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PREGNANCY CALENDAR

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Third Trimester

Weeks 28-40

THIRD Trimester

 

The third trimester of pregnancy can be physically and emotionally challenging. Your baby's size and position might make it hard for you to get comfortable. You might be tired of pregnancy and eager to move on to the next stage. If you've been gearing up for your due date, you might be disappointed if it comes and goes uneventfully.

Try to remain positive as you look forward to the end of your pregnancy. Soon you'll hold your baby in your arms! Here's what to expect in the meantime.

As your pregnancy progresses, your baby's movements will become more obvious. These exciting sensations are often accompanied by increasing discomfort and other signs and symptoms, including:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions. You might feel these mild, irregular contractions as a slight tightness in your abdomen. They're more likely to occur in the afternoon or evening, after physical activity or after sex. These contractions also tend to occur more often and become stronger as you approach your due date. Contact your health care provider if the contractions become regular and steadily increase in strength.

  • Backaches. Pregnancy hormones relax the connective tissue that holds your bones in place, especially in the pelvic area. These changes can be tough on your back, and often result in discomfort during the third trimester of pregnancy. When you sit, choose chairs with good back support. Get regular exercise. Wear low-heeled — but not flat — shoes with good arch support. If you have severe or persistent pain, contact your health care provider.

  • Shortness of breath. You might get winded easily. Practice good posture to give your lungs more room to expand.

  • Heartburn. Pregnancy hormones relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus. This can allow stomach acid to reflux into your esophagus and cause heartburn. To prevent heartburn, eat small, frequent meals. Also, avoid fried foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, and spicy or fried foods.

  • Spider veins, varicose veins and hemorrhoids. Increased blood circulation might cause tiny red-purplish veins (spider veins) to appear on your face, neck and arms. Redness typically fades after delivery. You might also notice swollen veins (varicose veins) on your legs. Painful, itchy varicose veins in your rectal area (hemorrhoids) may also occur. To ease swelling, exercise and elevate your legs frequently, include plenty of fiber in your diet and drink lots of fluids. For hemorrhoid relief, soak in a warm tub or apply witch hazel pads to the area.

  • Frequent urination. As your baby moves deeper into your pelvis, you'll feel more pressure on your bladder. You might find yourself urinating more often. This extra pressure might also cause you to leak urine — especially when you laugh, cough, sneeze, bend or lift. If this is a problem, consider using panty liners. If you think you might be leaking amniotic fluid, contact your health care provider.

~ Source: mayoclinic.org