Week 36 Pregnancy Symptoms


Changes in fetal activity: As your baby’s quarters get more cramped and she has less room to maneuver, expect her movements to change too. You should still feel her moving, but there will be less jabbing and kicking, and a lot more squirming.

Heartburn or indigestion: As your stomach gets pushed up and squeezed by your uterus, you may feel like eating less at mealtimes. That’s not necessarily bad news. Smaller meals are better for your digestive system and may actually control heartburn.

Flatulence: As if heartburn weren’t enough, you’re probably passing gas and burping like a frat boy. This too shall pass (pun intended). In the meantime, go for smaller meals (which will help the heartburn) and try not to rush while eating (you’ll swallow more air).

Constipation: If it’s getting worse, blame your belly again (a convenient scapegoat!). The same mini-meals that will help ease heartburn and flatulence are also a good way to counteract constipation — and for the same reason. They won’t tax your digestive tract as much.

More frequent urination: Your baby might have dropped into your pelvis by now, crowding your bladder. So it’s no wonder you’re going to the bathroom as much as you did during your first two months of pregnancy. Don’t cut back on liquids — your body needs fluids to stay hydrated now more than ever.

Increased vaginal discharge, possibly tinged with blood: The discharge from your vagina may be increasing and getting thicker. Don’t be shocked if you notice the mucus is pinkish, red, or brownish after you’ve had sex or a vaginal examination. That just means that your cervix, which is sensitive now and may be starting to dilate, has been bruised.

Pelvic pressure and discomfort: Feeling pretty heavy down there in the pelvic region? That’s your baby burrowing deep into the pelvis as she prepares for birth, with her head pressing down on your bladder, hips, and pelvis. Try some pelvic tilts, or take a (long) soak in the tub to give yourself a break.


Itchy abdomen: Your belly might be stretched to the breaking point (or at least feel that way). Creams containing cocoa butter or vitamin E can soothe that itchy abdomen and bring some relief. (Better still, get your partner to rub it on your belly and do some bonding with the baby underneath!)

Increased swelling of ankles and feet: Edema (pregnancy swelling) may be getting more noticeable now as your body retains more fluids. So not only will your ankles and feet be swollen, but your face and hands (and fingers) may be too. Keep drinking water and other liquids. All those fluids will help rid your system of excess sodium and other waste products, which will minimize swelling.

Difficulty sleeping: Sleep may be more elusive than ever as you toss this way and that looking for the perfect position. Make sure your room isn’t too stuffy (you’re sure to feel overheated as the night wears on) by opening a window or lowering the thermostat.

Fatigue or extra energy: It’s normal to be tired by the time you hit week 36. But you may also get the burst of extra energy known as the nesting instinct — a need to get organized and ready for the baby. If you do feel energized, take breaks to rest and eat.


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Week 35 Pregnancy Symptoms



Heartburn or indigestion: Is your heartburn getting worse this week? That’s because your growing baby is taking over your abdominal real estate and pushing your stomach up. Avoid eating while you’re reclining — or lying down after a big meal (no matter how tempted you are to get off your feet).

Occasional headaches: If your head is pounding it could be for a number of reasons, including being overheated or stuck in a stuffy room. Take a break and go out for some air or open the window. Also ask your practitioner which pain reliever is safe (in moderation) during pregnancy. Most doctors will okay acetaminophen, as long as you don’t overdo.

Varicose veins: Have the varicose veins in your legs begun to ache (or itch)? Though support hose probably isn’t the hot-mama look you were trying to cultivate, it can help by giving the veins in your legs a little extra upward push to counteract the downward push your belly is giving them.


Hemorrhoids: Varicose veins can pop up anywhere — and those that appear in your rectum are called hemorrhoids. To soothe them, wipe yourself with warm water and toilet paper. If toilet paper is too harsh, switch to wipes.

Bleeding gums: Your gums may still be bleeding or tender now. To boost gum strength, get plenty of vitamin C. Drink an extra glass of OJ, sprinkle berries on your oatmeal or cereal, and toss tomatoes in your salad.

Skin changes: If you’ve suddenly got an itchy, bumpy rash on your belly, you could have PUPPP, which stands for “pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy.” The rashes are benign and cause no risk to your baby or to you, but they’re annoying. To soothe the itch, try applying aloe-vera gel after a shower or bath.

Increasing clumsiness: Balancing your body gets harder this week as you waddle toward the finish line (just a few more weeks to go!). Continue to play it safe — if you need to reach for something on a high shelf, ask your partner instead of climbing on a chair to get it.

