Congratulations! You have completed the first two weeks of your third trimester! This gets you a little closer to holding your bundle of joy. Here’s what you need to think about this week.
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By now, you may have gained 8-11 kilos since the start of your pregnancy. In the next few weeks, as you approach childbirth, you will notice your breasts and abdomen growing more quickly. Your uterus is now around 3.5 to 4 inches above your navel. If you are constipated, you may experience irregular bowel movements and hard stools. You may also experience some abdominal pain due to constipation and indigestion.
The third trimester brings on a slight increase in blood pressure. However, an abnormal or sudden spike in blood pressure can be dangerous and lead to preeclampsia in the latter months of your pregnancy. If you experience unusual dizziness, headaches, blurring of vision or swelling in your hands, feet or body, contact your doctor to rule out hypertension or blood pressure-related complications.
By this stage in your pregnancy, your baby has begun to grow rapidly. Your baby’s head is growing to accommodate the rapid brain development that has begun in the previous week. The muscles and lungs are continuing to develop further. Your baby’s eyes can distinguish light now; mainly bright sunlight or artificial light that passes through your uterine wall. You will start to feel your baby kick and punch more often, as the space inside your uterus becomes more cramped for him or her.
15.2 inches, or the size of a small cabbage.
Lay down to rest more often, especially on your left side, as this will improve the blood supply to your placenta and baby. Increased blood supply will help your baby grow better.
Reduce your intake of salt, papads, pickles and processed food with preservatives and acids, to avoid water retention, swelling and hypertension.
If you find your constipation worsening, know that this is normal in the final stages of pregnancy. Fuel your bowels with 10-12 glasses of water and 2-3 servings of fiber-rich foods daily. Exercise for 1 hour everyday if your health permits. This induces the intestines and reduces constipation.
You may experience pain in your abdomen due to constipation and gas. Change your position or go for a walk if you experience such pain. However, if the pain persists, increases in intensity or keeps coming back, speak to your doctor about it.
If constipated, do not strain to pass motion. This only exerts unnecessary pressure on your uterus and rectal veins, leading to piles.
Do not take any laxatives or medication for constipation without consulting your doctor first. Some strong laxatives and purgatives such as castor oil have been known to induce labor by moving the intestines.
By this stage, your partner requires more rest. Give her some time to herself everyday. Keep some pillows and a reclining chair beside a window to create a cosy nook for her.
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