Third Trimester Nausea: Your Top 5 Questions Answered

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Pregnant woman having nausea and feeling ill.

Nausea is common during the first trimester of a pregnancy, and most women expect it. But what about nausea during the third trimester? If you’re experiencing nausea just before labor, you may be wondering what is happening. Here are five of the most common questions and possible explanations for the nausea you’re experiencing.

Top 5 Questions about Third Trimester Nausea

1. Is Nausea a Sign of Labor?

Pregnant woman having nausea and feeling ill.Yes, nausea can be a sign that labor is right around the corner. While you shouldn’t take it as a definite sign of labor, it is one of the symptoms that many women experience just before giving birth.  Be sure to look for other labor signs to see if this is an indication that you’re ready to give birth. Other signs include:

  • Cramps
  • An increase in vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Backache
  • Diarrhea
  • Contractions that are less than 10 minutes apart

Many women also feel nauseous during labor itself. This may be because of the epidural given, or because digestion stops completely during labor.

2. What Causes Nausea in The Third Trimester?

If labor is not the reason for nausea, what else could be the cause? There are many reasons why a woman may experience this uncomfortable symptom during her third trimester.

Morning sickness

Young woman vomiting into the toilet bowl in the early stages of pregnancy or after a night of partying and drinking.Morning sickness is generally associated with the first trimester of a pregnancy, but many women also experience this during the third trimester as well. During this time, your hormones are fluctuating, you’re experiencing even more internal pressure, and the baby is fighting for space in the abdominal cavity.

There are also some women that maintain higher-than-normal hCG levels all throughout their pregnancy, which can cause nausea.

If morning sickness is the cause of your nausea, you can use many of the same remedies that you use during the first trimester to find relief.

Heartburn

Heartburn is another common symptom during the third trimester, and it can also lead to nausea. In fact, heartburn is the most common cause for queasiness during the final trimester of a pregnancy.

What happens is the bottom of your esophagus relaxes, and stomach acid makes its way to your chest. The end result is a burning sensation in your throat or a sour taste in your mouth. Sometimes, an upset stomach follows suit.

While not a serious condition, heartburn can be painful and make it difficult to sleep at night.

Preeclampsia

Nausea may also be a sign of a more serious complication: preeclampsia. This condition can develop after the 20th week of pregnancy, and affects 5-8% of pregnancies. Preeclampsia is characterized by protein in the urine and high blood pressure.

Preeclampsia can lead to strokes, kidney damage, liver failure, blood clots, seizures and even fluid in the lungs.

If your nausea is accompanied by any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention right away:

  • Extreme headaches
  • Swelling in the facial area
  • Trouble seeing
  • Pain in the abdomen

Preeclampsia is a serious condition, and it’s important to seek out medical attention right away to avoid further complications.

3. Is Nausea Before Labor Normal?

Pregnant woman belly. Baby in womb development.Bouts of nausea are normal during the third trimester. During this stage, the baby is growing at a rapid pace, and at the same time, it’s depleting your body of essential vitamins and minerals. The baby is also fighting for space in the abdominal area, which can cause internal pressure and discomfort.

That being said, if your nausea is ongoing and also accompanied by frequent vomiting, you should see your physician right away.

4. Should I See My Doctor?

Generally, small episodes of nausea during the final trimester are normal. However, if you are concerned about the nausea or it’s accompanied by any of the symptoms discussed earlier, you should see a doctor right away.

Other symptoms of concern include:

  • Vision issues
  • Abdominal pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Facial swelling

If you’re experiencing contractions that are less than 10 minutes apart, your nausea may be a sign that you’re going into labor. If you’re experiencing any other signs of labor, see your doctor right away.

5. How Can I Relieve My Nausea?

Nausea can be an uncomfortable symptom, and there are several things you can do to find relief. Here are some tips:

  • Get plenty of rest. Set a regular bedtime, and give yourself a break in the middle of the day.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals: Try to eat six small meals throughout the day instead of three larger meals. Avoid eating before bed, and stay away from foods that cause nausea, such as spicy foods.
  • Get some exercise: A little exercise might bring some relief, but check with your doctor first before you create a routine.
  • Stay hydrated: If your nausea is causing you to vomit, make sure that you drink plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Ginger and peppermint: Ginger and peppermint are both excellent at relieving nausea. Steep them in a tea, or add them to meals. Try using fresh ingredients for the best results.

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