This is the most emotionally and physically challenging trimester of the pregnancy. The size of the baby and its positions might make you uncomfortable. You will be tired of being pregnant and will wish to move on to the next phase. You will also be preparing yourself for the due date and might get disappointed if it is not eventful. A positive outlook will help you and the feeling of holding the new born will keep you going.
Third trimester pregnancy:
The body: As the baby is growing, his/her movements will become very obvious. These wonderful sensations will be accompanied by discomfort and third trimester symptoms.
Continuous Breast growth: When you will be reaching your due date;you might have added almost a kilo of breast tissue. By the time you reach your delivery date, your nipples would start leaking colostrum – a yellowish fluid which will nourish the baby when breast fed in the first few days of his/her life.
Gain of Weight: If the BMI of yours was normal before pregnancy; you will gain almost 25 to 35 pounds before the delivery. Apart from the weight of the amniotic fluid, placenta, larger breasts and uterus fat, the weight of the baby also counts.
Braxton Hicks contractions: These are nothing but the warm up contractions for the real thing. They come and go unpredictably and are weak.. if this appears to be painful for you; consult your healthcare provider.
Backaches The relaxation of the joints between the pelvic area occurs due to the pregnancy hormones. These can be quite tough for your back. Few quick tips to counter this includes choosing a chair with good back support, keeping a heating pad/ice pad handy for the painful areas, wear shoes with good arch support and ask your partner for a massage. If the pain still persists with other symptoms; consult your healthcare provider.
Shortness of breath: The uterus expands beneath the diaphragm , the muscles that just below your lungs hence causing you shortness of breath. Take different postures to help your lungs expand easily.
Heartburn: Drink plenty of fluids and eat small meals to avoid heart burns. Fried food, citrus fruits and spicy food must be avoided. If problem persists, ask your healthcare provide for antacids.
Swelling: The uterus puts a lot of pressure on the veins that return the blood from the legs and feet. Causing you swollen ankles and feet. Numbness may occur due to the swelling in the legs, arms and hands.
Try to be on a frequent move when standing and prop your legs quite often.
Varicose Veins, spider veins and hemorrhoid: Tiny red veins called the spider veins might be caused due to the increased blood circulation. You can also find the presence of varicose veins beneath the surface of your skin that are purple or blue in color. Varicose veins in the rectum (hemorrhoid) are also possible.
You can elevate your legs to counter the pain or wear stockings avoid constipation by eating a lot of fiber in your diet which will hence prevent hemorrhoid.
Urination: The baby has moved deeper into your pelvis causing more pressure on your bladder. Your urination frequency not only increase but can also cause leaking when you laugh, sneeze or cough. You can use panty lines for comfort.
Look out for any urinary tract infection such as pain, fever or backache. Consult your healthcare provider as soon as you see any of these symptoms.
Vaginal Discharge: There will heavy discharge during the end of pregnancy. If the discharge contains amniotic fluid; its time to consult your healthcare provider.
Can counter medicines be used?
It is the most advisable not to take the OTC medicines when you are pregnant. You need to be very careful about all the medicines you take during the pregnancy as few medicines can be harmful for the unborn baby.
It doesn’t mean you cant take medication when you feel really unwell. You just need to be cautious. Always see the medicine for what it contains and then eat them.
To be on the safe side, always consult your doctor and if he/she is not present; refer the medications information provided below:
Headache is quite common during pregnancy; mainly in the first trimester.
Medicines you can take/ cannot take and when:
· Paracetamol with no added ingredients
· Ibuprofen should taken only in the middle of the pregnancy. ( 14 to 27 weeks).
· Don't take Ibuprofen during the first and the second trimester.
· You should also avoid taking codeine unless it is recommended by your doctor.
· Go for natural counters for headache.
Heartburn and indigestion can be real problems for you in the pregnancy. The digestive tract slows down in the early weeks; hence making food harder to digest. And the baby starts pushing by the end of the pregnancy. You can use the following medication:
· Calcium-based antacids. Only use these occasionally.
· Antacids containing alginate.
· Antacids containing magnesium and aluminum.
Do check with the doctor before taking these medicines.
Tummy bugs often occur with diarrhea but are not at all harmful for the baby. You can use oral hydration from becoming dehydrated. Never use an anti-diarrhoea that contains loperamide.
Piles (haemorrhoids) are a normal pregnancy niggle. You can use gentle ointments or suppositories after consulting your doctor.Always check with the doctor before taking any OTC products available for piles. Go for natural remedies as well.
