The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy
The third trimester is the last leg in your pregnancy. It starts from the 27th week of pregnancy to the end of pregnancy. By now all the organs and parts of the baby have formed and have also started working. You will feel heavy during this trimester and even small things like getting up from a chair or bed will require effort. You will be mentally and emotionally getting prepared during this time to welcome your baby.
Growth and development of your baby
In the 28th week of pregnancy, your baby weighs around 1000 grams and is around 10 inches in length from crown to rump (head to bottom). Your baby’s eyes are open partially and eyelashes are fully formed. The baby also gains weight. In the 29th week, the bones of the baby are fully formed and the baby starts storing phosphorous, calcium and iron in the body. By the 30th week of pregnancy, the baby weighs around 1300 grams (3 pounds) and measures up to 101/2 inches (270 mm) in length. In this week, the baby has developed good amount of hair on the head and eyes are wide open. In the 31st week, the clitoris (button like structure in vulva) becomes prominent in a baby girl while in a baby boy, the testicles move into the groin. In the 32nd week, the baby practices to breathe though the lungs though they are not completely formed. The soft hair covering called lanugo on the baby’s skin falls off during this week. The baby’s body starts absorbing calcium and iron into the body. Kicks and jabs of the baby become strong during this week. In the 33rd week, the baby can detect light entering the eye, and the baby begins to constrict and dilate his or her pupils as a reaction to light.
In the 34th week of pregnancy the baby’s fingernails reach the finger tips. The baby now weighs more than 2100 grams (4½ pounds). In the 35th week of pregnancy the vernix caseosa, which is the pasty coating on the baby’s body becomes thicker. There is rapid weight gain of the baby in the 36th week of pregnancy, and the uterus becomes ‘crowded’ with your baby. In the 37th week, the baby is fully formed and ready to come out into the world. It positions itself with head towards the cervix (opening of the vagina). In the 38th week the toe nails of the baby reach the tips of the toes. The baby now measures 2900 grams (6 ½ pounds).In the 39th week the baby is supplied with antibiotics through the placenta. In baby girls the labia major (cutaneous folds covering urethra) develops well while in baby boys the testis descends into the scrotum. The 40th week is the week you are going to deliver. The baby now weighs around 3400 grams (7½ pounds) and all set to come out into the world.
The doctor will continue monitoring your blood pressure, weight, and the baby’s movements and heart beat. You are asked to feel the movements of baby, and if you feel that the baby has stopped moving you must inform the doctor immediately. The doctor looks for signs of preeclampsia (medical condition with hypertension during pregnancy) like swelling in the hands, face, sudden weight gain changes in vision, headache, protein in urine, and high blood pressure. These symptoms are harmful to the mother and child and so needs immediate attention from the doctor. Vaginal and rectal swabs are taken and tested for group B streptococcus bacteria. This bacterium is not harmful to the mother but if the baby gets infected then the baby becomes seriously ill. If the test comes out positive, then the mother is given antibiotics intravenously to protect the baby from the bacterium.
When the due date is approaching you will notice that your belly is lower. False uterine contractions known as Braxton Hicks contractions take place. You will have a constant problem of backache, diarrhea, cramping, and gas formation before the beginning of delivery. When the true uterine contractions start, they are more painful than the false labor contractions, and they happen at regular intervals where the gap between them decreases. This is a sign of recognizing that you are in true labor. If there is a rupture in the amniotic sac that holds the baby you can see fluid coming out which is known as ‘water breaking’. This is a sign of beginning of labor and it is time for you to go to the hospital. It is common for all women to feel anxious on the delivery day but if you know about the procedure you will feel less anxious and replace your fear with excitement and eagerness to hold your baby in your arms.
Meeting your baby
Meeting your baby for the first time can be the most joyful moment ever experienced for a new mommy. When you hold your precious little one in your arms you will feel that all the pain and discomfort experienced during pregnancy was worth it. The entire journey of pregnancy has now come to an end and a new journey of bringing up your little one is going to begin.