3rd trimester begins at 28-weeks of pregnancy and lasts until you give birth which is on average 40-weeks. I’m currently 34-weeks pregnant so have about a month and a half to go… eek! Once 3rd trimester hit that’s when I started to feel a lot more anxious with a countdown to the day baby arrives. Since I had such a positive 2nd trimester, primarily because I felt like “myself” again (1st trimester was the worst), I was worried about how I’d feel in the 3rd trimester since people say that’s when everything gets more uncomfortable. So far, I’ve still felt like “myself” so am so thankful for that, but noticed I’m slowly starting to just get more tired, anxious, and yes physically more uncomfortable.
My 3rd trimester pregnancy symptoms
Heartburn! Heartburn occurs in pregnancy because your organs get squished and your pregnancy hormones relax the valve between your stomach and esophagus making it easier for stomach acid to build. My worst heartburn was after an Italian dinner, the combination of pizza and pasta gave me the worst heartburn ever. I woke up in the middle of the night wanting to puke. I got up, ate Tums and plain greek yogurt to calm my stomach down and couldn’t fall back asleep unless I was sitting up because every time I laid down, the heartburn returned. I now take Tums almost everyday andavoid foods that tend to trigger my heartburn. The things I now avoid are anything too peppery, tangy, spicy, and tomato-sauce.
Braxton Hicks contractions: Braxton Hicks contractions are “fake” contractions that start happening to help prepare you for labor. They don’t hurt… but they’re uncomfortable. It feels like a tightening in your abdomen that lasts around 30-seconds and comes and goes. They’re actually beneficial since it helps tone the muscles in your uterus, and they say women who experience Braxton hicks contractions tend to have a better delivery from the practice. Whenever they happen, I’ve learned that taking deep breaths and walking/moving around helps, which are also things you should do when you go into labor.
Uncomfortable baby kicks and jabs: During my 2nd trimester, I thought the kicks were cute but now that the baby is bigger and stronger, the kicks are more uncomfortable. I also swear my baby is super active, whenever I sit longer than 30-minutes he kicks. It’s nice because I know he’s having a great time in there, but it makes me nervous me that I have 6-weeks left and every week the kicks feel more intense and take me by surprise! It’s become more comfortable for me to walk vs. sit because the baby doesn’t kick as much when I’m moving.
Overall anxiety: When our large baby purchases came in… reality sank in more. I also started getting more anxious because watching classes/videos on the reality of birth and postpartum makes you realize how brutal the process is. The process of healing, followed by constant breastfeeding, and taking care of a newborn that is literally dependent on you for survival… it’s a lot to manage at once. The one thing that’s helping my anxiety is reminding myself that women have been giving birth and doing this for centuries. I consider myself very mentally and physically strong so feel ready, but still feel anxious about everything.
How I’m taking care of myself during the 3rd trimester
Yoga: I do yoga religiously, at least 5x a week. The stretching and meditative aspect of yoga has helped me mentally and studies show how beneficial yoga is for delivery. I do most of my prenatal yoga classes online via Peloton or YouTube.
Eating well: I craved a ton of calcium when I entered 3rd trimester and it’s because 3rd trimester is when the baby’s bones grows the most. It’s crazy how Mother Nature knows what to do, in that you crave what your baby needs. I’ve been getting my calcium intake by eating bowls of milk/cereal, cheese sandwiches, ice cream, and yogurt. I also take calcium pills on days I feel like I didn’t eat enough calcium. Maybe this is why my baby is so strong… it’s all the calcium I’m giving him! Outside of calcium, I’m still eating a ton of veggies, fruits and grains.
Research and education: I’ve been doing this throughout pregnancy but reading, watching videos, listening to podcasts and talking to other moms has been helpful in mentally preparing me for motherhood. I hear that most women who experience postpartum depression is because they feel isolated/alone, have bad mom guilt, or feel like they lost “themselves”. The way I look at it is the more I learn about it now, the more normal it’ll feel if I do experience it, which will help me cope.
Socializing: I’ve been trying to see and spend as much time with friends to take advantage of my freedom before baby arrives. Since I’m such an extrovert, it makes me a bit nervous on how “tired” or “anti-social” I’ll feel after baby arrives. So I’m trying to load up on socializing before baby arrives.