November 2022

In the third trimester of pregnancy, what can you expect?

The third and last trimester is a time of excitement and nerves for many women. You are so close to meeting your child, but there is still a lot to go through before you will hold your child. Many women feel the most tired and uncomfortable during this time. There is a lot to look forward to during this period, but there are also a lot of changes occurring.


What is the third trimester?

The third trimester is the last stage of pregnancy. This stage begins at week twenty-eight and ends when you give birth. It is recommended to take it slow and easy during this time. Many women start maternity leave during the last half or end of the third trimester. During this time, you will be finishing the final preparations for your future life with a newborn. If possible, this is a good time to limit the stressors in your life. It is also important to limit your exposure to germs to protect your child. It is recommended that you wash your hands often and stay away from anyone with a known infectious disease. [1]




What changes happen to your body?

During this period your baby will be reaching full development and your womb will be growing. This will cause some obvious impacts on your body. Many women feel uncomfortable during this time. Some of the ways your body will change include:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions are common during this period. These contractions are mild and irregular. They often occur after physical activity.
  • Backaches are common due to hormones and your expanding womb. It helps to wear shoes with good support in the arches.
  • Feeling short of breath easily is also common.
  • Heartburn is common. It helps to avoid fried and spicy foods.
  • Spider veins, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids can also occur. You should ensure you are eating a fiber-rich diet and are well hydrated.
  • Anxiety and feeling uneasy are common during this time. You may be fearing childbirth or parenthood in general. This is completely normal as these feelings occur before any major life event. It will help to talk to those who have had positive birth experiences. 


Pregnancy changes your body in a myriad of ways. You are still the same person you were before you got pregnant even though at times you will feel very different. Remember to focus on the excitement and positives. Managing your anxiety is important, you should try to be proactive about finding ways to ease your mind during this time. [2]


The baby’s growth during the third trimester.

This is an exciting time for your baby’s development. Your baby is reaching full development during this time and he or she is getting ready to meet you. Some of the developments that occur during this period include:

  • The baby can now see and hear.
  • The baby’s brain is developing.
  • The lungs and kidneys are developing further.
  • Around the 36th week, the baby’s head will begin to position itself down to prepare for birth.
  • The baby can cry.
  • The baby is between six and nine pounds at the end of the third trimester.
  • The baby’s skull is still soft so he or she can pass through the birth canal.


During this period your baby is almost fully developed. Your body has sustained a baby for many weeks now and you should feel proud of your body. This time is exciting and you will soon be meeting your baby for the first time. Despite all of the changes going on during this period it is important to be present and don’t forget to focus on yourself as well. [3]