Staying Comfortable and Safe the Last Trimester

During the final phase of pregnancy, your changing size and shape may make everyday living activities more difficult. In addition, the changes that have occurred in your body as a result of hormones place you at higher risk of injury.

Physical Activity and Concerns

Body Positioning

  • Always maintain good body posture when walking, sitting, standing, lifting, and bending.
  • A shower may be safer than a tub bath. Be extremely careful getting in and out of either a tub or shower.
  • Lying on your side when sleeping, or resting will not only be the most comfortable position for you, but the safest for your baby. If you lie on your back, the weight of your enlarged uterus is on one of the major blood vessels (vena cava) that lead to your heart.
  • Lying on your left side promotes the best blood flow to your body.

Redecorating or moving to prepare for your baby's birth

  • Get help from family, friends, and others when performing any lifting or pushing.
  • Do only a little bit at a time.
  • Stay off of step stools and ladders.
  • If you will be in an area where painting is being done, make sure that latex rather than oil-based paint is used, and make sure there is good ventilation (fans are useful). Keep paint off your skin at all times.

Travel

  • Remember to always wear your seat belt.
  • Planning trips in the last several weeks of your pregnancy is not recommended. If airline travel is necessary, the airline may require written consent from our doctors and nurses.
  • Check with your provider and the airline before you make any reservations.
  • In your last month of pregnancy, it will probably be safest and most convenient to travel no farther than one hour away from your delivery hospital.

Exercise and sports

  • Avoid recreational sports or exercise that require balance or speed. Your changed center of gravity may make getting on or off even a stationary bike difficult.
  • Follow the overall safety tips of pregnancy and exercise, especially those dealing with avoiding dehydration and maintaining a heart rate of less than 140 beats per minute.
  • For your own comfort, now and in preparation for labor and delivery, the pelvic tilt and Kegel exercises should be done a few times each day.
  • Stop any sporting or exercise activity and contact your provider immediately if you experience abdominal pain, vaginal bleeding, or unusual discharge

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