The baby is growing bigger and is growing extremely fast in the third trimester. Your body is changing to accommodate this development. This is when the baby is putting a lot of pressure on your organs, causing issues like shortness of breath.
While this can be alarming for first-time moms, it is completely normal. All you need to understand is how to take care of your routine and get yourself checked regularly to have a great 3rd trimester.
Third Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms and Changes
The third trimester begins from the 28th week of your pregnancy and ends with the delivery of the baby. Here is what you see changes and various symptoms internally and externally in this month:
- Weight gain in this stage is steady and you will gain about 500g to 1kg each week. Towards the end of your pregnancy, you would have gained a total of 12-18 kilos depending upon your BMI.
- At the beginning of the third trimester, you will feel a lot of shortness of breath. However, as you approach your due date, the baby will descend and this pressure will ease off.
- You may feel imbalanced due to the increasing weight you are carrying. Fatigue and dizziness are common symptoms in the third trimester.
- Your breasts will become heavier and the hormones from the placenta will trigger the production of colostrum which is the first milk. It may leak out through the nipples at this stage.
- Braxton Hicks contractions kick in to prepare you for labor.
- Other symptoms of pregnancy such as heartburn, nausea, backaches, leg pain and loss of bladder control remain till you deliver the baby.
- Vaginal discharge is heavier now.
Also Read: Eighth Month of Pregnancy
Also Read: 7th Month Pregnancy
Also Read: Ninth or 9th Month Pregnancy
Also Read: Pregnancy Care Tips – Trimester by Trimester
Third Trimester Pregnancy Care Diet
Your baby will require a lot more energy in this stage. Therefore, calorie intake must increase by at least 500 calories a day and you will have to consume between 2200-2400 calories every day.
Foods to Eat in 3rd Trimester
- The most important nutrients at this stage are Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Fiber and Thiamine. They will keep you energized and also keep your immunity high.
- Folic acid and iron-rich foods such as green leafy veggies are a must.
- Make sure that your diet is rich in proteins including foods like lean meat, lentils, and beans.
- Good fats such as omega-3 must be included to aid the development of the baby’s brain.
Foods to Avoid During 3rd T
- Uncooked foods
- Processed and unpasteurized foods
- Avoid fish and seafood as they may contain mercury and also cause health issues like food-poisoning.
- Junk food must be avoided to prevent unhealthy weight gain.
- Avoid beverages with tannin such as tea
- Spicy foods and fried foods.
Also Read: Labour and Delivery
Third Trimester Pregnancy Care Do’s and Don’ts
Here are some dos and don’ts for the last trimester of your pregnancy:
- Continue to take your prenatal vitamins.
- Keep a count of the number of kicks from the baby every two hours. You should feel at least 10 movements every two hours.
- If you are not gaining enough weight, consult your doctor to rework your diet plan.
- Eat small and frequent meals to prevent heartburn.
- Take warm baths to ease the aches and pains.
- Stay hydrated to reduce the Braxton Hicks contractions. Drinking herbal tea and taking warm baths also helps.
- Avoid traveling by air in the third trimester.
- Keep stress at bay and try to get ample rest.
- Stay active and practice Kegel Exercises to prepare your muscles for delivery.
- Insomnia can cause a lot of fatigue. It is a good idea to try to sleep on your left side and use a pregnancy pillow for full body support. Do not lay on your back.
- Avoid sitting down and getting up too fast to prevent imbalance and dizziness.
- Pay attention to personal hygiene in order to manage increased vaginal discharge. Keep your vagina dry and clean.
- Avoid activities like gardening that can cause infections.
- Make a labor plan and understand the different options for delivery. Consult your caregiver to choose the right delivery plan for yourself.
- Keep your hospital bag ready as you reach the last week of your pregnancy.
Third Trimester Warning Signs to Look Out For
Here are some warning signals that you should look out for in the third trimester:
- Vaginal bleeding, high fever, premature watery fluid discharge.
- Premature contractions which occur at a frequency of 6 contractions every hour. This could be a sign of premature labor.
- String-like mucus discharge that is brown or pinkish in color is a sign that the mucus plug has been ejected. This is a sign that you may go into labor.
- Watch out for labor contractions. These are different from Braxton Hick’s contractions as they do not subside and increase in frequency with time.
- Your water may break and leave you feeling like you just urinated all over yourself without a warning. If this happens head straight to the maternity home.
Also Read: Tips For Normal Delivery
Third Trimester Tests
- You will visit your doctor more often, making one visit every two weeks.
- A routine check-up is done to check your weight, fundal height, blood pressure and monitor the baby’s heart rate.
- Around the 26th week, women who are Rh Positive will receive a Rhogam injection.
- In the 7th and 8th month, you will be checked for anemia, the glucose levels in the body and Strep B infections.
- An internal examination is conducted in the 9th month to check for dilation of the cervix and thinning of the cervix.
- In the case of ‘high-risk’ individuals, a non-stress test and a biophysical test is conducted to make sure that everything is proceeding normally.
Also Read: Fourth Month Pregnancy Care Tips
Want to share your experience as a mom with other moms through words or images? Become a part of the Moms United community. Click here and we will get in touch with you