Third Trimester of Pregnancy

The last phase of pregnancy starting from the 28th week until the baby is delivered considered as the third trimester. This is the phase where both the mother and the child undergo several changes.

A significant development to take place in the third trimester is that the baby’s head drops in the pelvic region. This is a sign that the baby is getting ready for delivery. Its brain registers rapid development. Its five senses start developing. Physically, the baby grows in weight. It starts to open and close its eye, and even attempts breathing. While still in the womb, the baby can produce tears. In the later stage of the third trimester, the baby can sleep. Its hearing develops, and it can listen to a high-pitched voice. By the 40th week, the baby grows a full hair on its head. Also, it drops down in the birth canal.

The mother too goes through several changes in her body. She experiences fatigue, indigestion, and heartburn. Her frequency to urinate might also increase. Swelling in the hands and feet is common during this time. Some women may experience leg cramps. This is owing to the baby’s growing demand for calcium. Though women in the final stage of pregnancy do feel energetic, they are strongly advised to relax. In some cases, there is an increase in the anxiety level of women. Midwives assure that this is a typical symptom just before delivery.

28 Weeks Pregnant

Week 28 is the beginning of the third and the last trimester of the pregnancy. With only three months to go before the baby is born, parents can prepare for an addition to their family. They can buy clothes, stock up on diapers, and even think of names for the newborn. By the time women are ready to enter the third and last trimester of their pregnancy, their face is glowing. Symptoms such as nausea and vomiting disappeared. But they may experience heartburn, caused due to the increasing size of the uterus. Increasing weight may also lead to fatigue in the body. Also, with the uterus pushing against the colon due to its size, some women may experience constipation. They may also undergo Braxton Hicks contractions. The breasts start preparing for lactation, and therefore, change.

Your Baby’s Development

By this time, the baby is making a lot of movement in the womb and is kicking quite a bit. Its body also appears round in shape now. Its eyes and eyelids and the taste buds are well-developed now. The lungs are also functioning well. The brain develops even more. The baby can suck on its thumb by now. In the last trimester of pregnancy, the baby’s weight will increase steadily.

29 Weeks Pregnant

The 29th week of pregnancy is when the mother starts seeing her stomach gets more prominent at a much faster pace. The maximum amount of weight gained by women during their pregnancies takes place during this week onward. A well-balanced diet which includes fiber, vitamins, minerals, and calcium must continue. Women should also drink lots of fluid during this time to avoid dehydration. While women can still walk and swim, in some cases, the midwife may recommend bed rest. It is essential that the women remain in a positive frame of mind around this time. Any form of anxiety should be shared with family, friends, or the midwife.

This is also the time when they experience mood swings. The increasing weight of their body will make them feel fatigued. It may also lead to severe sciatica pain. This can be cured by soaking the legs into warm water. It is a must to maintain hygiene, as any form of bacterial or fungal infection can cause preterm labor. Women also tend to feel excessively hot during this time. This may be because of the increase in skin temperature. Some may have difficulty in breathing, while others may have swollen hands or feet due to water retention. Women may also undergo contractions called Braxton Hicks contractions.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s brain is undergoing massive development at this time. Its muscular system also strengthens further. According to medical experts, by this time, not only can the baby hear sounds but its heartbeat may increase on listening to the sound of its mother or father. It will even respond to sources of bright light. Its body keeps accumulating more fat during this time.

30 Weeks Pregnant

Expectant mothers will feel extremely fatigued and exhausted around this time. This is caused by increased levels of progesterone in the body. They should continue to go on short walks or do light exercises at this stage. Women may also start feeling anxious, as now they are eagerly waiting for their baby to arrive. There may be a feeling of discomfort due to increased weight and shape. Increased weight may also put some pressure on their lower back. Mothers-to-be will also experience severe mood swings. In some cases, women also suffer from high blood pressure or blood sugar.

Your Baby’s Development

According to midwives, around the 30th week of pregnancy, the baby starts becoming aware of the happenings around it. It can see the activity in the uterus. It can even differentiate between light and darkness. It sleeps for long hours, but its sleeping pattern may vary from its mother’s. It also moves a lot now. Due to the accumulation of fat on its body, the baby is gaining weight. Midwives say that by this time, the baby is large enough to occupy the entire uterine cavity.

31 Weeks Pregnant

In the 31st week of their pregnancy, women feel the need to urinate quite often. By this time, they also have trouble sleeping. This is because of their increased weight. They should sleep on their side, as this is not only a comfortable position for expectant mothers to sleep in, but also because it puts minimal pressure on the womb. Sleeping on the side will also improve the blood circulation in the body. Women tend to suffer from piles during this time. This is a result of the increased pressure of the uterus on the rectum. They may also suffer from hemorrhoids. Mothers-to-be should now start wearing extremely comfortable clothing such as maternity gown. Braxton Hicks contractions become more common now.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby meanwhile, continues to develop. Its lungs start producing surfactant which will prevent its lungs from collapsing. Its body shows an increasing demand for calcium, as its bones are growing stronger now. Its skin color now starts turning pink. Its fingers and toes are well-developed by this time. Midwives say that with the growing fingers, the baby might even scratch itself.

