The third trimester of pregnancy can be a beautiful time. The pregnancy is almost over now that most of the time has passed. The many symptoms of pregnancy have died down and moms will feel their baby move on the daily. Women will look properly pregnant and feel pride in their bumps. They may have anxiety about the birth, but even that seems a long way off. So, what is there to worry about? Well, maybe more than we think. These are some symptoms that may appear normal but could be warning signs of something more sinister. It’s important to be aware of things that might seem routine but can have a more serious impact on you and your baby.
There are so many symptoms associated with pregnancy, and many of them are just our bodies’ ways of preparing the body for change and for labor. But, especially if you are a first-time mom, you really don’t know if a symptom you have is normal or something to be concerned about. If something suspicious happens, doctors will not think it is wasting their time to make an appointment. It is better to check these things out. There are many normal symptoms that can be more serious if they are accompanied by other symptoms.
15 Food Won't Stay Down
Many of us have spent the first trimester feeling nauseous and vomiting. The second trimester of your pregnancy may have provided some relief from this. However, the third trimester can be punctuated by sickness too. As the baby grows and the stomach is squashed, we can experience acid reflux and inability to eat very much. If we eat too much we might vomit and feel unwell. However, prolonged vomiting needs addressing.
Rarely, it can be a sign of preeclampsia. If vomiting is accompanied by headaches, swelling, and fatigue, it is important to get checked out as soon as possible. If preeclampsia is not treated it can be fatal for mother and baby.
If it is close to the due date or there have been prolonged abdominal cramps, it could be a sign of labor. Kids Center reminds us that if there are some weeks before the due date it’s important to seek medical attention. Preterm babies and mother need some attention that only a hospital can provide.
Sometimes even late into pregnancy, expectant mothers might still be experiencing morning sickness in the third trimester. Whilst this is unpleasant and debilitating, it is not dangerous for the baby and it will take all the nutrients it needs providing some food and liquid is kept down. If this becomes severe it might be necessary to go to the hospital to be fed intravenously.
14 Spotting Red
Bleeding is always a concern in pregnancy and is likely to raise alarm bells. None of us like the thought that it is an early sign of miscarriage. However, once the third trimester is well underway and the baby is viable, it may be nothing to worry about, but it may be a symptom of something more serious. Heavy bleeding is a particular concern. According to American Pregnancy, it could be a sign that the placenta has come away from the uterus (abruptio placentae) or that the placenta is in the wrong place (placenta praevia)
If there is bright red bleeding with no abdominal pain, it could be placenta praevia. Even if the bleeding stops, it will reoccur as the placenta is not attached to the uterus and blood can be released from the cervix as a result.
If you are suffering from abruptio placentae, bleeding will also occur, usually accompanied by some pain in the back or abdomen. There may also be contractions and a tightness in the uterus. Both of these conditions can be life-threatening to mother and baby so you need to seek medical attention as soon as possible. Be assured these conditions are very rare.
13 Shoes Don't Fit Anymore
One of the less attractive elements of pregnancy is bloating. We feel enormous enough as it is, but when our ankles and feet start to swell as well, it is just too much! Swelling in pretty much any place on the body is called edema. There might even be swelling in the neck as well. It’s caused by fluid retention, and it can be caused by hormones and blood systems reacting to the progressing pregnancy.
American Pregnancy reminds us that any swelling should be noted, as it could be a warning sign of something more serious.
In extreme cases, it can be a sign of preeclampsia, which needs treating as soon as possible. It may even be necessary to induce labor early. If pregnancy is in its final stage, this might be considered. Preeclampsia is cured by delivery, and as long as it doesn’t develop into eclampsia, it should cause no lasting damage. Medical advice should be sought if there is swelling or puffiness in the face. This could be a sign of preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is cured by delivering the baby, but if not treated can lead to eclampsia, which can be fatal. Any sign of high blood pressure or swelling, accompanied by headaches, stomach cramps or bleeding should be treated as soon as possible.
