Pregnancy can be a time of intense paranoia for some moms. Your body changes so much and experiences so many different symptoms that it can be difficult to wrap your mind around what's OK and what's not. This can become all the more challenging as your due date nears and your anticipation and impatience are added into the mix. But there are quite a few third trimester pregnancy symptoms you shouldn't assume are normal, even if they are relatively common.
Many of these symptoms can have totally innocuous causes. I'd say I experienced the vast majority of them during my first pregnancy and none of them turned out to be anything to be seriously worried about. But that doesn't mean I'd ignore them— I'd so much rather badger my doctor with a million questions than end up seriously sick or in danger because I didn't want to seem silly.
The other thing to remember is that many of these symptoms can be problematic at any point in pregnancy, so if you're reading this and you haven't quite reached the third trimester yet, you'll still most likely want to take note.
Here are 11 third trimester symptoms you should always run by your doctor, just in case.
Bleeding during any stage of your pregnancy needs to get checked out. According to Baby Center, if you see blood during the third trimester it can be a sign of a serious issue with your placenta or even premature labor.
If you thought you'd get a break from cramps during your pregnancy, you were probably wrong. Many women experience cramps during pregnancy due to the stretching of ligaments as the belly grows. If you begin feeling cramps in the third trimester, however, BabyMed noted that you'll want to let your doctor know. They could actually be contractions, putting you at risk for early labor.
3. Back Pain
Back pain is unpleasant during any point of pregnancy, but it can become even more annoying in the third trimester when your growing belly makes you even more uncomfortable. According to Healthline, back pain can be a sign of preterm labor or an indication that you've got sciatica, a painful condition that develops when your uterus starts pushing down on your sciatic nerve.
Swelling is pretty common when you're pregnant, and will typically strike your feet. But if you begin swelling rapidly in the third trimester, especially in your face or hands, Baby Centered noted it could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
5. Blurred Vision
Pre-eclampsia can decrease the amount of blood and oxygen your baby is getting through the placenta, so any symptoms of it need to be checked out. In addition to swelling, you'll also want to alert your doctor if you experience blurred vision, according to Baby Center.
6. Sudden Weight Gain
Another sign that you may be developing pre-eclampsia? Sudden weight gain, according to The New York Times. If you go up more than two pounds in a week, let your doctor know.
If you get a horrible headache when you're pregnant, don't assume it's just tension or stress. According to LiveStrong, severe headaches in pregnancy can be another sign of preeclampsia.
8. Leg Pain
Leg pain during pregnancy can be another sign of sciatica, which is unpleasant but not dangerous. But you shouldn't ignore it because, according to The Bump, it also indicate something much more serious like deep-vein thrombosis or uterine fibroids.
9. Painful Urination
Given the number of times a pregnant woman pees during the day, you definitely don't want it to hurt. According to She Knows, painful urination could be a sign of a urinary tract infection, or UTI. Normally they're not super dangerous, but it's important to treat them right away during pregnancy so they don't get worse. Untreated UTIs can put you at risk of going into labor early.
So many different things can cause a pregnant woman to come down with a fever — a UTI, a cold, the flu. These conditions are totally treatable, so you may be tempted to handle them on your own. But according to Parents, your fever could be caused by something much more serious like listeria or chorioamnionitis, so make sure your doctor is in the loop.
11. Fewer Baby Kicks
Your unborn baby's quarters get a little cramped in the third trimester, so you might think that you aren't feeling as many kicks because they simply don't have enough room to wiggle around. But it's important to keep tabs on how much they're moving. According to Parents, decrease movement could be a sign of low amniotic fluid which can put your baby in distress.