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It's hard to get comfortable during the third trimester of pregnancy: Your back aches, your baby is kicking your ribs, and you'd give anything for a decent night's sleep. Veteran our site moms share their best tips for handling the many discomforts of late pregnancy.
Ease the ache around your crowded belly
"Give your baby (and your lungs) some room by keeping your back straight or slightly arched, instead of slumped forward."
"Try to relax into the baby's movements as much as possible. Tensing up when he kicks only makes you more uncomfortable."
"Using a foam roller or tennis ball to relax tight muscles helps with my back pain. Also, wearing good shoes helps."
"My doctor prescribed a pregnancy belt. It's soft and sturdy, and I can wear it under some clothes. It took away my duck walk [that I did when] it felt like my baby was dropping down to my crotch area. It has helped with my back pain and getting up from a seated position, and I can walk a bit faster. I love it."
"It's not my baby's activity that makes me uncomfortable – it's his size! I rock my hips from side to side a lot, and I sit on an exercise ball to relieve some of the pressure down below. I also have to change positions about every 20 minutes to keep from getting sore."
"If your baby seems like she has her foot in your throat or under your ribs, try sitting [up] straighter or walking around for a while. This usually allows the baby a little extra room to sink down and get comfy and allows you a little more breathing room – literally."
"Get on all fours and let your belly sag down, moving the baby further away from all the organs she's been sitting on."
"The kicks to my bladder are the most uncomfortable. I find that if I do Kegels, the baby usually shifts and kicks a less sensitive spot."
Try massage and warm water therapy
"When my baby has a long aerobics session, I rub my belly because it seems to calm him down."
"Try taking warm baths at night and getting your husband or boyfriend to rub you down."
"I trick my husband into giving me a long massage by watching TV together – when he gets involved in [the show], I get a good massage!"
"Letting warm water run down my back in the shower feels great."
Use pillows for support
"I sleep with small travel pillows instead of those big bulky pregnancy pillows. They give you that little boost where you need it, and you can roll over easily without messing up the bedclothes or waking your spouse."
"Office furniture is not made for pregnant women. If you have a desk job, get a pillow for your chair that gives you great back support and helps keep your spine straight."
"I don't know what I'd do without my huge pregnancy pillow. I honestly can't sleep without it."
"I kicked the pregnancy pillow out of my bed and use a regular pillow between my legs. I invested in a really comfortable memory foam pillow, and it's heavenly."
Set yourself up for good sleep
"If you can't get comfortable in bed, try a different spot. The couch or recliner may be your ticket to a good night's sleep."
"I keep my house cooled to 69 degrees at night because otherwise I swelter and that keeps me up."
"Something warm to eat or drink normally puts me to sleep. Milk, especially."
Exercise to soothe pregnancy aches and pains
"Spend a lot of time in your local pool! I practically lived in one toward the end [of my pregnancy]. It was the only true relief I got. It takes the weight off your body [because] the water supports your belly and all your joints, and you stay cool (but not too cold) and comfy!"
"Slow lap swimming! Use a kickboard and it will take your pain away."
"I love wearing my belly band when I walk on the treadmill."
"Yoga, yoga, yoga! It works wonders, seriously."
More tips to ease third-trimester pregnancy pains
"As annoying as it is, go to the bathroom often. I feel a lot less pressure and discomfort with an empty bladder."
"Eating small meals throughout the day reduces heartburn and gas pains, and exercising and drinking plenty of water really helps with the swelling."
"Get naked in front of the air conditioner!"
"To stay cool, I keep a small fan with me, or drink water with lots of ice."
"Wear the comfiest clothes you can find. Being as big as you are in your third trimester is uncomfortable enough – you don't need anything else bothering you."
How to get relief from the aches and pains of late pregnancy