Third Trimester

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The third trimester is the last phase of your pregnancy. It lasts from weeks 29 to 40 or months 7, 8, and 9. During this trimester, your baby grows, develops, and starts to change position to get ready for birth.

New Fetal Development

Your baby keeps growing during the third trimester. Usually, a full-term baby measures between 19 and 21 inches and weighs between 6 and 9 pounds.

Preparations for delivery begin as your baby turns its head down. During week 36, you should notice your baby’s head moving into the pelvic area, also called lightning. Your baby will face down for the last two weeks of your pregnancy.

Additionally, your baby continues to develop in the third trimester. This phase allows it to:

  • Open its eyes and see
  • Hear
  • Suck on its thumb
  • Cry
  • Smile
The brain of your baby is still developing. It develops kidneys and lungs. It adds body fat by around 16percent and muscle tone. Its skull’s top bones are soft to facilitate delivery. Most newborns have blue eyes at this period and will continue to be that hue for a few days or weeks following birth. It also possesses nails extending from the tips of its fingers and toes. The testicles, if it is a boy, have entered the scrotum. The vernix caseosa, a protective covering, covers your fetus’s skin during the third trimester. By week 40, the lanugo, a soft body hair, has almost all fallen out.

Your Body's Changes in the Third Trimester

Abdominal aches. Your belly becomes smaller as your child grows. This can cause you to experience some aches and discomfort. Feeling comfortable in bed at night and attempting to fall asleep could be challenging. You might even experience difficulty inhaling deeply.

Backache. Your back feels sore and achy due to the additional weight you’ve gained. As your ligaments relax in preparation for birth, you could also experience pain in your hips and pelvis. Try to adopt an appropriate posture to reduce the strain on your back. Use a chair that offers decent back support and sit up straight. Sleep on your side during the night. Lay on your side with a pillow between your legs at night. Throw on comfortable, low-heeled shoes with good arch support. Use a heating pad to relieve back pain. You should consult your physician before taking acetaminophen.

Bleeding. Near the end of your pregnancy, you may experience light bleeding, which could be the beginning of labor. A significant issue, such as placenta previa (where the placenta develops low and blocks the cervix), placental abruption (when the placenta separates from the uterine wall), or preterm labor, could, nevertheless, occasionally be indicated by spotting. As soon as you observe any bleeding, call your doctor.

Braxton-Hicks contractions. Mild contractions warming up your uterus for the impending genuine labor may begin to feel comfortable. Although Braxton-Hicks contractions are frequently less painful than actual labor contractions, they can nonetheless resemble delivery and lead to it in time. Real contractions eventually increase closer together and become more intense, one of their fundamental differences. Call your doctor if you experience regular contractions or are left feeling dizzy and short of breath afterward.

Breast enlargement or leaking. Your breasts could gain up to 2 pounds by the time your pregnancy is over. To prevent back pain, make sure you’re wearing a supportive bra. As your due date approaches, you may notice a yellowish liquid oozing from your nipples. Your baby will be fed by this material, called colostrum, in the first several days following childbirth.

Vivid dreams: In your third trimester, it’s normal to experience more intense dreams or nightmares. Your sleep may be disturbed by this. Pregnancy-related hormone levels are probably to blame for your bizarre monsters.

Clumsiness: During the third trimester, you could experience balance issues or awkwardness. You might misplace items. You’ve put on weight around your midsection, which is one of the causes. This hampers your body’s ability to balance.

Discharge. During the third trimester, vaginal discharge may increase. Call your doctor if the flow is strong enough to penetrate the panty liners. You can notice a thick, precise, or faintly blood-tinged discharge towards the delivery time. Your mucus plug indicates that your cervix has dilated in anticipation of labor. Although only around 8% of pregnant women have their water burst before the start of their contractions, if you suddenly notice a surge of fluid, it may indicate that your water has broken. After your water breaks, call your doctor as soon as you can.

Red Flag Signs

Any of these signs and symptoms could indicate a problem with your pregnancy. Don’t wait until your prenatal care appointment to bring it up. If you encounter any of the following:

  • severe cramping or pain in the abdomen

  • severe nausea or vomiting

  • Bleeding

  • severe dizziness

  • Having a painful or burning urinating

  • Too little weight gain or rapid weight gain (greater than 6.5 pounds per month)

  • What to avoid for your third trimester

You may not be doing much these days due to your growing tummy and lower-than-normal energy levels. The good news is that you don’t have much longer as you are in your third trimester. 

You can soon do many of these things again, but there is a handful you should avoid doing during your third trimester.

Traveling. Perhaps it goes without saying, but you probably shouldn’t leave your house too far in advance of your due date. Additionally, some forms of transportation, including flying, become prohibited after 36 weeks of pregnancy. 

You are lying down on your back.  It’s likely that you haven’t been exercising or sleeping on your stomach for a while. However, you should also avoid sleeping flat on your back during pregnancy since your uterus and baby’s combined weight can squeeze the vein that sends blood from your lower body to your heart, making you feel queasy and out of breath.

Saunas and hot baths. You’ve never needed a long soak more. However, you still need to wait until after giving birth to use hot tubs or saunas (specifically, anything that elevates your body temperature above 101 degrees F). If you decide to take a bath, keep the water between 97 and 98 degrees F and use a thermometer to check the temperature. Naturally, you should also maintain your equilibrium in the bathtub.

You are Exercising in a warm environment. Although you don’t have to quit exercising throughout your third trimester, you should avoid doing so in the summer. After all, now is not the time to experiment with hot (Bikram) yoga. Avoid going outside if you want to avoid being too hot or dehydrated.


Alcohol. Make it a mocktail because no amount of alcohol has been demonstrated to be safe during pregnancy.


Uncooked or raw food. Keep raw and undercooked items off your menu for the remainder of your pregnancy since they can contain bacteria that can cause infections (mainly poultry, eggs, meat, or fish).


Juices and milk without pasteurization. Unpasteurized milk and juices may not be found frequently, although you may come across some cheeses produced using this method. For instance, soft cheeses like Brie, goat, and feta are often to blame. Verify if the product’s ingredients were pasteurized by looking at the label.


The third trimester is a very crucial period that requires the utmost care. Correctly Taking care of yourself is essential for safe and happy delivery. Seek help if you have questions, as one can never be too safe!