30 Weeks in: Midwife says, Mama says…
Working as a Midwife for the past 13 years means that (now that I’m expecting my first baby), my brain has officially split into Midwife half, and Mama-to-be half! At 30 weeks, here is the documentation of all my adventures so far:
Acid Reflux and Heart Burn
Midwife says: Heartburn and indigestion start to become more common during the third trimester because the growing uterus puts pressure on the intestines and the stomach. During pregnancy, the hormone progesterone causes the valve between the oesophagus and stomach to relax, which allows stomach acid to pass into the oesophagus and irritate the lining. It can be very uncomfortable and women may find it difficult to lay down during these “heart burn attacks”. Triggers for heart burn vary for different people, from spicy or fatty foods, to caffeine, chocolate or citrus. Unfortunately avoiding your favourite foods may be one of the solutions to decrease heartburn, as well as eating small frequent meals in the day. This helps to keep the acid in your stomach under control. Over the counter antacids can be useful but avoid anything containing baking soda as it may cause you to feel bloated and feel even worse!
Mama-to-be says: Burn baby burn… Disco inferno… In my gullet that is. With Indian heritage, I thought chilli ran in my blood! My iron gut has survived every snack I’ve ever eaten on local street corners in small foreign countries, no pickle was ever too tart, no lemon too sour, and now? I can’t have a Dorito Nacho Chili chip without acid tossing my tonsils around like a raft in a white water washout. I hear my self asking my Anglo-Australian husband, “oh is that spicy?” To which he raises an eyebrow wondering what kind of “spicy-eater” he married (one that can’t tolerate Indian food, let alone make it, that’s the kind!). I don’t know why pharmaceutical companies think pregnant woman will like antacids flavoured in what I call ‘concrete chalk’, or ‘concrete chalk with a lemon dishwasher twist’ how about something like ‘strawberry mojito’ or Pina Colada Flavour? Now that’s a million dollar mama-preneur idea!
The Pregnancy Bladder
Midwife says: Naturally in pregnancy, your body contains more fluid and your kidneys work harder throughout this time to flush waste products, that both you and your baby are producing, out of your body. As the uterus grows and rises higher during the second trimester, some women find that they don’t have to urinate as frequently as before, as temporarily the bladder is not so squashed by the baby, but the relief may not be long as towards the end of the third trimester, the baby starts to engage and finds itself very comfortably square on your bladder again. Women should not stop drinking fluids in order to slow down their bathroom visits, as dehydration can lead to bladder infections. Seize the opportunity on the toilet to start doing your pelvic floor exercises by squeezing your muscles – as if you’re trying to stop the flow midstream – for 10 seconds. Do this a few times during your toilet breaks daily and your pelvic floor will thank you for it after the baby.
Mama-to-be says: I may be feeling slightly less agile but I believe I have mastered the art of what I have named, ‘’The Ninja Pee’’. After waking up several times in the night for a bladder on which my baby seems to be practicing a karate kid “wax on, wax off” routine, and working 6 days a week my exhaustion was getting the better of me. So I have adapted… I have learnt the art of the Ninja Pee. I roll out of bed with one swift body roll (okay, not so swift), directly into my slippers which have been placed bedside ready for the shuffle of night time feet. Eye-mask still firmly in-situ with just enough peep of one eye open to see where I am going. The lights stay off – an essential component. Husband knows well enough not to try to talk to me, and definitely knows well enough not to expect an answer – the last time he tried he was rewarded with a wolf like growl. Bathroom business over, I return just as swiftly to bed, covers over my head in hope that sleep comes before my alarm does. I really hope the Ninja Pee makes me a good student for the next step in my training… The Ninja Nappy Change.
Some 3rd trimester Changes
Midwife Says: The third trimester, how exciting! The body is going through a huge range of changes at the moment and may cause you to be feeling extra tired, emotional and achy. It is important to start gathering the support of your husband at home, and colleagues at work to help you out when you need it. Your back and hips will start to ache with both the pressure of the baby, and also with the hormonal changes “loosening” your joints and ligaments. Your belly and breasts are growing, so supportive clothing is advised, and even a soft belly brace can help support your back. If you are a first time mum, you may be surprised to be getting “tightening” feelings in your uterus, where you feel your belly go quite firm. As long as there is no pain, these may just be Braxon Hicks tightening. It is worth mentioning to your Doctor at your next visit, but nothing to worry about if they remain painless. Vaginal discharge is normal and may even increase in this trimester, but no amount of bleeding is normal, and you should always get checked at the hospital if any bleeding is occurring. Your baby should be active and you may have noticed a pattern to their most active part of the day. If you feel the baby has been a little quiet, lay down and have a cold drink. The rest, focus and cold water may be enough to wake baby up and for you to notice the movements. If your baby still has not moved at least 10 times in a few hours, then it is worth calling your Doctor or visiting your hospital for a quick check up.
Mama-to-be: So far the biggest changes to my body have been between 26-30 weeks, and I have to say it is getting a little harder. Long days followed by long nights are no longer tolerable and getting comfortable in bed requires several attempts, changing of tactics and a lot of huffing. I feel a slight sway (not quite a waddle) in my walk, my hips and back are definitely talking to me, I am starting to have some painless tightenings, and my lovely baby wriggles are now fully fledged kicks and tumbles. Of course my belly has well and truly popped now, and I change shape depending on which rib cage baby has decided to swing from. I wanted to go as far as I could without buying maternity clothes, and now my pants have gone as far as they can without my belly about to burst free – like the final scene from free Willy, the next time I stand up. If zips could talk, Im sure mine would be saying “Dude, seriously?”. Yes, it is time for the belly belt. Either that or I will have to live in my leggings pulled higher than Steve Urkle for the rest of my pregnancy. Jersey stretch dresses and knit trench jackets have become a comfortable and very versatile favourite. Loving being preggo on this side of the some-what “wintery” hemisphere right now!