Pregnancy Week-By-Week Guide: The Third Trimester

The Third Trimester: What To Expect?

Week 28

Baby: Your baby measures about 10 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 15.75 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.4 pounds. Brain waves show rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, which means your baby may be dreaming. Eyelids are opening. Branches of lungs are developing.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus extends well above your navel. As the baby gets bigger and stronger this month, you may be experiencing leg cramps and mild swelling of ankles and feet, difficulty sleeping, shortness of breath, lower abdominal aches, clumsiness, or scattered Braxton Hicks contractions (hardening and relaxing of the uterus, like a rehearsal for labor). You may also be urinating more frequently again as the uterus continues to push on your bladder, at times the third trimester can feel like the first!

The Third Trimester

Week 29

Baby: Your baby’s eyes are almost always blue and can distinguish bright sunlight or artificial light through the uterine wall. The baby is performing fewer acrobatics as conditions in the womb become more cramped, but he’s still doing a lot of kicking and stretching.

Mum-to-be: You’ve probably gained 19-25 pounds. You still have some time to go, so you may want to remind yourself of signs of premature labor, including menstrual-like cramps or lower back pain, a trickle of amniotic fluid, or a watery pinkish or brownish discharge preceded sometimes by the passage of a thick, gelatinous mucus plug. Tell your health care provider ASAP if that happens — they can sometimes stop labor from progressing with bed rest, medications, and possibly also hospitalisation.

Week 30

Baby: Your baby measures about 17 inches from head to toe and weighs about 3 pounds. Baby is growing plumper and beginning to control its own body temperature. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed, and hair on the head is getting thicker. Head and body are now proportioned like a newborn’s. Hands are now fully formed and fingernails are growing.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus is about 4 inches above your navel, and it may be hard to believe you still have about 10 weeks to go as the baby continues to push on your ribs. You may be feeling more discomfort in your pelvis and abdomen. You’ll probably be gaining about a pound a week.

What’s Happening Inside You In The Third Trimester?

Your baby changes position frequently and responds to stimuli, including sound, pain, and light. At the end of the seventh month, fat begins to be deposited on your baby.The amniotic fluid begins to diminish.

Week 31

Baby: Your baby can hear distinct sounds, including familiar voices and music.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus now fills a large part of your abdomen, and you’ve probably gained 21-27 pounds. You’re probably anticipating the birth – it won’t be long now.

Week 32

Baby: Your baby measures about 18.9 inches long from head to toe and weighs almost 4 pounds. Baby fills almost all the space in your uterus now, but may still have enough room to do somersaults. A layer of fat is forming under your baby’s skin. The baby is practicing opening his eyes and breathing.

Mum-to-be: You’ll probably start seeing your practitioner every two weeks until the last month, when you’ll likely switch to weekly visits. You may continue to get backaches and leg cramps. You may also notice a yellowish fluid, called colostrum, leaking from your breasts — it comes before milk production.

Week 33

Baby: The next few weeks will mark lots of growth in the baby. The baby will gain more than half its birth weight in the next seven weeks. Your baby begins to move less now as it runs out of room and curls up with knees bent, chin resting on chest, and arms and legs crossed.

Mum-to-be: You’ve gained 22-28 lbs by now. Of the pound a week you’re gaining now, roughly half is going to your baby.

The Third Trimester

Week 34

Baby: Your baby measures about 19.8 inches from head to toe and weighs about 5 pounds. The baby is probably settling into the head-down position, although it might not be final. Organs are now almost fully mature, except for lungs, and the skin is pink instead of red. Fingernails reach the ends of fingers, but toenails are not yet fully grown. The baby might have lots of hair and may not move as often, due to the tight fit.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus hardens and contracts as practice for labor, known as Braxton Hicks contractions, but you may not feel them yet. Your pelvis has expanded and may ache, especially at the back. The uterus is pushed hard against your lower ribs and your rib cage may be sore, and your navel is probably pushing out as a result of your abdomen being stretched.

What’s Happening Inside You?

By the end of these four weeks, your baby will weigh as much as 5lbs. Your baby continues to mature and develop reserves of body fat. You may notice that your baby is kicking more. The baby’s brain is developing rapidly at this time, and he or she can hear. Most internal systems are well developed, but the lungs may still be immature.

Week 35

Baby: Your baby’s lungs are almost fully developed. It’s still building fat deposits beneath its skin to keep warm after it leaves your womb.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus is about 6 inches above your navel. By now, you’ve probably gained 24-29 pounds. Your doctor will test you for Group B streptococcus bacteria between now and 37 weeks.

Week 36

Baby: Your baby measures about 20.7 inches from head to toe and weighs about 6 pounds. The baby may drop lower in your abdomen, usually assuming the head-down position to prepare for birth. The brain has been developing rapidly, and your baby is practicing blinking.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus has grown bigger these last few weeks and is probably up under your ribs. But you’re in the home stretch! After this week, you’ll see your doctor weekly. You may switch between fatigue and extra bursts of energy. You may also have an achier back and feel heaviness and discomfort in your buttocks and pelvis.The Third Trimester is almost over!

 

Week 37

Baby: Your baby is about 21 inches from head to toe and weighs almost 6.5lbs. The baby is getting rounder every day, and skin is getting pinker and losing its wrinkly appearance. Your baby’s head is usually positioned down into the pelvis by now.

Mum-to-be: Your uterus may stay the same size as it was for the last week or two. Your weight gain should be about as high as it will go, about 25 to 35 lbs. About this time, your doctor might perform a pelvic exam to check on the progress of your pregnancy.

Week 38

Baby: Most of your baby’s downy hair, lanugo, and whitish coating, vernix, are disappearing. Your baby is getting its antibodies from you to protect against illness. The baby’s growth is slowing, but fat cells under skin get plumper for life outside the womb. Your baby is almost ready for birth.

Mum-to-be: You’re probably not getting any bigger, but you may be feeling more uncomfortable. Make sure you have a bag packed for when you deliver. It won’t be long now — 95% of all babies are born within two weeks of their mother’s due date.

Week 39

Baby: Your baby’s arm and leg muscles are strong, and toenails and fingernails are in place. The baby’s head has dropped into the mother’s pelvis — a head-down position lets you breathe a little easier.

Mum-to-be: You’re probably feeling quite large and uncomfortable. Your uterus has filled your pelvis and most of your abdomen, pushing everything else out of the way. Your center of gravity has shifted, so you may feel clumsier than usual.

Week 40

Baby: Boys often tend to weigh a little more than girls. More lanugo falls out, but some may remain at birth on the baby’s shoulders, folds of skin, and backs of ears.

Mum-to-be: It’s almost time! Birth should happen soon now, but don’t worry if your due date comes and goes. Only 5% of all babies are born exactly on the predicted due date. It may be more difficult for you to get a good night’s sleep, because it’s hard to find a comfortable position. Still, try to rest as much as possible, with your feet up if you can.

Congratulations! The Third Trimester is done. Many mums-to-be often go over their due date as their little bundle of joy was so comfy and content they didn’t want to move.

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