The third trimester can be one of the most exciting stages of pregnancy as you anticipate the arrival of your newborn. But as your baby develops and gets ready for birth, you’ll experience many physical changes—some of which may not be comfortable. Providing prenatal care in the St. Peters, MO, area for over 30 years, Dr. Joseph Hazan of Advanced OB-GYN Services highlights a few of the most common symptoms experienced during this period—and how you can ease them.
A Guide to the Third Trimester
1. Back Pain
Gradual weight gain places more stress on the joints and muscles in your lower back. At the same time, hormonal changes cause your pelvis and hips to gradually loosen, which can be uncomfortable. Maintaining proper posture, sleeping on your side, and wearing supportive flat shoes will offer relief. However, if backaches worsen, talk to your OB-GYN about other prenatal care solutions, such as safe pain relief medications.
2. Digestive Problems
Increased levels of the hormone progesterone may cause your esophagus to relax and trigger acid reflux. Intestinal muscles will also become looser, increasing the likelihood of constipation. Your prenatal care doctor will offer suggestions on how you can adjust your diet to ease symptoms and what medications to take.
3. Breast Changes
During the third trimester, your breasts will continue to grow, becoming heavier and tender. To support proper posture, invest in a larger, more supportive bra. Your nipples will start producing colostrum—a yellow-colored fluid that contains necessary nutrients for your newborn. Talk to your OB-GYN if you experience considerable soreness or itching.
4. Braxton Hicks Contractions
Braxton Hicks contractions happen when uterine muscles tighten, similar to what’s experienced during labor. Pressure is relieved by changing positions, taking a warm bath, or rehydrating. However, if contractions don’t ease up or become painful, you should contact your obstetrics provider for more insight.
5. Increased Urination
As growing babies place pressure on the bladder, it’s common to urinate more frequently. It’s important to do so whenever the urge arises, as holding it in can lead to a urinary tract infection. If you feel a burning sensation while using the bathroom, you may have an issue that requires treatment.
Although discomfort is often a natural part of pregnancy, having a trusted prenatal care provider by your side will prepare you—and help make symptoms more tolerable. For help at every trimester, turn to Dr. Joseph Hazan of Advanced OB-GYN Services for reliable, comfortable, and comprehensive care. Learn more about the doctor online, or make an appointment today by calling (636) 928-1800 to reach the St. Peters clinic or (314) 291-2140 for the Bridgeton location.