Pregnancy is full of magic and wonder. How can it not be described as such? Women have the incredible ability to grow another human being inside of the body. Yes, it is one of those life experiences that alters a person. Once someone goes through it, they are never quite the same afterward.
It's a beautiful journey to be sure, but it's not all sunshine and roses. Gestation is accompanied by an onslaught of symptoms that often make mothers think, "Why would someone ever choose to do this?"
The good news is that almost all mothers survive the nine months of pregnancy and go on to hold beautiful babies in their arms. Such a treasure comes at a price though. The first few months of pregnancy seem loaded with exhaustion, nausea, anxiety and chest soreness. The second trimester is commonly known as the "golden era," where uncomfortable signs and symptoms subside. The third trimester brings on new and unique discomforts. Here are 20 unpleasant things that mothers go through in those final months of pregnancy. Remember ladies; the finish line is in sight. As miserable as some conditions can be, the end is near, and you are almost there!
20 Swell City
When pregnancy kicks it into high gear, everything starts to look a bit supersized. A little bit of swelling is a standard part of pregnancy and is because of the increased flow that you are experiencing. Throughout your pregnancy, your body will produce 50% more plasma and body fluids to meet the needs of your growing baby. Many women notice that their fingers get puffy and their ankles become swollen. Strappy sandals will have to sit this season out. Your face might also start to look a bit swollen, too.
Per Americanpregnancy.org, standing for long periods, consuming too much sodium or caffeine, and not getting enough potassium can all exacerbate swelling.
19 Insomnia Atop Exhaustion
How can this be? You are practically a zombie by 6:30 p.m. You honestly feel like you could sleep standing up and stay slumbering for several days, yet once your head does finally hit the pillow, you can not catch a wink! Insomnia is a pregnant person's most distressing nightmare. You need that sleep like the desert needs the rain, yet it will not come. Third-trimester insomnia can occur for any number of reasons, but per whattoexpect.com, often can be attributed to that big old belly, numerous trips to the potty in the night, hormonal changes, heartburn, leg cramps, or anxiety.
18 Dental Drama
It can be surprising for women to learn that dental issues often pop up during pregnancy and can cause pretty significant problems if they are left untreated. Pregnancy can lead to gum disease and tooth decay in some women, thanks to those surging hormones. Gum disease particularly can lead to infants being born prematurely, which is something that every pregnant woman wants to avoid. Gums can also swell and bleed towards the end of your time gestating. To stay in tip-top shape, make sure you visit your dentist and receive regular cleanings and check-ups. Also, regularly brush and floss when you are at home and use a fluoridated toothpaste.
17 Veins Take On A Life Of Their Own
Varicose veins are unsightly as well as painful, and for many pregnant women, they are a common inconvenience as they move into those final months of pregnancy. During pregnancy, the vena cava, the vein that is responsible for carrying plasma from the legs and the feet to the heart, gets additional pressure put on it from the massive, growing uterus. The result is bulging, blue veins running down a woman's legs. Hormonal changes and increased levels of progesterone can also contribute to the development of varicose veins. To manage pain brought on by this condition, elevate your legs whenever possible and exercise and stretch your legs frequently.
16 Roadblocks With Number Twos
Having problems with going number two in the third trimester is frustrating. As if you aren't having enough woes with bloating and tummy pain already? Being backed up is pretty common, and roughly 16% to 39% of pregnant women will experience some trouble with regular bathroom activity. Compare this to women who are not pregnant; only 7% of them have potty issues. Lifestyle changes can help in this department, however. Professionals suggest ingesting more fruits and water to help everything move more smoothly. If those aren't cutting it, there are some over the counter supplements that ladies can turn to for help.
15 Bring On The Braxton-Hicks
Many expectant mommies begin to notice a tightening around the abdomen about halfway through their pregnancy. Those uncomfortable feelings can be worrisome, especially as gestation progresses and the tightening sensations become stronger. These irritating sensations are sometimes mistaken for early labor pains, but more than likely they are because of Braxton-Hicks. According to Americanpregnancy.org, Braxton-Hicks contractions are most commonly experienced in the last trimester and can be brought on by dehydration, activity and a full bladder.
