Pregnancy: Third Trimester
Information on what you can expect during the last 3 months of your pregnancy.
Third Trimester: An Overview
Many of the pains and uncomfortable symptoms you had in your second trimester will continue into this trimester. As your body prepares for birth, the baby moves down lower in your abdomen.
The following aches and pains often appear or increase during the third trimester:
Swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face
Swelling and tender breasts
Every healthy woman with a normal pregnancy will continue to gain weight in the 3rd trimester. The average weight gain is about 3-4 pounds per month during the third trimester. By the end of your pregnancy you should have gained, on average, about 25-30 pounds. The amount of weight you should gain will be determined in consultation with your health care provider. Visit the link Weight Gain for additional information.
Continue seeing your doctor or midwife regularly. In the last trimester of pregnancy, your health care provider will suggest you see them more frequently than you did during the first or second trimesters. From weeks 30-38 of the pregnancy most doctors and midwives recommend an appointment every 1-2 weeks. After 38 weeks, your health care provider will typically see you every week until labor and delivery begin.
You should make sure you and your health care provider discuss any questions concerns you have about labor and delivery about inducing labor, about birth options, as well as issues regarding cesarean sections (c-sections) and pain relief.
The following has been adapted from the Mayo Clinic website.
Week 28: Baby's eyes open
Your baby is about 15 inches long and weighs about 2 to 3 pounds. Your baby's eyes are beginning to open and close. Your baby is taking 20-30 minute naps.
Week 29: Movement is more forceful
Your baby's bones are fully developed and the baby begins storing iron, calcium and phosphorus. The baby's movements become more frequent and stronger.
Week 30: Baby increases in weight
Your baby weighs about 3 pounds and will gain about 1/2 pound a week until week 37. If your baby gets the hiccups you may feel slight twitches or spasms in your uterus.
Week 31: Reproductive development continues
If your baby is a boy, the testicles are moving from their location near the kidneys through the groin on their way into the scrotum. Your baby's lungs continue to develop.
Week 32: Downy hair falls off
Your baby is between 15-17 inches long and weighs about 4 to 5 pounds. The downy hair (called lanugo) that has covered your baby's skin for the past few months begins falling off.
Week 33: Baby detects light
Your baby's pupils now constrict, dilate and detect light. Your baby continues to gain about 1/2 pound a week and the lungs are more completely developed.
Week 34: Protective coating gets thicker
The pasty white coating (called vernix) that protects your baby's skin thickens.
Week 35: Rapid growth continues
Your baby continues to gain weight and store fat.
Week 36: Baby can suck
Your baby is 16-19 inches long and weighs about 6 to 7 pounds. Your baby's face has rounded out with baby fat. In preparation for birth your baby drops lower into a birth position.
Week 37: Baby is full-term
By the end of this week, your baby will be considered full-term. As fat continues to accumulate, your baby's body will slowly become rounder.
Week 38: Organ function continues to improve
Your baby weighs approximately 7 pounds and is ready for birth.
Week 39: Placenta provides antibodies
The placenta continues to supply your baby with antibodies that will help fight infection the first six months after birth.
Week 40: Your due date arrives
On average, your baby may be 19-21 inches long and weigh 7-8 pounds with boys usually weighing a little more than girls.
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