What Happens During the Third Trimester?

What Should You Expect During the Third Trimester? 

The third trimester can be the most challenging one for a variety of reasons. For one, it can be tiring, and the pregnancy may seem like it has lasted an eternity. You may also feel the need to pee frequently and have backaches and tiredness. If this is your first pregnancy and you don’t know what to expect during the final months of pregnancy, read on.


How Long Does the Trimester Last?


The third trimester starts at around week 29 and lasts until you give birth, which could be up to 40 weeks. Generally, it lasts for around 9 to 13 weeks. The baby is considered full-term at around week 37.  While traveling isn’t advised in the third trimester, the doctor may permit air travel until the 32nd week, depending on the pregnancy and your health.


How Does the Baby Develop During This Time?


The fetal development is almost complete during the third trimester. During this time, the baby’s lungs and kidneys are maturing. At around week 28, the baby’s eyes open partially because the eyelashes have formed. In the following weeks, the baby begins to kick and stretch. At around week 30, the baby’s hair begins to grow, and the eyes open wide.


Babies grow rapidly at around week 32, and they practice breathing. The toenails are visible, and the layer of lanugo formed at around week 20 weeks starts to fall off during week 32. Around week 33, the baby becomes sensitive to light, and the bones begin to harden. But the bones remain soft and flexible. At week 34, the fingernails grow enough to reach the fingertips. At week 35, the baby’s skin is smooth, and the baby takes up most of the amniotic sac. In the following weeks, the baby will turn head down and even starts descending into the pelvis. At week 39, the testes descend into the scrotum if the baby is male. The chest also becomes prominent. At week 40, your baby is ready to arrive.


What Happens to You During This Stage?


During the third trimester, you may feel hot because the fetus radiates body heat. You may also have to urinate and feel tired frequently. Your feet and hands may feel swollen because the body continues to retain fluids. Your skin can also feel dry and itchy, especially around the belly. You may feel constipated and experience heartburn. Backache is also common during the third trimester.


What Should You Do During the Third Trimester?


After maternity dress shopping, it’s now time to shop for the baby! The third trimester is also the right time to start childbirth classes to help you get ready for the big day. You will also need to make plans to prepare for the birth and ensure things go smoothly. Plus, it’s advised not to sleep on your back during the third trimester because this could reduce blood flow to the uterus and fetus.


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