By Erin Ollila
Between waking to use the bathroom every few hours at night to needing to elevate your swollen feet throughout the day, you’re currently feeling uncomfortable and ready to pop during your third trimester. However, you don’t need to suffer just because you’re in the final stages of your pregnancy. There are many ways to soothe third-trimester discomfort. Here are a few of our favorite suggestions.
Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate
Pregnant women are at a higher risk for hemorrhoids, urinary tract infections (UTIs), constipation, swelling and more. However, there is one easy thing any soon-to-be mama can do every day to help avoid these unwanted pregnancy complications: drink more water. In general, most people are currently operating at a dehydrated level. When you’re pregnant, water is even more important as both you and your baby rely on it.
The American Pregnancy Association (APA) reports, “Water helps to form the placenta, which is what your baby relies on to receive nutrients during pregnancy. Water is also used to form the amniotic sac later in your pregnancy. Therefore, it is important to avoid dehydration during pregnancy.”
Not sure how much to consume to stay hydrated? Ask your doctor at your next appointment. In the meantime, aim for eight 8-ounce glasses a day. The APA also suggests that you’ll know you’re hydrated if your urine is mostly clear. Darker yellow urine is an indicator that you must consume more water.
There are many accessories made to help pregnant women feel more comfortable. Too hot? Buy a cooling necklace made with beads that can be frozen before you put it on. Experiencing back pain? There are supportive belly bands you can wear that help you “carry” the weight of your pregnant belly. Not sleeping well? A supportive body pillow allows you to relax in ways a flat mattress simply cannot.
Have you found your feet swelling at the end of the day? “Compression stockings helped a lot with the swelling in my legs and feet,” says mom of two, Kaitlyn Pierce. She continues “I couldn’t have done my first pregnancy without them.”
Move Your Body
You might think that moving your body is the absolute last thing you want to do if you’re feeling uncomfortable during your third trimester. However, getting some physical exercise may be the only thing to calm your body.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says, “If you are healthy and your pregnancy is normal, it is safe to continue or start most types of exercise, but you may need to make a few changes.” They go on to suggest that physical activity while pregnant can reduce back pain, strengthen your heart and blood vessels, and ease constipation, among other health benefits.
Cassie Gillick, mom of two, says, “Prenatal yoga helped with my sciatic nerve pain when I was pregnant with my daughter. I learned a few moves that actually helped!” She continues, “Also, swimming in a pool was relaxing.”
Just make sure to run any new exercise ideas by your doctor to make sure that it’s a healthy choice this far along in your pregnancy.
Call In The Professionals
Let’s be honest. There are many serious discomforts that won’t be soothed by prenatal accessories or gentle exercise. In this case, it’s time to call in the help of professionals who are specifically trained to help pregnant women who are experiencing pain, such as a chiropractor, massage therapist, or physical therapist.
“I went for massages and to the chiropractor a couple of days a week just to be able to walk with sciatic pain,” says mom of two Jen Fazzina.
Again, before seeking help, it’s best to talk to your doctor about your symptoms. They can recommend a specific course of treatment. In addition, there might be local professionals that they recommend highly, so you don’t have to find them on your own.
Get It All Out
Sometimes, it helps to simply vent when you’re not feeling great. And that’s okay! Reach out to someone on your support team and tell them about all your aches and pains and how you want your body back. Pregnancy is mentally and physically hard. There is no need to keep in your feelings or act like a martyr. You deserve to be heard.
“I complained a lot,” says mom of one, A.J. O’Connell. She continues, “I was still uncomfortable but it did help.”
Finally, Mom of five Carrie Sharpe suggests the easiest way to get rid of third-trimester discomfort. “Give birth,” she says!