Although you and your belly are now two-thirds through your pregnancy, your baby still has much to learn. This is what you can expect in the third trimester of pregnancy. Your tummy may feel tighter than usual, but your baby bump will continue to grow during the third trimester. Here are some things to expect from your baby and your body as it matures over the next few weeks.
When does the third trimester of pregnancy begin?
The third trimester of pregnancy is from week 28 to until the time you give birth. This could be around week 40. The third trimester, also known as weeks 28-38, or 7 to 9 months of pregnancy, is the longest. The total length of the third trimester is approximately 13 weeks. You can expect labor to start several weeks earlier or later than usual. About 30 percent of babies live past the 40 week mark. If this is the case, there are a few things you can do to induce labor naturally. But once you reach weeks 41 or weeks 42 of pregnancy (depending if your medical practice, circumstances, and your medical history), you’ll be considered overdue. Your doctor may then decide to induce labor if it does not start naturally. You can keep going, just for now! You are close to the finish.
What are the symptoms of third trimester pregnancy
There is likely to be a lot of fetal activity in your belly due to the busy baby. Your body may also experience changes as your bump grows.
- Nausea. Morning sick tends to go away after the first trimester. But, it’s possible for nausea to continue up to the birth.
- Headache. In your third trimester, stress, anxiety, overheating, and other factors may all lead to a headache or migraine. Maintain a healthy eating, exercise, sleep, and relaxation routine. Give yourself the time you need to unwind.
- Diarrhea. You are still a few days (or months) away from your due day? This could be due to a stomach bug, extra fiber in the diet, or a combination of both. Your doctor should be contacted if you have symptoms that persist for more than seven days.
- Abdominal discomfort. Your round ligaments, which support your lower abdomen, may stretch to accommodate your growing bump. You might feel cramps and sharp pain. There is nothing you can do but to take it easy.
- Lightning crunch. Although no one is sure why lightning crunch occurs, it is thought that baby is pressing on a nerve running to the cervix. You can’t do much about the pain except change your positions and wait it out. The pain should not last more than a few seconds. Any pain that persists should be reported to your doctor.
- Fatigue. Your body will feel more tired this trimester due to the demands of pregnancy. Pregnancy sleep problems can be avoided.
- Constant heartburn (acid reflux). Your stomach will push your stomach contents up in the final weeks of pregnancy. It’s possible to get proton-pump inhibitors or H2 blockers if it is really bothering. These are safe for use during pregnancy.
- Braxton Hicks cramps. These are your body’s way for preparing for labor. You will feel irregular practice contractions starting around now and continuing until labor actually starts.
- Varicose varicose vessels. These bulging veins, also known as hemorhoids or varicose veins, can be found in the lower part of your body because of all the blood that you are pumping. Good news is that if you don’t have them now, they will probably disappear once you give birth.
- Stretch marks. These small tears that appear when skin is stretched beyond its limits during pregnancy are usually caused by genetics. You can minimize the appearance of them by moisturizing.
- Backache. The pregnancy hormone relaxin can cause your joints to become looser and push your center point forward. Another reason to stand up is to keep your feet on the ground. (A sharp, shooting pain in your back that runs down your legs could be an indication of sciatica.
- Sleeplessness. Leg cramps or constant trips to bathroom can seriously affect your shut-eye. About 75 percent of pregnant women are affected by insomnia. It is not uncommon to have a few sleepless night but you should talk to your doctor if you are experiencing persistent sleeplessness. You may be able take melatonin, or a magnesium supplement.
- Dreams that are crazy. Pregnancy hormones can make your dreams more vivid as you approach your due date. These dreams are normal, have fun sharing your stories with people you love.
- Incontinence. Your hormones are on high alert, your stomach is rumbling and you’re forgetful. You’re in good (pregnant!) company, so try to be kind and have a bit of humor.
- No bladder control. Sneeze = you pee. It is actually harder to keep dry because of all the extra weight on your pelvic floors. Your Kegels daily regimen.
- Leaky breasts. The body is warming up to give your baby food, so it is very natural to have leaky breasts.
- Weight gain. Baby is growing rapidly, but you will probably lose weight as you get near the delivery date. It’s normal to gain between 8 and 10 pounds in this trimester. It’s normal to lose a few extra pounds towards the end of your ninth-month.
All of these pregnancy symptoms can be overwhelming. Keep your eyes on your prize, your baby!
