Welcome to the third trimester! This phase begins in the 28th week and lasts until you give birth which may be around 40 weeks of pregnancy. No doubt your belly will become a lot bigger as the maximum growth of the baby occurs during this time. You will experience an array of feelings from tiredness, heaviness, and apprehension about labour and excitement for the arrival of your baby. Try to rest as much as you can.
Changes that you may expect in your body during this trimester are:
- Backache: Increase in your baby’s weight causes increase in the back curvature leading to backache and stiffness, which can be relieved by ice-packs, frequent rest, proper back support and avoiding standing for too long. Try to sleep on your left as it helps in proper blood circulation and place pillows in between legs and a small pillow with the arms for proper support.
- Braxton Hicks contraction: You will gradually start to feel some pulling and pushing kind of movements in the abdomen area. These contractions can happen anytime in the third trimester but occur especially in last 5-7 weeks. These are your body’s ways of preparing for labour.
- Breast enlargement: Your breasts will start to enlarge with the milk-secreting, fat and supporting tissue. You can wear good support brassieres. You may observe skin darkening around the nipple area. In the last weeks of pregnancy, you may also notice a yellowish fluid being secreted through the nipples which is normal. This fluid is called colostrum and is very important to nourish and build up the immunity of your baby.
- Heartburn, constipation and frequent urge for urination: As the womb grows in dimensions, the abdominal organs get pushed and can lead to more pressure on the urinary bladder and stomach, thus causing heartburn, constipation and urge for frequent urination.
- Shortness of breath: This happens because of the rising pressure exerted on the rib cage as the uterus size keeps on increasing.
- Lightening: You may notice that your belly feels lighter and suddenly it’s easier to breathe. This is because your baby has descended lower into the pelvis. This feeling is called lightening.
Also, the fluttering movements will be now replaced with strong and uncomfortable kicks as the space inside the uterus is reducing due to growth of the baby. Keep a check on your weight which can increase by 5-7 kg in this trimester, and indulge in some light exercises such as butterfly (stretching of hips and thighs) and Kegals (repeated contraction and relaxation of pelvic muscles).
This trimester is all about preparing for your new baby. Now’s the time to have fun stocking up on baby clothes and equipment, and dressing your growing bump!
We’ve created this handy list to help you enjoy the countdown to your baby’s arrival. You can tick off each item on the list, or just use it as a guide. Do whatever feels right for you.
1. Be aware of your baby’s movements
2. Learn about third-trimester antenatal appointments
3.Be aware of pregnancy symptoms you should never ignore
4. Eat well
5. Do some stretches
6. Massage your bump
7.Put together your baby’s furniture and buggy
8. Talk to your baby
9. Learn about the stages of labour
10. Create a birth plan
11. Get to know your contractions
12. Buy clothes for your baby
13. Pack your hospital bag
14. Get more sleep
15. Stock up on household supplies
16. Install your baby’s car seat
17. Be careful about third trimester sex
18. Call in the helpers!
19. Check out the hospital
20. Avoid backache
21. Prepare for the birth
22. Read up on new-born care
23. Prepare for breastfeeding
24. Help to bring labour on naturally
25. Follow your baby’s development
26. Join your Birth Club
Consult your doctor if you observe any of the following symptoms:
- Bleeding, spotting or dark green collared staining on your inner-wear.
- Continuous leakage or sudden outburst of water through your vagina.
- Reduced baby movements.
- Sudden gripping pain in the lower abdomen which comes and goes in intervals, with interval time gradually decreasing and the intensity of pain increasing.
So get ready for the D-Day, as very soon you will welcome your little one into this world.