Pregnancy Blog

Women's Healthcare Topics

Week 31: Can Three Pounds Cause All This?

– Posted in: Pregnancy Weeks
31 Weeks Pregnant

Prior to pregnancy, my weight would vary slightly throughout the year—a few pounds higher around the holidays, a few pounds lower during the summer months of salads for dinner. For the first time, my weight has gone up and up (and up). It seems like every time I go through a mini growth spurt, however, the difference is far more noticeable than it used to be.

Nowadays, three pounds more means back pain, heartburn, waddling, stretched skin, and trouble sleeping…Nothing alarming or insurmountable, of course, but annoying nonetheless. Every time I gain a bit, now, it seems I have a brief adjustment period of achiness. I would feel more guilty about using this blog to complain about it, but as I sit here typing, I have pillows wedged in at all sorts of angles to try to relieve discomfort and simultaneously prevent myself from slouching. I’m about to hit the 20-lb mark, though, so perhaps the number on the scale is the true instigator of this tirade!

Overall, I’m Feeling Great, But…

While I’m on a bit of a rant, I figure I might as well go all out. Just sitting can be uncomfortable! I find that the main discomfort develops at the top of my belly, right at the edges of my ribcage. As soon as I get behind the wheel to drive home, the baby starts kicking the sore parts of my ribs, so I spend half of the drive stretching my arms above my head trying to free up some space and soothe my muscles.

I can’t tell if some of this pain is from muscle and skin stretching or from poor posture. I’m also constantly adjusting my position at my desk to get the baby in a comfortable spot. In meetings, I have to stop myself from rubbing my belly sometimes when I’m trying to ease the pain away…don’t want to seem like I’m drawing too much attention to my “condition!”

To stop my bellyaching (and my whining!) for your sakes, I decided to get my act together.

Back on the Exercise Track

During the month of May, I fell out of the habit of getting much physical activity. Beyond walking around campus and work, my evenings were too packed with studying and wrap-up for my side jobs to squeeze in real fitness sessions. Now that the statistics class is settled, choir is out for the summer, and I’m settled into just one main job, I’ve rediscovered the occasional freedom of an unplanned evening.

I’m working my way back into my routine with a few of the ten-minute customizable prenatal Pilates video sessions each evening, as well as a brief walk and some stretching. Better still, I notice serious pain relief the days that I work out. With any luck, the pain in my sides will be in check after a few more sessions. I’m trying to strengthen my core and my back muscles in the hopes that it will prevent some of the pain in my ribs.

In addition, my doula said that building strong leg muscles could make labor much less trying. Squats, lunges, and some general lower body strength exercises are another focus of mine, now—I want to be prepared! Thirty-one weeks along doesn’t leave a ton of time for building strength, so I want to get myself on the road to power legs while I still can.

Speaking of Doulas

I have to thank my doula for yet another great push in the right direction. Previously, I have had a relatively quiet relationship with my OB. Beyond asking a few questions here and there, my appointments were fairly brief, even though she always asked, “What else? Any questions?”

After getting tons of ideas and suggestions from Mandi the Doula, my last OB visit was entirely different. I asked about how my OB tends to manage labor, who her emergency replacements are, whether I can wear my own clothes at the hospital, when exactly to call her office during labor, and a number of other questions. Had I not been prompted by the doula, who knows whether I would have thought to ask any of these before Baby arrived!

All in all, I suppose I’m ending on a higher note than that on which I began. I should, after all, be grateful for the overall healthy, pleasant experience I’ve had during my pregnancy. With exercise and a slightly more positive attitude on the docket for the coming week, I’ll bid you all goodbye for now.

Until next week,

Your Preggers Geek

2 Comments… add one

June 18, 2013, 10:58 pm Maria

I read that doing squats and lower body exercises is actually better for your pelvic floor muscles than kegels. Keep up the good work!

June 18, 2013, 6:37 pm Kim

SO glad your doula has been such an awesome resource for you!