12 Fewer Baby Kicks
Doctors tell us that we should take note if the baby does not kick in its regular pattern. If our baby is a frantic kicker, this will not be an issue, but if the unborn baby is less active, it may feel like it is not a problem if there isn’t much movement. According to Kicks Count, any changes in the baby’s movement pattern should be noted and reported to a doctor. If there are less than ten kicks in two hours, this can be a sign of fetal problems, so it is worth mentioning. It’s quite normal for babies to kick a little less as delivery approaches and it prepares itself for birth and its size prohibits as much movement. Often taking a drink, particularly a cold drink, can prompt the baby to move and reassure you that all is well. The doctor can perform an ultrasound or use a fetal heart monitor to check that the baby is all right.
It may just be that the baby is asleep! Don’t worry unduly. If there is a rhythm to the baby’s sleeping pattern and this is ‘nap time’ be grateful and hope that the pattern repeats itself after birth!
11 Itching Downstairs
This can be a completely normal thing in pregnancy. But it should be taken seriously in case it is a fungal infection. Normally there will be a thick discharge that accompanies the itchiness and there can be a great deal of discomfort when you pee. You should really consult a doctor if this continues, and get the best treatment in case it is a fungal infection or thrush, which can be treated. Itchiness accompanied by discharge and redness can be a bacterial infection, so get it checked out by a doctor.
Vaginal itching can occur because of changes in the pH balance in the vaginal area. Yeast infections are a common cause of itching in this area. You can be treated by a doctor for this, but should not make assumptions. There is a possibility that this is as the result of a sexually transmitted disease, which could be dangerous for the baby. It could also be a sign of bacterial vaginosis. With this, you will also experience discharge and some inflammation but can be treated by a doctor according to Pregnancy Love to Know. Be honest with your doctor about any concerns or discomfort, particularly if your symptoms worsen or you have a burning sensation when urinating. This could be cystitis and again, treatment is important to avoid passing it on to your baby during birth.
10 Constant Headaches
Many people, including expectant mothers, experience headaches. It is estimated that twenty percent of pregnant women suffer from headaches during their pregnancy. However, if headaches are frequent, and over the counter medication does not work, alarm bells should ring. In rare cases, this could be a symptom of preeclampsia according to Baby Center. This is a serious condition in pregnant women and needs immediate treatment. There are usually other symptoms such as protein in the urine, swelling, blurred vision and dizziness, but not always. It’s vital to go to the doctor to check your blood pressure. If untreated, preeclampsia can lead to eclampsia, which can be a fatal condition.
Medical attention should be sought if a headache is very severe or comes on suddenly or if there is a fever or a stiff neck with a headache.
Headaches can also be caused by a sinus infection, which can cause bad headaches, and this can be relieved with medication from your doctor.
Posture tends to suffer during late pregnancy and this can cause tension headaches. Couple that with the extra weight that the body is carrying and headaches are inevitable. Some women even find that if they have suffered from headaches before they were pregnant, they suffer less when they are expecting.
9 Strange Oozing
Discharge is unpleasant at the best of times. It does happen in pregnancy, as things change in the body. If the pregnancy is very advanced and a bloody jelly like discharge is released, this could be the mucus ‘plug,’ which has been blocking the opening to the cervix. This mucus plug prevents infection from entering the cervix and is released as a sign that labor is on its way. Other signs of labor will be evident if it’s starting, but if there’s any doubt, medical attention is needed.
If any heavy bleeding occurs, it’s important to go to the hospital immediately, warns WebMD. If any watery substance starts to leak from your vagina, especially if this is tinged with green, you should go to the hospital immediately as well, as it could be that your waters have broken and the green color could mean your baby is in distress.
Discharge should not be ignored in pregnancy, especially anything strange or unusual. It could be a sign of a urinary tract infection or thrush, and this can be a problem in pregnancy, so you should get it checked out. If the discharge has an unpleasant odor or is greenish in color, you should seek a doctor’s advice. Any itchiness or redness that comes with the odor could be a bacterial infection.
