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Health Worries in the Last Trimester

In your last trimester of pregnancy what kind of health discomforts can you expect? And what should you do about them?

Posted: 3 December 2009
by Sarah Lawson

In the last ten weeks of pregnancy all kinds of changes to your body can suddenly come on. You might find that Braxton Hicks become more noticeable. Or that you start to experience bouts of breathlessness even if the rest of your pregnancy has been trouble free.
Here are some other pregnancy discomforts that you may find become more of a problem for you…

Take time to get comfortable in bed when you are heavily pregnant
During pregnancy, ligaments are stretched and softened in anticipation for labour, meaning there is extra pressure on joints around your back and hips, making some women experience aches and pains on their back.

You could try… Like with most aches and pains, massage can be very effective, as too can be some back strengthening exercises which your midwife can show you. Wearing high heels can aggravate a bad back, as can lifting things incorrectly (think bend your knees.) Also when sitting keep your back straight and well supported, and finally, the old faithful, get enough rest!

Water retention
Water retention occurs because during pregnancy your body is carrying much more water than normal, and after a long day this water tends to gather at the bottom of your body, around your feet, ankles and at your fingers.

You could try… There isn’t much in the way of a cure for water retention, but there are a few ways to try and ease it:

  • Rest and put your feet up regularly.
  • If you can rest your feet higher up than your heart for one hour everyday.
  • Avoid standing for long periods of time.
  • Ditch the heels and wear comfortable shoes.

Trouble sleeping
Having trouble sleeping can be extremely annoying and is very common during pregnancy, especially during the third trimester when your bump is at its biggest.
Trouble sleeping can be caused by many things, but in the late stages of your pregnancy it is most likely to be because of how big and uncomfortable you are, to which there is not much you can do. However, try sleeping in different positions to find one that’s comfy. Lying on your left side with pillows wedged behind your back and between your legs is a popular one, or if that doesn’t work for you, try sleeping sitting upright.
Frequently needing the loo may also regularly disturb your sleep, in which case try and cut back the fluids you drink in the late afternoon and evening, and try and completely empty your bladder each time you go to the loo by leaning forward slightly when you go.
Other causes of sleep deprivation include heartburn, restless leg syndrome and of course… your baby kicking!

You could try… If you are experiencing troublesome nights, there are several relaxation techniques you can try, including yoga, stretching, massage and deep breathing.
Having trouble sleeping isn’t really dangerous, just irritating, and can be responsible for a very moody, run down and tired mum to be.

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