The 3 Trimesters Of Pregnancy: The Third Trimester

third trimester

The trimesters of pregnancy are divided up into three stages which are marked by specific fetal developments. In the past two months, we have gone over the first and second trimesters, leaving us with the last stage of pregnancy, the third trimester. The third trimester of pregnancy spans from week 28 until birth, which is generally around the 40th week of pregnancy. The trimesters of pregnancy help women to understand the changes happening within their bodies and aid in understanding the development of their baby. 

The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

Here at Kernodle OB/GYN, we are committed to ensuring you understand your body as a woman and the three trimesters of pregnancy. To finish off our series of going in-depth about the three trimesters of pregnancy, continue reading to learn more about the final trimester. 

Trimester Three

Congratulations, you’ve made it to the final trimester of pregnancy! During the third trimester, you may feel very pregnant and ready to have your baby in your arms, but have to pass time until your due date. Adjusting sleeping positions, daily routine, and being physically uncomfortable are normal. At the end of week 37, your baby is considered full-term. Without a doubt, the third trimester is a time of final preparations and anticipation.

Weeks 28 To 31

Between weeks 28 and 31, your baby will grow roughly from 2 pounds, 2 ounces to 3 pounds, and measure about 10.8 inches. Your baby is adding layers of fat which helps provide warmth after birth. By the end of 31 weeks, your baby is peeing several cups of urine a day into the amniotic fluid. 

Weeks 32 To 36

These few weeks are especially exciting times. Your baby now has completely developed their eyelashes and eyebrows and may even have some hairs on their head. The fine hairs on your baby, called lanugo, have begun falling off, and there are billions of developed neurons helping them listen, feel, and somewhat see. By this time in your third trimester, your baby’s eyes can detect light, and its lungs are almost completely matured. By the end of week 36, your baby weighs a little under 6 pounds.

Weeks 37 To 40

The final stretch is here, and it won’t be long now. In fact, 95% of all babies are born within two weeks of their due date. By week 39, your baby’s lungs have reached full maturity, ready to breathe and cry once they make their appearance into the world. At this point, you should still feel movement every day as your baby is positioning itself for labor and delivery. 

Trimester Three Symptoms

Because of your growing belly, the third trimester can be physically challenging. On top of normal pregnancy symptoms, you may also begin to feel a combination of worry, excitement, impatience, and stress. Some common third trimester symptoms include

  • Braxton Hicks contractions (“fake” contractions)
  • Backaches
  • Leaky breasts
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Sciatica (tingling, numbness, or shooting pain in the lower back and down to the leg)
  • Frequent urination 
  • Insomnia or trouble sleeping
  • Hemorrhoids

If you experience bleeding at any time, extreme swelling, fever, or a sudden decrease in activity by your baby, it is important that you contact your healthcare provider immediately.

Knowing about the trimesters of pregnancy can help you have a happy and healthy pregnancy. Kernodle OB/GYN is here to guide you through with full-scope individualized women’s health care, including gynecological care, midwifery services, and low- and high-risk maternity care for women and their families. Do you have more questions about the third trimester of pregnancy? Check out our website or give us a call for more information.

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