Third Trimester Of Pregnancy By Weeks: Joyfully Expecting The Baby
June 6, 2018 15:48 By Fabiosa
The last trimester of pregnancy is considered relatively safe, since the baby is already almost completely formed and should only gain the missing height and weight. However, this time is difficult for the mother in terms of discomfort, as the body undergoes huge changes. In order to make this period more pleasant, we recommend you to find out what happens to the baby, and rejoice at each new achievement of your long-awaited son or daughter.
The baby has significantly grown by now, about 13.7" (35 cm), and weighs just over 2.2 lbs (1 kilogram). Skin folds are smoothing out by increasing lipid mass. It is able to distinguish colors, actively grasp, suck, swallow, clench fists, and inflate cheeks. Although childbirth is still undesirable this early, the baby is already quite self-sustainable, that is, it can survive and catch up with its peers who were born in due time.
With every day, mom becomes less mobile, short of breath, and it takes her progressively longer to do chores. In the last months of pregnancy, a special pillow easing the pressure of the growing tummy on the spine will become excellent help. It is also recommended to revise the diet and adjust it in such a way that the digestive processes cause as little discomfort as possible.
Weighing 2.4-2.6 lbs (1,100-1,200 g) the child is already about 13-15" (35-38 cm) tall. Fissures and convolutions have started to form in its brain, that is, it begins to develop the cogitative function, learns to control its body, in particular, to blink. The skeleton is in the final stage of formation, but the bones are still soft enough. There is less and less room in the uterine cavity for free movement, but the baby still has time to roll over if it is in the foot presentation position. By the way, you can already try to guess if whether the child will be right-handed or left-handed. You can figure it out during ultrasound by observing which of the hands the baby pulls into the mouth more often.
At this time, the mother faces:
- vascular asterisks on the skin;
- swelling in the legs.
A woman should follow doctor’s recommendations, monitor the pressure and weight gain. As for swelling, it is a protective function, as it serves to minimize the traumatic effect of birth on the mother’s soft tissues and the head of the fetus.
The child has grown a little more - it weighs about 3.3 lbs (1.5 kg), and is 16" (40 cm) tall. The baby can adjust the temperature of its body, blink, cry, and is also ready for independent breathing, so that the survival rate for this period is 90% at birth. It moves more actively, which can be seen directly on the woman’s belly.
Mom becomes more prone to mood swings due to constant fatigue. It’s harder for her to breathe because of the pressure the uterus applies on the diaphragm and other organs, which also causes constipation and frequent urination. It is possible for varicose veins to show, which can be dealt with by using special stockings. Ask your doctor for specific recommendations as for their choice. At this stage, colostrum is often exluded from the breasts, making it necessary to use supporting bras and special pads for them.
In this period, the baby becomes much prettier. The weight by the end of 34 weeks can reach 3.9 lbs (1,800 g) already with a height of 15-16.5" (40-42 cm); the skin becomes smooth due to a thicker fatty layer. The lanugo - the soft, downy hair covering the baby’s body, completely disappears or gets thinner. There are real hairs on the head, eyes react to light, which can be seen with ultrasound. If you're lucky, you can observe even how the baby pulls its finger and closes the eyelid; if it accidentally touches the cornea – the protective reflexes get stronger. This period is also characterized by rapid brain development.
During this period, the child should already assume an anatomically correct position. If this has not happened yet, it still has enough space and time to turn over. The amniotic fluid constantly circulates in the airways of the baby – this is how it prepares for its first breath. In connection with the accelerated accumulation of iron in the baby’s liver, the mother may experience anemia, which is easy to deal with by revising the diet. At this stage, the babies’ genitals are completely formed, but the testicles may not yet fall from the abdominal cavity in boys.
At this stage, mothers experience the following phenomena:
- shortness of breath;
- feeling hot due to accelerated metabolism;
- heavier vaginal discharge, which should still be transparent or slightly whitish.
The child's movements are no longer felt so distinctly, as it has less and less room. Pay special attention to baby moving the head, arms, and legs. The usual recommendations still apply - monitor the weight gain, blood pressure, and swelling.
At this time, the doctor prescribes the blood and urine tests, does ultrasound, which helps to compare the baby’s weight and height to normal development parameters, and to monitor the baby’s heartbeat rate, motor activity, as well as the maturity of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid, and the condition of the uterine cervix. You may need to undergo dopplerography of the blood vessels to control uterine and fetoplacental blood circulation.
The baby looks quite like a newborn - the neck becomes slightly longer, the facial features become clearer, all organs function. Its motor activity is significantly reduced because of relatively large height and weight (about 17" (45 cm) and 7.7 lbs (3.5 kg), respectively). Approximately from the 35 week’s end, it will gradually lower into the pelvic region.
At this time, the mother can feel a slight relief - all the alarming symptoms, including shortness of breath, become less noticeable. Particular attention should be paid to vaginal secretions - it is normal for them to contain more mucus, but their color should still be clear or slightly whitish. The reasons for medical attention include abnormally heavy discharge, a pinkish shade, a change in its structure (more watery), as these signs can indicate premature amniotic fluid release or the presence of blood in them.
It is not recommended to plan long or distant trips, as at this time weekly visits to a doctor are required.
Here, the nine month of pregnancy come to an end. At this time, it is important to pay particular attention to your sensations, since you may go into labor at any time. This means that very soon, you will hold your long-awaited child in your arms.
Every woman has her own attitude towards pregnancy - some consider it to be the happiest days of their lives before the baby's born, and enjoy everything, including fatigue; others see this time as the most challenging. But no matter how hard it is, don’t forget about the huge journey a little human takes in these 9 months, and how important it is for the baby to feel love and support of its mother.
The material in this article is for informational purposes only and does not replace the advice of a certified specialist.