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 it's easy to tell anyone that there are certainly many joys of pregnancy, like feeling the baby move, there are also downsides. 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 and pregnancy insomnia is no different. 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.

2. Back Pain

Ouch! Back pain in pregnancy is one of the top complaints. 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.

3. Leg Cramps

Many women report that the experience leg cramps in pregnancy, particularly towards the end of pregnancy and most often at night. 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.

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, this means that a lot of pregnant women will report feeling fatigue in all trimesters, but it does seem worse in the third trimester. 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 its killer.

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.

8. Pubic Bone Pain

First off, your pubic bone is not really a bone, but it sure can hurt. Some women often described this feeling as being a plastic doll and getting your legs ripped off sideways. If you suffer from pubic bone pain in pregnancy, 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.

9. Urinary Frequency

Do you remember this from the beginning of your pregnancy? 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 because you feel like you need to relieve yourself more frequently. Try to watch what you drink just before bed and to always know where the restroom is located.

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  the baby. It goes something like this: "Baby, don't kick your mommy there!" 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, if it helps, go for it.

12. Balance Problems

Balance problems can be quite annoying in pregnancy. If you've fallen a lot this pregnancy, try not to worry, most falls do not hurt you or baby. Even if you don't fall, you may have issues with balance and this happens even more frequently as you become larger, including 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!
 

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