Pregnancy comes with many hardships for mothers, from feeling sick to the stomach every day to surprise contractions. Mothers sacrifice their free time for regular check-ups and must avoid drinking and eating the things they love most. Of course, the pain will all be worth it in the end, but there is no harm in sharing the struggles with other fellow parents.
Many parents debate when is the worst month of pregnancy. While it sounds subjective, there is no doubt that many will agree that the last few months of pregnancy have to be the worst, hands down.
But how bad is the last month of pregnancy? Is it comparable to mood swings, spotting, cramping, and morning sickness in the first trimester? Not quite. Keep reading to see why:
Your Pregnancy in a Three Paragraphs: What to Expect
Your pregnancy is divided into three trimesters. During your first trimester, which lasts from 0 to 13 weeks, your baby undergoes many crucial developmental stages, including the growth of vital organs and their body structure. Your body is high on hormones, and you experience symptoms such as fatigue, sickness, breast growth, spotting, and mood swings. (Of course, the severity of symptoms varies from mother to mother.)
Week 14 to 26 is the second trimester, also known as the “golden period.” You will notice your symptoms becoming more bearable, and you can get the rest that you need. Best of all, this is when you start experiencing movements from your baby! But it is not all rainbows and sunshine since you still have to deal with back pain, stomachaches, constipation, cramps, and heartburn.
Lastly, your third trimester will fall on weeks 27 to 40. You will experience new symptoms, including sleeping problems, frequent urination, hemorrhoids, contractions, and varicose veins. These symptoms are a result of your uterus expanding to support your baby. And your due date is coming soon, so you might want to brace yourself for that.
What is the Worst Month of Pregnancy?
The last few months of pregnancy are arguably the toughest. You are carrying a baby with the weight of a small pumpkin in your belly! Everything also probably hurts, and you might have a lot of difficulties moving around the place.
Your pregnancy symptoms are what you should look out for. Above are some examples of what you can experience during your third trimester. But as we said, symptoms and their severity varies from mother to mother.
Contractions are the number one symptom that many mothers endure during their third trimester. The tightness in your abdomen can leave you feeling breathless and screaming for mercy. At first, they will be more sporadic and weak. But as you approach your due date, you can feel them becoming more intense and consistent.
Pain is also a common complaint during the third trimester. You might hear many moms complaining about backaches. Besides carrying a baby the size of two romano peppers, your hormones can affect the connective tissues around your pelvic area, causing discomfort around your back.
While on the subject of pain, swelling is another symptom mothers may experience. Swelling hands and feet from fluid retention can cause discomfort around those areas.
Your scale may also say you’ve gotten onto the heavier side. But do not beat yourself down over it. Mothers should gain around 1 to 2 pounds weekly during their third trimester.
Finally, you will have to deal with sleep deprivation during this stage. From urinating in the middle of the night to dealing with all the aches in your body, be ready to lose some shuteye for a while.
What is Happening to My Baby During the Third Trimester?
While all this is happening, your baby is gearing up to see the world for the first time. Once in your third trimester, your baby has already developed their bones, the ability to sense light, and the capacity to store vital minerals.
Your baby’s position in the womb matters, especially when their due date is near. They should be in a head-down position for optimal delivery. If the baby is not in that position, the doctors may try to maneuver the baby or suggest a C-section.
How Do I Stay Healthy (And Sane) During the Third Trimester?
The third trimester can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing time. But going in prepared can lessen the tension and make you feel more ready for your baby.
Getting your prenatal care is vital during this stage. Your doctor will do several tests to ensure that your delivery is successful.
Some vaccines are recommended to help prevent diseases such as whopping cough from reaching your baby. Your doctor may inject you with one dose of tetanus toxoid, reduced diphtheria toxoid, and acellular pertussis (Tdap) vaccine. These shots are best administered between weeks 27 to 36.
Your doctor will also screen you for conditions, including gestational diabetes, iron deficiency anemia, and Group B strep. These conditions can affect you and your baby and make child-rearing harder for both of you.
Besides going to your regular prenatal check-up, you can maintain your health at home, such as taking vitamins, eating a balanced diet, and doing light exercises. Avoid doing anything too strenuous that can worsen swelling and pain, and keep an eye on what you eat.
You may also start planning your birth during this time, such as taking parenting and prenatal classes, packing your bag for the hospital trip, and phoning loved ones to take care of your house, pets, and other children. By this time, you should have plans for the future, such as your maternity leave, insurance, and items for your baby.
It can be a lot of work. But with enough support from your family, friends, and doctor, all those troubles will be worth it.
My third-trimester symptoms are killing me! How do I lessen the pain?
Consult your doctor for painkillers which can lessen the swelling and pain during your third trimester. Alternatively, you can use home remedies to ease pregnancy aches.
How often should I visit my doctor during the third trimester?
Expect a check-up every 2 weeks during your third trimester.
What is a Group B strep test?
Group B strep is a kind of bacteria that can cause infections in babies if not detected. Your doctor will recommend antibiotics if your results come out positive.