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    Late Pregnancy Symptoms – What You Should Expect

    By Lisa Hayden / January 15, 2021
    pregnancy myth

    It is very common nowadays for women to experience a late pregnancy, that is, being pregnant for the first time after your 20s. But just because you get pregnant well after you reach your 30s and experience late pregnancy symptoms, doesn't mean you are any more familiar with late pregnancy symptoms. Read up on all your late pregnancy symptoms to find out what they are and why they occur.

    Medical experts suggest that the perfect biological age for pregnancy is between the ages of 20 and 24. However, many advances in medical science have been made which allow women to get pregnant at a much older age. In fact, in the last 20 years the number of women who give  birth when they are between the age of 30 to 39 has doubled. Many women are even getting pregnant for the first time after they turn 40.

    Pregnancy symptoms in older women

    There's been a trend for women to delay pregnancy until they finish their education, start their career and more. These trends also coincide with women getting married later in life which has a direct correlation to the delaying motherhood.


    Despite modern medical advances, there are still increased health risks to a late pregnancy. The biggest risks to the baby are the occurrence of fibroid related problems and the risk of giving birth to a baby with Down syndrome. There can also be health risks to both the baby and the mother due to complications caused by diabetes or high blood pressure.

    What are the late pregnancy symptoms?

    Late Pregnancy Symptoms – What You Should Expect

    Pregnancy is truly a life-altering experience. It will affect the different aspects in your being, both physical and emotional. Signs and symptoms will be present from start until latter part of your gestation and this can change the way you deal with everyday activities. The fast shifting of your hormones is the reason behind these symptoms. Early indications of pregnancy are sometimes vague and can be mistaken for other health conditions. It is only until a period is delayed or pregnancy test kit comes back positive can you only confirm the pregnancy.

    One of the earliest late pregnancy symptoms is a frequent upset stomach. You may think at first it is acid indigestion or a virus but this can be an indication of pregnancy and is caused by the higher progesterone your body starts to produce.​

    Food Cravings and Aversions

    This symptom may develop later on as the sense of smell gradually becomes heightened. Most women who are pregnant complain that they  get weird cravings at unexpected times. Some women also find that food they used to like are now repulsive while they're pregnant. Many expectant moms also become sensitive to smell and may feel sick after exposure to perfume, food containing garlic and onions, or coffee aroma.

    Missed Period

    The most notable of the late pregnancy symptoms is the missed period. But this alone does not indicate pregnancy. It is a combination of this symptom along with others that is a better indication of a late pregnancy.

    Frequent Urination

    Another early late pregnancy symptom is frequent urinating. You may think you are simply drinking a lot of fluids or have a slight urinary infection, but in reality the cause of the problem is pregnancy.

    You may feel dizzy for a few moments during the day. This is an unusual dizzy feeling that occurs out of the blue. It can be one of the late pregnancy symptoms, but can also be an indication of some other health related issue.

    Breast Swelling

    It is also normal to experience breast tenderness and swelling. You may think this is caused by your clothing or by sleeping on the wrong side of the bed. But it is often a frequent pregnancy symptoms, and caused by your body getting prepared for breast feeding.

    Best Pregnancy Pillow

    Sleep Deprivation

    Not being able to get adequate sleep is a common problem for pregnant women. The body is exhibiting symptoms similar to insomnia wherein the body feels exhausted but cannot settle to sleep or sometimes the body feels fine but still not able to doze off. There are also instances that you will feel the urge to declutter closets or clean the entire house in the middle of the night. This is called “nesting syndrome”. The body reacts to the stimuli that you need to prepare the house for the upcoming baby. To bring yourself to sleep, consume a glass of warm milk, light a scented candle, and try to relax.

    Back Pain

    The pains on your lower back are due to the added weight you carry in your belly. There are maternity belly support belts available in the market that can help ease these pains. You can also try using warm compress or fill a small bottle with warm water and press it to the affected area. Another alternative is to bath on hand and knees so the water from the shower hit and massage your back.


    Balance problems are experienced by many expectant moms. It is bothersome but you don’t have to worry much as the amniotic sac is keeping the baby safe in case of accidents. It will be a struggle to move, get off when you sit, or pick up something at your foot since you are balancing your own weight and your growing bump. Make sure to call your doctor when you accidentally fell or stumble.