14 Sudden Packing On Of The Pounds
Watching the numbers on the scale steadily climb is all part of pregnancy. No one goes into this experience with hopes of shedding a few lbs. The amount of mass a woman packs on differs significantly from pregnancy to pregnancy. Some ladies put on only a few while others gain the equivalent to a full grown human. According to Webmd.com, the average woman puts on 25-35 pounds during her nine months of incubation. Many go way farther past that, (I know I did!). The more the scale climbs, the more uncomfortable women are likely to be. Try to keep in mind, all of this growth is for a purpose, and it will eventually all come off.
13 Difficulty Bending
When I was in the final trimester of my twin pregnancy, bending over to pick toys or socks off the floor was about as impossible as suddenly sprouting wings and taking flight. It simply was not going to happen thanks to my shifting center of gravity and a belly the size of Jupiter. Bending over is a heavily pregnant woman's nemesis. The good news is you will learn to pick up small objects that have tumbled to the floor with your toes. Feet almost become a second set of hands! I relied on my toe dexterity as well as a claw-like grabber to get me through those final weeks of bend-free life.
12 Constant Feeling Of Hunger
Several aversions to your favorite foods often accompany the first trimester of pregnancy. Nothing looks or tastes good during those first twelve weeks. The second trimester sneaks in and saves the day. Food is delicious again, your energy levels return for a spell, and you can sleep a little bit. All is right in the world, until the third-trimester hits. This final pregnancy stretch brings on sheer starvation. You are ravenous, which is a pesky side effect of growing a human inside of you. No matter how hard you try, the hunger pains are still there, lingering.
11 Followed By Constant Fullness And Reflux
So, trimester three brings on continuous starvation, but the real kicker here is that your eyes will be larger than your tummy. Because you are hungry as can be, you'll desperately want to put back an entire pizza in one sitting, Sadly, three bites into the meal and you will likely start to feel full. What is this trickery? There isn't much room in your belly these days, so the feeling of fullness will hit you a lot faster than it used to during your pre-baby days. You'll also discover that reflux will become your constant companion. Invest in Tums or Rolaids before you reach the 27-week mark. They will NOT go to waste.
10 Internal Hiccups Courtesy Of Your Tiny Tenant
By the time the third trimester makes its appearance, lots of new sensations will be occurring inside that big, old belly of yours. Your baby is probably rolling around, kicking you in the ribs and throwing jabs in every direction. You might also notice him or her stretching out, not the most comfortable sensation! Some women will feel their little one making tiny hiccups. They are strange to experience and can be uncomfortable, depending on how your baby is positioned. Rarely do hiccups indicate that anything is amiss. According to medicalnewstoday.com, occasional hiccups are totally normal.
9 Tons Of Trips To The Loo
The third trimester is an exciting time for moms and dads as they gear up to finally meet their little wonder. Who will she look like? What kind of mother will you be? What will you name her? You will have plenty of time to ponder these questions in the bathroom, which is where you will be living until the baby arrives. Pregnant women in the third trimester have to urinate, a lot! Because their growing uterus has dropped by this point, they will experience some increased pressure on their bladder, making them need to go all of the time.
8 Return Of The Nausea
Many women endure weeks, if not months, of nausea and vomiting in the first trimester of pregnancy. Once the second-trimester hits though, they rejoice in the fact that they are finally in the clear! No more heads in the toilets gals! Ahhh, that second trimester is the sweet spot for sure, because once the third-trimester rolls around many women experience a return of nausea. It's like a mean joke. According to Parents Magazine, it's most commonly brought on by eating. By the time your pregnancy draws to a close, there is very little space in your tummy for food. Eat smaller portions at a sitting to ward off feelings of vomit.
