Welcome to the final lap of pregnancy – the third trimester. You have got only a few weeks to go and then your bundle of joy will be in your arms. Your belly might seem like it’s almost there but the baby still has plenty of growing to do. In this trimester, your baby is growing fast, from 2 ½ pounds in week 28 to 6-9 pounds in week 40. As the baby grows the room in your tummy becomes smaller for it, which results in some serious kicks and pokes in your gut.
However, this is also the most challenging phase of pregnancy. Due to all the extra weight and growing belly, backaches will be a common problem. You might also feel discomfort in your pelvis and hips as your ligaments loosen to prepare for labour. By the end of your pregnancy, your breasts will have grown by as much as 2 pounds. There might be more vaginal discharge during this trimester.
Your baby’s bone development happens in this trimester so make sure you consume calcium-rich diet. The skin that was see through in the previous trimesters will begin to obtain opacity. In the third trimester, the baby’s brain grows faster than ever.
Month 7 (week 28 – week 32)
The 7th month marks the beginning of your third trimester of pregnancy. The baby is now about 14 inches long and weighs 2-4 pounds. The hearing ability has fully developed and the baby can now change positions. The baby also responds to stimuli including sound, pain, and light. The layers of fat are beginning to form as the baby gets ready for life outside the womb. The brain is growing rapidly and so is its head to accommodate it. The lungs and digestive tract are almost mature and the baby can open and shut its eyes.
Make sure you consume a diet that is rich in iron and calcium as they are required for baby’s red cell and bone development. It is a good time to adapt your exercise regime and introduce some exercises that help you stretch your body and open it up for the labour. Enrol yourself in a yoga class for pregnant women. Keeping yourself active will also help you avoid pregnancy woes such as leg cramps and backaches.
As your bump is growing, finding a comfortable position to sleep in will be a task. The growing belly will give you backaches, switch to low-heeled and comfortable shoes. Avoid lifting weights as it might put a strain on your softened ligaments. If you haven’t quit smoking yet, this might be the right time to do so. Within days of quitting smoking, your baby will benefit from an increased oxygen supply.
Month 8 (week 33 – week 36)
Your little one is now almost 18 inches long and weighs close to 5 pounds. The baby’s brain is developing rapidly and the baby can see and hear. Most internal systems are well-developed; however, the lungs might still be immature. By this time, the baby’s movements reduce as it is getting bigger and there is not enough space for it to move.
During this period, you may notice swelling in feet, hands, face, and ankle, which is due to water retention and is called oedema. Ironically, drinking more water will help, but if it is still severe and you start to have headaches, contact your doctor. You may begin to feel increased pressure on your lower abdomen and notice that your baby is gradually dropping. Walking can be a little difficult but hey! Your lungs and stomach can finally stretch, so, breathing and eating are easier.
Going into labour in this month is normal. Learn the true signs of labour and always have enough fuel in your car. Make sure your husband is approachable at all times and there is someone with you at home.
Month 9 (week 37 – Delivery)
Your baby is now ready to say hello to the world. Your baby is still developing a layer of fat to help control body temperature. All your baby’s organs are fully developed and in the right place. Your baby’s brain and bone have developed enough to make the baby ready for the world outside the womb.
You can get into labour anytime in this month and you should be prepared all the time. If you are past your due date, there is nothing to worry as doctors wait for 10-14 days after the due date to induce labour.
Post the delivery, you have had a rebirth and now feel like a completely different person. YOU ARE A MOTHER NOW! Congratulations! Your newborn’s vision is pretty blurry at this stage. It can only see well up to about 45 cm/18 in, so keep your face close to your baby’s whenever they’re alert – their favourite subject is a loved one’s face.
During the last trimester of pregnancy, your baby grows quickly. Its eyes, bones, organs, brain, and lungs are developing and the nutritional needs are also increasing. Eating a well-balanced diet is extremely necessary during pregnancy. Your baby needs good amounts of protein, calcium, fibre, and fat. To meet the nutritional requirements, eat products like chicken, lentils, soy, dairy products, broccoli, almonds, orange juice, avocados, nuts, olive oil, etc. Eat healthy and stay happy!
As far as staying fit is concerned, during this trimester, stick to low-impact exercises and follow the same routine as the second trimester. Don’t exert your body and never perform a physical activity that is not comfortable for you.