Thrush can be treated with ointments and external creams but it is always advised to consult your doctor before using any. You can also try few safe self-help medications
Coughs and colds can tough during pregnancy; but there are few measures that can taken. Old fashioned medication of honey and lemon in hot water is advised. You can also use simple linctus and cough medicine containing glycerin and honey. In case of a blocked nose, you can go for steam inhalation on the bowl of hot water. If still the problem persists, consult your doctor for nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline or xylometazoline. Use eye drops to soothen the itchy eyes.
Head lice can be a also be an issue of someone in your family has lice. Try hair washing couple of times to get rid of this. Treatments such as dimethicone lotion can also be tries.
Threadworms are like head lice and can also occur if you keep around chicken. See your doctor only for this and dont go for your own medication.
The Five Food Groups With hearing the 'Five Food Group', the famous pyramid strikes to the mind. Dairy, breads, fruits, vegetables and meats are one of the must essential intakes to p[provide nutrients for the baby and the mother in and after pregnancy. Even after the prganacy; the food you eat is very important especially when you are breast feeding. Lets break this group for explaining the nutrient element that they provide: Cereals, Breads and Grains: · Protein · Vitamin B · Iron · Carbohydrates Vegetables: potatoes, cabbage, spinach carrots, squash, green beans and tomatoes · Vitamin A · Vitamin C · Fiber · Variety of minerals Fruits: Oranges, melons, berries, grapefruits, apricots, cantaloupe · Vitamin C · Vitamin A Meat: Beef, poultry, fish, eggs, dry beans and nuts · Protein- this helps in the growing of the new born baby cells. Newborns easily digest protein and show passive immunity- a phenomenon in which the child acquires the immunity to diseases from the mother via breast milk. Dairy: milk, yogurt,cheese · Calcium – good for bones and teeth. · Protein if the mother is lactose-intolerant; she should go for sources of calcium such as salmon and sardines; dark leafy kale mustard. Calcium intake is very essential for the growth. References: http://www.pregnancycorner.com/being-pregnant/health-nutrition/nutrition-during-pregnancy.html Foods not be taken during pregnancy:
Eggs: · Raw cookie dough or cake · Homemade recipes that contain raw eggs · Runny or undercooked eggs Fish · Any shellfish or undercooked or uncooked fish. · Picked or refrigerated fish. Meat & poultry · Meat that is under cooked or raw. · Any meat that is refrigerated · Uncooked sausages or salami etc.
All the tests mentioned below are common for the third trimester:
Group B streptococcus screening: Group B step bacteria is detected in 35 to 37 weeks of pregnancy by taking vaginal and rectal swabs. Up to 30% of healthy women show positive to this detection. It is a leading cause to a lot of complications such as mental retardation, vision impairment etc for the baby. Women are given anti biotic during the delivery if group B step bacteria is detected.
Electronic fetal heart monitoring: Heart rate of the fetus is checked using Electronic fetal heart monitor during the pregnancy, labor and delivery. It is checked in order to check if the fetus is fine and healthy.
Nonstress test: this is done for the high-risk pregnancies such as when the women is carrying more than one fetus or has high blood pressure or has diabetes. A fetal monitor is attached across the abdomen of the mother to measure the heart rate of the baby. It is also used for overdue babies.
Contraction stress test: this one two is done for the high risk pregnancies;. The heart rate is measured by the fetal mobitor in response by contractions either by oxytocin (Pitocin) or nipple stimulation. This is done by the doctor to see how well the baby will cope up with the labor.
Biophysical profile: It is done for a more accurate evaluation of the baby by using the ultrasound. This is also a non stress test.
Kegel exercises are nothing but the internal contractions of the pelvic floor muscles that provide support to the urethra, bladder, uterus and rectum. The strengthening of the pelvic floor muscles help in improving circulation to the rectal and vaginal area; which in turn helps in keeping the hemorrhoid away and also speeding the healing after the tear or episiotomy. If you have during childbirth. String pelvic floor muscles shorten the pushing stage of labor.
This exercise can be done anywhere – while watching TV, sitting on a computer etc. here is how you do it:
Tighten your muscles around the genital like when you are interrupting urine when going to the bathroom.
Make a count of four and then release. Repeat this for 10 times. Do for about 3 to 4 sets in each da
Pelvic tilt or angry cat:
This is done on all fours and is a variation of pelvic tilt. It strengthens the abdomen muscles to ease back pain during pregnancy and labor.
