The third trimester is an exciting time, but it’s not always sunshine and roses. I wrote about how I survived the first trimester a few months ago and now I want to share my biggest tips for how to survive the third trimester of pregnancy.
The third trimester starts in the 28th week of pregnancy and lasts until you give birth. By this stage, you’ll probably be over most of the awful symptoms of the first trimester and early second trimester, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.
I know you’re probably wondering how to get through the last trimester of pregnancy, so let’s jump in!
How to survive the third trimester of pregnancy.
I don’t suffer from indigestion of acid reflux generally, but it’s common during pregnancy. This is due to hormonal changes and the baby pressing on your stomach. It seems to be worse when you lay down. I had a few nights when I shot up in bed and was almost sick due to it.
There are many things you can use to treat this. I found in pregnancy, things started to make me feel sick after a while of having it often. So I had a few different things. There is Gaviscon liquid and tablets. This was my first port of call.
When I got tired of them I moved on to Rennie mint tablets and then when I had too many of those, I moved on to Rennie orange. I also got a few packets from Boots and Tesco which had different fruit flavours in.
The only other thing that worked was milk. In the last few weeks of my third trimester, I was drinking about two pints of milk a day! I could have drunk more but was restricting myself because I ended up gaining three and a half stone!
Tail bone pain.
I started to get tailbone pain really early. Tail bone pain is caused by hormones such as relaxin which relax and stretch your pelvic floor which can move your coccyx. The weight of your growing baby can also cause it.
There are many yoga-type stretches you can do to help this, just give ‘pregnancy yoga for tailbone pain’ and there are lots of ideas to pick from!
I found the best thing was to avoid sitting on a hard chair for long periods of time and to have a cushion supporting my back in bed and on the sofa. I used a nursing pillow on the sofa. Handy as I using one for breastfeeding now.
Carpal tunnel is a comment in pregnancy. This is due to swelling in your hands that can put pressure on your nerves. I had pain in both of my wrists for a few weeks and then that settled. But I still had pain in my middle finger on my right hand. I couldn’t even bend all the way or fully close my hands! Thankfully it did disappear a few weeks after birth (which is good because I play the piano!)
You can’t use Deep Heat during pregnancy because it contains ibuprofen which passes through the placenta to the baby, but you can use Deep Freeze! I’m not going to lie and say it is amazing, Deep Heat is better but it’s the next best thing to soothe any aches and pains!
I actually started getting pains in my hips on an evening from about 16 weeks pregnant, but it got worse and worse as the pregnancy got worse. You can’t sleep on your back during pregnancy because the weight of the baby can restrict the blood flow through your main veins that carry blood back to your heart.
Not that you would want to sleep on your back anyway, it’s so uncomfortable when you’re in the third trimester! But to help this I used a maternity pillow. I had one part against my back and the other between my legs to help my hips. The more pregnant I got, the less this worked though but it was great up until about 36 weeks! This is the maternity pillow that I bought.
I still use the small part that unzips now to support my back in bed and to place it under my knees when breastfeeding in bed to prevent my lower back from aching.
I struggled so much to sleep when I was pregnant. If you’re not being woken up by hip pain, then you’re being woken by the baby kicking, by acid reflux or hip pain!
The only way to help this is to try and prevent these things from happening where you can. A few things I used to do were:
- Drink milk before bed
- Have indigestion tablets by the bed
- Have water by the bed
- Turn regularly from one side to the other
- Prop pillows up so you are in an almost seated position which is good for hip pain and acid reflux
- Ignore anyone who says ‘better get your sleep now because you won’t when the baby arrives because you are EXHAUSTED during pregnancy and you are also EXHAUSTED when you have a baby.
Also, you do not need to ‘practice’ being tired. So ignore anyone who says that, too.
I was very lucky that even though I was working through the third trimester, I was working from home which meant I could lounge around in my PJs or work from bed.
My biggest regret was not taking liquid iron sooner! My iron was borderline low at 12 weeks pregnant, but the iron tablets triggered my morning sickness and left me in bed for two or three days.
They said they would retest it later in the pregnancy, which they did at 28 weeks. My iron had fallen more by then so I was prescribed liquid iron. There was a lot of communication errors between my GP and midwives, after being prescribed the wrong thing once, then the midwives complaining, then getting another call to say ‘the (wrong) prescription is there’ I finally got my liquid iron 4 weeks later!
My midwife suggested I tried Spatone liquid iron which is easier on the stomach, so until I got my prescription sorted I used this. I wish I had started using it much sooner.
I had a big issue with my iron towards the end, I had a big bleed and my iron went severely low. I’m not saying these would have prevented it completely but taking iron during my whole pregnancy could have helped!
I’ve I can’t get liquid iron prescribed if I get pregnant again, I’ll be taking Spatone for sure!
Nursery and hospital bags.
I recommend sorting out your nursery and hospital bags as soon as possible!
As my partner is a teacher, we sorted our safari themed nursery out over the summer and it was basically done before I was 30 weeks pregnant.
I packed the baby’s hospital bag and my hospital bag at around 35 weeks. Check this post out for my essential items to take to the hospital for labour!
You have to be kind to yourself. If you’re feeling terrible in the 3rd trimester then you need to find some ways to make yourself feel better. That could be relaxing in the bath, buying some nice skincare to treat yourself or getting a new hair cut. It’s normal to be tired in the first trimester and it’s important to rest, relax and take care of yourself. You can work right up until you have your baby, but do consider taking maternity leave before so you can try and enjoy the simple things, like watching a movie uninterrupted
Get your third-trimester to-do list sorted fast so you are ready for the arrival of your new baby. Then get plenty of rest.
- Hospital bag essentials
- Breastfeeding essentials
- Weaning essentials
- Taking a baby swimming for the first time
- What maternity clothes do I really need?