The Seven Side-Effects of the Third Trimester You Need to Know!

Dec 15, 2018

Wow! I can’t believe that I’m writing about my third trimester of pregnancy.

It feels like only yesterday that I was brave enough to share with the world that I was pregnant, and look at me now!

I must admit that I was a little bit worried about going into this trimester, purely because I’d read and heard horrible stories from other expectant mothers complaining about their third trimester symptoms.

There was no way I wanted to feel fatigued and nauseous all over again.

Or get shooting pains, lose all bladder control, cramps, dizziness, back pain, varicose veins, or any of the other glamorous stuff I was hearing about.

Luckily for me, that didn’t happen, although I did find myself struggling with several other ‘interesting’ side effects of the third trimester. Here they are in their full glory...

1. Having to do the dreaded glucose test

Uuugh! This has to be one of the more horrible parts of the third trimester!

Early in your pregnancy, you’ll be asked a bunch of questions to assess whether you’re at an increased risk of suffering from gestational diabetes then offered the test.

My mum tested positive for this when having my brother and had to inject herself every day. I remember that one day she froze and couldn’t do it any more so it became my morning job after that.

As you can imagine, I didn’t want to have to go through the same. I didn’t want to take medicine to control diabetes, so I wasn’t excited to do this test at all. However, I knew how important it would be for me and the baby, so I went ahead and did the test at 28 weeks.

Here’s how it goes:

  • Fast for two hours
  • Place 17 Lucozade tablets (!!) in a mug of warm water and drink it within 5 minutes.
  • Make your way to the hospital within an hour of taking this disgusting mixture
  • Have your blood taken


With the lifestyle I try to live, this felt like a bit of an ordeal for me.

The sugar rush was unreal and the baby was definitely a little more active after I had drunk it. It took me hours to come down from the high.

Thankfully my test results came back negative yay!!

All the same, I’ve tried hard to keep my sugar consumption to a minimum throughout my pregnancy, despite the cravings that can pop up sometimes. Sure, I’ve slipped a few times, but hey, we are only human.

[Pssst! I’ve created a free ‘Eliminate the Sugar’ plan and food diary that can help you overcome your cravings and give sugar the boot. Download your FREE copy here]

2. Getting a crazily itchy body!! Arrrrgh!

No one ever told me that I’d go out of my mind with itchiness!! This happened around week 29 when I started to get really itchy on one side of my stomach and arms.

Not wanting to worry, I took myself to the labour ward triage to be checked out. What I didn’t expect was for one of the midwives to escort me into a room just in case I had chicken pox…

My first thoughts were, “Chicken Pox???? OMG isn’t that really dangerous to contract whilst pregnant?

Luckily after being examined closely, chicken pox was ruled out, as was something called intrahepatic cholestasis which can point to a liver problem. I was then sent home with some antihistamines and some menthol cream to stop the itch.

It took me another couple of days to realise that I’d changed my soap powder to Fairy. Yes, it’s supposed to be very gentle, but my skin doesn’t agree with it at all.

The lesson learnt from all this is that your skin is so much more sensitive when pregnant so don’t try new products around this time. Stick to what you know and love so you can save unnecessary stress, trust me :-)

Although I wasn’t overly worried when all of this happened, I’d highly advise you seek medical advice if the same happens to you.

3. Fighting those stretch marks

I was obsessed about not getting stretch marks during my pregnancy!

At the beginning, I bought myself a belly band set from Secret Saviour which promised to keep the stretch marks at bay. I loved the belly band as it provided me with extra support for my ever-growing tummy but I didn’t really like the day cream.

When I looked at the ingredients I couldn’t make out what some of them were and, in the end, I found the belly band too much to wear with the heat wave we had in the summer.

Instead, I turned to essential oils to help. I started a regime of oiling my stomach up with coconut oil or sweet almond oil plus a few drops of frankincense essential oil morning and night.

Not only did frankincense help to relax me but it also has cell regeneration properties which I was convinced would help me keep those stretch marks at bay. It helped control the growth of my fibroids (read my previous blog) so why not the growth of those silvery lines too?

As I go into my last few weeks, I’ll add some lavender into the mix to help relax me further for the big day. I’m hoping no stretch marks will pop up out at the end but for now I don’t have any new ones. Result!!!

I would also like to add that it’s worth making sure you’re well hydrated too. You should be drinking at least 2-3 litres per day, even if it’s not all water. Fluids matter!

4. Your iron levels dropping

Even though I always take great care of my diet, I did still become anaemic during the six weeks and ended up taking an iron supplement to help.

I started to feel really tired, and when I had my blood tested for gestational diabetes my results showed that my iron levels had dropped and I was prescribed iron tablets. There’s no shame in this- it’s very common in pregnancy.

The baby will continue to take what it needs to grow strong and healthy to the very end, so you need to eat as well as you can during the entire pregnancy journey (and beyond!)

Unfortunately, the tablets I was given made me feel sick and a little constipated so I bought Spatone which is a liquid form of iron supplements. I also upped my green juice intake as I have found it difficult to always eat my greens during pregnancy and made sure I got more iron-rich food too.

My iron levels are back up now but I am continuing to provide my body with what it needs as I don’t want them to go down again.

5. Feeling more emotional

The last two trimesters have been getting increasingly difficult because, as I started to show more, tell people and prepare for our new baby it has really hit me how much I miss my mum.

I can’t help wishing that she would be here to share this new journey.

People continue to tell me she is watching over me and I know this to be true but I still can’t help but wish she was here...

6. Getting grumpy

As a result of my emotions being everywhere, I know I’ve been a little short with Darren at times too. Luckily he’s been really understanding and gets that I’m not being this way intentionally but it’s just a combination of my hormones and missing my mum.

The darker nights have not helped at all either. I’ve never enjoyed going to bed when it’s dark then waking up to find that it's still dark.

If you’re the same, I would recommend you get a Lumie SAD lamp. I’ve had one for years and have found that it doesn’t just help me get through the winter months in the UK but also not to wake up feeling grumpy!

7. Getting less and less sleep :(

As the months have been going on, I’ve been finding it harder and harder to get the sleep I need. So many people say it’s good practice for what’s to come. so I’m trying not to get too stressed and I’m just rolling with it.

I really can’t wait to sleep on my stomach again (although with breastfeeding boobs I don’t know when that’s going to be possible!)

As you can see, you can’t always believe what the websites, forums and pregnancy blogs say will start happening to you when you hit your third trimester. The body is a wonderful thing and it’s sure to present you with a few surprises along the way so enjoy!

[Have any fertility or wellness questions? Contact me here]


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