8 Are These Contractions?
It is perfectly normal for the body to prepare itself for labor. Many women experience abdominal cramps and practice contractions in the third trimester. These are known as Braxton-Hicks contractions and are the body getting ready for the big event. American Pregnancy points out that the uterus is strengthening and the blood flow to the placenta is increased. Braxton-Hicks feel like your abdomen is tightening and can last for a couple of minutes and they usually occur at the top of your stomach. The difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and real contractions is that real contractions increase in intensity and frequency. If contractions become strong and regular and you are concerned, you should seek medical advice in case you are going into early labor.
This may not be a problem if you are very close to term. But if you are just entering your third trimester, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible because you may be experiencing preterm labor and you and your baby will need special care.
Be aware of contractions if they are accompanied by diarrhea or sickness, or particularly if you feel true labor signs like the urge to push or contractions are coming thick and fast.
7 A Yellow Leak
We all know that pregnancy brings a lot of weeing. All the way through the 9 months, we wee all the time. It disrupts our sleep and our day and it’s one of the most annoying symptoms we endure. Excessive urination in the third trimester is common also as the baby grows and presses down on our bladder.
However, if this is accompanied by pain, you need to see a doctor as this could be a sign of a urinary tract infection.
If you are experiencing some leakage, this can also be completely normal as the baby squeezes your bladder and your weakened muscles cave in. If a small amount of water leaks out, this could be urine leakage. This is known as urinary incontinence or stress urinary incontinence. Pregnancy is the cause of stress urinary incontinence and birth contributes to it too, so it can continue once the baby is born.
However, you need to be aware of leakage in case it is amniotic fluid, according to PregnancyLovetoKnow. If the fluid in the womb is reduced, there is a risk that the umbilical cord could be trapped and this could restrict oxygen flow to the baby. It needs to be immediately checked out.
6 Back Pain
There is an archetypal vision of a heavily pregnant woman, holding her back and drawing in her breath in discomfort. This vision is not in place without reason. Our back takes an enormous amount of strain during pregnancy, due to the extra weight and relaxing of muscles and bone movement. Also, we tend to lean forward to keep our balance in the third trimester, so the lower back takes the pressure and starts to complain. This may also occur if your breasts are enlarged, the extra weight and changes in your posture put pressure on your back.
Pain is often felt in the lower back and in the pelvic region according to When I Am Pregnant. There is extra pressure put on this area because of the increased weight of the baby, and the pelvic bones move to accommodate the head in preparation for labor.
Hormones are released during the third trimester to prepare your body for birth. Muscles and ligaments relax to help the pelvis release the baby. Joints all over the body loosen, and this includes the back. The Health Site points out that as joints relax, our movements change and this can all lead to pain in the back.
While there isn’t anything unusual about having an aching back when pregnant, it doesn’t mean you can’t do anything about it. Take every opportunity you can to get off your feet. Have your significant other or a friend massage the back muscles or even use a cold or hot pack for short periods.
5 Itching All Over
Itchiness can be a symptom of pregnancy. Sometimes the skin over the abdomen becomes taut and itchy and it is mildly uncomfortable at worst. Your skin can become dry as pregnancy hormones do their work, so this can cause itching as well. There are skin conditions that are caused by pregnancy that cause itchy skin. If you have an existing skin condition, such as eczema, this can worsen as pregnancy progresses.
However, the itchy skin could be a symptom of a liver issue called cholestasis. This is caused by hormone production that affects bile flow in the body. The body usually goes back to normal after birth, when hormone production has adjusted, but medical advice should be sought. If left untreated, this could lead to preterm labor or stillbirth. If you are suffering from cholestasis the itching will usually begin on your hands and feet. It might come and go and become more severe at night. Baby Center reminds us that there may be other symptoms to alert you to this condition, such as dark urine, pale stools, nausea, jaundice, and diarrhea. If palms or soles start itching or you notice red bumps on your skin, you need to take note, as these could also be a sign that your liver is not functioning correctly.