Come down to your hand and knees with arms shoulders wide apart & knees hip-width apart too; keeping your arms straight without locking the elbows.
Tighten your abdomen muscles as you breath in and tuck your buttocks under & round the back.
Keep your back relaxed ina a neutral position as you breathe out.
Repeat it at your own pace considering your breath.
This may not be the most elegant position but it is a time honored way of getting ready for and giving birth. This exercise helps in opening your pelvis by strengthening your thighs.
Face the back of the chair with the feet slightly more than the hip-width apart, toes must be pointed outward. Grap the back of the chair for support.
Lift your chest, contract your abdomen muscles and relax your shoulders. You should lower the tailbone toward the floor like you are sitting on the chair. Find the prefect balance – the most of the weight must be towards your heels.
Then breath deep in and exhale, pushing right into your legs to rise in a standing position.
Tailor or Cobbler Pose:
This position helps to open your pelvis and loosen your hip joints for the preparation of birth. It can also ease tension and improve your posture.
With sole of your feet touching each other; sit straight to the wall ( You can slo sit on a folded towel which is more comfortable)
Press your knees down and away from each other; but don’t try to force them.
Try staying in that pose for as long as you are comfortable.
Start the complete list of exercises slowly and do according to your comfort.
Virabhadrasana or Warrior pose
It is a yoga exercise which is considered safe during the third trimester of pregnancy. Be cautious and stop if causes discomfort.
Always seek advice from the doctor for any fitness program.
· Step1: Stand with the feet together with arms by your side and palms facing inwards. Now take a wide step onto the side making sure you balance properly.
· Step 2: Take your foot outwards to 90degrees and adjust the left feet inwards. While keeping the back straight you must face towards. Now raise the arms sideways to shoulder height, keeping the arms parallel to the floor and your palms facing down. Your shoulder should relax. Try to turn your head in the direction similar to your foot and right arm. Now draw up your pelvic floor muscles. Breathe out while bending your knees as far as it is comfortable. Keep your left leg straight and extended with your left foot firmly on the ground. Hold the position for as long as you are comfortable.
· Step 3: When you breathe out; push up through the front leg and return to the initial position with your feet back together & arms by the side with farm facing inwards. Take rest and repeat for the other side remembering to breathe out while lowering the pose.
· Flexibility to the body.
· Pelvic are opens up; the back muscles are strengthened and also tones the body.
· Relieves backache and stamina increases.
· Don’t do it, if suffering from high blood pressure.
· Change the positions slowly and focus on breathing.
· Feel your body stretching but don’t exert yourself.
· Have a chair or a wall for balancing..
· Never force yourself to any pose and always discontinue a position if uncomfortable.
Is it safe to make love in the third trimester?
Yes, with a few exceptions. If you have a healthy and normal pregnancy, you can continue to have sex right until the time you are checking in the hospital for delivery. But, as the fetus grows, you'll need to find more of a comfortable position so as to keep it unaffected.It may be the best to not to have anal sex, however. Haemorrhoids are a common problem in the state of pregnancy, and anal sex could cause rectal bleeding.
It is not safe to have sex in the third trimester:
It is no wrong in having sex in the third trimester, but you need to be conscious about certain aspects. It is not safe to have sex in the third trimester if:
You have placenta previa, a condition where your placenta looms in front of your baby's head. Sex could cause bleeding that may harm the baby. Your membranes are ruptured and once your waters break, the mucus plug guarding your cervix goes. This can expose you and your baby to all sorts of infections.
You have a short cervix or a history of premature labour, having previously delivered a baby before 37 weeks. Even if you show no signs of an early delivery such as contractions, your gynaecologist is likely to advise you against sex as an orgasm can stimulate labour.
If, in case you are expecting twins or multiple babies, things change. Twins can often arrive early, so your gynaecologist may warn you against having sex late in your pregnancy.
How will my sex life change in the third trimester?
By the third trimester, weight gain, back pain, swollen feet, and pelvic pressure may once again dampen your enthusiasm for sex.
As you approach the final months of your pregnancy, your body may grow quite large and make you feel ungainly. Exhaustion may leave you with no desire to make love. Sound sleep may be difficult as you will try to find a comfortable position. You may end up asking your spouse to simply hold you, give a relaxing massage or just allow you to catch up on a good night's sleep.