    Expanding Belly

    Obviously, your bump will grow bigger as the months pass by as the baby inside of you increase in size. After the first trimester, you belly will be stretched and you will notice cracks form across on your skin. These stretch marks can be minimized with the use of over-the-counter retinoid creams, aloe vera gels, lotions, or moisturizers.

    Intermittent Contractions

    The is a huge difference between Braxton Hicks contractions to real labor contractions. But wait, who is Braxton Hicks and what does he know about this? These sporadic contractions is usually felt during mid-pregnancy. It was English doctor John Braxton Hicks who first discovered it in 1872. It comes around 6 weeks into pregnancy and not earlier than that. These contractions don’t normally hurt and if it lasts more than 4 times in an hour during the latter part of pregnancy, better call the doctor as it may be a symptom of preterm labor.

    Frequent Leg Cramps

    Similar to back pains, you will also experience a lot of cramping in the leg muscles. This may be due to the double weight you are carrying and the changes in the circulation of the blood in the limbs. You will also notice the swollen feet and ankles as the result of water retention in the body.To reduce the tension in your legs, you can do simple stretching after getting up in the morning and before going to bed. Use a book, place it on the floor, and then step on the edge while you drop your heels. This will stretch your calf a little. Do the same to your other leg.

    Fetal Kicks

    Fetal movements specifically kicks occur during the second trimester. The baby’s limbs are more developed at this stage. The fetus may be moving early on but it is not that recognizable by the mother. According to research, these gentle motions are noticed sooner by a woman who has been pregnant before than a first-time mother.

    Change in the Baby’s Position

    By third trimester particularly by 30 to 34 weeks, the baby will move and turn head down. This is the position the baby will maintain until full term is reached, that is, at 39 weeks. If the baby has not move to this position, he or she will considered breech. There will be great chance that you will deliver via cesarean section in this circumstance because it is safer than vaginal delivery.

    Baby is Engaged

    Nature has its way of making baby ready for the big day. At around 2-4 weeks before labor, the baby will slowly descend into your lower pelvis and just adjacent to the pubic bone. This event is called baby dropping or lightening. You may not see this happen but people around you will definitely spot the sign that the baby has dropped. You will only feel this when it becomes easier for you to breathe because there is less pressure in your diaphragm.

    Recurring Bathroom Breaks

    When the baby has dropped, its head collides with your bladder and so you will find yourself getting up a lot to urinate. Sitting for a long time will also put in a lot of pressure to your pelvic area which means you will need to take a leak many times in a span of an hour.

    early signs of pregnancy - sore breasts

    Leaky Breasts

    As your due date approaches, you will see discharge from your bosom. This is normal at around 30 weeks into the pregnancy. There are some women who start to have leaky breasts only after giving birth. Breast leaking is normal and does not mean preterm labor. You will also not need to express the colostrum and should be done after the baby is born.

    The mother and the child is required to undergo postpartum care until eight weeks after birth. This is to ensure mother is recovering well especially if baby was delivered through cesarean section as well as to check on baby’s overall health. Postpartum care may involve the following subjects:

    Proper Nutrition

    You will need to regain the energy you lost during delivery as well as generate more for breastfeeding. Even though the mother’s diet does not influence the substances present in the milk, a nutritious meal can help boost your vigor that will help you endure the sleepless nights often experienced by new parents.​

    Correct Latching

    Teaching your baby to latch on your breast may take a lot of practice. You can seek advice from your OB or midwife on how to position your nipple so that feeding time is less stressful. You will know that the baby is latched on properly when there is no milk leaking on the side of the baby’s mouth and you hear the baby swallow little by little.

    Vaginal Care

    Your vagina will be through major strain during childbirth and it should be monitored after the procedure. You will need to wear pads if minimal bleeding happens and try to observe any uneasy feeling when you urinate. If you were stitched down there, you will need at least 6 weeks before things become normal again.

    Late pregnancy symptoms do not differ much from those of younger women. However, it is easier to mis-identify them for some other problem, especially if you are not expecting a pregnancy.

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