Pregnancy usually lasts 40 weeks, counting from the first day of your last period and is grouped into three trimesters. Here are the top 6 things that you need to look out for during the third trimester of pregnancy.
1. Breast changes
A woman’s breasts increase in size and fullness during pregnancy. As the due date approaches, some pregnant women begin to leak colostrum from their breasts, which is the first milk that your breasts produce for the baby. It is a thick, yellowish fluid containing antibodies that protect newborns from infection.
Other body changes, like swelling and indigestion or heartburn might also occur in the third trimester. Find out how to treat these conditions on our guide to Body changes in pregnancy.
2. Growing bump
Your growing abdomen may affect your balance and lead you to you have backache. As your bump pushes up against your lungs and you have extra weight to carry around, you may feel breathless.
Pregnancy brings on a lot of changes in your body, it’s hard to know what’s normal, and some pregnancies bring unexpected symptoms that can be very worrying. If you’re worried about a specific ache in your body, here is our guide to Aches and pains in pregnancy you can’t ignore.
You should always consult your doctor or midwife if something worries you.
You may begin to feel more uncomfortable during your third trimester. It might be difficult to get a good night’s sleep, as you might be waking frequently to use the bathroom.
On top of that, leg cramps at night are common at around 29-32 weeks. You may find it hard to sleep because you can’t get comfortable. Try lying curled up on your side with a pillow between your legs and a cushion under your bump.
The lack of sleep from these inconveniences can make you feel a lot more tired than usual. Consultant dietitian Sarah Keogh explains how to stay active and energised throughout the whole nine months by Tackling tiredness with your pregnancy diet.
4. Weight gain
We know that gaining weight is part of the process of being pregnant and means that our baby is growing as she or he should. By the end of the third trimester, you will probably have gained around 25 lbs.
If you’re not sure about what the right amount of weight to gain during pregnancy is, or how many calories you need to eat, take a look at what the experts recommend for Weight gain during pregnancy.
5. Braxton Hicks
As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process. Your doctor/ midwife may check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date.
You might also have Braxton Hicks contractions. You may be aware of your uterus tightening from time to time. If you are in real labour, your contractions will become regular and get closer together. When they do become painful or frequent, contact your midwife or hospital.
On your first pregnancy the GP provides an initial examination, if possible before 12 weeks, and a further 5 examinations during the pregnancy, which are alternated with visits to the maternity unit/hospital. The schedule of visits may be changed by your GP and/or hospital obstetrician, depending on your individual situation. For susequent pregnancies you will have an initial examination and a further 6 examinations.
If you have a significant illness, e.g. diabetes or hypertension, you may have up to 5 additional visits to the GP.
If this is your first baby, your midwife or GP will measure the size of your womb and check which way up the baby is when you’re 31 weeks pregnant. They’ll also measure your blood pressure, test your urine for protein, and discuss the results of any screening tests from your last appointment.
If you want to get a 3D or 4D scan done, 30 weeks gestation is the optimal time to get them done. The 3D /4D baby scans gives you a unique opportunity see what your unborn baby is up to during pregnancy. Time is taken to capture 3D images and 4D video clips – the fourth dimension is the moving part.
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