As a mother or mother-to-be, you most likely already know the basic ins and outs of pregnancy. One of the most fundamental aspects that you may be aware of is the fact that you will be going through three trimesters during your 40-week pregnancy.
However, if you’re expecting a child or trying to conceive a child, you may want to know everything about the journey you will be going through! Here is your guide to what you will be experiencing during the third trimester of your pregnancy.
The Third Trimester
The third trimester starts in your 29th week of pregnancy up until the end of your 40-week pregnancy, depending on when you go into labour and deliver your baby. This is the last trimester you will go through before you pass the finish line!
During your third trimester, your prenatal visit will be important for your healthcare provider or midwife to check up on your current medical state and the health of your baby. The doctor will check up on your medical condition such as your symptoms and discomforts, blood pressure, the position and development of your baby, and the fetal heartbeat.
The frequency of your doctor visits will also change as you will be scheduled in for bi-weekly visits rather than monthly visits. Towards the end of the third trimester (leading up to your birth), a pelvic exam will be done to monitor the dilation and effacement of your cervix. This way, your healthcare provider or midwife will know about any labor contractions leading up to your due date.
During this time, your baby is working hard at growing big and strong before they come into this world! While they are developing, you’re going to go through some last few body changes and discomforts during this trimester.
Most women say that they are the most comfortable during their second trimester. We regret to say that some women become more uncomfortable as their due date is coming to a close.
Your body will be experiencing some of the same pregnancy symptoms which you have felt in the last two trimesters and some new ones as well, such as the following:
- Abdominal pain
- Heartburn, constipation, indigestion
- Shortness of breath
- Varicose veins
- Stretch marks
- Weight gain
- Leaking breasts to prepare for breastfeeding
- Frequent urination
- Higher body and skin temperature
- Swelling ankles, hands, and face
- Decrease in your libido
- Braxton-Hicks contractions (false labor)
Your baby will be growing much quicker during this stage of your pregnancy, and you’ll notice this as your belly gets much bigger.
Your fetus will grow in size, growing from about 2-3 pounds to 6-9 pounds during these weeks. With the extra height your baby is developing, you will definitely feel those strong legs kicking at your tummy, so don’t be alarmed.
Body Parts: Your baby’s cartilage will transform into bone as he/she soaks in all that calcium you're supplying. Your baby’s skin would have been partially see-through up until this point as the skin will become more opaque. At the same time, the vernix caseosa (coating of greasy-like oil) and lanugo (fur-like coat for warmth) that was formed during the second trimester will start to shed and be replaced by your baby’s fat.
Senses: Your baby will have full ownership of the signals that some from all five senses at this stage. They will notice light and darkness, taste the food you are eating, and hear the sound of your voice. The eye colour of your baby will be slate blue and the true permanent colour will not appear until weeks after your baby arrives.
Time will fly by at this stage of your pregnancy! As you go through these fast changes in your third trimester, you’re going to look back at your whole 40-week pregnancy and be overcome with emotions! No matter the changes you are going through, remember that you will have your little baby in your arms in no time!