32 Weeks Pregnant

Around the 32nd week of their pregnancy, women may seem to experience slight contractions. This is a ‘false labor’ symptom and is preparing the body for the actual labor. These contractions might get uncomfortable in some cases. Women are advised to keep changing their positions to bring comfort during this time. Taking small meals or a warm bath may also bring relief. In the third trimester, women also tend to suffer from low blood pressure, which may cause dizziness. At this stage of pregnancy, the Braxton Hicks contractions become relatively regular in occurrence. Other symptoms of the third trimester include a backache, fatigue, vaginal discharge, leaking breasts, indigestion, and varicose veins. The volume of blood in the body would increase by as much as 40-50% in anticipation of the blood loss that will take place during the delivery.

Your Baby’s Development

In some cases, babies are born prematurely. If born around this time, midwives say that there is only about 50% chance that they will survive. The baby is gaining weight at this time and is also growing in height. Its increasing size, however, may curtail its movement inside the womb. The baby’s eyes are at an advanced stage of development, and it may start to blink. According to medical experts, the baby becomes sensitive to body temperature at this point. They say that the baby might even kick in the womb if it comes into contact with something very hot or cold.

33 Weeks Pregnant

Women tend to suffer from indigestion and heartburn around the 33rd week of their pregnancy. Eating small meals from time to time may help alleviate this problem. Some of them develop bleeding gums or cavities in their teeth. This is mainly caused due to changes in the blood pressure inside the body. Hormonal changes may also be responsible for these symptoms. Regular visits to the dentist may be beneficial. Women, at this time, are fast gaining weight. But, according to midwives, most of the weight collected is diverted to the baby. There may be a pain in the hands, wrists, and fingers. There may also be some numbness to them at times. Mothers-to-be should continue to take a healthy diet.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s lungs develop fully by the 33rd week, but it will still be kept inside an incubator after its delivery. Fat continues to get deposited on its body. Its bones also become hard, except the skull bones. The skull bones need to remain soft to facilitate delivery.

34 Weeks Pregnant

By the 34th week, expecting mothers start to feel breathless. This is because the increasing size of the uterus pushes the other body parts around. It also starts pushing pressure on the diaphragm, due to which the lungs are not able to expand fully. If the breathlessness worsens, then a midwife should be consulted immediately. There will be instances of heartburn. This may be caused by the excessive movement of the baby inside the uterus which leads to acidity. Swelling might appear on body parts such as hands, ankles, and feet. This can be attributed to water-retention and can be relieved by drinking plenty of water. But, if swelling becomes severe and is accompanied by headaches, then it may be a sign of ‘pre-eclampsia.’ This is a disorder of the placenta, occurs towards the end of pregnancy.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby’s face becomes more evident now. It is gaining more fat in these weeks. The fat accumulation helps regulate its body temperature. It reacts to sounds and light. Most of its body parts and organs are developed by the 34th week of pregnancy.

35 Weeks Pregnant

A healthy, nutritious diet is a must now. This is because the baby is almost developed by now, and requires more nourishment. The gynecologist may prescribe vitamin, iron, and calcium supplements. It is essential that women take them regularly. In the meanwhile, symptoms such as breathing trouble may continue, as a result of the continued pressure on the ribcage. During this time, women will experience ‘lightening.’ Lightning is the phenomenon when the baby drops into the pelvis for delivery. This occurs towards the end of pregnancy. This, however, has a side-effect. Due to the pressure lightening puts on the bladder, the frequency to urinate increases in pregnant women at this time. This may also lead to numbness or a tingling sensation in the pelvic region. Other symptoms such as round ligament pain, constipation, heartburn, and indigestion will continue.

Your Baby’s Development

Most of the baby’s body organs such as the lungs, liver, and kidney have developed by the 35th week. Midwives think that this is a good time for expecting mothers to establish a bond with their babies by talking to them. According to them, the baby will pay attention to sound. The protective coating that had developed around the baby’s body in the previous weeks of pregnancy now disappears.

36 Weeks Pregnant

Around the 36th week of pregnancy, the baby’s head moves into the lower portion of its mother’s body. It rests on her pelvic bone. When a woman enters the 36th week of her pregnancy, it is termed as a ‘full-term’ pregnancy. There may be a feeling of fatigue and exhaustion, accompanied by some anxiety about the impending birth of the baby. Due to the increased size of the uterus, the skin also stretches severely, leading to stretch marks. Women can apply anti-wrinkle creams to get rid of these marks. Even, because of the intense pressure on the lower part of the body, the women may feel the need to urinate quite often. This might bring some relief to breathing trouble. With the baby moving to the lower portion of the body, the lung will be able to expand more. There is a possibility that blood pressure and blood sugar may increase during this time. Backaches will continue.

