You are in the home stretch! The third trimester!
Continue reading to learn more about what to expect during your third
The third trimester starts from week 28 to the end of
the pregnancy. During this trimester, the infant progresses from about 12
inches long and 1.5 pounds to about 18–20 inches long and 7–8 pounds.
That's a whole lot of growth!
What's in Store for You This Trimester?
Here are a few things to look forward to, as well as some stuff to bear in
mind as you go into the third trimester:
The act of nesting.
When your due date approaches, you will have a deep desire to
prepare your home for your newborn. Concentrate your
efforts on completing the infant's nursery, cleaning his or her sheets,
installing the baby car seat, and doing some effective baby proofing. Some
expectant mothers' “nesting instinct” may pull them to clean, reorganize,
make minor home renovations, or prepare large batches of meals to freeze.
Monitoring fetal movement.
A growing child will begin working on breathing movements to help prepare
for life after birth. Kicks and rolls become stronger, and you
should feel the baby move consistently.
Seek your healthcare provider's instructions for how to count your baby's
kicks if he or she wants you to monitor your baby's motions.
Keep an eye out for signs of labor!
While labor may occur at any time, it is more likely to occur between
38 and 42 weeks. Have an eye out for signs of labor,
lightning (the sensation that the baby has fallen lower),
the loss of the mucus plug
the water breaking
the contractions become stronger and closer together.
Shortness of Breath is more commonly felt in your third
Your developing baby presses your uterus against your diaphragm in the
third trimester of pregnancy. The diaphragm is raised approximately 4
centimeters above its pre-pregnancy position. All of this implies that you
feel more short of breath! Don’t worry your baby is still getting enough
Proper posture can help so your lungs have all the room
to expand. Yoga breathing exercises are great for that!
Braxton-Hicks contractions are the occasional random
tightening of the uterus. They are entirely unexpected and usually not
painful. They are also known as prodromal or "fake "labor pains. They are
thought to begin around six weeks of pregnancy but
usually are not felt till the second or third trimester of gestation.
Yes, it is normal. When your infant is nearing the end
of the third trimester and ready for delivery, his or her head "sets" into
the pelvis and presses firmly on the bladder — which implies you'll get the
gotta-go feeling more than ever.
But keep drinking water! Don’t let the need to pee stop your hydration!
Some women may also begin leaking when you cough or laugh or
sneeze in the third trimester. If you do, start some
Swollen Feet and Ankles
Since the uterus grows with the growing fetus, the feet and ankles will
swell, putting more burden on the veins of the lower body. Usually when you
have them lifted up , the swelling should improve or try some properly
sized compression socks for comfort!
Hormones of pregnancy lead to relaxation of the muscles between your
stomach and esophagus. This allows stomach acids to reflux and causes
symptoms of heartburn!
You may know it well!
Eat small, frequent meals and avoid eating right before bed. Stay away from
citrus fruits, spicy or fried foods and chocolate or eat in small
Your hormones are relaxing your ligaments especially in the pelvic area and
as your baby gets bigger in the third trimester, this can be hard on your
Use chairs or proper to help with back support, shoes with good arch
support. If your pain is persistent see a physical therapist for
Varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
Your body has increased blood circulation during pregnancy and you may
start seeing varicose veins and Hemorrhoids (varicose veins in your rectal
They may itch and may be painful.
Drink lots of water, eat a high fiber diet and elevate your legs to help
decrease swelling of these veins. Using a witch hazel pad or soaking in a
warm tub can help with discomfort of hemorrhoids.
Changes in emotions and mood.
As you get closer to delivery you may start thinking more about fears of
childbirth, what to expect after delivery. You may feel anxious about
parenthood or if you have everything ready.
Stay calm and breath. Journal your feelings and thoughts. Meditate. Talk to
a peer group.
If you have risk factors for postpartum depression/anxiety build support
Talk to your healthcare provider or therapist if you think you may have
depression or anxiety.
So many changes, both for you and your baby during this last trimester of
Knowing what to expect can help by not feeling surprised and recognizing
that these feelings are normally experienced by most women! Also you can be
proactive to help both your physical and mental wellness during this
homestretch of your pregnancy!
As always, reach out to MaternalWell text support for any general questions
or book a private telehealth consultation with one of our maternal
specialists in nutrition, mental health and physical therapy.