be a good idea to pack some of our acupressure wristbands in your hospital bag just in case sickness strikes.
Once you’ve sorted yourself, you’ll want to consider the items your new baby will need. Be sure to include a few sets of new-born clothes, swaddling blankets and of course a car seat for transporting your new arrival home safely.
Reaching the third trimester is an awesome achievement and means you are one step closer to meeting your baby, but with your birth date looming, it’s more important than ever to take proper care of yourself in this stage of pregnancy. Remember to take time for yourself, prepare for the journey ahead and always reach out to medical professionals if you are concerned about your symptoms.
Good luck Mumma to be… you got this!