Welcome to your third trimester! This is the stage of pregnancy from week 27 until birth. Here’s some advice about managing your health through these last few months.
Congratulations – the time is getting closer that you will meet your baby! The third trimester brings with it more changes to your body and perhaps your mood, so it’s important to continue caring for yourself.
Taking care of your physical health in the third trimester
While we must remember that every pregnancy is different, many women experience difficulty sleeping in the third trimester. This could be because your body is still growing, so your usual sleeping positions may not be as comfortable.
It is generally advised that you sleep on your side during the third trimester. This position creates maximum oxygen flow to your baby! Try putting a pillow between your knees and under your belly for support.
You will likely experience more fatigue in the third trimester; getting ready to have a baby is tiring work! Your rest may also become less deep, as you could be waking up more often with a full bladder, for example. When you’re feeling tired enough to have a sleep, try to take advantage of the feeling. Day-time naps can help you catch up on sleep. Otherwise, laying down or sitting with your feet up can at least help rest your body.
Going for a walk in the late afternoon can help expend some energy before bedtime. Walking is great to do during your third trimester, as it is a gentle exercise. Chat to your health professionals about more third-trimester safe exercises and build a routine. Focusing on strengthening your pelvic floor is a good idea leading up to and after giving birth.
Heartburn symptoms sometimes increase in the third trimester as your baby grows. Staying upright for at least 30 minutes after eating can help minimize reflux and heartburn symptoms. Chat to your health professional about which foods can cause heartburn, and ask for some advice for planning a third-trimester diet. This may be quite similar to your pregnancy diet so far, though you may need to make some adjustments if you’ve developed new symptoms.
Taking care of your mental health during the third trimester
By now, you might be aware that your changing hormones and life circumstances can make your mood a bit more unpredictable or overwhelming. This is natural – thoughts about becoming a parent can be exciting as well as confronting! If you’re experiencing anxieties or feelings of overwhelm in this period of your pregnancy, remember it’s okay to reach out to a professional. If you’re struggling emotionally for two weeks or more, it’s time to let your GP or therapist know.
Remember to be kind to yourself. Pregnancy is a full-time thing! It makes you tired, so you probably won’t be as productive as you’re used to – that’s fine! Growing a baby is a lot of productivity for any day.
Talk to your loved ones or trusted professional if you’d like a bit of support through this time. You can also reach out to PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia) or look into other support lines for pregnant women and parents.
It’s not long now until you can welcome your little one into the world! Remember taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your family. Congratulations and good luck on your journey.