If you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy and feeling uncomfortable all of the time, know that you’re not alone. And the exhaustion you’re feeling, both mental and physical, is very real!
At this point in pregnancy, the increase in blood pressure and water retention is putting real stress on your body. Fatigue, swelling, constant trips to the bathroom, back pain, insomnia, numb hands … it’s all too common at this stage. But just because it’s expected doesn’t make it any more fun to deal with!
I’m right there with you, as I write this at 36 weeks pregnant. This is so hard, but hang in there, sister — you’re in the home stretch! (I’m saying this to myself, too!).
This is my fourth pregnancy, so I’ve figured out a few strategies for the last month. It feels endless, doesn’t it? But there are ways to make the time go by faster and make yourself a little more comfortable. Here are my top 3 tips for surviving, and maybe even thriving, in the last month of pregnancy.
1Take all the shortcuts you can
The last month of pregnancy is the most exhausting thing I’ve experienced—and I know what it’s like to have a newborn! This is not the time to be a martyr and tough it out. Take any and all shortcuts possible to make things a little easier on yourself.
That might mean serving frozen meals, eating off paper plates, getting groceries delivered, giving your kids extra screen time so you can take a nap every afternoon … Whatever it takes to get some extra rest, do it. And no guilt allowed. Remember, resting helps your baby, too!
2Offer it up for prayer intentions
I’ve seen one Catholic mom describe the last month of pregnancy as “the Garden of Gethsemane.” It’s raw and painful and hard, but when you stop to think about, this time can be a privileged opportunity.
As Catholics, we believe in redemptive suffering: The hard things we endure can be united to Christ’s suffering on the Cross. “Offering up” our discomforts can be a powerful form of prayer and (hopefully!) can make us more like Christ.
Let’s not waste this difficult time. Perhaps you might make a list of intentions to think of and pray for, or offer everything for one big intention. The hardships of the present moment can do enormous good for those we love and the world around us.
3Look for ways to boost your mood and reasons to be grateful
When the little daily moments are so challenging, it can be hard to focus on the big picture and remember to be grateful. But as Christians, we are called “always and everywhere to give [God] thanks,” and science supports that practicing gratitude is a huge mood booster!
When it’s all starting to feel like too much, pause for a moment to give thanks. Then look for little things you can look forward to. This might be something as simple as a warm bath with a bath bomb or taking an afternoon nap. Or it might mean making plans to get a prenatal massage, a pedicure, or a dinner out with friends.
Having fun things to anticipate makes the end of pregnancy so much better. And of course, each little joy brings you closer to the thing you’re looking forward to most of all—your baby’s birth!
5 Things to do in your third trimester
10 Spiritual lessons a mother can find in the third trimester