Pregnancy: The Third Trimester

Third TrimesterWelcome to the third trimester of your pregnancy ? the last leg of your pregnancy journey! Prepare yourself for more exciting and challenging pregnancy experiences during this time until you finally give birth.


Third Trimester Highlights

When you reach the third trimester, you would probably feel growing anticipation as your baby?s birth approaches. This will be coupled with your increasing desire to hurry things along and be over and done with the symptoms of your advancing pregnancy.

Among the third trimester symptoms that you still need to deal with is your growing belly. To be specific, your belly may have grown two-thirds of what its size would be on the day you go into labor. Each week in this trimester, your tummy is bound to get stretched more and more as the baby in your womb grows.

That bundle of joy you are carrying in your womb will undergo tremendous changes as he grows from 2.5 pounds and 16 inches in week 28 to about 9 pounds and 22 inches in week 40. Your baby, from being as big as that of an eggplant, will grow to be as big as a jackfruit when he becomes ripe for the picking! The third trimester is also the time when he test-drives some necessary skills like breathing, blinking, and yes? even dreaming!

At week 28, your baby starts to develop more fats. This turns his skin from wrinkly to smooth. His eyes, which now have lashes, can blink and see the light that filters through your belly. You, on the other hand, will feel more spasms of shortness of breath as your baby slowly crowds your lungs. Your breasts will begin to produce colostrum as your body preps up for labor. Also, you will feel stronger and more frequent Braxton Hicks contractions than before.

As your baby increases his size and weight in week 29, he will feel a little cramped in your tummy. You better prepare yourself for the tiny jabs and kicks that are coming your way. His energy surges because of the growing fat deposits under his skin.

What are the common week 29 pregnancy symptoms? One would be an itchy belly. This is because your skin is being stretched further. Back, pelvic, and leg pains that will put more strain on you during the whole duration of your third trimester as well as hemorrhoids (your growing baby puts a strain on your digestive system) and frequent bathroom trips to pee are pregnancy symptoms that you will also have to deal with this week.

In week 30, your baby?s brain will be more wrinkled as essential brain tissue develops. Another highlight this week is that he is able to grasp a finger. Meanwhile, you still will have to cope with third trimester symptoms: heartburn, swollen lower extremities, shortness of breath, and sleeping troubles. You can expect weird and vivid imaginings come to life in your sleep at this period of your pregnancy. This is all thanks to your hormones going wild.

Your baby will undergo major nerve and brain development in week 31. With his eye development almost complete, all of your baby?s five senses are working. Specific changes you will notice in your own body during this week are more frequent contractions and a little more discomfort as your baby becomes heavier.

By week 32, your baby?s formerly translucent skin will be opaque. He will also have fingernails, toenails, and hair on his head. Meanwhile, you will notice some vaginal discharge. This is your body?s way of preparing you for your impending labor.

Do not be surprised if your baby keeps on gaining weight. During week 33 alone, he may gain a whole pound as his body continues to produce fat layers under his skin. This may mean more weight strain for you during this week, but it will surely be worth the extra burden. The fats will keep your baby more protected from bumps and pressures when he finally leaves the shelter of your womb.

Great news awaits you in week 34! What is it? Well, babies born from week 34 onwards are generally able to survive. This is assuming that they have no health problems. Your baby?s respiratory system has fully developed by this time.

The highlight for moms like you, who are in week 34 of their pregnancy, is not of a good news nature. You will feel worn out often again; although, it is not of the debilitating intensity during your first trimester. Prolonged feeling of tiredness during your third trimester is highly probable considering that you are carrying the extra weight of your baby.

From week 35 up to the official end of your pregnancy, everything between you and your baby is projected to progress in a steady manner. By week 35, your baby?s kidneys and liver are fully developed. Weeks 36 through 37 will see your baby perfecting his skill of breathing. Your baby will be shedding the waxy substance that coats his skin from the amniotic fluid in your uterus called vernix and the hairy coat that keeps his little body warm inside your womb called lanugo hair.

In general, changes in your body during the third trimester will be slow progressions of feeling heavy that will wear you down. Third trimester pregnancy symptoms are likely triggered by the hormonal changes in your body and/or they could be your body?s reaction to your growing anticipation of when you will finally hold your baby in your arms. To help you get through the third trimester of your pregnancy smoothly, consult closely with your pregnancy doctor regarding your symptoms and questions.

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