The 12 Most Annoying Late Pregnancy Discomforts

The 12 Most Annoying Late Pregnancy Discomforts

Pregnant woman in pain at the doctor
Jose Luis Pelaez Inc../Blend Images/Getty Images

One of the main rules of writing is to write about what you know best. Right now, what I know best is about how uncomfortable the end of pregnancy can be!

While I'll tell anyone that there are certainly many joys of pregnancy, like feeling the baby move, there are also the down sides. Last night while I continually got up to go to the bathroom, it suddenly occurred to me (even half asleep) that my urinary frequency was setting the pace of once every hour and eight minutes.

And that's just for starters!

So here's a list of common complaints at the end of pregnancy and what you can do about them!

1. Insomnia
Not being able to sleep is really annoying. It comes in a couple of forms: being exhausted and not able to sleep and just not able to sleep but feeling fine. At least with the latter you can be productive. Advice is to try some form of exercise earlier in the day, avoid caffeine after early evening, relax before bed and even the old standard of a glass of warm milk.
More: 5 Tips for Pregnancy Insomnia

2. Back Pain
OUCH! Seriously, try the massage route, if you can't find anyone to help here, pelvic tilts work really well. I also find that stretching and the use of warm compress, like a rice sock or warm bath work really well. Another thing to try is to shower on hands and knees allowing the water to hit you in the back.
More: Pregnancy Back Pain

3. Leg Cramps
Stretching prior to bed and not pointing your toes are great starts.

Some also claim that nutritional deficiencies like lack of potassium contribute to this problem.
More: Leg Cramps in Pregnancy

4. Shortness of Breath
As the baby grows and compresses your diaphragm you have less room to breathe. Stretching and doing pelvic tilts to allow the baby to settle works for some women.

Another good piece of advice is to try sleeping sitting up. I just double fold my body pillow and lean it on the headboard. Other women find that a recliner or other chair is better for them.

5. Exhaustion
Believe it or not growing a baby takes a lot of energy. My best advice is hard to follow, but a gem...nap! Seriously if you can get in a brief nap or rearrange your schedule to allow you to sleep when you are the most sleepy, life will be much easier. Add insomnia to the mix and it's killer.
More: Fatigue in Pregnancy

6. Heartburn & Other Gastrointestinal Delights
Heartburn, belching and gas, all very lovely and all a result of the baby growing healthy! Avoid offending foods, staying upright after meals and just a plain old sense of humor are about all you can do here. Sometimes a glass of milk with honey will help with heartburn and sometimes your practitioner can recommend something to help as well.

7. Contractions
These delightful things are great for practicing everything you learned in childbirth class, and even give you a run for your money at times. My best advice is to ignore them as much as possible. Real labor won't let you sleep. Try napping, changing positions, taking a bath and relaxation. Usually these will help. Sometimes women will have periods of contractions that return at a certain point each day or some will seem to have non-stop contractions for the last few weeks.

Both are fairly normal. Talk to your practitioner if you're concerned.
More: Readers Share: What do contractions feel like?

8. Pubic Bone Pain
First off, it's not really a bone, but it sure can hurt. I've often described this feeling as being a plastic doll and getting my legs ripped off sideways. You can no longer stand on one leg to put your pants on and even lifting a leg to get into the tub becomes interesting. A rice sock or other warm compress can feel really good for this odd sore spot.
More: Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy

9. Urinary Frequency
Do you remember this from the beginning? Well the goods news is that as the baby prepares to be born s/he comes down further into the pelvis. The bad news is that this means more time in the bathroom. I try to watch what I drink just before bed and to always know where the restroom is located.
More: Frequent Urination

10. Pressure
Another delight of baby dropping down into the pelvis is the feeling of constant pressure.

Short of hanging upside down there's not a lot to do but take comfort in the fact that it's a good sign that baby will be here soon. Swimming or simply being in deeper water can help, as can pelvic tilts.

11. Kicks in Odd Places
While feeling baby move is great, it's also a pain at times. Some babies find your ribs and delight in kicking you until you're sore.

Some women have reported bruising from their babies. I usually place my hand firmly on the sore spot and have a little conversation with baby. It goes something like this: "Baby, don't kick your mommy there!" kick*kick*kick Pelvic tilts can be effective in getting baby to shift a bit, as can creative positioning of your body. Some moms choose the route of using ice on the sore spots.

12. Balance Problems
Umm, don't use it! Seriously, balance problems can be quite annoying. I've fallen a lot this pregnancy, and even more annoying as you become larger, is the not being able to get off the floor or get out of the tub. Try to avoid positions where you know you'll be stuck, unless you have help around. And just laugh when you have to have someone pick you up off the floor. In the event of a spill, remember that the baby is really well cushioned in the amniotic sac. Calling your practitioner for reassurance is a great thing too!
More: Will falling hurt the baby?

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