3rd Trimester of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Concerns and Tips

Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Symptoms, Concerns and Advice

What is the Third Trimester?

Pregnancy lasts for about 40 weeks. The weeks are grouped into three trimesters. The third trimester includes weeks 28 through 40 of a pregnancy. The third trimester can be both physically and emotionally challenging for a pregnant woman. e baby is considered full term at the end of week 37 and it’s only a matter of time before the baby will be born. Researching and understanding what to expect during the third trimester can help reduce any anxiety you may have during the final stages of your pregnancy.

Third trimester of pregnancy
Fig: Third trimester of pregnancy

Symptoms That Happens to a Woman’s Body During Third Trimester:

In the third trimester a woman may experience more aches, pain, and swelling as she carries around her baby. A pregnant woman may also begin to become anxious about her delivery.

Other events that occur during the third trimester include:

  • A lot of movement by the baby,
  • Occasional random tightening of the uterus called Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are completely random and usually not painful,
  • Going to the bathroom more often,
  • Heartburn,
  • Swollen ankles, fingers, or face,
  • Hemorrhoids,
  • Difficulty in sleeping,
  • Tender breasts that may leak watery milk.

Call doctor immediately if you experience:

  • painful contractions of increasing intensity and frequency,
  • bleeding at any time,
  • sudden decrease in activity by your baby,
  • extreme swelling,
  • rapid weight gain.

You can read: Essential Nursing Care for Newborn Baby and Family

Fetus During Third Trimester:

At around week 32, your baby’s bones are fully formed. The baby can now open and close its eyes and sense light. The baby’s body will begin to store minerals like iron and calcium. By week 36, the baby should be in a head down position. If the baby does not move into this position, your doctor may try to move the baby’s position or recommend that you give birth by a cesarean section. This is when the doctor makes a cut in the mother’s belly and uterus in order to deliver the baby.

After week 37, your baby is considered full term and its organs are ready to function on their own. According to the Office on Women’s Health, the baby is now around 19 to 21 inches long and probably weighs between 6 and 9 pounds.

Tips for Stay Healthy in Third Trimester of Pregnancy:

It’s important to be aware of what to do and what to avoid as your pregnancy continues in order to take care of yourself and your developing baby.

What to do:

  1. Continue to take prenatal vitamins.
  2. Stay active unless you’re experiencing swelling or pain.
  3. Work out your pelvic floor by doing Kegel exercises.
  4. Eat a diet high in fruits, vegetables, low-fat forms of protein, and fiber.
  5. Drink lots of water.
  6. Eat enough calories (about 300 more calories than normal per day).
  7. Stay active with walking.
  8. Keep your teeth and gums healthy. Poor dental hygiene is linked to premature labor.
  9. Get plenty of rest and sleep.

What to avoid:

  • Strenuous exercise or strength training that could cause an injury to your stomach,
  • Alcohol,
  • Caffeine (no more than one cup of coffee or tea per day),
  • Smoking,
  • Illegal drugs,
  • Raw fish or smoked seafood,
  • Shark, swordfish, mackerel, or white snapper fish (they have high levels of mercury),
  • Raw sprouts,
  • Cat litter, which can carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis,
  • Unpasteurized milk or other dairy products,
  • Deli meats or hot dogs,
  • The following prescription drugs: isotretinoin (Accutane) for acne, acitretin (Soriatane) for psoriasis, thalidomide (Thalomid), and ACE inhibitors for high blood pressure.
  • Long car trips and airplane flights, if possible (after 34 weeks, airlines may not let you board the plane because of the possibility of an unexpected delivery on the plane).

If you travel, stretch your legs and walk around at least every hour or two.

More questions related to this article:

  1. What do you mean by third trimester?
  2. Write down the symptoms that happen to a woman’s body during the third trimester.
  3. What happens to a woman’s body during the 3rd trimester?
  4. What happens to the fetus during the third trimester?
  5. What are the tips for stay healthy in third trimester of pregnancy?

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