The 3rd trimester. Hopefully you are feeling fine. You may be a little tired, or you could be full of energy and vibrant. Normal gestation is considered 38-42 weeks and you are more than likely counting down the days until you see this amazing baby or babies.
During this time:
1. Your OB appointments increase
2. You may begin to experience a little more discomfort as the baby continues to grow
3. It may start to get more uncomfortable at night, either finding a comfortable position to sleep or even just having difficulty sleeping in general.
4. For others there may be a feeling of constant fatigue
5. Heartburn/ Reflux
Things to remember:
1. Posture is important. Continue to be mindful of your posture.
2. Breathing is very helpful, not only for relaxation but being in tuned with your breath can help in future with your delivery process.
3. Eat smaller portions to accommodate for any heartburn or indigestion you may be feeling. Be cautious of foods that might exacerbate this (spicy foods, citrus foods)
4. Continue to be as mobile as possible. If you are tired, then rest, but on the days when you have a little more energy then go ahead and try to move as much as you can- walking, maybe cleaning with a little music on (I have had some of my best workouts dancing while cleaning).
5. Be mindful of breath holding and also “doming” at the abdomen with activity.
In a previous article I spoke about DRA (diastasis rectus abdominus), something that according to current research literature is present within 100% of pregnant women. This is a stretching of the connective tissue in the abdominal wall and makes sense as the abdomen is growing and needs to accommodate the baby. The important thing here is to be mindful of activity and the things listed above #3 and 4.
Now is a great time, if you haven’t already, to reach out to a pelvic floor therapist. Not only can they work on strengthening and mobility exercises and strategies to prepare you for delivery but also efficient positions for laboring in, especially in lieu of any orthopedic issues or pains that you may be having. They can educate you on any type of supports that may be helpful at this time to better alleviate pain and assist with keeping you as mobile as possible during this phase. In addition, they prepare you for the fourth trimester, or the phase immediately after labor, with exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor, education on proper posture for breast feeding, lifting/ carrying your baby and for functional tasks at home.
As with all the other phases of your pregnancy, your nutrition remains very important. Balance is key. For most persons, they are no longer nauseated at the site or the odor of food. If you feel that you are unable to eat adequately adding a nutritional shake can be helpful to ensure that you get the proper nutrients and calories needed.
As the countdown continues, continue to enjoy this time. Make some time for ‘mama’ because soon your focus will change somewhat and that is perfectly normal. Allow your ‘tribe’ to help where they can and take the opportunity to rest and rejuvenate.