The third trimester is perhaps the most exciting for all mothers. You’re over halfway through your pregnancy and your baby is in its final developing stage. The third trimester technically begins in week 28 and lasts until you give birth, which is roughly in the 40th week. Despite this, all mothers experience pregnancy differently and you may experience certain characteristics of the third trimester at different times. Something that remains the same for all mothers-to-be, is that they all have a lot of questions about the last stage of their pregnancy.
In the third trimester your baby will be in its final development phase and preparing for birth. Here’s some questions you might have googled.
Here are 10 questions to save you scouring through google.
How much should I eat during the third trimester?
During the third trimester your baby will be putting on a lot of mass, so there simply won’t be a lot of room for your stomach to stretch. You probably won’t feel like big meals, so try to eat smaller meals more frequently. An easy guide is to eat when you feel hungry and stop eating when you feel full, seems obvious right?
Don’t forget, it’s important to drink plenty of water. Try to consume at least 2 litres a day during your third trimester to keep you and your baby well hydrated.
How much should I exercise during the third trimester?
During your third trimester, you’ll be carrying a lot of extra weight and you probably won’t feel like doing a whole lot of exercise. Despite this, low-medium exercise during pregnancy has been found to be good for your baby’s health, as well as for your own physical and mental wellbeing. Just 20 minutes a day can boost your energy levels and keep your body fit and strong for an easy delivery.
Try to avoid activities that require jumping, hopping and bouncing, as you don’t want to put any excess strain on your back. Brisk walking is a great low impact activity, as is yoga and pilates. Water based activities are also beneficial, as you are supported while submerged, so try giving swimming or aqua aerobics a go.
Why does my back hurt so much?
It’s common for pregnant women to experience a sore back during pregnancy. Hormones relax your joints, while an extending abdomen pulls your centre of gravity forward. To ease the pain, try resting with your feet up.
What will my baby be doing during the third trimester?
During the third trimester, your baby will be putting on a lot of mass, so they may not be as dynamic within the womb as they were in the second trimester. You can still expect activity, however, there will be more kicks and punches than larger lurches, tosses and turns.
You may also find that your baby will position itself in the breech position more often, which could cause a bit of discomfort, as their head will be positioned underneath your ribs.
How does my baby change during the third trimester?
From the start of the third trimester until birth, your baby will be going through a lot of changes. By week 30 you can expect your baby’s touch receptors to be fully developed and within a week all of their senses will be in full development. By this stage, they will be able to pick up the sound of your voice and even perceive light and dark.
Your baby’s brain will be growing quickly during this period, so they will experience their first dreams and blinks and even start to regular their own body temperature. Their bones will also begin to develop, turning from cartilage to denser bone, so make sure to keep up your calcium intake. Toward the end of the third-trimester hair, skin and nails will also form, so make sure you have plenty of B-vitamins in your diet.
How will my body change during the third trimester?
There’s a few bodily changes that you can expect during the third trimester that may not be so pleasant. Heartburn and constipation can become frequent due to a large production of the hormone progesterone. Abdominal aches are common, as is a leaky bladder, frequent urination and lack of bladder control. You can expect your breasts to become enlarged and you may even experience leaky breasts, as your body prepares for breastfeeding. Braxton Hicks Contractions may kick in at later stages, it’s basically your body preparing for labour with practise contractions.
Why am I experiencing forgetfulness and mood swings?
Pregnancy hormones cause a variety of different conditions, ranging from forgetfulness to mood swings and even vivid dreams. Try not to let the stress take over. Eating healthy and exercise is the best way of coping.
How will I know when my water breaks?
Your water breaking is the result of a small opening in the sac that contains amniotic fluid. It can feel like a leak or a trickle of warm fluid and when it happens you will generally know, it’s hard to mistake from urine because of the distinct colour and smell. The fluid can leak for hours or even days, and be caused by your baby’s movements, your movements or contractions. You should talk to a midwife immediately, but try to remember the colour, odour, amount and time of the water breaking, so that they can tailor help to your needs.
How do I prepare for breastfeeding?
There’s no need to prepare your body for breastfeeding, as your bodies natural hormonal changes do their own work to get your breasts ready. The best thing you can do is to continue to eat healthily and keep up the fluid intake.
If you have any questions regarding your pregnancy or would like to book an appointment, please don’t hesitate to give us a call.
Dr Brown is one of the most trusted obstetricians in Sydney and will be more than happy to give advice and compassionate care in every way possible.