The third trimester of pregnancy: care tips for a would-be mother
The third trimester is the last phase (weeks 28 through 40) of your pregnancy. It is a phase marked by emotional and physical challenges. Knowing what is coming in advance can make a big difference.
CHANGES IN THE BODY
Anxiety, aches, pains, swelling are common during this phase. Symptoms seen in the previous trimesters can become worse. Common events include:
Weight gain: Do not give in to unhealthy food cravings and try to be as active as possible to avoid unwanted weight gain.
Leg veins and swelling: Make sure you're drinking a lot of water and avoiding salty foods.
Aches and pains: Back, knees and neck are areas likely to be affected. Take rest and switch between ice packs and heating pads to relieve the pain.
Frequent urination: Trips to the bathroom will increase. Avoid drinking too many fluids at night. If you see blood in urine, call the doctor right away.
Insomnia: Your sleep cycle is likely to get affected. Try these steps to get a comfortable nap:
- Avoid exercise in the late afternoon and evening.
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark.
- Layer your bedding in case you get hot.
- Consider putting a fan at the bedside.
- Take a warm bath before bed.
- Meditate or practise deep breathing exercises.
- Use extra pillows to support your belly.
WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY DURING THE THIRD TRIMESTER
What to do:
- Continue to take prenatal vitamins.
- Stay active unless you’re experiencing swelling or pain.
- Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber.
- Eat enough calories (about 300 more calories than normal per day).
- Get plenty of rest and sleep.
What to avoid:
- Strenuous exercise or strength training
- Caffeine (no more than one cup of coffee or tea per day)
- Smoking and illegal drugs
- Raw fish or smoked seafood
- Raw sprouts
- long car trips and airplane flights.
Exercising in the third trimester can reap many benefits. These include:
- Cardiovascular fitness
- Controlled blood pressure
- Better mood
Avoid activities like jumping, hopping, skipping and bouncing.
The best activities during the third trimester:
Walking and jogging: This will keep you active. However, you should avoid running.
Swimming and aqua aerobics: Lap swimming is an excellent total-body exercise. Water takes the pressure off tired legs and back and helps prevent overheating.
Yoga, Pilates, and Cycling: Yoga can help ease the anxiety and depression that are common during pregnancy. These three exercises will target all the major muscle groups. You can also join classes that are specifically designed for pregnant women.
Bodyweight and toning moves: Try bodyweight workouts like squats, modified planks and wall pushups to maintain strength.
Avoid crunches and abs work that have you flat on your back.
You can also try the following exercises with a pair of 1/2 kg dumbbells
- Basic bicep curls
- Lateral raises
- Triceps workout