Third Trimester Symptoms
During months 7 through 9, prepare to have lots of symptoms as you enter the homestretch. Here's what to expect in the third trimester. Plus, pick your baby name while you wait
The last trimester of pregnancy is full of contrasts: You're revved up for the homestretch but tired. You're thirsty but you often have to go to the bathroom. Treating your body -- and mind -- to the right kind of care is essential. Here's how your body changes, and how best to take care of yourself.
Not only are you lugging around an extra 20 to 30 pounds (or more), your expanding uterus rearranges other organs in your body, adding extra strain. You'll likely have to slow down a little, but you also want to keep your energy up. So:
Do small amounts of exercise. A walk around the block will do the trick. Swimming and prenatal yoga are good options, too, but make sure you listen to your body. If you're tiring sooner, slow down. And if the thought of even rising from an armchair seems like a workout, just stay put.
Take short breaks at work. Put your feet up, and, if possible, take a few minutes to close your eyes.
Eat small, frequent meals and snacks (with a healthy mix of protein and complex carbs). Walnuts and dried fruit are a great snack to keep stashed in your purse or desk.
If your energy level feels really low, check with your doctor. You might be suffering from anemia -- which an iron supplement can fix.
An expanding belly can throw off your posture, and the hormone relaxin, which loosens your joints in anticipation of delivery, exacerbates the stress on your body. There are several things you can do to fool gravity and ease your aches:
* Do pelvic tilts: Rock your pelvis back and forth while kneeling on all fours, keeping your back straight.
* Try an under-the-belly support garment, such as the Bellybra, and maternity pantyhose.
* When you sleep, support your back and abdomen with extra padding underneath your back. If you sleep on your side, wedge a pillow between your legs to create equilibrium for your hips. A maternity pillow might not be a bad investment, especially if you have an older mattress.
* Ask for help -- if someone offers to lift something for you, say yes!