Tag Archive for: pregnancy tips

Nausea in the first trimester is pretty common. You may have even noticed that morning sickness is everyone’s favorite/not favorite topic during your early pregnancy. Strangers want to know how often you’re throwing up. Your mother may fuss over you and entertain you with her own long-ago stories of what she ate and what she couldn’t stomach looking at. Your partner might approach you with fear and anxiety at every meal time, hoping for a green light to discuss food selections. Accompanying every interaction is likely to be a reassuring “At least it’s almost over! A few more weeks and you’ll feel much better!”

Why isn’t this nausea going away??

For most of you with morning sickness, you will indeed find that it resolves as you enter the second trimester. But for an unlucky few, nausea may continue for the duration of the pregnancy, or in a more likely scenario will fade for months and return in the third trimester. Usually the reappearance of nausea is benign and does not signal a cause for concern, although discussing your symptoms with your healthcare provider is always recommended, especially as late nausea may be a sign of preeclampsia. Assuming that you’ve had a patient/provider conversation about your symptoms, let’s discuss some reasons for the late-term nausea and some coping techniques.

Third trimester nausea: Cameron’s story

Cameron is one of the unlucky ones. A mother of three, she had routine first trimester morning sickness with all three pregnancies, which faded away with the first two babies by 16 weeks. With the third pregnancy, however, she had some memorable bouts with nausea in the last 5 weeks before delivery.

“I was so tired all the time, with two young children at home and a traveling husband. I wasn’t taking time to eat well or to sit and put my feet up, so I shouldn’t have been surprised one morning when I had to bolt for the front door and throw up in the bushes.” Her next unexpected attack was the following week, at Christmas at her mother’s house. With so much going on and a crowded house full of relatives, she and her husband were sharing a bathroom. “He farted in there, and the whole house heard me throw up. Funny in hindsight, but it wasn’t pretty at the time!”

Cameron said she frequently felt queasy during those weeks, and struggled to find enough to eat to fuel her body and combat the fatigue that built every afternoon. In her 36th week she caught a stomach virus and ended up in the ER for IV fluids and anti-nausea medication, after 3 days of being unable to keep anything down. Her baby was born healthy at 38 weeks after an induction for hypertension, and the nausea disappeared.

So what can you do if you find yourself in Cameron’s shoes?

(Please note that what we are discussing here is typical morning sickness, and not the more serious hyperemesis gravidarum. If you suspect you have HG we recommend contacting your provider immediately to receive care for this severe form of nausea and weight loss.) 

Identifying causes may be helpful so that you can target your treatment, but if it’s the common issue of hormones and the growing baby, there’s not much you can do other than try coping techniques. Think about what you’re taking in:

  • Are there spicy or greasy foods causing heartburn?
  • Is your prenatal vitamin triggering stomach upset?
  • Are you staying well hydrated?
  • Do you eat small, frequent meals, or carry snacks with you?
  • Can you try ginger tea, or suck on a peppermint candy?
  • Above all, finding some time to rest is likely to help you cope with the nausea, and is also an essential component of preparing yourself for labor. Who can you call on to help you disconnect and focus on self-care for a while every day?

This Healthline article provides some more helpful suggestions, and discusses the link between nausea and labor: When Morning Sickness Doesn’t Go Away: Third Trimester Nausea (healthline.com) Your doula can also be an excellent source of information and support, so reach out! And hang in there, because relief is in sight!

The third trimester is between 28 and 42 weeks of pregnancy, and the final weeks before delivery. While your baby is growing and getting ready for their birth day, you might be experiencing more discomforts. With difficulty sleeping, feeling full after a few bites, heartburn, and frequent urination, how do you have a healthy third trimester? Here are some tips for keeping you and your baby healthy as delivery day approaches. 

Continue eating a healthy and balanced diet–and getting your vitamins and minerals.

During the third trimester, the Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion notes that pregnant people may need to consume 450 more calories than their normal diet. They recommend that this come in the form of vegetables, whole grains, and proteins–not sugars and fats. As your baby gets bigger, they may start to compress your stomach, and you can feel full after eating only a little bit. Consider high-protein snacks in between meals if you are having trouble eating what you normally might at a meal. 

You may have been taking a prenatal vitamin, and you can continue that into the third trimester. You want to keep getting proper amounts of folate, iron, and calcium. Check with your care provider about what your diet and calorie consumption should look like during a healthy third trimester. 

Stay physically active for a healthy third trimester. 

The National Institutes of Health recommend that people try to be as physically active during pregnancy as they were before. With the physical changes that your body is going through as you prepare for labor (link to blog), you may find the exercise harder or more uncomfortable. However, studies show that exercise can help reduce bloating, leg cramps, and backaches, and reduce other conditions like gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, and postpartum depression. Consider moderate exercise, like a walk around the neighborhood, a water aerobics class, or a prenatal yoga class. 

Listen to your body and your body’s signals.

By the end of your pregnancy, you may feel bloated, with pains in your belly and back, among other places, and tired from a lack of sleep. You might be uncomfortable, but your body is preparing for birth. While it might be hard to imagine getting comfortable before baby is born, you can try a number of things to relieve the aches. A warm bath or shower can help you relax, and relax your muscles. Pregnancy pillows or other support pillows can make sitting or sleeping more comfortable. Wear loose fitting clothes and don’t be afraid to fan yourself if you are hot! 

Learn more about what to expect during a healthy third trimester in our four week Complete Childbirth Education class or our intensive, one-day Birth Basics.