By Caitlin Fiss, MD

Your 3rd Trimester

You’ve made it to the last trimester, great! Though you’ve probably grown used to the continuous shifts in your growing body, the third trimester holds some unique challenges.

Back Pain

By the time they reach the third trimester, many of my patients start having back pain. It happens because you’re gaining so much weight in the front of your body—your stomach, your breasts—and so you end up tilting back and leaning into your lower vertebrae to support that weight.

How to soothe it:

  • Now is NOT the time to be wearing high heels. I recommend wearing a comfortable, low rubber heel, like a platform sneaker or a low cowboy boot. I particularly like clogs!
  • Remember what your own mom used to say: watch your posture. Stand up straight and tall while keeping your shoulders back and relaxed.
  • Switch to a lower impact exercise. Swimming is a great option for moms-to-be because it takes pressure off the spine.
  • You can do some simple exercises to safely stretch your lower back.
Sleep

Here’s the truth: by the third trimester, most women aren’t sleeping through the night. Your body is wise, and so hormones kick in again and cause disruptions to your sleep to prepare you for those middle-of-the-night wakeups you’ll be having once the baby comes. And as your delivery day draws closer, it’s normal to have anxious thoughts that can keep you up at nighttime—”What’s happening? How is the labor going to go? What will my baby be like?” Snoring also increases in the third trimester, which can disturb your sleep—and your partner’s!

How to soothe it:

  • If your snoring has become a big problem, check with your doctor. Some of it is weight-related or hormonally driven, but it can also be because of sleep apnea. Your doctor can help with this issue.
  • Make sure you’re still sleeping on your side and use pillows to prop you up in a comfortable sleeping position. Some people buy pregnancy pillows, but I actually like regular pillows that you can arrange how you like.
  • Cut back on liquids before bed and make sure to pee before you go to sleep to avoid having to get up in the night.
  • Set your thermostat lower at night. A lot of women get heated more easily in the third trimester, so keeping your room cool and dark at night can help you get better sleep.
Hemorrhoids

One of the less pleasant issues in the third trimester are hemorrhoids, which is the technical term for swollen veins around the rectum. They’re caused by hormones (seeing a pattern here?), by the extra weight you’re carrying, and by straining to poop when you’re constipated.

How to soothe it

  • To make sure constipation isn’t playing a role, talk to your OB/GYN adding a stool softener to your daily regimen.
  • Be mindful when you’re on the toilet. If you’re constipated, try not to strain; just come back and try again.

Dealing with hemorrhoids? Try this!

Mommy’s Bliss H Soothe Hemorrhoidal Wipes
These wipes provide instant relief for hemorrhoids and are crafted with natural ingredients like witch hazel, aloe, and rosewater.


While you may experience some—or all—of these issues during your pregnancy journey, it’s important to remember that every mom before you has gone through the same thing. And though some days may feel exhausting, uncomfortable, and out of the ordinary, there’s a really good chance what you’re feeling is absolutely normal. Of course if you have any doubts or concerns, check in with your doctor. That’s what we’re here for!