Here you are on the last leg of your journey through pregnancy. Baby is taking up most of the room in your abdomen now, reminding you with every wiggle and hiccup that it is time to get the nursery in order and sign up for those childbirth and breastfeeding classes you want to take. Your body begins to slow down and you may notice the following:
- Leg Cramps – increasing your calcium intake will help. 1200 mg calcium daily is recommended.
- Milk Leaking from the Breast – normal as your body gets ready to breastfeed.
- Swelling Feet – increase your fluid intake, avoid salt, and elevate your legs when possible.
- Heartburn – eat smaller meals. Avoid eating 3 hours before bedtime. Elevate the head of your bed 4 inches. Try antacids. Avoid acidic foods like tomato-based foods or citrus products.
- Increased Clear Vaginal Discharge – normal
- Hemorrhoids – caused by relaxed blood vessels coupled with constipation from inadequate fluid and fiber intake. Increase your fluids and fiber and try an over the counter medication. If this is a persistent problem, call your physician.
- Contractions – Braxton Hicks contractions feel like the baby is balling up low in the pelvis and are just practice contractions. If you notice real contractions (where the whole abdomen is getting hard and tight for 30-45 seconds) or Braxton Hicks contractions more than 4 in an hour, or if you notice a gush of fluid from the vagina or constant fluid leakage, bleeding, or decreased fetal movement, please call your physician immediately.
- Trouble Sleeping or Staying Asleep – going to the bathroom, inability to get in a comfortable position, anxious thoughts as you prepare for delivery, and changing hormones can all contribute to lack of sleep and make you feel tired and grumpy. Talk it over with your physician.