Sunday, January 27

Third Trimester Survival Guide

I'm almost done with my fourth trimester (the first three months postpartum) and the past 12 weeks have truly been a blur! I've been so busy taking care of my newborn that I never got a chance to write about how my third trimester went and how I coped with the new, and some old, symptoms and the tricks I learned and used to help ease them. But better late than never!




So without further ado and without any further delay...

Here is my Third Trimester Survival Guide!




Back Pain

This was probably the most uncomfortable symptom I experienced during the third trimester and the one I worked hardest to alleviate. Some of the things which helped me most were the following:

  1. Lumbar Support Pillow - This was a godsend! I didn't sit anywhere without it.
  2. Warm baths - Enjoy as many as you can! Not only are they relaxing and help relieve back and pelvic pain but you probably won't get to enjoy them much for a while once the baby is born.
  3. Maternity Belt - A supportive maternity belt can help relieve the extra weight caused by your growing bump which can help relieve your back.

Frequent Need To Urinate

As your bump grows bigger it will place increasing pressure on your bladder! Here is how I avoided having any "wardrobe malfunctions".


  1. Frequent bathroom breaks - A frequent need to urinate means frequent trips to the bathroom! I planned ahead and tried to go to the bathroom every 30 minutes in order to head off any mishaps,
  2. Pantyliners - In case I couldn't make it to the bathroom in a timely manner, I wore pantyliners 24/7! In my opinion, these are a must-have during the final two weeks or so of pregnancy. They're also great to have on hand for postpartum spotting later on!

Hemorrhoids


By far the least glamorous symptom of late pregnancy, in my opinion. These puppies got considerably worse postpartum. So if you already have them, stock up on supplies now!

  1. Hemorrhoid cream - Preparation-H is a must-have! It will help to reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoids/
  2. Epsom salts baths and sitz baths - Not only are these relaxing but they too will help to reduce the swelling of the hemorrhoids.
  3. Tucks Pads - These can be used to help clean yourself in the bathroom or in more serious cases to line your pantyliner. The cooling pad and astringent witch hazel help to relieve discomfort.

Fatigue

As your pregnancy progresses its normal to feel more and more tired (up until that much desired "nesting" period). The best thing you can do is to take things easy and rest up. Here is how I tried to manage the exhaustion.

  1. Get more rest - Naps! If you can, aim for at least one nap a day. Also, try to head to bed earlier. In my final trimester I was going to sleep at 9pm every night, much earlier than I previously had.
  2. Lower expectations - At a certain point in my pregnancy I came to terms with the fact that I just wasn't going to keep up with everything around the house at the same standards as before and just had to let some things go. Luckily, once that nesting urge and energy struck (which is did several days before I went into labor) I was able to catch up on all the things I had let slack for several weeks.
  3. Reduced hours at work - I all but quit my job in the last few weeks of pregnancy. Throughout my pregnancy, I switched from full-time to part-time to on-call to "don't call". I had fast-paced and highly demanding job and luckily was able to take a step back from it. If at all possible for you, consider reducing your work hours or workload load, if needed.

These were far from my only symptoms during the third trimester. I also experienced heartburn, pelvic pain, sciatica, and more which I covered in previous articles on the First and Second trimesters of pregnancy. Click the links to there how I coped with those and other symptoms of pregnancy as they cropped up.


Although all of these symptoms were unpleasant, and I certainly do not miss them, the great thing about them is they are all temporary!! And almost all of them disappeared immediately upon the birth of my son. So if you're in the thick of it, hang in there. The end is very near and it will all become so worth it once your little bundle of joy arrives.


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