4 Difficulty Breathing
As your baby grows, and in the third trimester it grows a lot, it puts pressure on your body and squashes your lungs somewhat, so breathlessness is common. Your brain ensures that you still get enough oxygen, and progesterone is released to help with this, but you may still feel breathless. Better posture and relaxation will help you deal with it, but if it perseveres, you may need to seek help.
It’s extremely common to experience breathlessness in pregnancy according to Baby Centre. You will find this develops more severely in your third trimester if you have gained a lot of weight or if you were unfit before the pregnancy.
If you are feeling tired and experiencing palpitations as well as having difficulty breathing, go to the doctor as you could be suffering from anemia.
If you have already been diagnosed with asthma before pregnancy, you should talk to your doctor if this is making you breathless, and he will tell you how best to manage your condition. You need to talk to your doctor if you have had any heart problems in the past, as pregnancy can put a lot of strain on your heart and give you difficulty breathing.
You should be concerned if shortness of breath is really bad or comes on all of a sudden.
3 High Fever
There are many normal reasons to have a fever in pregnancy. You may have an infection or a urinary tract infection. You should seek medical treatment but these conditions clear up and you and the baby can be fine. However, you should not ignore a fever that lasts more than 24 hours. You should seek medical attention if you are concerned, according to New Kids Center. If your temperature goes higher than 101 °F you should definitely see a doctor.
There is a very rare condition that causes a fever in pregnancy. It is called chorioamnionitis and is where the amniotic fluid has an infection. If you are suffering from this condition, you will often have an unpleasant discharge and stomach cramps. You need to get to a hospital straight away to have your baby delivered as it can be life-threatening.
Although fevers can be dangerous in pregnancy, it is more important to research the cause of the fever. Go to the doctor immediately if you are concerned, as they can test you for complications by doing a urine or blood test.
If you have abdominal pain, stomach pains accompanied by diarrhea or vomiting, or a skin rash, you should go to the doctor and seek medical attention.
2 Mensie Cramps
Cramps can occur all over your body during the third trimester. It is often a sign of vitamin or mineral deficiency as the baby leeches these precious substances from you. Cramps often occur in your calves and are not helped by the increased weight in your body.
You need to make sure you are taking in enough fluids and that you are relaxing enough. Cramps should disappear after an hour or two. American Pregnancy recommends that if you suffer for a longer period of time then you should see your doctor. You need to take care if there is any bleeding with the cramps or severe abdominal pain.
There are many reasons for abdominal cramps in pregnancy. Your muscles are moving and changing and your uterus is stretching to accommodate the growth of the baby. However, not all abdominal cramps are normal, and some should be checked out. If the cramp is accompanied by diarrhea and back pain it could be a sign of early labor. Answers Yahoo, recommends getting to the hospital as soon as possible.
If your cramps continue, and are accompanied by back pain, dizziness or bleeding, you should get to the doctor and get checked out.
Dizziness is a common symptom of pregnancy. It is caused by lowering our blood pressure as the pregnancy develops. Your body is working extra hard to make a baby and it puts pressure on your heart. If you sit for a period of time, blood congregates in the legs and feet and when you stand up quickly, dizziness can occur because the body cannot get the blood to the right places quickly enough. You will also feel dizzy if you don’t eat or drink enough, and you need to keep fluid and food intake up to avoid it, recommends Pregnancy Baby Care. Eating and drinking little and often helps keep your blood sugar at a safe level.This can also help prevent fainting, which can be a big problem in pregnancy, because of the risk of falling.
It is usually a normal symptom of pregnancy, but if the dizziness is accompanied by headaches or swelling in your body, you need to see a doctor and make sure it is not your body’s way of telling you that something else is wrong.
Blurred vision or palpitations with dizziness could be a sign of concern. However, it may be something like an inner ear infection, which can affect balance and cause dizziness and this can be treated by your doctor.