The third trimester of pregnancy, explained
Growing a new life can take a toll on you physically and mentally. That’s why Stix is here to help make pregnancy easier with all the things you need to know throughout your pregnancy. In this article, we’re going to dive into the third trimester of pregnancy and all that you can expect.
What is the third trimester of pregnancy?
The third trimester is the final stretch of pregnancy from weeks 27-40. There are three trimesters of pregnancy. Weeks 1-12 of pregnancy are known as the first trimester, beginning on the first day of your last period and ending at the end of the 12th week of pregnancy. The second trimester is the middle of your pregnancy, from weeks 13-26. The third trimester starts at 27 weeks into pregnancy and ends when the baby is born, typically around 40 weeks.
The baby’s development during the third trimester of pregnancy
During the third trimester of pregnancy, the fetus continues to grow in size and weight and begins to position itself head down. The kidneys and lungs go through a lot of development in the last months of pregnancy, fully maturing around the 38-week mark. By the end of the third trimester, the baby is around 19-21 inches long and typically weighs between 6-9 pounds.
In the last 3 months of pregnancy, the baby can fully hear and see. You’ll definitely feel the baby kicking and squirming during this time. The baby even has the ability to suck its thumb and cry. By the 36th week, the baby starts a process called “lightening” which is when it drops its head to the pelvic area to prepare for birth.
Your body during the third trimester of pregnancy
The third trimester of pregnancy can be the most uncomfortable for many pregnant people since your baby is almost fully grown by this time. As the baby gets bigger, it radiates more heat throughout your body, which can lead to hot flashes.
You may also notice an increase in urination because the baby is putting pressure on your bladder. Your body is retaining a lot of water by the end of your pregnancy, so your ankles and hands might swell during this time. Because of the increased hormone stimulation, you may notice an increase in hair growth on your arms, legs, and face during the third trimester. Swelling in combination with other symptoms and high blood pressure should be evaluated.
How to take care of your body and mind during the third trimester
By the third trimester, your body has been put through a lot. During the last few months of pregnancy, you should continue taking prenatal vitamins to support your body and the growing baby. It’s also important to stay active and keep a balanced diet high in vegetables and fruit. Going on walks can also help with discomfort, but try avoiding anything too strenuous. prenatal-multi-dha It is more important than ever to take care of your mental health as you prepare to have a baby. Be sure to get enough rest and listen to your body when you’re tired or need rest. Vocalizing your feelings to your support system can be key to preparing for the baby’s arrival. Check-in with yourself and how you’re doing during this time to help maintain optimal mental health.
How to prepare for birth
As your pregnancy comes to an end, it’s finally time to start preparing for your birth! If you haven’t already, you should decide where you will give birth and ensure you will have the support that you need. Prenatal classes are also helpful in learning about your birthing options and what to expect from labor and delivery.
It’s important to talk to your doctor and develop a birth plan before your baby is due. This can help you determine what’s important to you during your labor and delivery experience and can help address some anxiety around this time.
As your due date approaches, you’ll want to prepare a hospital bag to ensure you have everything you need with you for labor. Prepare this earlier than you think, in case you go into labor earlier than expected. A few things to include in your overnight bag are:
- Your birth plan
- Your toiletries
- A comfortable change of clothes
- A few outfits for the baby
- Pillow and/or blanket from home
- Phone charger
- Book or deck of cards to help distract during labor
There’s no need to bring diapers and wipes to your delivery as the hospital will provide you with plenty.
When you’re getting ready to go home, you’ll also need to make sure the car seat is installed in your car. A lot of police or fire stations offer demonstrations on how to install them properly, so if you’re not sure, it’s worth asking.
The third trimester is also a great time to shop for a crib, stroller, diapers, bottles, and wipes. Some pregnant people get the urge to “nest” in the third trimester, but even if you don’t, getting prepared will make you feel more confident and keep you busy while you’re waiting for the big day.
Have questions? Check out more pregnancy-related articles on our education hub, Real Talk, or drop us a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.