3rd Trimester Pregnancy Body Changes & Tips That Help

3rd Trimester Pregnancy Body Changes

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 larger and more 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 Changes During The Third Trimester

  • Hair & Nails Grow Faster

Your hair and nails are likely to grow faster during your pregnancy. This is due to increased oestrogen and blood flow in your body. However, your hair and nails’ texture tends to be more brittle and soft during pregnancy, which means they may split more easily. After childbirth, you may experience hair fall as your oestrogen level drops, but no worries; they will grow back to your normal volume and texture within four to six months after childbirth.

  • Sensitive to light

Your eyes might be more sensitive to light during pregnancy, which could lead to dizziness, headaches or migraine.

Furthermore, being pregnant can blur your eyesight, a symptom caused by fluid retention behind or within your eyeballs.

After you give birth, your vision usually returns to normal as fluid retention improves. Although vision changes are considered one of the common pregnancy symptoms, you should seek professional advice if you are experiencing more severe vision discomfort.

  • Bleeding gums & teeth

During pregnancy, you may have gingivitis if you notice swelling or bleeding gums when brushing your teeth.

Gingivitis is caused by hormonal changes in your body, which can make your gums more vulnerable to plague and eventually cause redness or bleeding.

To prevent pregnancy gingivitis, take care of your oral hygiene and avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol. In addition, you can increase your daily calcium intake with food such as Greek yoghourt, salmon and kale.

  • Swollen breast

Breast changes often happen during the early stage of your pregnancy. This could include breast swelling, tenderness or soreness. Moreover, the skin surrounding your nipples tends to darken and become bigger.

You might also start releasing a milky fluid called colostrum around the third trimester, which can happen earlier for some expectant moms.

Wear bras with soft and natural fabrics to ease your breast discomfort, and avoid the ones with underwires.

  • Higher Body Temperature

Your body and skin will feel hotter than usual in this trimester due to increased blood volume. Another reason for your rising body temperature is your increased metabolism. Stay hydrated during this period and wear breathable clothes.

  • Stretch Marks

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 minimise their appearance.

  • Hyperpigmentation

Pregnancy pigmentation could make the skin around your nipples, inner thighs, genitals and neck darker.While pigmentation usually fades in a few months after childbirth, certain stretch marks may remain after your baby is born. Creams, ointments and serums might help to lighten stretch marks.

  • Belly button pop up

Due to your growing abdomen, your belly button will likely pop out around the second trimester. This is a normal sign caused by your expanding uterus. You may use a belly button cover or a tummy sleeve to avoid the irritation of your belly button rubbing against your clothes. Your belly button will return to normal a few months after your labour.

  • Braxton Hicks Contractions

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.

  • Heartburn

You will experience heartburn during the last few weeks of your pregnancy. As your baby grows, your uterus pushes your stomach upwards, causing a 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

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 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.

  • Loose joints & ligaments

Your joints and ligaments will loosen as you get pregnant, especially around your pelvis. This is your body’s way of preparing you for delivery.

This is because your body is releasing a pregnancy hormone called relaxin, which stretches the joints and ligaments all over your body.

With your abdomen expanding and your body releasing relaxation, you will likely have an altered walking posture commonly referred to as the “pregnancy waddle”.

To ease the body discomforts caused by loosened joints and ligaments, try prenatal yoga under the guidance of trained professionals.

  • Increase feet size

Don’t be surprised if you need shoes in a bigger size during your pregnancy. Like most pregnancy body changes, hormonal changes are the reason behind this. Other changes that you might experience include swelling ankles and flatter feet. Wear supportive shoes that don’t squeeze any part of your feet for more comfort during this period.

Your Baby’s Growth During The Third Trimester

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:

  • Hair, Skin & Nails

Your baby’s hair will be longer by week 27, and his or her eyebrows and eyelashes will be visible now.

By the 32nd 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 33rd week.

By the 34th week of your pregnancy, your baby’s fingernails have grown to his or her fingertips.

  • Five Senses

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.

  • Brain

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 body temperature.

  • Bones

In the 7th and 8th months 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.

  • Digestive System

Your baby will experience its first bowel movement in the third trimester. Towards the end of your pregnancy, your baby’s first poop, meconium, starts to build up in the intestines.

Meconium consists of the old blood and skin cells your baby collects 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.

Tips On Easing Your Third Trimester

  • Learn More About Childbirth

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.

  • Stay Active

Prenatal exercise brings many health benefits for you and your baby, including boosting your mood, improving your pregnancy discomforts and even quicker postnatal recovery.

Meanwhile, prenatal exercise will help your baby develop a fitter heart and boost brain health.

As long as you have your ob-gyn’s consent and practice pregnancy-safe exercises, you can keep moving until your delivery day.

  • Embrace Your Body

Your body is going through all these changes because you are creating a new life within yourself! So instead of looking at your body changes negatively, focus on the bright side and embrace this new and stronger version of yourself.

  • Don’t Compare Yourself

Every woman and every pregnancy are unique in its own way. Even if you eat right and exercise during pregnancy, it is still completely normal for you to gain some extra pounds.

So don’t compare your current body with your body before pregnancy or the body of other women.

Always remind yourself that your body is doing its best to grow and nurture your baby, and that you are physically and mentally stronger than before for going through this incredible journey.

  • Get Support From Friends & Family

Surround yourself with close friends and family, and remind yourself that you are loved regardless of how your appearance changes. Accept compliments from your loved ones, and share your thoughts and emotions with them.

  • Get A Prenatal Massage

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, but it also helps you to destress and feel more relaxed.

PNSG’s prenatal massage is the top choice of many expectant moms in Singapore to relieve their pregnancy discomforts.

Closing Words

Interested in experiencing massage for pregnancy woman yourself? Book a pregnancy spa session with PNSG today!

Did this guide of 3rd-trimester tips 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!

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