Common Mistakes to Avoid in Third Trimester of Pregnancy

While pregnancy can be one of the most beautiful phases of a woman’s life, it may also get a little overwhelming, especially for first-time mothers. It can be confusing when it comes to understanding.

what to do and what not to do in your third trimester of pregnancy

You may have a lot of experienced people around you who would share their experiences and tips on sailing through the third-trimester pregnancy.

Thus, many expecting mothers tend to make common mistakes during the third trimester, and these may not be safe. And if you're wondering what week the third trimester is, then the answer is from weeks 29 to 40. With this thought clarified, you can now proceed to know the dos and don'ts of third-trimester pregnancy.

To help you understand what not to do in your third trimester of pregnancy, we've curated a list of 10 common mistakes that most expecting mothers do.

10 Things Not to Do in Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy

10. Keeping the Wrong Sleeping Position

The belly expands quite a bit and the uterus moves slightly upwards for more space during the third trimester of pregnancy. Generally expecting moms are suggested not to sleep on their backs, as the baby is much heavier by the third trimester. It can restrict the flow of blood to the uterus and foetus, increasing your discomfort.

Although you might feel comfortable sleeping on the back, remember it is best to avoid it at all. Instead, experts recommend that sleeping on the left side is the best sleeping position during this time. Sleeping on the left side will help bring the uterus to the centre that naturally rotates to the right side, improving the flow of blood. You can try placing a pillow between your legs to support your back for comfort. For your back, the long body pillow or a wedge-shaped pillow could prove to be helpful.

9. Eating for Two

A lot of people may advise you to eat for two, especially in the third trimester of pregnancy when the baby is bigger. However, intake of more calories than required may cause problems, like gestational diabetes. Your body needs only 100 additional calories per day in the first trimester and 300 extra calories per day in the second and the third trimester.

Although as an expecting mother you need to eat more during pregnancy, it is not for entirely another person. Remember, more than how much you gain, what you eat is important. The food you eat during pregnancy helps set the building blocks for your baby. So, you should eat enough for yourself and the baby. Take a look at how you can maintain a healthy diet plan to ensure you and your baby get all the required nutrients. Talk to your ob-gyn doctor or healthcare provider to understand the dietary needs during the pregnancy. Take a look at pregnancy diet eating for two here.

8. Sleeping Less

Some expecting mothers may compromise on their sleep trying to maintain a work and personal life balance. In the third trimester of pregnancy, you may, too, try to get as much work done as possible before the baby comes to free up time. Therefore, you might lose much-needed sleep time and rest, which is very important.

Taking a good sleep during pregnancy is essential. Try to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Apart from work, certain third-trimester symptoms might make it difficult for you to get a good night's sleep. Avoid sleeping on your back or right side; instead, sleep on your left side as it boosts the blood flow to your uterus and the baby. You can use pillows for legs, back, or belly support. Remember, taking a good sleep during pregnancy will make you feel fresh and energised.

7. Avoiding Exercise

Exercise is as important as eating healthy food during pregnancy. So, keep up an excellent exercise routine unless the ob-gyn has recommended not to undertake any physical activity in the third trimester of pregnancy. You can try pregnancy-safe exercises like walking, jogging, pelvic floor exercise, and others. These exercises will also help prepare your body for labour and childbirth while keeping you physically fit.

But, keep in mind, do not exhaust yourself. An easy way to understand this is if you're able to hold a conversation while you work out. Make sure you eat well and include a variety of foods that will provide you with enough energy and nutrients. Don't forget to speak to your ob-gyn before starting any new exercise and ask for tips on a healthy routine. Read more about exercising tips here.

6. Not Eating Enough

It is natural to be bothered with the weight gain in the third trimester of pregnancy. But that doesn't mean you have to reduce your calorie intake. If you do not eat as needed, your body and the baby may not get all the required nutrition, causing deficiencies. So, do not worry about putting on pregnancy weight as it totally normal.

However, excessive weight can lead to health issues. Check out pregnancy weight gain calculator here Consult your doctor to understand what weight it is normal and what is not.

You can also read about foods that will increase your baby’s weight during the third trimester.

