Note: Information provided on this page is for general education only, please seek medical assistance when in doubt
Third trimester is from week 29 to week 40, however some babies may be born as early as in 36 weeks and some may take 42 weeks. Child born before 36 weeks may not have all organs fully developed and so needs additional care and protection, while pregnancy lasting more than 42 weeks needs medical attention.
In third trimester few discomforts of second trimester may continue but generally fades away quickly additionally as the baby is growing faster your belly becomes more and more bigger every week as a result many women find breathing difficult and need to go to the bathroom even more often as growing baby puts more and more pressure onto you organs.
Other noticeable changes in the third trimester you may experience:
- Shortness of breath
- Mild swelling of the ankles, fingers, and face, however any sudden or extreme swelling may need medical attention
- Tender breasts, which may leak watery pre-milk called colostrum
- Your belly button may stick out
- Trouble sleeping and trouble balancing belly in sleep
- Multiple baby kicks and sometime these kicks are too hard
- The baby dropping, or moving lower in your abdomen
- Cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing) which happens near due date and is perfectly normal and natural, this process helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process
Baby growth in Third Trimester
At 32 weeks:
- Baby's bones are fully formed, but still soft.
- Baby's kicks and jabs are forceful.
- Baby can open and close eyes and can sense changes in light.
- Lungs are not fully formed, but breathing movements occur.
- Baby begins to store vital minerals, such as iron and calcium.
- Lanugo begins to fall off.
- At the end of thirty two week baby is gaining weight quickly, about one-half pound a week and is about 15 to 17 inches long and weighs about 4 to 4½ pounds.
At 36 weeks:
- The protective waxy coating called vernix gets thicker.
- Body fat increases.
- Baby gets bigger and bigger and with less space to move around, movement of baby can be felt.
- At the end of thirty six weeks baby is about 16 to 19 inches long and weighs about 6 to 6½ pounds.
- At the end of 37 weeks, baby is considered full term.
- Baby's organs are ready to function on their own.
- Some baby may be born as early as in 36 weeks and some may take 42 weeks.
- At the near of due date, baby may turn into a head-down position for birth. Head down is normal position and happens in most of the pregnancy.
- At birth, baby may weigh somewhere between 6 pounds and 9 pounds and may be 19 to 21 inches long
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