When the third trimester begins, your top priority is to set everything for the birth of the baby because premature birth is a possibility at this time. Have you discussed birth plans with your doctor? Are you opting for elective caesarean or do you want to go for natural labor? Would you accept medication during labor? Will your partner be with you during the birth? Work on a detailed birthing plan with your health care provider well in advance. You sure don’t want to be surprised later on!
You will feel frequent movements as the baby gets more active. Any change in movements or lack of them need to be followed up immediately. You will notice that the baby responds more to sounds and will feel the ‘kick’ more often. Varicose veins can actually get worse and you might notice swelling in the legs because the constant pressure. You will gain weight drastically during this trimester. Because of the expanding uterus, you might feel reflux or heartburn but if you take short frequent meals, it should help.
The baby is capable of crying and thumb-sucking will increase to strengthen its jaw muscles. Stretch marks will show now. Apply oil/cream in your abdomen and breast area. If you have oily skin, the marks may not be that visible. Because by now you are huge, take special care while walking or climbing. Take small sure steps. With very few weeks left to the birth, enjoy the little pleasures—go for a movie, catch up with family and friends, discuss your concerns and prepare your house for the arrival of the baby.
Your doctor would have already discussed the due date, but any day can be ‘the’ day. Rest well and continue with healthy eating. The visits to the doctor in the third trimester will be very frequent with the requirement of an additional scan. The doctor will outline the signs of labor and when to expect it. If you have taken pre natal classes, you will be in a better position to know when it’s time to go to the hospital or birthing centre.
The baby’s lungs are ready now to take its first breath as an individual. Its mouth has learnt to suck in order to begin breastfeeding. The baby now easily weighs about 6 to 7 pounds or 2.7 to 3.2kg and about 14 to 17 inches long. The baby experiences Rapid-Eye Movement (REM) in his/her sleep. The bones are developed and muscular strength is high. It is said that a new-born baby can bear the entire weight of his body in his single hand, if needed. The kicks are more powerful. The doctor can give you an approximate measure of the baby just by looking at the ultrasound. Most doctors will tell you whether the baby is huge or small. The baby will now be in a head-down position ready for birth.
You are about to begin a new phase as a mother and with all the care that you have taken, prepare yourself mentally for another exciting period of your life.