5. Googling Everything

Thanks to the availability of answers virtually for everything online, a lot of people, especially pregnant women, turn to the internet for health advice. But remember googling health conditions or third-trimester symptoms is a big no. Only your doctor would be capable of answering all your third trimester and health-related queries rightly. Hence, it is always best to seek professional medical advice.

4. Ignoring Car Safety

Not wearing a seatbelt, especially in the third trimester weeks, is not recommended. Wearing lap and shoulder seatbelts is quite essential when driving a car or riding in a passenger seat, irrespective of whether you're pregnant or not. Seatbelts help protect a person from accidents.

A lot of mothers are afraid that the pressure of the seatbelt may cause harm to the baby. However, when worn properly, car seatbelts are absolutely safe. Wear the lap belt below your belly so that you won't feel uncomfortable. This way, you can keep yourself and your baby safe.

3. Traveling/Taking Vacations

This is one of the most important pregnancy tips in the third trimester. Travelling during the last trimester puts the mother and the baby at a lot of unnecessary risks. And if you're travelling with a risk of medical problems, like blood clot formation due to prolonged sitting, prone to infections, or pregnancy complications, you're not only putting your life at risk but also your baby's.

Avoid taking long car trips or aeroplane flights. In the third trimester, you should travel only if absolutely necessary. If at all you have to travel, ensure you stretch your legs whenever possible or walk around after every hour or two. It is necessary that you take permission from your doctor before travelling. Unless you're at a high risk of any pregnancy complication, your doctor might allow you to travel until 32 to 34 weeks of pregnancy. Also, check the airline's policy, as most of them don't allow you to fly during the last weeks of pregnancy.

If you plan to travel due to an urgent situation, make sure you prepare beforehand. Ask your doctor to recommend a local doctor residing nearby your place of travel. Always carry a copy of prenatal and other necessary pregnancy documents with you. Avoid consuming unpasteurised milk and undercooked or raw meat, seafood, eggs, and vegetables. Stay away from impurified water and outside food if possible.

Read more about the precautions to take while travelling when you are pregnant here.

2. Wearing the Wrong Footwear

The last trimester of pregnancy is when the belly is the biggest and sometimes this may cause balance issues. It is not advisable to wear high heels and other such wrong footwear during pregnancy. Pencil heels may be at the top of fashion trends but they're definitely not good when you're pregnant. During pregnancy, your centre of gravity shifts while ligaments loosen, this, in turn, creates a risk of you tripping or falling. And wearing wrong footwear can add to that risk, putting you at the danger of accidents, which may have unfortunate repercussions on the pregnancy.

1. Not Following the Doctor’s Advice

Doing anything against the ob-gyn’s advice is a big mistake and this applies to anything from exercising to not eating right. Each pregnancy is different and doing something just because all other pregnant women do it is a grave mistake.

Keep in mind, you consult an ob-gyn when pregnant for a reason, so it is essential to adhere to what your doctor guides you to do to make sure you have a safe and healthy pregnancy. Your prenatal appointments this trimester may increase but do not skip them for no reason. If at all there's a need to skip one, make sure to reschedule it for a suitable time. Always check in with your doctor for any pregnancy-related concerns rather than relying on home remedies or third-party advice.

Bottom Line

Make a note to avoid the mistakes mentioned above. This way you will ensure the safety of you and your to-be-born baby during the last weeks of pregnancy. Meanwhile, make sure to educate yourself on some handy pregnancy tips on nutrition, exercise, and safety during your last trimester of pregnancy.

If you've just got the news of your pregnancy with your third trimester being far away and if you've landed here out of curiosity, use our pregnancy due date calculator to get an estimation of your baby’s due date. Also, don't forget to glance at our detailed week-by-week pregnancy guide to know what to expect during your last weeks of pregnancy.

If you're already in your third trimester weeks and all set to welcome your baby, visit our hospital bag checklist page. This way, you can make sure you leave no page unturned in preparing for your baby’s arrival.

How We Wrote This Article:
The information in this article is based on the expert advice found in trusted medical and government sources. You can find a full list of sources used for this article below. The content on this page should not replace professional medical advice. Always consult medical professionals for full diagnosis and treatment.