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5 Reasons You Can't Sleep During the Third Trimester

And what you can do to get more zzz.

5 Reasons You Can't Sleep During the Third Trimester

By the time you hit your third trimester, baby is heavy, and your body is preparing for birth. This can lead to some aches, pains and unwanted ailments that can actually keep you up at night! Want to get some good sleep before baby gets here and you have to do midnight feeds and diaper changes? Here are 5 reasons you are tossing and turning during the final stretch of pregnancy and what you can do to soothe some of these woes.

1. Back Pain. Whether it is the added weight and general change in your center of gravity that is causing your back to ache or it is an early sign of labor (in which case it won’t be relieved by lying down), this is a very common issue in late pregnancy. Make yourself comfortable in bed with lots of well-positioned pillows for support and try doing some yoga stretches to work those muscles and loosen up those tight spots. Laying down with pregnancy pillows, as opposed to standing and sitting, can actually help relieve some of the pressure you are experiencing.

2. Braxton Hicks. Feels like contractions? If they stop or ease up when you lay down or take a warm bath, they are most likely Braxton Hicks contractions. These are a tightening sensation across the abdomen that is common from about 20 weeks onward and can get to be quite intense later in pregnancy. They are a sign that your uterus is preparing for labor and are nothing to be concerned about. Before bed, try to relax as much as possible. Put your feet up, take a warm bath and drink lots of water.

3. Heartburn. Baby is growing and is hungry but is also so big that you have very little room for food! This can cause heartburn in the second half of pregnancy that often seems to only get worse as baby grows. It also gets worse when you lay down, which doesn't make getting some shut-eye a whole lot easier. You can find relief in pregnancy-approved antacids, but try to avoid spicy foods as much as possible, and eat a couple of hours before going to bed. You can also opt for small meals throughout the day to satiate that raging appetite and put less pressure on your system, and elevate your head when you are laying down. And finally, homemade remedies, like apple cider vinegar, ginger and yogurt can all balance the acidity production in the stomach.

4. Sciatica Pain. The sciatic nerve starts at your lower back and runs all the way down your buttocks to the back of your legs, ankles and feet. When the nerve gets compressed, it can cause a sharp, shooting pain, a tingling or even numbness along the entire nerve. While the cause of this is usually not from pregnancy, the added weight gain, increased fluid retention, expanding uterus, growing belly or baby settling into his final downward position could put pressure on the nerve, leading to what is commonly known as “sciatica.” To relieve the pain, apply a warm compress and relax in a comfortable position. Try to sleep on the side where you do not feel the pain, as this will relieve some of the pressure to the nerve. Acupuncture and prenatal massage can help as well as pelvic tilts to strengthen your core muscles and reduce the inflammation.

5. Lack of Bladder Control. Feeling a bit of leakage here and there? Don’t worry, it is totally normal, albeit a bit embarrassing! The added weight and pressure on your bladder can lead to a few squirts when you sneeze or laugh to hard. If you have a vaginal birth, then unfortunately this annoying pregnancy symptom might stick around for a while until you rebuild those muscles. What can be done? Work those pelvic floor muscles. The stronger and more flexible they will be in holding and releasing in that urine, the better they will be at preventing leakage. Make sure you are drinking your 8 glasses of water a day, and add some high fiber foods into your diet. These help avoid constipation, which adds extra pressure on your bladder.

Written by Sasha Romary. Sasha launched The Modern Mama in 2016 to provide maternity and postpartum support to women worldwide. As a trained postpartum doula, Sasha uses evidence-based information and a practical approach to supporting new parents in preparing for the arrival of a new baby and in the early days of parenthood. Follow her adventures at @_themodernmama.

Image from netdoctor.

This 'mama' necklace is a bestseller for a powerful reason

There's a lot going on in the world right now, but one thing that's certain? You're still mama.

There's a lot going on in the world right now, but one thing that's certain? You're still mama. No matter what is going on at work, what decision you make about heading back to school, or how you're caring for your family right now, we know you're the best mama for your family.

So in case you need a little reminder of just how incredible you are, we love this sweet necklace from Tiny Tags. And other mamas do, too, because it's been one of our top sellers for weeks.

Whether you're coveting it for yourself or want to gift it to your favorite mama, it's one of those gifts that'll keep on giving years later. It's dainty enough to easily layer with just about anything you have in your jewelry collection, but is just as beautiful as a standalone piece to wear daily. And in these tough seasons, it's honestly a gentle, much-needed reminder that you were made for this. You can do hard things. You are doing the best you can even when it feels like you can't make one more decision.

Tiny Tags script 'mama' necklace

tiny tags mama necklace

The charm is 1/2" long and the chain is 16", falling just above most mama's collarbones. All Tiny Tags personalized jewelry is laser engraved by highly skilled artisans to make the most elegant pieces.

$105

And, don't worry, it's totally low-maintenance. Simply polish with a polishing cloth every now and then for extra shine. Now to decide: gold or silver?

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12 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

Without camps and back-to-school plans still TBD, the cries of "I'm bored!" seem to be ringing louder than ever this summer. And if you're anything like me, by August, I'm fresh out of boxes to check on my "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys.

With that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite wooden toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$189

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

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Two weeks. I cannot believe that it has been two weeks since my second son was brought into this world. Two weeks since my husband and I welcomed baby Simon, the final piece of our little family.

But, here is the whopper: It has been two weeks since I have been the mom of a toddler and a newborn. I am now responsible for taking care of two tiny humans.

It absolutely blows my mind how much my life has changed in the last two weeks. It's definitely not all rainbows and unicorns around here, but things are going pretty well. This is me being cautiously optimistic.

What I have done is learned a lot about myself, my kids and my new life in the last two weeks.

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