You finally reached the third trimester of your pregnancy. The morning sickness may be behind you, but the third trimester does come with its own discomforts. The silver lining to the aches and pains is the nearing of your due date. Whether your baby shows up early, late or right on time, take some time to familiarize yourself with the basics of the third trimester to prepare.
The third trimester is the final one of a full-term pregnancy. While some women deliver premature babies before reaching the third trimester, most make it to the final trimester, which spans from weeks 29 to 40. When you reach 37 weeks, you are considered full term, even though the due date is still three weeks away.
Aches and pains, along with other discomforts, are common during the last trimester. Backaches and hip problems are common because of the growing belly and the hormones that relax the pelvic joints. Your expanding belly might also cause swelling in the feet, ankles, legs and arms. Many women feel tired or low on energy during the final trimester. Heartburn and frequent urination might affect you.
At the beginning of the third trimester, the baby is around 14 inches long with a weight of about 2 1/2 lbs. The baby grows quickly during the final trimester. By the time your baby is full-term at 37 to 40 weeks, she might weigh between 4 lbs. and 9 lbs. Typical length is around 18 to 20 inches. The skin becomes smoother and thickens during this trimester. The eyelids separate and the baby begins opening and closing them during sleep and awake times. The third trimester is a critical time for lung development, as they become more mature during this time. Most babies also assume the head-down position and drop down into the pelvis as delivery day nears.
Exercise keeps you healthy and might also help relieve some of the aches and pains you experience during the last trimester. Exercise can also help boost your energy levels. Try to get up and move around several times a day, especially if you sit at a desk all day. Smaller meals eaten more often help keep your energy levels up. Many women find it difficult to eat a large meal in the third trimester anyway.
Early in the third trimester is an ideal time to make final plans for the delivery. While most women are full-term when they go into labor, it is possible that you will have your baby early. Take care of any hospital paperwork ahead of time so you don’t have to do it while in labor. At the beginning of the third trimester, your health care provider will probably want to see you every two or three weeks. By 37 weeks, you will likely make weekly trips for checkups until your baby is born.