Forgetfulness: You’re probably getting more absentminded as you count down the weeks. Your brain-cell volume really is shrinking and your bouts of sleeplessness don’t help, either. Expect the fog to lift a few months after your baby is born.

Braxton Hicks contractions: You may be experiencing some contractions as your body gets ready for the real thing during labor. Haven’t felt one yet? First-time moms-to-be may not notice the flexing of their uterine muscles (which feels like your abdomen is tightening).


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Week 34 Pregnancy Symptoms




Flatulence: As your third trimester progresses, you may be getting gassier. Anxiety just makes those gassy feelings worse — you tend to swallow more air when you’re stressed — so try this tension tamer: Breathe deeply through your nose and out through your mouth for a minute or two each day.

Constipation: Need to rev up those slow-moving bowels? Rough up your diet with some dried fruits, fruits and veggies, and whole grains. One thing you don’t want to do — take laxatives (even herbal ones). Get your practitioner on board before taking any medicine for constipation.

Increased vaginal discharge: As your pregnancy progresses, you could see an increase in vaginal discharge. Blame pregnancy hormones (especially estrogen) for this symptom — they increase blood flow to the pelvic area and stimulate the mucous membranes (making your juices flow). Wearing undies with a cotton crotch can keep you drier (and that can curb odors).

Hemorrhoids: Constipation’s almost constant sidekick? Hemorrhoids. These pesky piles can be kept to a minimum by doing Kegels, which can improve circulation to the area.

Backaches: Your shifting center of gravity from back to belly puts more pressure and (ouch!) pain on your lower back. There are many solutions to cure your aching back, so if one doesn’t work, another most certainly will. One to try: Take a break and stretch, stand, or walk. Sitting too long can make your back hurt even more.

Leg cramps: Leg cramps are most common around now, when the three main culprits — pregnancy weight, swelling, and fatigue — are at their peak. If you feel a spasm, try standing on a cold surface (that can sometimes stop one).

Stretch marks: If you’re fair-haired and have a genetic predisposition toward stretch marks, you’re more likely to get them than someone who’s darker-haired (or skinned). But no matter what your skin or hair color, you can try to keep these classic marks of maternity to a minimum by keeping your weight gain slow and steady.

Mild swelling of ankles and feet: As you get bigger and your body tissues accumulate and retain fluids, you may experience swelling in your ankles, feet, and fingers. Slipping into comfy slippers at the end of the workday can help soothe your swollen tootsies.

Hair changes: You knew your hair would grow faster and more lustrous while you were pregnant, but you probably didn’t expect it to grow in places you weren’t expecting — like your cheeks, chin, and back. Waxing is safe during pregnancy; but since skin is extra-sensitive now, ask for a formula for sensitive skin.

Shortness of breath: As your pregnant belly gets bigger, your lungs won’t be able to expand as fully, so you may feel winded, even after a trip to the bathroom. Sleeping propped on your left side can help at night, and just take it easy.

Difficulty sleeping: If you’re not worrying about your impending D-day, then leg cramps and trips to bathroom are banishing any chance of shut-eye. Try lulling yourself to sleep with a warm bath and a cup of warm milk and read a book or listen to music instead of surfing the net or watching TV (those activities can keep you up).

Leaking colostrum: As your due date approaches and the third trimester wears on, your breasts may leak colostrum — yellowish pre-milk that will be your baby’s first drink. You won’t be leaking more than a few drops, but if you feel uncomfortable, try nursing pads.

Week 33 Pregnancy Symptoms


Stronger fetal activity: You can test for fetal movement twice a day — in the morning and evening. Check the clock and start counting every wiggle, roll, kick, or flutter until you reach ten. If by the end of the hour you haven’t felt at least ten, have a snack or some juice, lie down, and resume counting. (Your baby just may have needed an energy-boost, too!)

Occasional headaches: Third-trimester fatigue can sometimes trigger headaches now, so make sure you’re getting plenty of rest. But try not to make up for loss of sleep by napping too much during the weekends — oversleeping can lead to headaches, too.

Varicose veins: Sure they’re ugly (and sometimes painful), but if you’re worried that your varicose veins can be harmful too, you can relax. The good news? If you didn’t have them before you got pregnant, they’ll disappear soon after you give birth.

Lower abdominal achiness: If your belly is aching when you change positions or get up suddenly, you could be suffering from round ligament pain (or growing pains). As long as it’s occasional and you don’t have fever, chills, or bleeding along with it, there’s nothing to worry about. Getting off your feet (and getting comfy) helps.

Nail changes: Pregnancy hormones can make nails grow faster but can also cause them to become brittle. If your nails are brittle, try getting lots of biotin in your diet (stock up on bananas, avocados, nuts, and whole grains) and try gelatin capsules, which are safe in pregnancy.

