Video:Late Pregnancy Symptomswith Dr. Stuart James Fischbein
Late in your pregnancy discomfort with different symptoms. Watch this health video from About.com to learn what you can expect during late pregnancy and ways to alleviate the symptoms.See Transcript
Transcript:Late Pregnancy Symptoms
Hello I'm Dr. Stuart James Fischbein. I'm a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and you can find out more about me at my website www.birthinginstincts.com. I'm here today on behalf of About.com to discuss with you late pregnancy symptoms.
Boy, this is a broad topic because some women have a lot of problems in the late part of their pregnancy; some women feel great at the late part of their pregnancy. But for the sake of today’s discussion I’m going to discuss some of the common symptoms that can occur late in pregnancy and discuss whether those things are significant or not significant.
Discomfort in Late Pregnancy
One of the most common things that happens late in pregnancy is sleeping problems, discomfort, body aches, aches and pains, swelling, especially in your feet. Those things are generally normal. There’s not a whole lot you can do about the poor sleeping other than make sure you’re comfortable with pillows and changing positions and of course you’re going to get up 3-4 times at night to go to the bathroom and there’s nothing that is going to help that whatsoever.
Swelling During Pregnancy
The swelling in your feet is something that’s also very common and usually just a sign of gravity as the day wears on. The best thing you can do for that is avoid salty food, drink lots of water – you should be drinking about 2 liters of water or more per day during your pregnancy every day. And when you’re swelling, you should continue to try to drink water. You shouldn’t try to restrict water. It helps to mobilize things.
When you have the opportunity, you should get off your feet and lie down specifically on your side, specifically left side is better than right but right is better than flat on your back because that helps increase blood flow that flows through your kidneys and filters out more of the fluid. You make more urine and you pee it out. So in the evenings if you did that before you went to bed you might sleep a little bit better because you peed off some of that fluid that would otherwise be mobilized when you went to bed.
Some women are short of breath when they are pregnant. Again, it’s because of the pressure being pushed up on the intestines and on the diaphragm. Especially if you have twins, this is very, very common. Mild headaches are something that can happen sometimes, often because you’re not eating frequently enough. It’s very important to eat 6 or 7 times to stave off the possibility of having low blood sugar, causing mild headaches. And you may get some stretch marks which again are genetically predisposed, not a whole lot you can do about it. All the almond butter in the world isn’t going to prevent it if you are genetically predisposed to get them.
Warning Signs in Late Pregnancy
Now, some of these things can be warning signs that there is a problem. If you have swelling that starts to swell your hands or your face, if you have a headache that doesn’t go away with rest or eating or maybe a couple of Tylenol. Those are reasons to contact your physician to discuss the possibility that you’re developing something called hypertension or preeclampsia.
Another thing that may happen while you’re in the late part of your pregnancy is pelvic pressure as the baby’s head moves down or when you’re about walking during the day you may have some pain in the groin, it can sometimes be quite sharp, just above your pubic bone on either side. That’s called round ligament syndrome. It is a ligament that attaches the uterus to the back of the pubic bone and it gets pulled on because sometimes your uterus is rotated to one side or the other. You can always know that that’s the case because if you get off your feet and support your belly, turning on your side the pain will almost always go away and generally it is worse as the day wears on.
So you might have to change your activity level as your pregnancy progresses, certainly if you have a job and you’re on your feet all day long and you’re having pain or swelling it’s time to go out on disability, you certainly are entitled to it. We want to do what’s best for you and being comfortable is best for your baby.
Again I’m Stuart James Fischbein, M.D. Thank you so much for watching. If you'd like to learn more visit us online at About.com.