During this stage, a lot of fetal activity happens. These include poking and kicking, which you’ll find difficult not to notice.
Breasts Continue to Grow
Continued breast growth is expected until the third trimester. As the tissues grow, a yellow discharge called colostrums leaks from the nipples.
Due to an oversized abdomen, many pregnant women experience shortness of breath during the third trimester of pregnancy. The reason behind this phenomenon is that as the uterus continues to expand, it presses your diaphragm up which is below the lungs.
Because the baby is continually growing inside, excess weight is being placed on the abdomen. As a result, the lower back and pelvis work hard to compensate for this body change. Muscle imbalance develops, which will lead to back pain. It will be a little difficult to sit or stand for longer periods.
Varicose veins usually develop during the third trimester. These came from the spider veins which were developed during the second trimester. Varicose veins are swollen red or blue veins which bulged on the skin’s surface. These are commonly found at the lower extremities particularly the calves and thighs.
Pain in the Abdomen
Abdominal pain is normal during the third trimester especially, when you reached the final weeks of your pregnancy. Braxton Hicks contractions, a warm up contractions can be experienced at this time. These contractions come and go as you go nearer to your due date.
The pressure being put on the bladder increases as the baby continues to grow in size. This causes frequent urination and urine leakage as you cough, sneeze and laugh.
More vaginal discharge is expected during the third trimester. A thick, clear or slightly blood-tinged discharge is normal when you’re already near the due date. This is a sign that your cervix has started dilating in preparation for childbirth.
Swollen Body Parts
Fluid retention leads to swollen hands, calves, ankles and feet. This natural body change could be painful in some cases. To manage swelling on the lower extremities particularly the feet, place your feet on a pillow and position them above your heart.
A type of ambulation which is commonly seen in pregnant women is called waddling gait. This gait becomes prominent at the final weeks of pregnancy. This is caused by frequent changes in position by the baby.
Weight gain is a natural effect of pregnancy. During the third trimester, you’ll be able to see the result of all the food cravings you had and the weight added by your baby. An increased weight between 25 and 35 pounds is normal at this period. Other factors that increase your weight are placenta, amniotic fluid, fluid retention and excess blood.
These swollen veins that develop in the anus are actually varicose veins. Hemorrhoids occur due to the increased pressure placed on the anus during pregnancy and due to the extra blood flowing through the veins.
Although these body changes are normally occurring, you still have to be watchful and alert for the “not normal” signs, such as bleeding, severe abdominal pain, severe cramps, rapid weight gain, and pain during urination. Seek immediate medical help if these signs are present.