Baby's Almost Here - Are You Ready?
The last three months of pregnancy is called the third trimester. As the delivery date approaches, there is a growing excitement, a feeling of anxiety, and a growing anticipation of the upcoming birth of your baby.
The third trimester begins at 28 weeks and ends with the delivery of your baby, between the 37th and 42nd week of pregnancy. During the third trimester, the baby's organs and body systems are fully developed. At this point of your pregnancy, the baby reacts to noises outside the womb. The baby can recognize familiar noises and sounds. They may recognize the sound of your voice and other members of the family. The baby can recognize a favorite song and even the sound of the dog barking. The baby will respond to these outside influences by actively kicking and moving around in the womb.
Growth of the Baby
In the seventh month of the third trimester, the baby will grow to about two and a half pounds and 15 inches long. The baby can open and close their eyes and suck on their thumbs. Because of the babies expanding weight, there is less room in the uterus to move around. In the eighth month, the baby continues to gain weight and their bones grow stronger. At the end of the 8th month, the unborn baby weights about 4 pounds and is 16 - 18 inches in length. In the ninth month of the third trimester, the baby is fully developed and weights between 6 to 9 pounds. The baby is now at its birth length, which can span up to 20 inches long.
By the third trimester, a pregnant woman will feel bloated, exhausted, and is more than ready to give birth to their baby. As the due date approaches, the mother-to-bee is anxious about the impending birth. They are apprehensive about the health of their baby, the pain during labor and delivery, and if they will be a good mother. It is very important that the pregnant mother take care of herself, both physically and emotionally, to ensure the well-being of their unborn baby.
Symptoms of the Third Trimester
During the third trimester, many pregnant women develop swelling of the hands and feet. This is a normal condition. While some mild swelling is perfectly normal, contact your doctor if the swelling last more than 24 hours, or your face and hands starts swelling. When these symptoms are accompanied by rapid weight gain and high blood pressure, this could be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
The growth of the baby during the third trimester can cause the joints to relax between the bones, causing back pain. It is recommended that you do light exercise during the third trimester of pregnancy. Doing pelvis exercise will help get rid of the pain in your back.
To combat frequent heartburn during the third trimester, eat smaller meals and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Try to limit the amount of fluids you drink after 6pm to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom at night.
Around the eighth or ninth month, you will begin experiencing Braxton-Hicks contractions. These contractions are considered false labor. Braxton-Hicks contractions will cause some minor discomfort, but isn't as strong and intense as real labor pains. During the third trimester, shortness of breath will occur because the expanding uterus is decreasing your lung capacity, making it difficult to breathe. Do not worry about the unborn baby because it is getting an adequate supply of oxygen.
As your pregnancy nears the end, you may feel both impatient and excited about seeing your baby for the first time. Get as much rest as possible before the baby arrives. Once your bundle of joy makes their appearance in the world, you will not get much sleep for the first three months. Spend time with your partner planning for the arrival of the baby. Make final preparations for the nursery and make decisions about feeding and caring for your newborn.