How should I be concerned about my 3rd trimester pregnancy?
It’s likely you will want to visit the hospital when active labor begins. That is the time baby is expected to arrive. You might experience false labor symptoms when delivery day approaches. However, the real signs and symptoms of labor that you need to be aware of include:
- Baby dropping. By about week 36, your baby could be in your pelvis.
- It’s a sure sign that labor is near. The stringy mucus is often tinged with blood. You might also notice your mucus block (which protects your uterus against the outside) leaking.
- Pelvic pressure. Crampiness at the groin may be an indication of labor.
- Labor contractions. They are stronger than Braxton Hicks.
- Your water breaking. You may not notice this until you get to the hospital.
However, you should call your doctor if you begin to notice signs and symptoms of preterm labor.
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe pain in the vaginal area
- Lower abdomen pains
- A fever over 101.5 Fahrenheit
- Severe lower abdominal pain
- Sudden weight gain
Keep in mind: It is always better to trust your instincts and be safe than sorry when you are expecting.
How big does a baby grow during the third trimester of pregnancy?
In the third trimester your little one will grow a lot faster. From 2 1/2 pounds, 16 inches long in week 28, to 6 to 9 pounds, and 19 to 22 inches in week 40. Your baby’s rapid growth can lead to serious gut problems. Here are some highlights from the third trimester.
- Bones. When cartilage turns to bone in months 7 through 8, your baby will start receiving calcium from you. So make sure your baby eats plenty of calcium rich foods.
- Skin, hair and nails. After week 32, baby’s previously transparent skin will become opaque. As your baby sheds vernix, the waxy substance that protects your skin from your amniotic liquid), and lanugo, (the warm, hairy, coat), fat will continue to accumulate.
- Digestive System. The meconium, or baby’s first pee, starts to buildup in baby’s intestines.
- Five senses Your baby’s touch receptors are fully developed by week 29 or 30. Your baby will start to receive signals from all five senses by week 31. These include perceiving light and shadow, tasting food, and hearing your voice.
- Mind. During the third trimester, your baby’s brain grows faster than ever. Learn some new skills, such as blinking, dreaming, and managing body temperature.
Week 34 of pregnancy sees baby’s body turn southward and settle into a head-down, bottom up position. If your baby is stubbornly in the rear-end position, then your doctor may attempt to manually turn him around week 37. Read also: The First Trimester
Third Trimester Checklist
While you are nearing the end of your journey, there is still much to do. These are the top tasks for the third trimester of pregnancy.
- Keep track foetus movement Starting at week 28, you will want to count your baby’s kicks and note any activity changes, especially during month 9.
- Monitor your weight. You will notice a slowing in your pregnancy weight gain as you get closer to your due date. Some women may even lose a couple of pounds. Your doctor can adjust your pregnant diet if you aren’t losing enough weight or if your gain is too great.
- Keep moving. As long your doctor gives you permission and you take a few safety precautions, it is safe to continue doing pregnancy-safe exercises right up until your due date.
- Schedule your third trimester of pregnancy health checkups. Have your glucose screening done by week 28 (or at the start of month 7). Group B strep tests will be performed in month 9. In your ninth month, your doctor will conduct an internal examination to check if evaporation and dilation (thinning and opening) have started. In the last few weeks, your doctor might schedule a biophysical profile and nonstress test if you’re considered “high-risk” to make sure that all is well.
- Take the hospital tour. Month 7 is a great month to tour the hospital or birthing centre where you plan on giving birth.
- Pick your baby’s doctor. Get a few people to interview and ask them a bunch of questions. Pick your favorite.
- Get baby gear. You will need a car seat, stroller, changing table, and car seat to transport your baby from the hospital. You should also take your car seat in for professional installation.
- Learn. You may want to take classes in infant CPR and baby-care.
- Breastfeeding is a decision you must make before your baby arrives. If you are looking for help or advice, consider taking a class or hiring a doula.
- Learn the stages of labor. Be prepared for baby’s special day by learning what to do during active, transitional and early labor. Delivering the placenta and pushing baby out .
- How would you like to manage labor pain . Are you considering natural birth? Talk to your practitioner now about your options.
- Review your Birth Plan. You can decide whether or not an epidural is necessary, as well as when and where to cut the umbilical cord. Keep in mind that things may not always go as planned when it comes to pushing baby out.
