Pregnancy The Third Trimester

The Third Trimester


What is The Third Trimester?

The third trimester (7th month to delivery) follows the first trimester and second trimester – marking a very exciting time as the mother-to-be and baby begin preparations for labor and delivery. This period spans from week 28 up until birth, and you can deliver anytime from between the 38th and 42nd week even though the 40th week is usually the last week of pregnancy.

Prenatal care remains very important. Regular consultations with your physician or obstetrician is a must and prenatal visits will entail checking your weight, blood pressure, position, growth and development of the fetus, fetal heartbeat, performing urine tests, as well as relieving any symptoms or discomforts. Prenatal visits will become more frequent by the 29th week, and you may now see your physician every two weeks or once every week.

Eating healthy, well balanced meals and exercising regularly is also beneficial for both you and your baby. Taking childbirth and breastfeeding classes can also help you prepare effectively for the big day. Reading childbirth books and baby magazines will provide useful information that any new mother is bound to find handy. Spending time with your partner and involving him in all the birth preparations will strengthen your relationship and help him to feel closer to the baby.

How does the baby develop during the third trimester?

During the third trimester, the baby grows rapidly in weight and size. By the end of this trimester, the fetus weighs approximately between 6 to 9 pounds and measures approximately 19 to 21 inches in length.

The baby’s development in the third trimester involves:

•    Baby can see and hear, and responds to touch
•    Lungs and brain continue to develop throughout this trimester but will be fully matured by 38 to 40 weeks
•    Head drops down the pelvic area by the 36th week (this process is referred to a lightening) to prepare for entry into the birth canal
•    Loses most of the lanugo (downy hair) from his or her body
•    If you gently feel your abdomen, you can feel your baby’s arms and legs
•    Fingernails and toenails are already long
•    Skin becomes thicker and is covered with a creamy colored protective coating called vernix on the skin
•    Can suck his or her thumb and is able to cry
Changes in the mother’s body
Many women become extremely uncomfortable during the third trimester of pregnancy. Because the baby grows so rapidly, the uterus of the mother has to expand to accommodate it and this brings about quite a bit of discomfort.
Women experience a number of physical and emotional changes and symptoms during this trimester and these include:
•    Fatigue
•    Difficulty breathing
•    Increase in skin temperature, feeling hot
•    Frequent urination
•    Swollen hands, ankles and face (edema)
•    Leg cramps”:night-time-leg-cramps-treatments.html
•    Numbness or weakness in the hands (carpal tunnel syndrome)
•    Hair may become coarser
•    Itchy dry skin
•    Skin pigmentation with dark patches on the face
•    Stretch marks may appear on breasts, abdomen, thighs and buttocks
•    Decrease in woman’s libido
•    Constipation
•    Heartburn
•    Indigestion
•    Backache
•    Hemorrhoids
•    Varicose veins
•    Colostrum may leak from the nipples
•    Increase in a whiteish, mucus like vaginal discharge
•    Braxton-Hicks contractions may occur at irregular intervals
•    Mood swings
•    Anxiety
•    Irritability
Complications that my occur during the third trimester
Common complications that may occur during the third trimester include:
•    Premature labor
•    Preeclampsia
•    Decreased fetal movement
•    Placental abruption
•    Post-term pregnancy

Symptoms and signs that labor is nearing

Tell tale signs that labor is not far off is when the fetus drops into the pelvis (process of lightening). Cervical effacement and dilation occurs – this is when the cervix thins and opens, and your physician will check for this during the prenatal exam.
Braxton-Hicks contractions (false contractions) are stronger and more severe. Cramping may also develop in your lower back, groin or rectum. Your membrane may rupture either before labor starts or after labor starts and this signals that your water has broken – call your physician immediately or go to hospital.

Help for The Third Trimester

Natural and holistic remedies have proven to be highly effective in relieving some of the distressing symptoms such as fatigue, heartburn, sore feet and stretch marks experienced during the third trimester. Herbs, homeopathic remedies, tissue salts and essential oils are safe during this period when so many physical and emotional changes are taking place.
Essential aromatherapy oils such as Litsea cubeba, Grape fruit and Mandarin help to quickly uplift, refresh and energize the mind, body and spirit when you are feeling fatigued. Herbal and homeopathic ingredients such as Mag Phos, Nat. Sulph, Melissa officinalis and Mentha Piperita relieves heartburn and digestive problems.

More Information on The Third Trimester

Tips to ensure pregnancy health during the third trimester

•    Eat a healthy diet containing fresh fruit, vegetables, lean meat and whole grains
•    Make sure that you get adequate sleep and rest by following a healthy sleep routine, and use lots of pillows to support your belly and between your knees
•    Exercise regularly by walking, pilates or doing gentle stretching exercises
•    Choose a birth plan and give a copy to all those who will be present at the birth – it is important that everyone understands what your wishes are
•    Continue to visit your doctor or midwife regularly – ask questions and voice your concerns regarding the birth
•    Pack your hospital bag and include items such as socks, bathrobe, hot water bottle, magazines, camera for labor and maternity pads, nursing bra, toiletries, baby clothing, and diapers for after labor
•    Practice relaxation techniques with deep breathing exercises, meditation or yoga
•    Connect with your unborn baby by talking, singing, playing music or reading to him or her
•    If you are working, plan your maternity leave
•    Decide whether you will nurse or bottle-feed – speak to your doctor about your options
•    Baby proof your house, set up the nursery, stock up on baby toiletries, diapers and clothing
•    Spend quality time with your partner because once the baby is born you may not be able to devote as much time for him
•    Consider baby names – this will be one less thing to stress about when the baby comes
•    Speak to other mothers about their birth experiences

Related Products

Creation Flower Essence:
Promotes harmony and inner strength during the first trimester of pregnancy
Digesto-K Sprinkles:

Supports digestive health and comfort during the third trimester of pregnancy
Good Morning Mama:
Promotes settled digestion during pregnancy, especially nausea experienced during morning sickness
StretchEasy Formula:
Homeopathic remedy prevents stretchmarks by improving skin tone, flexibility and elasticity

See Also:
Pregnancy & Massage
Mothers & Babies
Pregnancy & Conception


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