Protruding navel: Your belly button may have popped by. Is there anything you can do about it? Not really — but it will pop back in a few months after you deliver.

Shortness of breath: That burgeoning belly is pushing anything out of its way — including your lungs, which can’t fully expand. It’s more uncomfortable for you than it is for your baby, who is getting the oxygen she needs from the placenta. What helps? Standing as straight as you can so that your lungs have a little more room.

Increasing clumsiness: A bigger belly means a shift in your center of gravity and that can spell clumsiness. What to do about it? Slow down and take it easy — rushing will only make you clumsier.

Forgetfulness: That foggy brain could be caused by your baby’s gender. Strange but true: Women pregnant with girls tend to be more forgetful than those moms-to-be who are carrying boys.

Braxton Hicks contractions: These practice contractions are most often felt by moms who’ve already gone through a pregnancy. How do you know they’re not the real thing? Even at their most intense, changing your position (from sitting to lying down, from lying down to walking around) will usually make them disappear.

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Week 32 Pregnancy Symptoms



Flatulence: To minimize that gassy feeling, aim for eating six small meals a day (versus three large ones) so that you don’t strain your digestive system (which is being taxed enough by your growing belly bearing down on it).

Bloating: Your slower metabolism (which has slowed down to give the food you eat more time to enter the bloodstream and nourish your baby) can cause bloating. Stick to your pregnancy diet and drink plenty of water to avoid constipation (see below), which aggravates bloating.

Constipation: Your growing uterus is cramping your bowels, making them sluggish and irregular. Get some regular exercise (anything helps, from brisk walks to prenatal yoga), and drink up!

Occasional faintness or dizziness: Feeling faint or light-headed can be a result of any number of things, including low blood sugar. Don’t forget to carry a protein-and-carb-rich snack in your bag to munch on when you feel dizzy. Granola bars, trail mix, or soy chips are a great choice, and may keep light-headedness at bay.

Hemorrhoids: Hemorrhoids, which are actually varicose veins in the rectum, can be a pain in the rear (literally!), especially if you spend a lot of time sitting. Ice packs or witch hazel can soothe, as can warm baths.

Leg cramps: Just as you’re ready to drift off to dreamland you may feel a painful spasm in your calves — though no one is quite sure what causes the pain (or why it’s worse at night). One theory: a lack of calcium and magnesium in your diet. Ask your practitioner if taking an extra calcium supplement is a good idea, and be certain you’re devouring your dose of daily dairy (bring on the cheese and yogurt!).

Itchy abdomen: That swelling belly is getting itchier and itchier, as the skin stretches and dries out. If slathering on creams and moisturizers doesn’t help, try calamine or some other type of anti-itch lotion that soothe more-stubborn cases. Or add oatmeal to your bath and have a soak in warm (not hot) water.

Enlarged breasts and colostrum: As your breasts get bigger in the third trimester, they may also leak a yellowish fluid called colostrum, which is the precursor to breast milk. This liquid, packed with protein and antibodies, is the first milk your baby will get. If the leaks are getting uncomfortable, try wearing nursing pads.

Week 31 Pregnancy Symptoms


More frequent urination: Your uterus puts more pressure on your bladder in the third trimester, giving it less room to store urine. Cut down on the bathroom trips by double voiding: Pee, then when you’re done, pee again. That’ll make sure you’ve emptied your bladder completely.

Occasional headaches: If tension is twisting your head up in knots, try spending a few minutes in a dark, quiet room. If you’re at work, close your eyes and put your feet up for 15 minutes.

Varicose veins: Your growing uterus is also putting pressure on your blood vessels, which along with pregnancy hormones and increased blood volume creates the perfect set-up for varicose veins. Take a walk (or even better, several) during the day, or make sure to get in some other form of low-key, circulation-boosting exercise.

Possible nasal congestion: As if a swollen belly, feet, and fingers weren’t enough, now you may be contending with swollen nasal passages, making for one stuffy feeling. You’ll get relief when you deliver, but until then saline sprays or nasal strips can help clear up the stuffiness. (Antihistamines and nasal sprays are usually off-limits, but check in with your practitioner for other recommendations).

Lower abdominal achiness: Blame that growing belly of yours again for those growing pains around your middle. The best thing to do? Yep, you know the drill: Get off your feet for a while.

Backaches: That burgeoning belly can also do a number on your back as it curves to accommodate the load. If you haven’t already, now is the time to incorporate some prenatal yoga into your exercise routine — the stretches will relax your back (and your mind!).

