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Seven Ways to Fight the Third-Trimester Blahs

Pregnancy can be a roller coaster of emotional highs and lows, physical changes and challenges. And they can hit you particularly hard during that third trimester. You may be feeling a little anxious or stressed about the big job that awaits, or maybe it’s that big belly that’s getting you down. Here are some ways to relax and cheer yourself up:

(Note: The purposes of this post is to help those who may be experiencing a mild case of the blues. If you are seriously depressed, talk to your doctor and get professional help. Clinical depression in pregnancy requires real treatment; it’s not something you can just ride out, or fix with yoga or ice cream. Read this report to learn more.)

Take a Load Off

Third trimester blahs are often triggered by the inescapable sense that you’ve officially reached whale-like proportions. So why not go swimming? Find a pool at your local community center or gym, get in that water and luxuriate in your own buoyancy. Get some gentle, low-impact exercise while you’re at it. If you’re too tired to swim laps hold onto the side and let your legs float up, or try old-lady sidestroke and just glide. Ahhh.

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Get a Massage

Treat yourself to a professional massage (preferably from someone who is trained in prenatal massage) or bribe your significant other to do the honors. Massage helps circulation, which is often an issue in final stages of pregnancy, especially for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Do Yoga

Find a restorative yoga class, preferably one that includes a few moments of meditation to help calm your mind while you relax your body. Make sure the instructor is aware of your condition and which poses aren’t suitable during pregnancy—such as those that involve twisting from the waist or lying flat on your back, which can restrict blood flow to the uterus. And remember that your abdominal muscles will be loose, so don’t overdo the stretching or bending either.

Hold Back on the Housework

As your due date approaches, the nesting instinct will kick in. Don’t overdo it. You don’t have to clean out and reorganize EVERY closet. A little bit at a time should do the trick.

Talk to Your Partner

Discussing your feelings is way better than keeping your worries bottled up inside. Sharing concerns with your partner and/or close friends is a good first step toward figuring out how to alleviate them.

Take a Time Out

If you are feeling utterly wiped out at work, it may be time to take a step back. Many women start out their pregnancies determined to work until their due dates. But stress can cause preterm labor. Find out from your employer what your options are; you might qualify for paid leave (such as short-term disability leave or sick leave) before the birth that won’t then count toward your maternity leave.

Indulge a Little

Of course you will want to watch what you eat during your pregnancy, and be sure you’re getting enough protein and calcium and everything else you need to stay strong and healthy. But if ice cream makes you happy, then don’t forget to eat some of that too. Treating yourself—in moderation, of course—is another way to be good to the baby, simply by being good to yourself.

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