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Registered Nurse (RN)
Discomforts of Pregnancy
Discomforts of Pregnancy - Third Trimester

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Discomforts of Pregnancy - Third Trimester

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Discomforts of Pregnancy - Third Trimester

Pregnant-woman throwing off Comforter in (3) Tree
During the last trimester of pregnancy, the woman has increasing physical discomforts and difficulty sleeping, as her body weight and size increase due to the fetus growing and gaining weight in preparation for delivery. Possible symptoms include shortness of breath relieved by frequent rest periods, return of urinary frequency and urgency relieved by emptying the bladder regularly, leg cramps relieved by stretching exercises, and ankle edema relieved by elevating the legs.
Shortness of Breath (SOB)

The pregnant woman may experience shortness of breath in the third trimester due to the expanding uterus pushing on and displacing the diaphragm.

Rest Periods

Frequent rest periods can help aid in the feeling of shortness of breath. In addition, the pregnant woman should sleep with her head propped up with pillows to decrease shortness of breath while sleeping.

Return of Urinary Frequency and Urgency
Urine Frequency-wave and Urgently squeezing knees

Towards the end of the third trimester, the pregnant woman may start to experience urgency and frequency of urination. This occurs because the uterus has expanded and applies more pressure onto the bladder.

Empty Bladder Regularly
Frequently Emptying Bladder around the clock

To avoid urinary frequency and urgency, the pregnant woman should be advised to empty the bladder regularly.

Leg Cramps
Leg Clamps

During the third trimester, the pregnant woman may experience compression of nerves due to the enlarging uterus. This results in feeling frequent leg cramps.

Stretching Exercises

To decrease leg cramps, the pregnant woman can engage in moderate stretching exercises and utilize warm packs and calcium supplements to promote circulation and bone health.

Ankle Edema
Ankle Edamame

Ankle edema may be aggravated greatly by poor posture, lack of exercise, prolonged sitting, or constrictive clothing. These actions prevent fluids from moving efficiently throughout the body causing ankle edema.

Elevate Legs
Elevating Legs

In order to prevent ankle edema, the pregnant woman should elevate her legs frequently throughout the day, engage in moderate exercise, avoid sitting for a prolonged period of time, use supportive stockings, and maintain adequate fluid intake.


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