Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Guide To Weeks 28 to 40

Pregnancy Guide Third Trimester Pictures

full term pregnancy

Baby's Position at Week 39

Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Contents

What Can I Expect To Happen?

7th Month: Weeks 28 to 31
8th Month: Weeks 32 to 35
9th Month: Weeks 36 to 40


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See our main guides:

Pregnancy Guide

Pregnancy Trimesters
First Trimester
Second Trimester
Third Trimester

Introduction

Welcome to the third trimester, you are two thirds of the way to the finish line and only three short months away from holding your newborn. This is when you really start to gain weight, your tummy stretches and your walk turns into a waddle. You may find it more difficult to breath as your expanded womb makes your lung capacity smaller. You continue to have your prenatal visits and there’s the excitement of your birthing classes. The 9th month may feel like the longest of all, despite a flurry of last minute activity to get everything ready for the baby's arrival. Of course, if you are overdue, the 10th month will seem even longer!

7th Month: Weeks 28 to 31

What May Happen to You

Your baby is growing and your uterus has expanded massively. You may even feel there is no room left in the womb - but you still have another 10 to 12 weeks to go. You will notice stronger fetal activity, to the point where it can sometimes hurt. Your navel (belly button) will start to protrude. You may also experience:

• Difficulties sleeping or finding a comfortable sleeping position.
• Shortness of breath.
Back pain while pregnant, particularly in the last trimester and aches in the lower abdomen.
Varicose veins in pregnancy
Braxton Hicks contractions.
• Enlarged breasts (see pregnancy breast changes).
• Increased clumsiness.
• Colostrum leaking from the breasts (pre-milk substance, which may not appear until after childbirth).
• Restless leg syndrome.

Hemorrhoids in Pregnancy.

Your Baby

Will weigh a wonderful 2.9 pounds plus (1.3 kg) and measure 46 cm long by the end of month seven. Your baby is quickly approaching its birth weight and as room gets tighter in the womb you will feel your little one jabbing more with their elbows and knees. He/she is also having more fixed periods of sleep, specifically REM sleep, to allow for further brain growth. As a result, you may notice more regularity in their kicking times, revolving around their sleeping patterns. As your baby is rapidly developing baby fat, they also start to shed lanugo, the soft layer of body hair that was keeping them warm in the early months of development.

8th Month: Weeks 32 to 35

What May Happen to You

Many of the pregnancy symptoms you developed in the past few weeks may be more aggravated this month. Emotionally there is apprehension about labor and how the birth will go. You may be feeling increased eagerness for the pregnancy to be over. This is coupled with excitement at the realization that it won't be long more. Also:

• Continued strong fetal activity.
• Itchy tummy.
• Backaches, leg cramps, stretch marks, sensitive gums.
• Increasing clumsiness.
• Navel protrudes further.
• Increased Braxton Hicks contractions - sort of practice contractions.
• Continued shortness of breath.
• Enlarged breasts. If you haven't started leaking pre-milk yet, you may start to wonder how early does nipple discharge start in pregnancy?

Your Baby

Your baby is gaining weight quickly, about 1/2 pound a week. His/her bones are fully formed but still soft. Their little body begins to store minerals like calcium and iron for the first time. The eyes now open and shut and are more sensitive to light. Most babies will settle into the head down position in mom's pelvis by the end of this month. Antibodies are being passed from you to the baby in preparation for exposure to the world when she/he is born.

9th Month: Weeks 36 to 40

What May Happen to You

Congratulations, you have reached the final stages of your pregnancy. By week 37, if your baby is born, he/she would be considered full term. That does not mean though that they have finished growing. The baby is practicing inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid to prepare the lungs for their first breath. They are sucking their thumb, practicing for the first breast feed and moving from side to side, practicing movement. The baby's head moves down in the pelvic cavity, known as the baby drop, in preparation for delivery and childbirth. This can reduce pressure in the upper abdomen renewing ease of breathing. However it also increases the pressure on the rectum and pelvic floor, which may give you the sensation that the baby will fall out at any moment!

Outside of constipation in pregnancy, heartburn, indigestion, flatulence, headaches, sensitive gums, increased backache and leg cramps at night, you may also experience:

• Weak bladder control.
• Occasional dizziness while pregnant.
• More frequent and intense periods of Braxton Hicks contractions.
• Colostrum, pre-milk leaking from the breasts.
• Extra fatigue or bouts of increased energy (nesting syndrome).
• Increase or decrease of appetite.

Your Baby

Fat continues to grow on the baby in the last few weeks. He/she starts to shed the skin-protecting waxy substance called vernix and the remainder of the lanugo. If your baby is not born on Week 40, don't worry. Fewer than 5 percent of babies are born on their pregnancy due date. Also remember that an overdue baby is not always over due, its just that the due date was off. If labor induction is a consideration be sure to discuss natural labor induction methods with your doctor.

Always discuss any concerns or questions you may have with your OB/GYN or other qualified members of your pregnancy healthcare team. Always continue to reference your prenatal care guide.

  Related Articles For Pregnant Women

For more about the final stages of expecting a baby:

Travel During Pregnancy
Birthing Centers
Early Signs of Labor
Aspirin During Pregnancy

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