Closer to your delivery date, discomforts like haemorrhoids, leaky breasts, varicose veins and a "swollen" vagina and vulva may sap all desire for sex.When you do rally enough spirit and energy for sex, be prepared to experiment. That’s because it may not be so easy to find a comfortable position with your growing body. You might prefer to try other ways to be intimate with your spouse.
Can sex harm me or my baby?
Your baby stays safe in the amniotic sac of your uterus and is protected from infection by the mucus plug sealing your cervix. However, your baby's head drops during this trimester, and this can create pressure and discomfort during intercourse.
Keep in mind that in the last few weeks of pregnancy, lovemaking releases the hormone oxytocin into your bloodstream. Oxytocin prepares your cervix for labour, and can trigger off contractions in late pregnancy.
Semen is also rich in natural prostaglandins that can cause contractions and initiate labour. This is why you may be warned against having sex if you have a history of premature labor.
Though orgasms are difficult in the last trimester, if you get one, it might trigger Braxton Hicks contractions. You might feel your womb and baby bump go hard. These contractions can last several minutes and scare you. However, such contractions are usually harmless.
When do I need to call my gynecologist?
If an orgasm gives you severe contractions that last over 30 minutes, it is suggested to consult your gynecologist, as it can induce labor. Look out for pink spotting too. Bleeding and cramping can also be a sign of a problem.
You also need to see your gynecologist if your waters break as this will make you open to infection.
The end of your pregnancy is near! By now, you might be tired of being pregnant — and eager to meet your baby face to face. Your uterus, however, is still a busy place. Understand how fetal development continues as you approach your due date. Here's a weekly calendar of events for the third trimester. Keep in mind that measurements are approximate.
Week 28: Baby's eyes open
· After 26 weeks of Conceiving- baby's eyelids are partially open and eyelashes get formed
· Wrinkles on Baby’s skin get smoothened
· 10 inches (250 millimeters) long from crown to rump and weigh nearly 2 1/4 pounds (1,000 grams).
· 90 percent chance of baby’s survival without physical or neurological impairment
Week 29: Baby's bones are fully developed
· 27 weeks after conception, your baby's bones are fully developed, but soft and pliable.
Week 30: Baby's eyes are wide open
· baby's eyes are wide open
· good head of hair by this week
· RBC starts forming in baby’s bone marrow
· Baby grows 10 1/2 inches (270 millimeters) long from crown to rump and weigh nearly 3 pounds
Week 31: Nervous system development continues
· baby's central nervous system gets matured to control body temperature
Week 32: Baby practices breathing
· baby's toenails are visible
· Breathes partially as lungs are fully formed
· begins absorbing vital minerals, such as iron and calcium from the intestinal tract.
· lanugo — starts to fall off this week
· baby might be 11 inches (280 millimeters) long from crown to rump and weigh 3 3/4 pounds
Week 33: Baby detects light
· baby's pupils can constrict, dilate and detect light
Week 34: Baby's fingernails grow
· baby's fingernails grows to their fingertips
· baby might be nearly 12 inches (300 millimeters) long from crown to rump
· the vernix caseosa — starts getting thicker
Week 35: Rapid weight gain begins
· baby's limbs becomes chubby
· baby starts gaining weight rapidly — about 1/2 pound (230 grams) a week for the next month
Week 36: Baby takes up most of the amniotic sac
· crowded conditions inside your uterus migh make the baby punch
· you'll probably still feel lots of stretches, rolls and wiggles
· You might want to check on your baby's movements - Kick Count
· Ask your gyno how many movements you should detect in a certain number of hours.
Week 37: Baby is early term
· baby will be considered early term
· baby's organs are ready to function on their own
· To prepare for birth, your baby's head might start descending into your pelvis.
· If not, your gyno should discuss further steps to be followed
Week 38: Baby develops a firm grasp
· your baby devels a firm grasp.
· brain might weigh about 14 ounces
· After birth, your baby's brain will continue to grow.
· Your baby will mostly shed all of his or her lanugo.
· baby might weigh about 6 1/2 pounds
Week 39: Placenta provides antibodies
· baby's chest becomes more prominent
· For boy kid, the testes continue to descend into the scrotum.
· Your placenta continues to supply your baby with antibodies that will help fight infection after birth
Week 40: Your due date arrives:
· baby might be about 18 to 20 inches (450 to 500 millimeters) long and weigh 6 1/2 pounds
· however, that healthy babies come in different sizes.
· Don't be alarmed if your due date comes and goes without incident
· It's just as normal to deliver a baby a week or two late — or early — as it is to deliver on your due date.