For those of us residing in sunny Florida, it's safe to say that summer is upon us. For lack of more creative wording - it is HOT. For a pregnant woman, the struggles are real. The third trimester, weeks 29 through 40, can mean the onset of discomfort for many women, summer heat aside. In this week's post, we are going to talk about some comfort measures! Believe it or not, there is quite a bit that we can do to squelch a whole host of third-trimester pregnancy challenges naturally.
1. Magnesium is Your Friend
I repeat - Magnesium is your friend. The benefits of taking a Magnesium supplement are vast and varied, pregnant or not. The benefits for a pregnant woman include relieving muscle cramps and tension/discomfort due to stretching or pressure from the baby, as well as relieving constipation (ideal for first trimesters too!). It's also incredible for calming emotions on stressful days (AKA natural Valium), and will ease insomnia or sleeping difficulties. Naturally, Magnesium is found in dark leafy greens, nuts (almonds, cashews, & peanuts), bananas, avocados, beans (black beans, lentils, & kidney beans), and grains (brown rice & quinoa). I highly recommend ensuring you are getting all the benefits of Magnesium by taking a Magnesium Supplement.
Most of us are aware of the importance of staying hydrated while pregnant but when faced with summer heat, especially in the third trimester it's even more important. Hydrating well will help ease swelling (Edema) and prevent dangerous conditions like low amniotic fluid or even early labor. Serious stuff aside, you will feel better adequately hydrated. One of the reasons I recommend the particular Magnesium Supplement above is because it allows an opportunity to hydrate - plus it comes in several different flavors so you can keep your taste buds happy. Another excellent option is Red Raspberry Leaf Iced Tea. Check with your care provider. If you get the green-light, I recommend making this iced, by the gallon, and keeping it in your refrigerator to drink daily throughout the week. You can also freeze some of the tea into ice cubes and add it to water. Red Raspberry Leaf is high in Iron & Magnesium and believed to help strength uterine muscles, therefore producing more efficient labor contractions. Studies have proven the use of Red Raspberry Leaf to result in shorter second stages of labor and fewer birth interventions.
3. Keep Moving
Movement benefits the pregnant body in several ways. First, it will aid in blood circulation and help prevent and relieve swelling (Edema). It will also contribute to keeping baby in a favorable position in utero. As we enter the third trimester, there is a lot of emphases placed on baby's position, and ensuring that he is in a favorable position for a complication free delivery. If you are up for light exercise, I recommend it. Attend a Prenatal Yoga, or Water Aerobics Class. Take a stroll. Or do some light stretching and exercise at home. As a bonus, you'll sleep a little better and ease constipation.
4. Pamer Your Self!
The time is nearing when your world will be all consumed with a tiny little human. Take these last few months to love yourself. Try to make time for a warm bath a few times a week. I suggest using 2 Cups Epsom Salt and some essential oils (5-7 drops). The Epsom Salt is Magnesium based, which your body will absorb, and will ease swelling, body discomforts and relax you. My favorite oils for a relaxing bedtime bath are Lavender (pain relieving & relaxing properties) and Chamomile (relaxing properties). Albeit you can play around with combinations of your choice. If done before bed, it will help you sleep. Ask for a prenatal massage as a gift for your baby shower, or check with your insurance company and see if they offer massage therapy coverage. Groupon and Living Social are also great places to peruse massage deals. A message will help with discomforts, circulation, and swelling.
I think for more women than not; pregnancy can be a challenging time especially toward the end. And with perfect reason! One of my favorite quotes about pregnancy is by Suzanne Finnamore, "You are the closest I will ever come to magic". Mama, love yourself, love your body, and trust the process.
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