You’re in the home stretch of your pregnancy, but when you reach the third trimester, you’ve gone from looking forward to wearing your maternity clothes to feeling like you wear the same clothes every single day.
Your energy begins to subside and baby’s adorable kicks are getting stronger, more uncomfortable, and sometimes they end up in your ribs.
Your body will continue to change in the last trimester. Here are the major changes to look out for:
- Weight Gain. The average woman will gain 25-35 pounds during her pregnancy, but this depends on your pre-pregnancy starting weight. At this stage, you’re adding 1-2 pounds per week.
- Heartburn. Because of hormonal changes, in addition to the uterus pushing your organs into your abdomen to make room for baby, many women experience heartburn in the third trimester. Some pregnant women find that sleeping more upright helps ease heartburn at night.
- Swelling. Your expanding uterus also begins to put pressure on your veins, so you may notice your feet, ankles and legs swelling. Many women find that socks and shoes don’t fit comfortably. You may also notice swelling in your arms, hands and around your face.
- Aches and Pains. Your body is beginning to produce relaxin, which loosens your ligaments to help prepare your body for childbirth. An unfortunate and painful side effect of these relaxed ligaments is back aches and hip shifting or cracking—all normal as your body prepares for birth.
- Frequent Urination. With baby growing and beginning to descend into your pelvic region, there will be increased pressure on your bladder. This will require you to use the bathroom more often, and is the cause of many sleepless nights.
All of these body changes are perfectly normal, but be sure to discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider.