Pregnancy Week 32: Third Trimester Discomforts

Pregnancy Week 32: Third Trimester DiscomfortsAs they approach the last weeks of pregnancy, most women are a mix of emotions.  Excited, nervous, apprehensive. But with any wonderful thing, there are usually a few discomforts. The third trimester offers a variety of uncomfortable moments for many women.


Oh the second trimester. You feel great. You glow. Your body is changing and growing, and you are so cute. Cue the third trimester. All of a sudden, you are tired again. Your belly is now as big as a planet. You may be glowing still, but you also may be starting to lose a little bit of that luster. Third trimester exhaustion is very common in pregnancy. I have noticed my energy levels have begun to drop and my motivation to get things done has not.

An increase of weight and trouble sleeping can be to blame for this newfound tiredness. There are easy fixes, luckily. Eating right, getting some daily exercise, and staying hydrated can help. Also, try not to be supermom. If you are balancing the needs of other small children, keep your daily responsibilities to a minimum. Get some rest now, while you can.

Back Pain                                                                                          

Approximately 50% of pregnant women will experience back pain. With both of my pregnancies, I had back pain in the exact same spot. My chiropractor recently told me that it could simply be due to my growing baby pushing on my ribs. Either way, I have had to find some easy ways to combat this pain. The extra weight gained throughout your pregnancy can cause back pain to come to a head in the third trimester.

Practicing good posture and sitting in a reliable chair can help. Try comfortable shoes instead of high heels. Sleeping on your side with pillows can help, too. Try a pillow between your legs, one behind your back, and even try lying down on the side where you back bothers you. Ask your spouse to massage the painful spot or apply a heating pad, if all else fails. Talk to your doctor if you still can’t get relief. As always, it is important to be careful with taking any medications, such as acetaminophen, during pregnancy.

Braxton Hicks Contractions

These sporadic uterine contractions can occur frequently during the third trimester. Most women describe them as a short tightening in their stomach that eventually subsides. These should not feel like labor, and should be less intense. Many women don’t notice these at all. With my first pregnancy, I don’t remember feeling anything. This time around is, of course, different. A warm bath, drinking water, relaxation exercises, or changing your position may help ease these contractions. A good guide to remember is if you have more than four contractions in an hour, contact your doctor or provider.

While I do love being pregnant, I do have to admit that there are some discomforts that come with the last weeks. I look forward to being more comfortable, but more than anything, I look forward to holding my sweet baby boy.

Karyn Meyerhoff is a mom of one and one on the way who may be uncomfortable now, but she can’t wait to hold her little man.

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