Your Baby’s Development

By the 36th week, the baby is more or less developed. It is now getting in the position of delivery. In most cases, the baby is delivered head down. Its weight has increased by this time. Its limbs start to develop dimples due to the increased fat on the body, while its gums also begin hardening.

37 Weeks Pregnant

This is almost the end of the third trimester of pregnancy. There may be a feeling of heaviness in women, and simple tasks like walking may seem confusing. Fatigue and exhaustion are a normal feeling at this time. But this is also an exciting time, as the baby can arrive anytime now. During this time, the cervix dilates in anticipation of the delivery of the baby. Even, the mucous plug which was acting as a protective layering around the uterus will start getting discharged from the body at this stage. The breasts may seem more substantial. The stretching of the skin may lead to itchiness. Women may experience backaches and hemorrhoids during this time. The blood pressure and the sugar level in the body may rise.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby appears pink in color now. Body organs such as the lungs already start functioning by this time. All the fat that the baby has gained till now gives it a rounded appearance. The baby moves in the position of delivery during this time and rests its head on its mother’s pelvic bone.

38 Weeks Pregnant

Women entering the 38th week of their pregnancy may experience labor pains any time now. The baby is still in the process of settling down in the pelvic region of its mother’s body. Towards the end of pregnancy, women may see some swelling in their feet. This is normal. However, if there is a swelling in any other part of the body such as face or hands, a midwife should be consulted immediately. Midwives say that this is a sign of pregnancy-induced hypertension. Since this condition can affect the volume of blood being received by the placenta, this can be quite fatal to the baby. There may be heartburn and the urge to urinate quite often. But women should keep taking lots of fluids despite several trips to the toilet.

Your Baby’s Development

Most of the body organs of the baby are fully developed by this time and are functioning normally. It extends tear ducts around this time. A baby boy will be bigger then a baby girl, and the baby girls are known to rest lower in the pelvic region than the boys. The baby will blink its eyes and react to sound and light while still in the womb.

39 Weeks Pregnant

By the 39th week, the baby is getting cramped inside the room and is waiting to come out. Midwives do not attach much danger to babies born in the 38th or the 39th week. According to them, they will have healthy growth. However, during this time, the mother-to-be becomes more uncomfortable. There will be a feeling of dizziness quite often. Increased frequency of urination will continue, as will the cramps in the legs. While swelling of the feet is a typical feature around this time, in some cases, the hands and fingers might swell too.

Your Baby’s Development

Meanwhile, the baby’s respiratory system will strengthen around this time. Its lungs will increase the production of surfactant. Right till the time of its delivery, the baby will continue to grow inside the womb. It would also increase in weight. Mothers-to-be can start keeping track of their baby’s progress around this time.

40 Weeks Pregnant

Women go through a gamut of emotions around this time because the delivery is nearing. The movement in the womb increases again. This may result in frequent urination and severe backache. Strain in the areas like the abdomen and bladder rises during this time, and is referred to as ‘false pain.’ The false pain may seem like contractions, but the two should not be confused. Simple activities such as sleeping become awkward and uncomfortable during this time. The leg cramps will continue.

Your Baby’s Development

The baby is in good health at this stage and is getting ready for the delivery. Almost all of its bones harden by this time, except for the skull bones. The skull bones need to remain flexible for the delivery. Also, the baby’s body starts to develop its immune system at this time.

41 Weeks Pregnant

The women should be prepared for delivery by the time they enter the 41st week of their pregnancy. Symptoms such as nausea, indigestion, and heartburn will appear even now. Women should avoid fatty food during this time, and continue to take lots of fluids. This will prevent dehydration. The baby, however, will sleep through most of this period. This is because it does not have any space to move. It will rest even when its mother is experiencing contractions. Women may feel the baby kicking at the time though. The baby will continue to grow during this period as well and may gain some weight.

It is important that women make adequate arrangements for the delivery of the baby. They should pack all the essential things they would require during their stay at the hospital. Telephone numbers of the hospital and their family should be kept nearby, in case of an emergency.

42 Weeks Pregnant

The 42nd week marks the successful completion of the third trimester as well as of the pregnancy. The delivery is about to take place, though according to studies, very few births happen on their due date. If the delivery has not taken place even after the 42nd week, it becomes overdue. The women will start to experience real contractions during this time. The contractions will intensify and become more frequent with time.

The baby, on the other hand, is ready to arrive. Midwives usually have to trim their nails after birth. In the case of late delivery, the midwife might use labor-inducement methods. In case of an overdue baby, the nourishment provided to it by the placenta also reduces with time. Therefore, in such a case, the midwife will monitor the baby very carefully.