What to Expect During Your Third Trimester

July 6, 2016

You may feel that your pregnant belly cannot get any bigger, but trust us, in the third trimester it will continue growing — a lot actually. Here’s what to expect from your changing body and growing baby these next few weeks.

When Does the Third Trimester Start?

The third trimester begins at 28 weeks and lasts until you give birth. A full pregnancy typically lasts around 40 weeks. Did you know at least 50 percent of babies are latecomers?

Your Baby’s Growth During the Third Trimester

Your baby will get a lot bigger in the last trimester. Your baby will have gone from two and half pounds at week 28 of pregnancy to roughly six or seven pounds at week 40 of pregnancy.

Here are a few highlights of what is happening to your body during your third trimester of pregnancy:

  • Your baby will start to transform from cartilage to bone, as this happens you will need to eat a lot of calcium-rich foods.
  • In week 32 of pregnancy your baby’s once translucent skin will now be opaque.
  • In the final weeks of pregnancy your baby’s first poop (meconium) will start to develop in the digestive system. It will consist mostly of blood cells, vernix and lanugo.
  • By week 29 or 30 your baby’s touch receptors will begin to develop.
  • By week 31 your baby will have developed all five senses. They’ll be able to taste what you eat, perceive light and dark, listen to what you’re saying, etc.
  • In your third trimester, your baby’s brain will grow fast! He or she will be able to regulate its body temperature, dream and even blink.

Around 34 weeks your baby will start to move its head down and body upward to get ready for labor. If your baby stays in the breech position then your doctor will attempt to move him or her manually.

Changes In Your Body During the Third Trimester

Since your baby is growing and developing at rapid speeds, you will feel a lot of fetal activity.

  • Your abdomen and belly might feel achey. As your baby grows, your ligaments will accommodate its rapid changes. You may feel sharp pain and cramps in your lower back.
  • You will feel really tired this last trimester. Your baby is growing at rapid speed so your energy will be gone! Make sure to eat healthy and stay active.
  • You will most likely feel heartburn during your third trimester. The reason this is happening is because your uterus pushes your stomach and its contents upwards. If you want more info, check out these helpful resources:
  • You will most likely feel Braxton Hicks Contractions. This is your body’s way of getting ready for labor. If you want to learn more about Braxton Hicks Contractions, click here: What Are Braxton Hicks Contractions?
  • Your body will most likely experience stretch marks during your pregnancy, as your skin is being stretched to the limit. Moisturizing your skin can help reduce your chance of stretch marks.
  • As your growing belly moves your center of gravity forward, you will most likely have back aches. This is a great reason to put your feet up. Yes, elevate your feet and relax.
  • Your dreams may be way more vivid than normal. This is most likely due to all of the hormones running through your body. Don’t worry about them!
  • There’s a lot of weight on your pelvic floor. Basically, if you sneeze, you pee. Kegels can actually be a great way to strengthen your pelvic floor and reduce urinary incontinence.
  • Your breasts may leak during this last trimester as well. Your body is getting ready to feed your baby.

To prepare for your life with your new baby, read up on breastfeeding tips and what may work best for you. For more information on breastfeeding for new moms, click here:

Breastfeeding Tips for New Moms

Learn more about what to expect during labor with these helpful resources:

Am I in Labor?

You may want to prepare some meals for when you’re home. Your world will be turned upside down with your new bundle of joy. Here are some recipe ideas to get you started:

10 Recipes for Pregnancy

Call OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch

If you are getting ready to plan a family, entering your first trimester, or are on the tail end of your pregnancy, please do not hesitate to call us at OB-GYN Women’s Centre of Lakewood Ranch. We are there for women in every stage of their life. Call us today!