Third trimester of pregnancy

You are in the last stage of your pregnancy, and you will certainly be tired and hungry.

Try to hold out a few more weeks that, soon, your baby will be ready to come into the world. It is in fact rapidly gaining weight and at the end it will be as big as a watermelon.

It is a good practice to have all the clinical documentation concerning pregnancy ready, from the first examinations, to the first ultrasounds up to the last checks.

You can therefore start thinking about filling your “birth bag” with everything you will need on the day of delivery and the subsequent stay in the hospital.

The weeks of the third trimester

The third trimester of pregnancy begins with the twenty-seventh week, and ends with the birth of your baby (around the fortieth week). Here is the relevant table:

Month of Pregnancy Weeks
Seventh month 27°28°, 29°, 30°
Eighth month 31°, 32°, 33°, 34°, 35°
Ninth month 36°, 37°, 38°, 39°, 40°

The development of the child during the third trimester

At the beginning of the third trimester, the fetus weighs about 900 grams, but before birth it will grow to about 3.1 kg.

A “normal” pregnancy lasts from 37 to 41 weeks. Already with the 37th / 38th week of pregnancy, however, we can speak of a full-term pregnancy.

Over the last trimester, your future baby’s skin is smoothing out with the development of a layer of fat.

His fingers and nails continue to grow.

Its bone structure is fully developed, but it still needs to strengthen.

All its main organs have formed, and many of them have already begun to function; The lungs are developing and will continue to do so, day by day, until the moment of birth.

Already at the 30th week, your baby is able to open and close his eyes.

In this period the child will develop hearing, smell and taste: in particular he will be “practicing” by inhaling and swallowing the amniotic fluid in order to be ready – at the time of birth – to smell and swallow food.

Until now, the baby has had plenty of room to move and change position in the womb. However, in the last weeks of this trimester, due to its size it will be quite tight in your belly.

Also for this reason it will be easier for you to feel its small movements.

In addition to the usual kicks and punches, you will probably also hear other blows: it is your baby who has some hiccups!

After the thirty-fourth / thirty-fifth week, in preparation for birth, most babies gradually turn in the womb.

Symptoms, and changes in your body in the third trimester

Now that you’ve left your 2nd trimester pregnancy behind, you’ll probably feel pain everywhere, and you’ll feel pretty tired—you can’t wait for your baby to be born.

The most common symptoms during the third trimester include Braxton Hicks contractions, round ligament pain, pelvic pain and back pain.

In recent months, symptoms that you have already experienced in the past months can also intensify, such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, fatigue, frequent urination and depression.

Due to the growing uterus putting pressure on the ribcage, it is also normal to be short of breath during this period, especially during the first weeks of the third trimester.

The increase in your weight in the third trimester

In this trimester, you need to take about 450 grams per week.

Throughout pregnancy, the overall weight gain should not be more than 11-15 kilos.

Continue to follow a healthy diet, since during these three months you only need 450 extra calories per day.

Prenatal visits in the third trimester

During the third trimester, most women have a prenatal check-up every two weeks.

Some, however, in relation to the mother’s medical history and the percentage of development of the fetus, may need a medical examination at least once a week during the last month.

Routine procedures include checks for anemia, Streptococcus Group B infection, high blood pressure and other abnormalities in blood glucose levels.

Your doctor may also order an ultrasound to check your baby’s heart, and to measure its height to ensure the health of the fetus.

Once you enter the last month, during each prenatal visit, your doctor will perform a cervical exam to check for dilation, opening, and thinning of the cervix.

Things to take into account

Kick count

Since your child is in the late stages of his development, a regular count of his kicks is essential to make sure everything proceeds normally.

It should move at least ten times -in two hours- during its active period. Talk to your doctor if you have reduced fetal movements.

Nutrition of the fetus

Your child has already begun to accumulate for his first days in the world, some nutrients such as iron, calcium and phosphorus, so follow a balanced diet, rich in vitamins and minerals.

Travel in the third trimester of pregnancy

Despite the fact that up to the thirty-sixth week flying is usually considered safe, In the last period of pregnancy, before planning trips it is good to consult with competent people.

Warning signs

In case of abnormal symptoms, such as severe diarrhea, intense abdominal cramps, bleeding, severe headache, changes in vision, sudden weight loss and increased vaginal discharge, contact your doctor or midwife: these could be indicators of serious complications, such as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes and premature birth.

That said, you shouldn’t worry too much about any risks to you or your baby, as most pregnancies end with the birth of a healthy baby.

Just try to follow your doctor’s guidelines and eat healthily.

Try to relax: remember that the mother’s stress and depression can also harm the baby.

Katherine Johnson, M.D., is a board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist with clinical expertise in general obstetrics and gynecology, family planning, women’s health, and gynecology.

She is affiliated with the Obstetrics and Gynecology division at an undisclosed healthcare institution and the online platform,

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