In the final weeks of your pregnancy, also known as the third trimester, you are probably excited and also exhausted from the increased changes in your body. You may need to urinate more frequently as your future child moves deeper into your womb in preparation for birth. By the third trimester, the significant risks associated with premature birth markedly decrease, according to the Mayo Clinic. You are truly heading toward the exciting finish line of delivering a healthy son or daughter.
The third trimester of pregnancy begins at week 28, according to the Mayo Clinic. At this point, more than 90 percent of the babies born between weeks 28 and 40 become healthy children. However, most women don’t give birth until around week 40.
During this final stage of pregnancy, your baby’s development significantly increases, according to the Mayo Clinic. At the beginning of the third trimester, your future child’s eyes open. By week 32, your baby’s eyes can see light and other shapes. By week 37, your baby has fully developed all the organs, skin and systems needed to function in the outside world.
Size of Your Growing Baby
As each week passes and you get closer to delivering your new baby, the size of the fetus will increase, according to the Mayo Clinic. While healthy babies come in many sizes, the average newborn will weigh about 7 ½ lbs. and be about 14 inches in length.
Your New Size
As you near the end of your pregnancy, you’ve probably gained anywhere from 25 to 35 lbs. in body weight, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your growing child accounts for part of this weight gain, but so does the placenta, amniotic fluid and increased fat and water retention in various parts of your body, including your breasts and uterus. Likely, you’ve also gained about 2 lbs. of breast tissue. This also helps you prepare for nursing, if you so choose.
Contractions are usually telltale signs that your baby is on the way out of your birth canal, according to the Mayo Clinic. However, you may experience a number of false labor contractions during the third trimester. Weak, intermittent contractions are usually nothing to be concerned with and are just warm-ups to get you ready for the actual labor, according to the Mayo Clinic. Once the contractions become stronger and closer, your new son or daughter is likely on the way into the world outside your womb.
- pregnancy image by AGphotographer from Fotolia.com