Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Third Trimester... Endpoint in Sight!

To continue my previous thread on pregnancy, here are some thoughts about the last trimester...

Reflux with a vengeance!
With increase in abdominal girth and pressure pushing up against the stomach, there is just less space to digest huge volumes of food.  Therefore, where in the first trimester eating is difficulty due to nausea I find this trimester, eating is difficult due to limited space.  

Things I find helpful to combat this includes:
-  small frequent meals
-  avoiding foods high in fats and grease (like fried foods)
-  avoiding your usual foods that exacerbate reflux like mint, caffeine, chocolate, tomato based foods etc.

Lower back pain
I especially experience this when I'm climb out of bed in the middle of the night to head to the bathroom.  Often I find myself bracing myself with my arms and needing to take small baby steps until I work out the kinks.  Sometimes the pain shoots down my legs.  I probably could avoid or alleviate a lot of this discomfort if I would exercise more and use heat to relax the muscles.

Oh.. then there is the joys of leg cramps...
This usually occurs in the middle of the night when I'm stretching my legs.  Ouch!  It can be quite painful.  When this happens I know I'm not drinking enough fluids.  Eating more bananas and foods high in potassium would probably help as well.

Braxton Hicks or false contractions
These actually can be pretty painful.  It basically feels like tightness across the belly and can usually be relieved with hydration.  Warm baths, changing positions, deep breathing are all measures to help relieve the discomfort.  However, one needs to be careful because sometimes these are hard to differentiate from real contractions which may be early signs of preterm labor.  When in doubt and you are getting these more frequently or intensely, you should call your physician.

Finally... interrupted night time sleep...
Whether it is from constantly needing to get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom or simply the difficulty of finding a comfortable position to lie in... sleep is interrupted.  It is too bad because both my other girls are actually sleeping through the night these days.  Few more weeks and I'll soon have a newborn to wake up to every 1-2 hrs.  Now based on the amount of kicking I feel in the middle of the night these days, this kid is probably not going to sleep very much during the hours of the night.

So these are some of the discomforts of pregnancy that I experience and that some other pregnant moms have come to me for.  Again some folks have a fabulous 9 months of pregnancy all glowing and symptom free.  I think it helps to know what may be experienced so things can be done to either alleviate or prevent the symptoms.

I really should have stayed more physically fit through the second and third trimester of my pregnancy this round.  I truly believe it would have made a big difference.  Guess it is not too late to start...