What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy

From a first glance at the topic, you might think this is just another blog with all the medical information and graphics of what happens to your baby’s development week-by-week.

Well, no. I decided to leave that to the medical experts, and talk about what I know from my own personal experience.

My experience with my first pregnancy was actually completely different from my second.

Both pregnancies had some things in common; both times, for instance, I had a very big belly. I did love that; each time I watched my belly growing, I thought of my baby getting bigger, putting on weight and getting ready for the big day of entering the world.

I have to admit, there were times I thought, “maybe it is all those muffins I have been eating.”

Both my children were born over 4kg (or nine pounds) of healthy weight, so I think I must have done a good job during my pregnancies.


So, what is the third trimester like?

Well, the third trimester starts from week 24 of the baby’s development.
From weeks 24-28, the foetus measures around 33 centimetres in length. Your baby is now getting ready to view the world. His or her eyelids are separated and form into upper and lower lids.

This is also the time period your baby makes breathing movements. At this stage, the baby’s whole body is covered with fine hair.


I remember at this stage my own belly, and most other parts of my skin, started to have more fine hair on it as well. That fell off a few weeks after I gave birth.


With my first pregnancy, I was counting every week, just out of excitement. I was looking forward to seeing my little baby. I started a shopping list during this time, to make sure I had everything I needed, especially big items like strollers, bassinets, a cot, and essentials for the hospital.


With my second baby, I believe I would have enjoyed the pregnancy more if I had a more normal pregnancy, as I did the first time. However, the second time around, I had gestational diabetes, which made pregnancy a bit more difficult. It required a lot more tests and regular visits to the hospital, which made the second time around more difficult, especially during the third trimester.


During weeks 28-32, your baby is starting to look more like a newborn infant, with the correct proportion of head to body. The baby weighs about one kilogram, or two pounds, two ounces, and is about 37 centimetres in length.


At this stage of my pregnancies, I remember getting swollen ankles and very large feet. My feet changed so much that I needed new shoes. I think part of the reason for that is probably that it was summer in Australia when I was going through my third trimesters.


In weeks 32-36, you’re nearing the end of your pregnancy. This is a good time to check that your hospital bag is ready to go, that the baby’s room is ready, and that you have all the essentials you need to welcome baby home for the first time.


One thing my husband and I did was actually travel to the hospital, to find out how long it would take us to get there. We also wrote down all of our emergency contact numbers, and the hospital contact number, to call when my contractions started. I’d recommend doing the same, and make sure you make two copies: one for you to keep, and one for your husband.


From week 36 onwards, it’s a countdown to the big day. At this stage, your baby spends most of its time sleeping. Baby is also typically shifting in your womb at this point, getting into the head-down position by now to be ready for birth.
When you see your midwife or gynaecologist, they should let you know that the baby has turned or is in the head-down position.


If your baby is born anytime from week 36 on, it is considered a full-term baby. Usually, babies tend to come out from around week 36 to week 42 of pregnancy.
Your body, and your baby will change a lot during this time as it gets closer to time for labour. In my next blog post, I’ll share my own adventure of giving birth, so you can have an idea of what to expect during labour.

References:

Any medical information included in this blog post, related to medical guidelines, are general guidelines only. Always seek advice from a medical professional regarding concerns with pregnancy and infant health-related concerns.

Information sourced from http://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au provides health and medical information that is quality assured, reliable, up to date, easy to understand, regularly reviewed, locally relevant, and fully funded by the State Government of Victoria (Australia).

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