Congratulations to you! Looking forward to bringing the little angel home safely at the end of third trimester of pregnancy?
The last three months of pregnancy are at first satisfactory, and towards the end more uncertain. Excited mommies plan for birth and all the celebrations in their third trimester of pregnancy to make it memorable. On the other hand, sometimes you may feel uneasy and fatigued due to the large size of your tummy and the hurry to reach the finals. It’s indeed a moment to be positive since you’re just around the corner from holding your baby.
The third trimester of pregnancy starts with week 28 and lasts until the birth of the baby. The fetus is likely to have a full term at the end of week 37 till week 42 of pregnancy, premature likely to be born before 37 weeks, and if the baby is not born until week 42, labor should be induced. Here’s all about what’s happening with you and your baby during the third trimester of pregnancy.
What to Expect
During this last phase of pregnancy, you are excited to welcome your child, but still, your energy is too low due to the extra weight and large belly size. The baby is continually increasing in size adding on more weight and fully developed systems. As your body is preparing to deliver the little one, you may have some false labor contractions, also known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. In the third trimester of pregnancy, you should be fully prepared to go to the hospital especially from weeks 37 to 42.
You need to be extra conscious of early signs of labor and monitor them carefully. This is the time when your little one may be ready to come out unexpectedly before your due date. If you are unsure of any of the symptoms, you should consult your doctor. In this last phase of pregnancy, women experience mood swings, tiredness, and sleep problems. Some pregnant mommies have the tendencies of going into depression in the last few days. Try to get help if you’re facing related symptoms. It is important to be relaxed at this critical time for you, and for your baby to be born strong.
Prenatal Visits during the Third Trimester
Your doctor would call you once a month at the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy and once every two weeks after the 35th week. These visits are not as detailed as your early visit, but it is still important to examine the current medical condition of you and your baby.
Prenatal visits to the third trimester of pregnancy will have the following checks performed:
- Mother’s current weight.
- Mother’s current blood pressure.
- Current Movement patterns of the baby.
- In the case of high blood pressure, a urine test must be done to check the protein value in the urine.
- The exact measurement of the abdomen is used to check the growth of the baby.
- Concerning your previous ultrasound, if you have a low-lying placenta your doctor will perform another ultrasound to check your placenta’s current location at the beginning of the third trimester.
- A vaginal exam to check your current progress as the cervix will be thinner and dilated near the due date.
- At week 36, Group B strep tests for bacteria that can harm the child are compulsory to do. If the results are positive, your doctor will give you an antibiotic to keep your baby safe during labor.
- Provide the necessary advice at the end of your third trimester of pregnancy. Your doctor will answer your question and make you feel confident and relaxed about your labor.
- Give you a detailed guideline on labor and delivery. Your doctor will tell you about the signs that labor is 24-48 hours away to keep you alert.
- A detailed discussion of post-delivery considerations. Your doctor will give you information about breastfeeding to baby: a first-time parent guide and also warn you about the signs of postpartum depression so that you can cope with it.
Babies Growth during the Third Trimester
Your baby is rapidly gaining weight and height during the third trimester of pregnancy. At the end of this trimester, your baby will have a weight of about 6-9 pounds and a height of 19-21 inches.
In the third trimester of pregnancy, the following baby growth should be expected:
- Your baby’s brain will develop quickly and adopt skills such as blinking and maintaining the temperature of your own body.
- Your baby’s lungs and kidneys will be at maturity.
- Your baby’s five senses will be fully activated by week 30 of pregnancy. Touch receptors are developed among others to react with light, to recognize the taste of food, and to respond to certain voices.
- In the last days of pregnancy, the first baby poop, also known as meconium, begins to accumulate in his intestines.
- During week 32 of pregnancy, baby skin begins to develop and transform into opaque skin.
- By week 36, fat continues to grow over the baby’s body. From 38 to 40 weeks of pregnancy, lanugo (baby’s hairy cover) will begin to disappear.
- Baby transforms his/her cartilage into bones and gets all the calcium from the mother.
- Your baby’s head may drop into the pelvic area from week 36 of pregnancy. This process is known as the “lightning” process.
- Your baby is covered in Vernix caseosa, which is a soft protective coating on the skin.
- You can listen to the heartbeat of your child with the help of a stethoscope, this is if your partner succeeds in finding the right location over your belly.
Changes to Your Body
Your baby bump will have a larger size to adjust the growing baby comfortably. Your baby is going to have a lot of activities to do inside your stomach, and you’re going to feel lots of movements. On the other hand, mommies will experience discomfort and tiredness as the due date is approaching.
Other changes in your body during the third trimester of pregnancy to get ready in advance are as follows:
- Your stomach will grow large and stretch that can cause sharp pain.
- Pregnancy will be more demanding in terms of rest, food, and sleep in the last trimester. Mommies are going to feel tired, so try to rest and eat well.
- As your child will cover most of the space in your tummy creating pressure, you will experience heartburn.
- False contractions or Brixton Hicks Contractions, will realize the body feel the time of labor approaching is nearby.
- You’re going to experience back pain and unreal strange dreams at night.
- Due to all the pressure on the pelvic area, you will face a high need for urination.
- Your baby will radiate heat to the body, resulting in higher temperatures.
- Your blood pressure is going to be lower because your baby is putting pressure on the vein that pulls the blood to the heart.
- You’re going to experience leg cramps and swelling over your hands and feet.
- Stretch marks may appear over the breast, thighs, stomach, and buttocks.
- Although all of these symptoms will be hard to bear undoubtedly the result will be more priceless for all mommies. Stay calm, positive, and alert to your child’s arrival!