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You can feel quite tired at this stage of pregnancy. After all, growing a baby is hard work. Try to pace yourself, rest when you can, and boost your energy with iron-rich snacks.
If your iron levels are low, you may feel very tired indeed. Here are five easy ways to get more iron:
Iron tablets can cause constipation, so if you’re taking them and having problems, ask your LMC for an alternative.
You may not agree that getting constipated is the worst side effect of pregnancy, but it can make you feel pretty uncomfortable. Hormones relax your muscles so there are fewer contractions to push the food through your system. This allows more water from the food to be absorbed by your body and makes your stools harder and harder to pass. Fight constipation with:
If this remains a problem, ask your LMC for help.
Pre-eclampsia affects about one in ten first pregnancies worldwide. It can be very dangerous for both you and the baby if it’s allowed to progress. Pre-eclampsia is caused by a defect in the placenta and is marked by circulatory disturbances, including high blood pressure in the mother and growth problems in the baby. Your antenatal care team will be on the lookout for signs that this condition is developing so that it can be monitored straight away. High blood pressure, protein in your urine and swelling in your hands, feet or face are signs (when seen together) that your LMC will pick up on. You can be on the alert too. Call your LMC immediately if you notice any of the following:
You may be able to avoid an episiotomy during labour (see Week 36) after all. Some women find that massaging the perineum, the area between the vagina and the anus, during pregnancy helps it stretch during delivery so that a tear or episiotomy is avoided. Use vegetable oil to massage and stretch the area – start doing it for about ten minutes every day from about 35 weeks so that you’ve done several weeks of it before you are due!
As you get heavier in the third trimester, you may not feel like doing your usual exercises. Try swimming – you can keep in shape, while the water takes the weight off your joints.
When your baby arrives, he or she may be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen or may seem pretty strange. Here Lindsay from New Lynn describes how she reacted to her new baby:
“He was a boy, and I’d always thought I’d have a girl, so that was a surprise. His head was very pointed because I’d had a long labour and it had got moulded during the delivery. He was bluish, rather than pink, and I wasn’t expecting the umbilical cord to still be in place. I was nervous about touching the clip on the cord. His testicles also looked absolutely massive compared to the rest of him – I was quite reassured when the midwife told me he would ‘grow into them’. He also looked so sweet and vulnerable that my heart went out to him. I don’t know if this was bonding or not, but I knew that I didn’t want to let him out of my sight’.