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The third trimester is the final trimester of your nine-month pregnancy, and it starts from your 28th week until your labour, which is usually around the 40th week. While you may feel like you have experienced enough physical changes up until this point, the third trimester is when your body goes through the most tremendous change as your baby continues to grow a lot more larger and mature.
Here’s what to expect from your body and your baby in these few final weeks, as well as some helpful tips to manage them.
Your body and your skin will feel hotter than usual in this trimester due to your increased blood volume. Another reason for your rising body temperature is due to your increased metabolism. Stay hydrated during this period and wear breathable clothes.
Stretch marks are lines that appear on your skin as your skin stretches to make space for your growing baby. Stretch marks may appear on your tummy, breasts, and thighs. Stretch marks will gradually become less visible after childbirth, and you can apply lotion or oil to minimize their appearance.
Braxton hicks contractions are irregular tightening of muscles that you feel around your abdomen area, this is a normal sign of your uterus preparing for labour. Braxton hicks contractions can start after your 20th week, and they tend to be more frequent and intense as you get closer to your delivery day. When contractions happen, switch your position or activity to ease your discomfort.
You will experience heartburn during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. As your baby grows, your stomach will be pushed upwards by your uterus, and hence causing the burning sensation around your heart. To relieve heartburn, drink some milk after your meals. Consuming fresh, dried or freeze-dried papaya might help too.
Varicose veins are twisted and enlarged veins that may appear on your legs, buttocks and even vaginal area during pregnancy. Your increased blood flow during the third trimester is the one of the reasons behind this. Varicose veins are harmless, and the situation will improve gradually after childbirth. To manage varicose veins, switch your posture once in a while and refrain from crossing your leg when you sit.
Your baby will grow significantly during the third trimester. By the end of the trimester, your baby will grow to about 48 to 53cm tall and weigh around 2.7 to 4kg. Here are some of the highlights of your baby’s growth:
Your baby’s hair will be longer by week 27, and his or her eyebrows and eyelashes will be visible by now. By the 32th week of your pregnancy, your baby’s formerly transparent skin will become opaque as body fat accumulates, and the skin will gradually become pink and smooth by the 33th week. By the 34th week of your pregnancy, your baby’s fingernails have grown to his or her fingertips.
Around week 30, your baby’s eyes can open wide. Furthermore, your baby’s five senses will be quite developed by week 31, which means your baby can sense light and dark, hear your voice and taste the food you consume.
Your baby’s brain will grow much faster in the third trimester, tripling in weight during the final 13 weeks of your pregnancy. This trimester is also the time when your baby will start dreaming and regulating his or her own body temperature.
In the 7th and 8th month of your pregnancy, your baby will start getting all the calcium from you. The 36th week of your pregnancy is when your body transfers the most calcium to your baby. Your baby’s bones will remain soft to ease delivery. The skull bone, in particular, is designed to make it easier for your baby to pass through the birth canal.
Your baby will experience its first bowel movement in the third trimester. Towards the end of your pregnancy, your baby’s first poop— called meconium, starts to build up in the intestines. Meconium consists of the old blood cells and skin cells that your baby collected in his intestines. Meconium is usually seen in your baby’s first diapers, it will look very different from the baby poop that comes later.
It is normal for you to feel more nervous as you get closer to your “big day”. Keeping yourself educated and informed about childbirth can ease a lot of worries and doubts. If you haven’t already, schedule your checkups for the third trimester, and get professional consultation from your ob-gyn. Furthermore, attending classes and talks about childbirth allows you to learn more about your pregnancy and get support from other pregnant moms too.
Prenatal exercise brings a lot of health benefits for your and your baby, including boosting your mood, improving your pregnancy discomforts and even a quicker postnatal recovery. Meanwhile, prenatal exercise will help your baby to develop a fitter heart and boost brain health too. As long as you have your ob-gyn’s consent and practice pregnancy-safe exercise, you are good to keep moving up until your delivery day.
Now, finally a tip that doesn’t require much effort from you! Did you know that prenatal massages are one of the top favourite therapies by pregnant women? Not only is a prenatal massage helpful in easing your physical discomforts like leg cramps and backaches, it also helps you to destress and feel more relaxed. PNSG’s prenatal massage is the top choice of many expectant moms in Singapore when it comes to relieving their pregnancy discomforts. Interested in experiencing massage for pregnancy woman for yourself? Book a session with PNSG today!
Did this guide help you to learn more about what to expect in your third trimester? It won’t be long until you finally meet your baby! Hang in there, mommies-to-be!