Congratulations, you have made great work! You are done with both the first and second trimester of pregnancy! You’re almost done with this life-changing journey, are you ready for the next stage? Bad news that toughest symptoms of early pregnancy such as the urge to pee will appear again. On the other hand, the good news is you are getting closer and closer to meeting your little baby.
You will start to have pregnancy symptoms such as Braxton-Hicks contractions that you’ve met earlier in the second trimester. You may feel emotionally unstable due to the fact that the due date is getting closer. Here, we will help you know how to get emotionally and physically ready for your big day.
First things first, this is the best time to relax, take naps, rest your body, and sleep as much as you can. After giving birth to your baby, you will be sleep deprived for a while, so you better make the best of this time. Here’s what you should expect during the third trimester of pregnancy.
How Long Is the Third Trimester?
The third trimester of your pregnancy is from week 29 to week 40.
What to Expect: Changes in Your Body
Here’s what to expect during the third trimester of pregnancy:
- Braxton Hicks contractions: the mild contractions will strongly appear during the third trimester of pregnancy. They are not as intense as real labor contractions.
- Bleeding: spotting is one of the most common symptoms of the first trimester. However, it could be a sign of a dangerous problem during the third trimester. Call your doctor if you notice any bleeding.
- Change in breast size: By the end of your pregnancy, your breasts will have increasingly grown to two bigger sizes. Wearing a supportive bra plays a key role in relieving any back pain. In addition, as long as you get closer to your due date, a yellowish liquid will leak from your nipples.
- Backache: as your pregnancy progresses, you keep on getting weight. Therefore, the extra weight adds more pressure on your back causing backache. In addition, you may also feel discomfort in your pelvis and hips so make sure you sit and sleep in healthy positions to keep a good posture.
- Fatigue: you may feel less energetic during the third trimester and feeling fatigue will hit harder as well. Feeling anxious will also happen throughout the whole stage of the third trimester.
- Frequent urge to pee: now your baby has grown much bigger and as they keep growing, they keep pressing down your bladder. As a result, you will have frequent visits to the bathroom day and night. Some women also experience leaking a little bit of urine while coughing, sneezing, and laughing. In order to relieve this pressure, go to the bathroom immediately whenever you feel you need it.
- Discharge: experiencing some vaginal discharges can also happen during the third trimester of pregnancy. Moreover, you may also notice a thick discharge; this is your mucus plug. If you suddenly experience a rush of fluid, that may indicate labor as your water has broken.
Kick Counts in the Third Trimester
By the third trimester of pregnancy, you will have gotten used to your baby’s kicks. Observing the kick counts is a good way to make sure your baby’s movement is normal. However, if you feel any abnormality in the kick counts, contact your doctor or midwife right away.
Leg Veins and Swelling
As you keep on gaining weight throughout your pregnancy journey, your legs will swell. In order to feel better, make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids. In addition, make sure you rest your legs by keeping your feet up.
Most pregnant women suffer from insomnia during the third trimester, so you may find trouble sleeping at night. Here is what you can do to help you better sleep:
- Keep your bedroom dark
- Use extra pillows to support your big belly
- If you have a TV in your bedroom, take it out
- Avoid long naps
Weight Gain in the Third Trimester
By the start of the third trimester, you’ll probably gain between 25 and 35 pounds.
OB-GYN Visits During the Third Trimester
An OB-GYN, or obstetrician-gynecologist, is a doctor who specializes in women’s health. You will have frequent visits starting from 28 to 35 weeks pregnant (every two weeks to be exact). At every visit, they will test your urine, check your baby’s movement, and check your blood pressure until you give birth. Around week 35, they will check to see if your baby’s head is down. Around 38 weeks pregnant, they will do a cervical exam to see your dilating.
Baby’s Development in the Third Trimester
Your baby continues to grow at a fast pace, here are a few of the main things happening to your baby in the third trimester of pregnancy:
- Eyes wide open: at this stage of pregnancy, your baby can open and close their eyes wide open
- Turning head down: around 34 weeks pregnant, your baby will turn their head down to prepare for birth.
- Full-term baby: around the time of 39 weeks, your baby will be developed into a full-term baby. They are totally ready to come to our world now.
How to Stay Healthy during the Third Trimester?
Here are what you should do and don’t during the third trimester:
What to do:
- Take prenatal vitamins
- Drink plenty of water
- Walk a lot
- Stay active
- Get plenty of sleep
- Rest your body
- Keep your feet up
- Keep a healthy diet
What to avoid:
- Drinking alcohol
- Eating raw fish
- Drinking a large portion of caffeine
- Taking illegal drugs
- Heavy exercises
- Taking medications without consulting your doctor
The Third Trimester of Pregnancy Checklist
- Pack your hospital bag
- Prepare your baby’s bag
- Have plenty of rest
- Sleep a lot
- Meditate to calm your mind and get rid of insomnia and anxiety.
- Take short naps
- Prepare your baby’s shower
- Install a baby car seat
When to Call Your Doctor (Dangerous Signs)
Call your doctor the moment you notice any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding or heavy spotting
- Extreme swelling
- Abnormality in your baby’s kick counts
- Extreme gain weight
- Painful contractions