Common Physical Complaints in Late Pregnancy

The half-way point of pregnancy is at 4 months or roughly 20 weeks. After this point, you are in late pregnancy. Aside from an increasingly large baby and belly, other symptoms come to the forefront.

Edema is a common complication of pregnancy. It can develop at any time, though usually in the second and third trimesters. As the body accumulates more fluids such as extra blood to meet the baby’s needs, difficulty eliminating excess water from bodily demands can cause you to “swell”. This swelling usually occurs in the feet and ankles and can extend up to the calves.

Edema is also one of those symptoms that you can’t do a whole lot about. Reduce intake of salt. Drink lots of water. Prop your feet up. If your shoes get tight, you may need to get new ones. Swelling up half a shoe size is common (and you thought a new wardrobe was the only benefit of pregnancy …) For reasons that aren’t clear, your feet don’t always go back to pre-pregnancy size even if the rest of you does.

Edema can also affect your hands and fingers. Edema increases the risk of pregnancy-induced carpal tunnel syndrome as fluid builds up in the carpal tunnel in the wrist. It can also cause other problems that could come from finger swelling.

Rings usually end up getting tight. You might find that you can’t get your wedding ring off not long after you’ve gone up a shoe size. If the ring is tight but not uncomfortable, try any home remedy you’d like to get it off. If the ring is tight enough to be uncomfortable 24-7 and is starting to dig into the flesh, a jeweler can cut the ring off. If your finger is turning blue, visit the local fire department. Don’t worry; they’ve done this before.

Backaches are more common and severe as pregnancy progresses. As the baby grows, so does the weight that the back has to carry on top of the normal load. Backaches are common. Massage, hot showers, and back rubs are good solutions.

With the weight growing inside of her, there is also an increased pressure on her bladder. This is especially true when the baby has descended into the pelvis and is doing a head-dive into the bladder. Bathroom trips every hour are not unheard of. And for those who have severe morning sickness, they will find that it has not gone away. It may actually increase as the baby’s weight on the stomach decreases its volume. This can also increase the acid reflux or heart burn that an expectant mother may experience.

Impatience can cause moodiness and irritability. Waiting is difficult enough when you’re excited. When you’re tired, achy, uncomfortable and maybe even miserable, it is even worse. However, you need to keep the bundle of joy that is waiting at the end of the pregnancy.