- Start setting up your nursery. Get every thing you need for your nursery. If you don’t plan to breastfeed, make sure you have all the basics for baby care, including bottles, diapers (if necessary), wipes, formula, and diapers.
- Remember your baby bump. Get beautiful bump photos to hang in your nursery, or add to your baby’s photo album.
- Stock up on food for the first few days after having a baby because you will need to rest and you can not go foer groceries when ever you want.
- Prepare financially. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the costs of having a child. Make a new budget and begin following it.
- Take your hospital bag with you.
- Make arrangements to have cord blood banked. Also, make sure you pack any cord blood kit that the bank gives you in your bag.
- What happens after birth As your body heals and you adjust to your new role,
- Be prepared for baby’s 1st year. Find out more about the many milestones that occur in this first year. There is so much to look forward too!
The 3rd trimester of pregnancy: What to Avoid
You might find it difficult to do much these days due to your expanding belly and low energy levels. Good news is that you are now in your third month. Here are some things to avoid during your third month. These will be easy to do again in the future.
- Travelling. While this may seem obvious, it’s important to remember that if your due date approaches, you don’t want too many trips away from home. Some modes of transportation, like air travel are prohibited after 36 weeks (or earlier depending on airline policy).
- Lie on your back. You should not lay flat on your back during pregnancy. Your baby’s weight and your uterus may compress the vein that carries your blood from your lower body up to your heart. It can cause nausea and shortness of breath.
- Saunas, hot tubs, and steam saunas. But, until you deliver, you will need to stay clear of hot tubs, and saunas (specifically anything that increases your internal temperature by more than 101 degrees F). Keep the water temperature around 97-98F and check the levels with a thermometer. Be careful to not lose your balance while in the tub.
- Exercise in warm temperatures. However, you shouldn’t stop exercising during the third trimester of pregnancy. This is not the right time to do hot (Bikram), yoga. Avoid being outside to avoid overheating and dehydration.
- Alcohol. There has never been any evidence that alcohol can be safely consumed during pregnancy.
- Unpasteurized juices and dairy. Although you might not see unpasteurized juices or milk very often, it’s possible to come across cheeses made from unpasteurized buttermilk. Brie, goat and feta are some examples of soft cheeses that can be contaminated. Make sure to check the label to ensure the product was made with pasteurized ingredients.
Read also: The Second Trimester
Foods to avoid
- Uncooked or raw foods. Keep these items off your menu during pregnancy, despite your weird food cravings.
- raw fish or smoked seafood
- shark, swordfish, mackerel, or white snapper fish (they have high levels of mercury)
- raw sprouts
- deli meats or hot dogs
As the anticipation increases, it is possible for fears about childbirth to become more persistent. What will it cost? How long will it take? What are my options? Consider taking childbirth classes if you haven’t already. You will learn about what to expect and you’ll meet other people who share your joy and worries. Talk to others who have had positive birth experiences and ask your doctor about pain relief options.
It is possible to feel overwhelmed by the reality of parenthood. If this is your first child, you might feel anxious. Keep calm by writing down your thoughts in a journal. Also planning ahead is also helpful. You might consider getting a nursing bra and a breast pump if you are breast-feeding. You might consider what is best for your family regarding circumcision if you are expecting a boy or don’t know the baby’s gender.
What should you do to prepare for your labor?
If you haven’t already decided where to give birth, do it, this will make the delivery process easier also it will make you a little bit occupied during the third trimester of pregnancy.
- If you haven’t already, it is a good idea to attend a prenatal class. This class will help you learn more about labor and the various options for delivery.
- You can find a friend or family member who will care for your pet or other children.
- Make sure to prepare some frozen meals for your baby when you return home.
- Prepare an overnight bag with everything you need for your baby.
- Consider the best route and means of transport to get you to the hospital.
- Install a car seat in your vehicle.
- Discuss your doctor’s birth plan. This could include pre-registering your insurance information and deciding who to invite into your labor room.
- Discuss maternity leave arrangements with your employer.
- Make sure you have a crib available for your baby. Also, double-check it is safe and current.
- You should ensure that any equipment you get as a “hand-me down” item, such as cribs or strollers, conforms to the current safety standards of government. Buy a new car seat.
- Make sure your smoke detectors are functioning properly.
- Keep poison control and emergency numbers close to your phone.
- Make sure you have enough baby supplies in stock, including diapers, wipes and clothing in various sizes.
- Celebrate your pregnancy with family and friends.