7 Aching Back, Aching Hips, Aching Everything
One of the most common complaints of expectant mothers who are drawing close to the pregnancy finish line is constant aches and pains. Everything starts to hurt when a baby is getting ready to make its debut. Backaches are common because of the stress that packing on pounds will create and leg aches can be all in thanks to that pesky restless leg syndrome. Rib pain sometimes occurs when the baby puts pressure on the rib cage and chest pain flares up when heartburn sneaks in to add a bit of misery to the mix. Everything starts to hurt. Thank goodness this all happens towards the very end!
6 Did Someone Say Sciatica?
Women who have unfortunately had sciatica during their pregnancies will often tell you; it's a pain that is undeniable. There is no "thinking" you have sciatic issues. If you do, it will be pretty obvious. Per thebump.com, sciatica has the distinct characteristics of sharp and shooting pains that start in the upper leg/hip region and run down the body through the lower back and down the lower leg. The pain can be intermittent or constant, (Gasp! No!) depending on how the sciatic nerve is affected. When it comes to third-trimester unpleasantries, this one ranks high up on the list.
5 The Milk Machines Kick Things Into High Gear
Women tend to think that the real changes with their milk machines will occur after their baby is born. This is partially true. They will definitely alter once you welcome your infant into the world and prepare to feed him or her from your own body. What many women do not realize is that the changes in this department start taking place long before the baby arrives, and those changes can be mild to hugely uncomfortable. Per medela.com, women will begin to feel more heaviness and soreness in that region of their body during the last trimester. The tatas can even start to leak colostrum towards the end of incubation. While these changes aren't always pleasant, they do mean that everything is moving in the right direction.
4 Hormonal Headaches Can Keep You Down For The Count
Headaches can send any person down for the count, but they can do a number on a pregnant person who has already battled an anthology of other aches and issues. By the last few months of pregnancy, headaches pop up for a bevy of reasons. Poor posture, tension, and increased lbs can be the culprit, but so can more severe conditions such as preeclampsia. Lack of sleep, low sugar levels, and little sleep, thanks to that insomnia, can all contribute to a pounding skull. Interestingly, per Americanpregnancy.org, women who were susceptible to migraines before pregnancy often notice a lull in the pains while they are expecting.
3 One Minute You're Sweltering The Next Your Are Freezing
One of the stranger pregnancy symptoms that seem to strike in the later trimesters is wild temperature fluctuations. It's annoying to feel like you are melting one minute and freezing the next. According to mom.me.com, this bizarre unpleasantry is pretty standard. Women often feel chilly because of anemia, hormone changes, and high basal body temperatures. The sensation of feeling too warm can be because of the massive increase in plasma that is surging through your body. For a body to handle all that extra fluid, vessels must dilate, bringing it closer to the skin's surface and causing that feeling of warmth.
2 Everything Brings On The Tinkle
We know that the last trimester causes a woman to take up residence in the bathroom because of her need to continually go, but other issues arise with urination during this time. Having to tinkle can bring on an uncomfortable sensation of pressure. The room in your body lessens by the day, and everything is cramped inside of there, including the parts responsible for urination. If the pressure is accompanied by burning and pain, then see your doctor immediately. A UTI could be causing your symptoms, and you'll want to get that cleared up as soon as possible.
1 Not Even Enough Energy To Breathe
Taking a deep, cleansing breath is a thing of the past now that you are about to become a mommy. Breathing is one of those things that begins to become elusive towards the end of pregnancy, thanks to the decreasing room in your lung cavity. The good news is that once the baby drops down into your pelvic cavity, the ability to breathe easily will return somewhat. Don't count on this discomfort being completely remedied until the baby is tucked up into your arms though. It's one of the many troubles women must endure to be given the greatest gift in the world: motherhood.
Resources: aroundtheworld.com, healthline.com, utswmed.org, wehavekids.com, americanpregnancy.org, webmd.com, whattoexpect.com, pregnancymagazine.com, whattoexpect.com, medela.com