One of the main rules of writing is to write about what you know best. Right now, what I know best is about how uncomfortable the end of pregnancy can be!
While I'll tell anyone that there are certainly many joys of pregnancy, like feeling the baby move, there are also the down sides. Last night while I continually got up to go to the bathroom, it suddenly occurred to me (even half asleep) that my urinary frequency was setting the pace of once every hour and eight minutes. And that's just for starters!
So here's a list of common complaints at the end of pregnancy and what you can do about them!
Not being able to sleep is really annoying. It comes in a couple of forms: being exhausted and not able to sleep and just not able to sleep but feeling fine. At least with the latter you can be productive. Advice is to try some form of exercise earlier in the day, avoid caffeine after early evening, relax before bed and even the old standard of a glass of warm milk.
More: 5 Tips for Pregnancy Insomnia
2. Back Pain
OUCH! Seriously, try the massage route, if you can't find anyone to help here, pelvic tilts work really well. I also find that stretching and the use of warm compress, like a rice sock or warm bath work really well. Another thing to try is to shower on hands and knees allowing the water to hit you in the back.
More: Pregnancy Back Pain
3. Leg Cramps
Stretching prior to bed and not pointing your toes are great starts. Some also claim that nutritional deficiencies like lack of potassium contribute to this problem.
More: Leg Cramps in Pregnancy
4. Shortness of Breath
As the baby grows and compresses your diaphragm you have less room to breathe. Stretching and doing pelvic tilts to allow the baby to settle works for some women. Another good piece of advice is to try sleeping sitting up. I just double fold my body pillow and lean it on the headboard. Other women find that a recliner or other chair is better for them.
Believe it or not growing a baby takes a lot of energy. My best advice is hard to follow, but a gem...nap! Seriously if you can get in a brief nap or rearrange your schedule to allow you to sleep when you are the most sleepy, life will be much easier. Add insomnia to the mix and it's killer.
More: Fatigue in Pregnancy
6. Heartburn & Other Gastrointestinal Delights
Heartburn, belching and gas, all very lovely and all a result of the baby growing healthy! Avoid offending foods, staying upright after meals and just a plain old sense of humor are about all you can do here. Sometimes a glass of milk with honey will help with heartburn and sometimes your practitioner can recommend something to help as well.
These delightful things are great for practicing everything you learned in childbirth class, and even give you a run for your money at times. My best advice is to ignore them as much as possible. Real labor won't let you sleep. Try napping, changing positions, taking a bath and relaxation. Usually these will help. Sometimes women will have periods of contractions that return at a certain point each day or some will seem to have non-stop contractions for the last few weeks. Both are fairly normal. Talk to your practitioner if you're concerned.
More: Readers Share: What do contractions feel like?
8. Pubic Bone Pain
First off, it's not really a bone, but it sure can hurt. I've often described this feeling as being a plastic doll and getting my legs ripped off sideways. You can no longer stand on one leg to put your pants on and even lifting a leg to get into the tub becomes interesting. A rice sock or other warm compress can feel really good for this odd sore spot.
More: Pubic Bone Pain in Pregnancy