Common Third Trimester Symptoms


Braxton Hicks contractions

Braxton Hicks contractions are painless, random contractions of the lower abdomen and groin, often a tightening feeling of the uterus.

These are “warm-ups” to labor contractions and may occur during the 2nd and 3rd trimester.

On the other hand, if you experience timeable, and/or regular contractions, try to lay down and drink fluids, and call us they do not decrease or resolve with these measures.


Leg cramps

leg cramps may occur especially at night and usually in the calves.

Flex your toes up towards your leg if this happens and massage the calf until it resolves.

Avoid pointing your toes when stretching.


Heartburn

Heartburn may be an effect of sluggish digestion or the expansion of the uterus.

  • eat several small meals a day instead of three large ones
  • avoid triggers (fried foods, chocolate, peppermint, garlic, onion)
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • stay up for 2-3 hours after your evening meal.

Antacids (Tums, Mylanta, Maalox) and medications such as Zantac or Tagamet are fine to take for relief.


Constipation

Constipation affects at least half of all pregnant women and is caused by an increase in progesterone, which slows the digestive process.

  • Try to eat on a regular schedule
  • drink plenty of fluids
  • get some exercise daily
  • eat high-fiber fruits, vegetables, and grains
  • try fiber supplements (Metamucil, Citrucel) or a mild laxative (such as milk of magnesia

Shortness of breath

Your lungs are processing more air than they did before pregnancy, which may leave you breathing slightly faster and feeling short of breath.

Contact us if you experience chest pain , especially if it is localized to one side or the other.


Round ligament pain

The round ligaments support your uterus in your pelvis. As your uterus grows, the ligaments stretch and thicken to accommodate and support it.

These changes can cause pain on one or both sides of the pelvis.

Pain may start deep within the groin and move upward and outward towards the hips. It may also present as a dull ache after an active day.

To help relieve discomfort, you may try:

  • warm baths
  • flexing your knees toward your abdomen
  • lying on your side with a pillow under your belly
  • decrease activity if necessary.

Hip pain and backaches

As pregnancy advances, the baby gains weight and puts more pressure on your back, while hormones relax the joints between your pelvic bones.

  • sit in chairs with good back support
  • apply heat and/or ice to painful areas

Contact our office if the pain does not go away or is accompanied by other symptoms.


Swelling

Blood return from your veins is compromised during pregnancy and fluid retention may be evident in your feet, ankles, face and hands.

  • drink plenty of fluids
  • elevate your feet at night

Frequent urination

Extra pressure on your bladder may cause you to urinate more often or leak urine, especially with laughing, coughing or sneezing.

Watch for signs of a bladder infection, such as burning with urination, fever, or blood in your urine, and call your health care provider if these symptoms are present.


Contact us if you experience any of the following during your pregnancy

  • moderate to heavy vaginal bleeding or passing of tissue
  • any amount of vaginal bleeding accompanied by pain, cramping, fever, or chills
  • timeable, regular contractions unrelieved by rest and fluids
  • a severe, persistent headache, especially with dizziness, faintness, nausea, vomiting, or visual disturbance
  • moderate or severe pelvic pain
  • pain with fever or bleeding
  • vomiting with pain or fever 
  • chills or fever (101 degrees or higher)