Now that you're a week into the third trimester, you might start to notice that what you once thought was a "big" belly was actually a cute little bump. As you continue into the last stage of your pregnancy, a waddle may develop, and you'll notice people have to move out of the way to avoid your bump. How many people can balance a bowl of cereal on their belly? Seriously though, look for humor in your situation, because it always helps to have a laugh.
Old symptoms, such as constipation or heartburn, may begin to re-emerge into your life at this point. Blame the hormones, but do all you can to eat a diet high in fiber and drink plenty of water. It also helps to eat meals 2-3 hours before you go to bed to avoid heartburn keeping you awake at night.
Another development at this point could include varicose veins, or swollen veins that may become painful and unsightly under the skin. Hemorrhoids are one form of varicose veins (located in the rectum), but these bulging veins may appear anywhere, including the legs and vulva (yeesh!).
Pregnant women are especially vulnerable to varicose veins since the growing uterus puts pressure on one of the main veins (the inferior vena cava) that controls most of the blood flow to and from your legs. As your circulatory system also deals with more blood and dilation to cope with the demands of pregnancy, it's very possible to develop bulging veins. Here are some ways you can prevent and lessen varicose veins:
- Move often. When sitting, standing, or whatever you're doing, just make sure you shift your weight often and regularly change positions.
- Elevate your legs and feet, particularly after long periods of activity on your feet.
- Wear support pantyhose, socks, and other similar items to control blood flow.
- Drink plenty of water and add fiber to your diet to avoid constipation that may contribute to hemorrhoids.
- Eat a consistent and nutritious diet to monitor weight gain.
These are all very well, but most often pregnant women just want something tasty to eat, and to sit and rest. The above tips don't mean you can never just sit still or have a burger once in a while, but you'll find maintaining a good balance promotes your health and happiness. If anything, many varicose veins fade or disappear after delivery.
Baby is gaining weight steadily, meaning that he or she is becoming more substantial. This weight gain also makes it easier to feel her little kicks and nudges as she grows and takes up more and more space in your womb.
Speaking of kicks, it's a good idea to keep an approximate record of your baby's kicks each day, just so you know what amount of movement is normal. You can use plenty of free apps from The App Store or Google Play. Call your doctor or midwife if you notice less movement than you're used to, as they can provide reassurance and help if you need it.
In addition to weight gain, your baby's brain is busy creating billions of neurons to create nerve pathways later on. The skeleton is hardening, too, meaning that you should eat plenty of protein and calcium (just like always).
Is your nursery ready? Now is a good time to order a crib/dresser combo or other furniture. At this point, you'll still have plenty of time to receive shipments, assemble any parts, and arrange the nursery to your liking. You can also pick and choose what you need to buy that hasn't already been bought from your registry. Nest away!