You’re well on your way through the last stretch of your pregnancy. This is your third and final trimester where you start preparing for your delivery and looking forward to seeing your little bundle of joy!  

Together with the feelings of anticipation and delight, some of you may experience several symptoms towards the end of your pregnancy, especially now that your baby is bigger and your pregnancy bulge is easily obvious. 

So, to help you through this stage, here are some helpful tips on what you might experience and how to ensure that you are as comfortable as possible:

Heartburn:

This is due to the pressure of your enlarged uterus on the stomach which can cause some of the stomach acids to go back to your esophagus. To prevent heartburn, avoid having an empty stomach for long periods, and when you eat, try not to eat till you feel full. Instead, have light nutritious meals every 3 hours and avoid foods that are more likely to make you feel heartburn such as fried and high-fat foods and spicy food. Since you are more likely to encounter heart burn at night, have an early light dinner and try to sleep with your head elevated.

Bloating and swelling of hands and feet:

This is mostly caused by water retention. So increase your intake of fluids especially water and reduce your sodium intake from salt in canned foods, ketchup, sauces, pickles and chips. Other recommendations include performing some light activity such as walking to get rid of excess retained water and keep your blood pumping the right way.

Constipation:

This is mostly caused by changes in your hormone levels, less activity and a low intake of fiber. In order to prevent constipation, eat fiber-rich foods such as vegetables, fresh or dried fruits, whole grains and legumes. Remember that fiber absorbs water from your gastro-intestinal tract, so drink more water and fluids!

Tiredness and sleepiness:

At this stage you are more prone to develop anemia with all its uncomfortable symptoms. This could be due to the enlarged blood volume and inadequate nutrition during the previous months. That’s why you need to eat more meat and chicken, in addition to vegetarian sources rich in iron like lentils, beans, chickpeas and green leafy vegetables (spinach, parsley). Don’t forget to include a vitamin C source (lemon, orange, melon, broccoli, green pepper) in your meal, in order to increase the absorption of iron from legumes and vegetables.
Another important point to remember is to keep taking the vitamin and mineral pills prescribed by your doctor, especially iron supplements if recommended.

In conclusion, remember that this is the trimester where you might start feeling heavier. Your weight will most probably increase between 1 ½ and 2 kg this month, so don’t forget to keep moving to avoid excess weight gain and some of the symptoms mentioned above. However, most importantly, eat healthy and right, because your baby will gain the most weight during this period. This will ensure that your little miracle will be healthy in size and weight when you hold him within your loving arms.

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