* Last Updated 20.03.2020
The third trimester is the most exciting and suspenseful trimester of pregnancy because at the end of it you will take your baby in your hands! The third trimester begins in week 28 of pregnancy and lasts until you give birth, which is around week 40 of pregnancy. During the third trimester your baby will get bigger and will grow more. The baby will get all calcium needed from you, so you need to eat calcium-rich food. By the end of the third trimester baby’s skin will become opaque and will have hair and nails. Also, your baby’s receptors will be fully developed and the baby will get signals from all five senses – hearing, smell, taste, touch and vision. Usually around week 34 of pregnancy, the baby’s body turns into a head-down position. And, your belly will get bigger in this trimester. My belly was so big, believe me, it was really big. People were constantly asking me if I would have twins.
Changes for your body during the third trimester
Some of them are the same from the second trimester, but there are some new changes for your body in the last trimester. The usual and normal symptoms that are quite the same are fatigue, heartburn, varicose veins and backache.
The new body changes you will experience are:
– Braxton Hicks contractions – this is the way of the body to prepare for labor. These contractions are irregular and you could have them until real labor starts. I will be honest and will tell you that I didn’t feel them. Probably I had them, but I didn’t feel any contractions during my third trimester.
– Crazy dreams – it is possible to have different and crazy dreams and this is only because of the pregnancy hormones. It is normal, but not necessary to have crazy dreams. I did not have, for example.
– Clumsiness – your belly will be very large and you will find it difficult to keep your balance at times, your hormones will dance more and you will forget more than ever. So just be careful and have fun with all this!
– Stretch marks – the appearance of stretch marks depends on the type of skin. There are women who smear all kinds of creams and oils, but they still have stretch marks. And some do not use creams or use very little and do not have stretch marks. I was lucky and no stretch marks appeared on my belly. The products I used were Palmer’s cream for stretch marks, cocoa butter and coconut oil. I used them once or twice a day, after the third month. Also, during pregnancy, the skin around breasts grows faster and can result in stretch marks. I used the same products for my breasts, but unfortunately without much success.
Here is what you can do during the third trimester in order to get prepared for your baby and some ideas about how to make your life easier in the coming months:
– Keep active – staying active in pregnancy is good for you and your baby. This way you will keep yourself healthy during your pregnancy and you can prepare your body for the challenges of labor.
– Schedule your third-trimester checkups, watch your weight and keep track of fetal movements and baby developing – of course, you will do this with your doctor.
– Take a hospital tour – if you haven’t until now, the seventh month is the perfect time to take a tour of the hospital where you plan to give birth.
– Choose your baby’s pediatrician – you need to find a person who will take care of your baby. Choose a person who you like and look trusted.
– Get educated – if you haven’t been attending lectures for pregnant until now, but you plan to do it, the seventh month is very appropriate.
– Prepare to breastfeed – my advice to you is to read more or speak with a lactation consultant about breastfeeding before the baby arrives. Later you can also ask for help, but getting more information in advance will make your life easier. I say it from experience.
All the information about breastfeeding I had before my baby was born was from the lectures for pregnant women. And although these classes explained many things, it turned out that it was not enough. I had some difficulties at the beginning of breastfeeding. My baby was born with C-section and my breast milk came in a few days, but wasn’t enough and also my baby was having difficulty with sucking in the first two weeks. The mistake I made was that I did not take the nursing pump right away and brought it to the hospital on the third day.
– Learn about the stage of labor – you will feel more comfortable if you know what to expect more or less. It is important to consider how you’d like to manage labor pain, so speak with your doctor to find the best option for you.
– Prepare for the baby – now is a good time to start with the purchases of everything you need for your baby. All the things you will need at home, for the hospital and the car. If you have must have list it will be easier for you. What you need is: newborn must have products, hospital bag and baby first aid kit. With purchases from the lists I started at the end of the sixth month. And at the end of the eighth month, we had bought everything.
– Stock your fridge – having some freezer meals will make your life easier in the first weeks when you will be busy with your baby. Think about it, because this is a very useful tip. Also, you can get help from your husband, older kids, family and friends when the baby arrives at the home but it is good to have some meals prepared just in case.
– Family budget – consider the costs of having a baby and start following a new budget accordingly. In the beginning the baby doesn’t need many things. Try to buy only really needed things. And keep in mind that the daily cost of the baby is not much in the beginning, but they grow proportionally with the baby.
– Do “spring cleaning” – now is the time to clean your home. You need to get your baby in a clean house. It doesn’t need to be perfect but you will not have time after birth, for sure.
– Get baby’s stiff ready – you need to clean also the baby’s stroller, car seat and bed. Wash and iron the baby sheets and clothes. I did that two weeks before birth. Only during the first month, I was ironing the baby clothes on both sides.
– Pack your hospital bag – prepare it to be ready, but don’t get many things. Try to put the things you will really need.
– Spend time with your other kids and husband – spending time with them together and some time with each one of them is good for you and them as well. They will know that you are still there for them.
– Take care of yourself – don’t forget about yourself. Stay as active as possible, drink plenty of water, try to eat healthy food most of the time, read a book, visit a friend, get a haircut, and enjoy your time!
I hope this article has been helpful to you! I would love it if you leave a comment or share it! Thank you!