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Jan 2022

All you need to know about the third trimester of pregnancy

Posted By Suborna Fermi Posted on Jan 22, 2022

A pregnancy period remains for about 40 weeks, which is generally split into three trimesters. From the 1 to 12 weeks of pregnancy is considered as the first trimester, the 13 to 27 weeks is considered as the second trimester and from the 28 weeks to 40 weeks is considered as the third trimester.

As the third trimester is the last phase of the pregnancy, it can be both mentally and physically challenging for you. In this third trimester your baby grows and also becomes capable to change his/her position to get ready to see the outside world. As you step into the third trimester, you have got only a few weeks to prepare yourself to see the little life. Therefore, it is important to understand what may happen in this trimester or what you may expect during this time.

What changes may happen in your body during the third trimester?

In the trimester of your pregnancy can be hard and uncomfortable because of the baby’s continuous changing in position and also because of the size of your baby. Although some women get too uncomfortable and tense as their delivery date approaches, while some women become so excited to welcome their little princess or prince. Here are some changes that you may notice in the third trimester of the pregnancy.

  • Abdominal pain: Due to the rapid growth of your baby, it takes more place in your abdomen areas. This may cause you breathing difficulties, discomfort and abdominal aches.
  • back pain: As you are holding a growing baby in your belly, you have gained some extra weight that pressures your back area, resulting in sore back. To give some relief in your back, you can practice good posture, sit straight, use a chair that will give you good back support, use a heating pad, tuck a pillow in between your legs at sleeping time.
  • False labor pain or Braxton hicks contraction: You can feel some mild contractions irregularly, in the third trimester. Although, braxton hicks contractions are not as intense as the real labor pain. However, these contractions may appear in the afternoon or in the evening. Activity like intense exercises, sex may provoke these contractions. Also, these contractions may appear frequently if your delivery date is near. Consult with your doctor if the braxton hicks contractions coming at a regular interval, become more intense, and if you become short breathed after every contraction.
  • Enlargement of breasts: Your breast will start to enlarge from the first trimester of your pregnancy, and by the end of your second trimester our breast will be grown to feed your child. Soon near the due date, you may start to notice colostrum leaking from your nipples. In this situation make sure to wear a supportive good bra which will give you enough back support.
  • Urinal bleeding: You might experience some light spotting near the end of your pregnancy, which is one of the signs that your labor is to start. However, urinal bleeding can be the cause of many serious complications including prenatal labor, call your doctor immediately.
  • Vaginal discharge: You might see more vaginal discharge during the third trimester of pregnancy. Also, as you approach the delivery date, you may notice slight blood hints and thick vaginal discharge which is the sign that your labor is starting. If you feel a sudden wave of fluids this may indicate that your water bag has broken. In case of water broken, rush to your doctor as soon as possible.
  • Frequent urination: As your baby is getting bigger, his or her head may keep pressure on your bladder area. This pressure in your bladder certainly makes you go to the bathroom frequently. This pressure can also cause leaking of urine when you cough, sneeze, laugh or exercise. Wearing panty liner may help you. Consult your doctor if you feel any pain from pee.
  • Spider veins and varicose veins: In pregnancy your elevated blood circulation may cause light purplish-red veins in your face, neck and arms, which is called spider veins. They get more visible in your third trimester. You might also notice varicose veins in the legs, which are very painful and itchy. All these veins usually disappear after your delivery. To get some relief from the swelling, try to stay more physically active, eat lots of fibers and drink plenty of fluids.

What happens to your fetus in the third trimester?

Same as the previous months of your pregnancy, your baby is still growing and maturing in the third trimester as well. Your baby’s brain, kidney, and lungs are still maturing. At around 32 weeks, your baby’s bones are fully developed. Now your baby can sense the light, also can open and close his or her eyes itself. Your baby’s body is now capable of storing vitamins, irons, calcium and minerals in the body. By 36 weeks your baby begins to position itself head down. After 37 weeks, every organ of your baby has developed and he or she is completely ready to see the outside world. According to some studies the baby is now 19 to 21 inches in height and weighs between 6 and 9 pounds.

What can be expected from your doctor?

You need to visit the doctor more often during your third trimester, as this is a vital stage in your pregnancy. Your doctor may give you some test, including:

  • Blood test and urine test: Your doctor may give you urine tests to evaluate the level of sugar and protein, and also to detect any infection. They might give you blood tests to identify whether you have anemia.
  • Pelvic exam: Your doctor will do a pelvic exam just before your delivery date, to check if the cervix has started to soften, thin, and open in preparation for the labor. However, this process is unpredictable, this can happen one week before the labor, or it can also happen just one hour before the birth.
  • Group B streptococcus screening test: This test is recommended in pregnancy to detect the group B strep bacteria. Group B strep is one of the major reasons for some life-threatening diseases in the newborns. This can also be the cause of intellectual disability, vision and hearing problems.
  • Fetal heart monitoring: Electronic fetal heart monitoring helps the doctor to check the heart rate of your little baby.
  • Ultrasound: Your doctor might suggest you to do ultrasound or sonogram to check the position, growth, movements, breathing motions of your baby.
  • Nonstress test: A nonstress test is used to suggest to the mothers who have high risk pregnancy such as diabetes, high blood pressure, or she is having more than one fetus. This test is used to monitor the baby’s heart rate.

Those are all the things you need to know about your third trimester widely discussed for you. The third trimester can be really difficult for some of us because many surveys have found that, in this stage, some women go through a lot of mental conflicts. Remember, any of your mental unrest can harm the little one inside you. Do eat and drink well, do some relaxing yoga or stretching for your baby’s well-being.

Disclaimer: This article and everything mentioned in it is mainly for general information purposes only and not to be considered as professional medical advise under any circumstances. Always consult a certified doctor before making changes in your diet, lifestyle habit or starting any medication for yourself.