By the third trimester of pregnancy, you are probably just ready. You may have had a baby shower or two. The nursery is about finished, and your hospital bag is packed. Although it may seem like just the capstone of your pregnancy, the third trimester is a special time in your pregnancy, to be enjoyed and noted.
How You Feel
At this point, your pregnancy is obvious. That tummy is too big to hide now. As your baby grows to full term, he will start to push and kick on your organs. You may have a hard time breathing as he stretches up into your lungs. Sleep may elude you as he squirms and wiggles within you. Early contractions may start during this time causing uncomfortable stomach cramps. Sudden sensations to urinate may increase as he squeezes against your bladder. You are both becoming comfortable, and uncomfortable, with each another.
How Long It Lasts
Your third trimester begins in your seventh month or week 28 of pregnancy. It will last ideally until full term, which is 40 weeks, or whenever your baby decides to make her entrance. Although she may be overcrowding her space, remember how important it is that she grows to full term. Each day and week is a critical milestone in her development. Although it seems to be dragging on, try to relax and enjoy this intimate time you have with your child, before she is born, with a mind and plan all her own.
What Are Your Concerns
The third trimester is filled with a mixture of anxiety and excitement. As thrilled as you are to see your little one, you worry about the process of getting him out and his health once he gets here. This worry can increase as sleep routines are upset by your growing belly, which may cause itchy or painful stretch marks. Remember that all these physical changes and emotional concerns are normal and universal.
What You Can Do
Daily hip and abdominal exercises can stretch and strengthen the muscles you will need for labor. They can also alleviate any pain or discomfort. Try a prenatal yoga or Pilates class. Rub a cream on your belly to diminish stretch marks and encourage relaxation. Sleep when you can to keep your energy up for that big day. Continue to eat healthy foods, not worrying about the pounds that seem to be packing on. Remember that the baby needs those.
Who Can Help
The third trimester can truly be exhausting and leave you feeling vulnerable. Now is the time to ask for help. Your partner may be looking for an opportunity to help. Ask him to give you a massage or draw you a warm bath to help you relax. Attend labor classes together. Discuss your fears about delivery frankly with the instructor, your doctor and trusted friends or family. They can allay your fears with their own experiences.
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