Increasing clumsiness: Your shifting posture (not to mention your increasing girth) and lack of concentration (see below) may make you clumsier these days. Take it easy when you’re climbing into the shower or tub and roll up any area rugs that could trip you up at home.

Forgetfulness: Welcome to mommy (to-be) brain — a condition that’s a result of shrinking brain-cell volume in the third trimester (don’t worry — your brain cells go back to normal a few months after delivery). Don’t stress out about your foggy memory (stress just makes it worse). Write things down (or program them into your smart phone) and delegate responsibility (if possible).

Difficulty sleeping: This is another common third-trimester woe, caused by a constellation of other conditions, such as leg cramps, heartburn, frequent urination, and plain old anxiety (with a dash of pregnancy hormones). If tension keeps you tossing and turning all night, talk it out with friends (or other WTE members) or your partner during the day.

Week 30 Pregnancy Symptoms



Stronger fetal activity: You can expect to feel your baby moving every day — sometimes with a punch or a kick (your itty-bitty boxer is getting stronger!), other times with a wiggle or a stretch. You can also expect more activity after you’ve had a snack or meal and (sadly!) when you’re lying down.

Flatulence: As your uterus expands it puts pressure on your rectum, which can weaken muscle control and lead to uncontrollable passing of gas. Drink plenty of water to avoid constipation (which aggravates the condition).

Bloating: Your expanding uterus (that third-trimester culprit) is pressing into the stomach and intestines, making that bloated feeling worse this week (and for the next several weeks). Eat smaller (and more frequent) meals to avoid overloading your digestive system.

Constipation: Even if you managed to conquer constipation earlier in your pregnancy, you may have to contend with a return to more-sluggish bowels (thank your ever-expanding uterus, which is putting pressure on your bowels). Remember that fluids and fiber are your friends, as are probiotics (you can find them in yogurts).

Occasional faintness or dizziness: It’s a common pregnancy symptom, but mention it to your practitioner (especially if you do faint). You can stop a dizzy spell by lying down and elevating your feet as soon as you feel light-headed.

Bleeding gums: Thanks to pregnancy hormones, your gums could be swollen, inflamed, and even bleeding. Although bleeding gums are common (and will probably go away after delivery), take extra-good care of your teeth and gums right now: Brush and floss twice a day.

Stretch marks: As your skin stretches to accommodate your growing belly and body, you (and 90 percent of the pregnant set) are probably starting to see the pink or red streaks known as stretch marks. There’s no miracle cure for stretch marks, so don’t blow the bucks on expensive creams that promise to make them disappear. (Creams will soothe your itchy belly, though.)

Mild swelling of ankles and feet: About 75 percent of pregnant women suffer from puffy ankles and feet. Besides wearing comfy shoes, you can relieve your swollen tootsies by taking breaks and putting your feet up. (You deserve it!)

Fatigue: Your second trimester get-up-and-go may have upped and left now. Your growing baby is putting more demands on your body, and insomnia may be leaving you pooped during the day. Now’s the time to ask for help (a skill that will come in handy after childbirth), especially doing something strenuous.


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Week 29 Pregnancy Symptoms


Constipation: Pregnancy hormones cause your muscles (including those in your bowel) to relax, which can cause your system to get backed up. One way to get on track is to eat yogurt with the probiotic acidophilus (look for yogurt brands that contain “live active cultures”) since these beneficial bacteria can aid in digestion and help get things moving.

Occasional headaches: When a headache (even a migraine) hits, alleviate pain by lying down in a quiet, dark room with a cold compress on your neck or forehead.

Hemorrhoids: If the veins in your rectum have begun to bulge and pop out (as a result of increased pressure and blood flow to the pelvic area), reduce discomfort and irritation by using gentle wipes or warm water on soft toilet paper after bowel movements and, of course, drinking lots of fluids so your stool isn't hard.

Forgetfulness: No wonder your brain feels especially foggy these days — hormones are wreaking havoc on your memory and your brain-cell volume actually decreases during the third trimester. Try not to take this temporary pregnancy symptom to heart — stressing about it will only cloud your pregnancy brain even more.

Itchy abdomen: Your stretched-out belly can cause your skin to become dry and itchy. Apply moisturizer regularly and consider soaking in a warm oatmeal bath to ease the itch.

Skin, hair, and nail changes: Even though your nails may be growing faster than ever, pregnancy hormones may also cause them to become dry and brittle. Trim them regularly.

Difficulty sleeping: If heartburn is keeping you up at night, avoid eating too much and chowing down too close to bedtime. Also, avoid coffee or chocolate in the evening since these energizers will make it harder for you to get to sleep.


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