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The Third Trimester of Pregnancy Week 27 to 40

The Third Trimester of Pregnancy Week 27 to 40

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You're nearing the end of your pregnancy, and are probably really ready to have your baby! This trimester can be uncomfortable, as you gain the most of your pregnancy weight during this time. Balance is affected, and your belly gets in the way not to mention the baby is putting a lot of pressure on your organs. You will probably find you are running to the bathroom much more often as the baby presses against your bladder.

Your baby is running out of room in the womb, and is between six and nine pounds by your due date. You might not feel the baby's movement as much now, as he or she is in the fetal position with the knees touching the nose.

Swelling is common at this stage of pregnancy, and is a normal symptom. Your ankles and hands may swell, especially at the end of the day, so put your feet up when you sit. If you notice sudden swelling of the face, or if you gain a lot of weight extremely fast, call your doctor. This could be a sign of toxemia or preeclampsia, both dangerous pregnancy complications.

Heartburn also worsens this trimester, so talk to your caregiver about which antacids are safe during pregnancy if you're uncomfortable. Constipation and hemorrhoids can occur because the rectum has become very relaxed from pregnancy hormones. Straining during bowel movements can make this worse, while medicated pads or witch hazel can provide relief.

You'll start seeing your physician once every week towards the end of your third trimester. At each visit, he or she will check your weight, monitor the fetal heartbeat, and do a pelvic exam to check the baby's position. Your cervix will also be examined to see if it has begun to dilate, a sign that you're going into labor. The baby will drop into position, and when this happens you'll notice pressure decreases on your lungs, so you can breathe a lot more easily.

Watch for labor warning signs during your third trimester. These can include: a bloody or brown discharge, which signals the loss of the mucous plug, lower back pain that doesn't go away, or your water breaking. It's common to have Braxton Hicks contractions at this time false labor but true contractions will be more painful and won't go away when you switch positions. True contractions will also become much more frequent and get more painful each time.


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