During the third trimester of pregnancy, which starts at around 28 weeks and lasts until birth, you will experience several physical and emotional changes. It brings back some of the toughest symptoms of early pregnancy. You might find yourself caught up with mixed emotions of excitement, impatience, worry and tiredness. Here are some symptoms you should be aware of:
- Shortness of breath – One common symptom during the third trimester of pregnancy is shortness of breath. This occurs as the growing uterus puts pressure on the diaphragm, making it harder for you to take deep breaths.
- Fatigue – Another common symptom is increased fatigue. Your body is working harder to support the growing baby, which can lead to feelings of exhaustion. You’ll feel more out of control this trimester because of the demands pregnancy is putting on your body, so eat well and frequently, stay active and minimize pregnancy sleep problems.
- Heartburn (acid reflux) – In the last few weeks of pregnancy, your uterus will push your stomach and its contents upward, causing that persistent burn. That’s down to your growing baby and hormones affecting your digestive system.
- Backaches – As the pregnancy hormone relaxin loosens your joints and your growing belly pulls your centre of gravity forward, you may start to have an achy back. Your back will also be under strain, due to the extra weight you’re carrying around. Your joints and ligaments will also be looser than usual. You may also feel cramps in your abdomen.
- Puffy ankles and face – Your ankles, feet and face could be puffing out a bit, particularly when it’s hot. This is probably due to water retention, but get it checked out, just in case it’s preeclampsia. This is a condition where you may feel perfectly well, but then your blood pressure can get dangerously high, very quickly.
- Increased vaginal discharge – In the last week or so or pregnancy, you might see a thick, clear, or slightly blood-tinged discharge. This is just a collection of normal secretions from the cervix and vagina, which you experience year-round. It is heavier during pregnancy due to an increase in estrogen and blood flow to the vagina. It’s a sign that the body is starting to prepare for birth.
- Increased Urination: As the baby grows, it puts pressure on the bladder, causing pregnant women to need to use the bathroom more frequently.
- Emotional Changes: As the due date approaches, pregnant women may feel anxious, excited, and overwhelmed.
It’s important to note that every woman’s pregnancy is unique, and not all women will experience these symptoms. It’s always best to speak with your gynaecologist if you are concerned about any symptoms you are experiencing during pregnancy.
As you begin the third trimester, your gynaecologist will change the schedule of your prenatal visits from monthly to every two weeks. As with the previous trimesters, it’s important to continue to stay healthy. Also, keep moving! Little walks several times during the day can help alleviate pain. You also may need to stop long car trips and airplane flights after 34 weeks in case you go into labor.