The 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy

The third trimester is seen by many as the ?home straight?! However, while the third trimester is the most exciting stage as you will soon be meeting your baby, it isn?t necessarily the easiest part of pregnancy.

Night-time Issues

This is arguably the most uncomfortable stage, with the extra weight and your changing shape leaving you feeling bulky and unbalanced! It can be difficult to get to sleep when you find it difficult to get comfortable; turning over in bed might feel almost impossible. Add to this the fact that baby is most likely to be exerting pressure on your bladder making you feel like you need to pee more often and the urge can be quite strong!

Try to rest up when you can to make up for any night-time interruptions.

Braxton Hicks

Braxton Hicks contractions are another complication that can make the third trimester a little trickier for some, and a minefield of ?what ifs? for others. These can best be described as ?practise contractions? and if you ever hear them described as ?just Braxton Hicks? then feel free to roll your eyes; Braxton Hicks feel like a tightening of the bump, and a squeezing of the whole area and they can be very, very uncomfortable, even slightly painful for some women. They make many women think that they are going into labour and can be the cause of many a call to the midwife or dash to hospital when experienced by a first-time Mum. If in doubt, get your symptoms checked, but be aware that Braxton Hicks are a common cause of worry in the third trimester.


Backache is another common cause of discomfort. With the extra weight, the difficulty sleeping, the frantic last-minute preparations and all the 1001 things you want to get done before baby arrives, it is no wonder that it at this stage that your back feels achy. You may also get pains in your hips and across the pelvis as the body prepares for birth.


You might feel an overwhelming urge to clean the house, prepare the nursery, sort the laundry, organise your paperwork? it is so common that many people refer to this sudden desire at the end of pregnancy as nesting. It is commonly seen as a sign that baby is near and can be blamed on your best friends ? those hormones! Try not to overdo it, and enlist help if it is really stressing you.

Be Prepared

Have your bag (and baby’s bag) packed, have a list of contact numbers to hand, and know your birth plan. The more prepared you are or an unexpected arrival, the less it will keep you awake at night wondering if those pains are the beginning of labour, or just a touch of wind.


It is the one piece of advice everyone will give you ? tell them your back is sore, you are worried or tired, or having Braxton kicks, and the one thing they will all say is ?RELAX!? Easier said than done, right? It is worth trying relaxation exercises, breathing techniques and gentle exercise as well as enjoying yourself with family and friends

Further pregnancy related information can be found at the HSE website