The eighth month of pregnancy includes weeks 31 to 34. Well into the third trimester, mom and baby are undergoing tremendous changes each week bringing about a variety of new symptoms.
Braxton Hicks Contractions
These contractions are practice contractions for the uterus. Unlike real contractions, Braxton Hicks contractions do not continue to intensify over time and will typically stop with a change in positions.
Shortness of Breath
According to the American Pregnancy Association, shortness of breath is common as the growing uterus places pressure on the diaphragm. This pressure along with an increase in blood volume can cause pregnant women difficulty when trying to take deep breaths.
As the belly continues to expand, balance for most pregnant women is altered. Caution should be taken when climbing stairs and flat shoes should be worn if possible.
The fatigue that accompanied the first trimester returns as the body begins to prepare for the labor and delivery portion of the pregnancy. This is also due to a lack of sleep from a pregnant woman's inability to find a comfortable position at night.
Leg cramps are more prevalent now, particularly at night. When a leg cramp begins, flex the foot to provide relief until it passes.
- Photo Credit Canwest News Service