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3rd Trimester

Third Trimester

You are rounding third base and heading for home. As you are coming off of the high of your second trimester you may be feeling a little more restricted again. Literally, restricted as if you feel like you can barely catch your breath from walking up that single flight of stairs. This is normal. With baby increasing in size your lung capacity is being squashed a bit. Make sure you are using diaphragmatic breathing techniques to increase the amount of oxygen that is being delivered to baby -- especially when exercising.

You may have more days of tiredness and exhaustion again so be sure to listen to your body. I strongly recommend that you continue to keep doing some form of exercise through your third trimester even if it's a 10 minute walk twice a day down the street with your dog. This is the time where swelling and water retention can be at its worst and by continuing to keep your body moving and circulating you will likely decrease these symptoms. Again, make sure you are drinking LOTS of water to stay hydrated. Drinking more may seem like an oxymoron but I promise it will only help combat the water retention. 

Posture issues. This becomes a very  tough one for many moms. As the baby continues to grow, the weight of your belly pulls you forward and out of proper alignment. Make sure you are aware of this and continue to pull in your belly button to your spine when standing to initiate your core muscles. You want to watch out that you are not overarching your back, this is a condition called Lordosis. This puts a significant amount of strain on your lower back, so again focus on pulling in your belly button to your spine. Also, remind yourself to relax your neck, roll your shoulders up, down and back to alleviate stress on your upper back as well.

Sciatica is another condition known to show up in the third trimester. Your sciatic nerve (largest nerve in the body) comes from your lower back, travels down the back of your legs and then branches out to your feet. It allows you to feel sensations and move muscles in your legs. Many times the pain is predominately on one side of your body. If this is a symptom you are experiencing, swimming is a great low-impact activity to try that will not put added pressure on that nerve. Continue to do pelvic tilts and Kegel exercises to strengthen the pelvic floor and reduce inflammation. I also experienced tremendous relief from visiting a Webster Technique Certified Chiropractor who was able to safely adjust my spine and hips throughout my third trimester.  

God's precision in creating our bodies to carry our children is pretty stinkin cool. Realizing the miracle of life within us definitely deserves some reflection. You feel the kicks ... ohhh how you feel the kicks. You may feel their hiccups. You may even begin to have Braxton Hicks contractions which are also very normal tightening of your uterine muscles but many confuse them with true labor. These are all beautiful indications of a healthy baby within you. A baby that will soon be in your arms instead of your belly. So among all the yucky symptoms we may experience over the course of our pregnancy remember that this is just a minuscule fraction of our child's life in which they will never again be so incredibly close to us. Take time to soak in this time with your unborn baby because as everyone says, it does pass by quickly.