The third trimester of your pregnancy is a time of excitement, anxiety, and pain. The excitement of holding your little one in your arms is exceptional. The third trimester also deals with several pregnancy symptoms such as insomnia and pain. While many of these symptoms can be ruled out as common or normal, you need to know what’s normal and what is abnormal. So here is a list of all the symptoms you might experience during your third trimester.
Why Does Pain Occur In The Third Trimester?
In your third trimester, you may feel pain in every part of your body. Your back, hips, stomach all ache and feel sore.
Stomach pain during this trimester can be due to gas, constipation, Braxton-Hicks contraction or false labor pains. The pains caused by these will cause discomfort but should never cause excessive bouts of pain.
If the pains are severe and excessively painful, they can be due to a urinary tract infection or preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a condition where high blood pressure leads to a placental abruption- a condition where the placenta separates from your uterus early.
You should consult your doctor if you experience any of the following:
- Vaginal bleeding
Lower Back and Hip Pain
In your third trimester, your body is undergoing changes and preparing itself for labor and childbirth. During this time, your hormone levels take a hike and so your connective tissues loosen up. When your tissues loosen up, your pelvis becomes more flexible so your baby can pass through during delivery. Women experience hip pain when the tissues loosen up and stretch.
Lower back pain can also occur when your posture takes a toll. If you lean more towards one side, it may cause lower back pains. Try sleeping with a pillow between your legs as this helps open your hips slightly. Other home remedies are:
There is a nerve that runs from your lower back all the way down to your feet called as the sciatic nerve. When you experience along this nerve, it is called as sciatica. Women experience sciatica during pregnancy when the enlarged uterus presses down on this nerve. The increased pressure causes pain, numbness, and a tingling sensation in your lower back and thighs.
The best way to relieve pain is by taking a warm bath, stretching, using pillows to find a comfortable position.
Vaginal pain may make you feel anxious and stressed and often have you wondering if something is wrong with your baby. To know if it is affecting your baby, you need to know the severity of the pain. You may experience a sharp, piercing pain in your vagina. In most cases, this means your cervix is dilating and preparing for the childbirth.
However, if you experience any of the following, consult your doctor at once:
- Severe vaginal pain
- Intense pain in the lower abdomen
- Vaginal bleeding
Why Does Insomnia Occur During the Third Trimester?
Insomnia is a disorder where you are unable to fall asleep or stay asleep for a long period of times. It is common for pregnant women to be unable to stay asleep for long hours. According to the National Sleep Foundation, 97% of women reported to waking up an average of 3 times in one night during the last term of their pregnancies. And 66% of the women reported to wake up 5 or more times per week. Insomnia can be caused by various factors in the third trimester.
Baby’s Growing Size
Your baby is growing in size during your last trimester. Your baby is now fully grown and getting ready to pop out. This constant growing makes it difficult to breathe while you sleep, thereby making it impossible for you to find a comfortable position to sleep in. Moreover, the lower back pain you experience during this time can add to the discomfort you may feel while trying to get a good night’s sleep.
It is known that 30% of women snore during their pregnancy. This is due to the swelling of their nasal passage. However, your sleep can be disrupted by this snoring. Also, the baby’s growing size adds pressure to your diaphragm or breathing muscles making it hard for you to breathe. Some mothers may get past the snoring while some may lose their sleep.
In your third trimester, you may develop leg cramps and restless leg syndrome. Leg cramps occur as a result of excess phosphorous and scarce of calcium in the body. Restless leg syndrome is where you feel an overwhelming need to move your leg constantly. This can be due to an iron or folic acid deficiency in the body. If you experience any of the below symptoms, consult your doctor at once:
- Uncomfortable sensation in the legs
- Nighttime leg twitching
- A strong urge to move one or both legs
- Disrupted Sleep
Preventing And Fighting Insomnia
While insomnia is a disorder which is challenging and can’t be dealt with easily, there are some steps you can take to get over and fight this disorder. Here is a list of things you could do fight this disorder:
- Sleeping on your left side helps in blood circulation to your baby. Place a pillow below your baby bump to support it. If you experience any acid reflux when you lie flat, place extra pillows under your upper body.
- Avoid sleeping on your back as much as possible. This not only restricts blood flow buts adds unnecessary pressure to your lower back.
- Refrain from consuming carbonated and caffeinated beverages which can cause leg cramps.
- Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated. Hydration keeps cramps away.
- Don’t force yourself to fall asleep. Read a book, meditate or have a warm cup of tea before you sleep.
- Stretch your legs before you go to bed. Straighten both your legs and flex them to avoid any cramps.
- If you face any of the symptoms, share it with your doctor and check for any complications.