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  • Julie Bos

A Busy Baby in a Big Belly - Body Changes in the Third Trimester of Your Pregnancy

A Busy Baby in a Big Belly

Body Changes in the Third Trimester of Your Pregnancy

You’re in the home stretch! You’ve made it through most of your pregnancy, but your baby still has plenty of growing (and moving) to do. By the third trimester, your baby bump is very noticeable—you probably can’t see your toes anymore—and your baby is very active in the little space he or she has left in your womb.

But surprise! You still have up to 13 more weeks of pregnancy symptoms, belly expansion, and anticipation of your child’s delivery into the world.

How long is the third trimester? The third trimester begins at week 28 of pregnancy and ends when you deliver your baby, around week 40.

It’s likely that you won’t have your baby on your due date. An expecting mother can go into labor anytime, so it’s important to know the signs of false, early, and active labor.

Changes to Expect

Emotional Changes

You may feel a continued desire and diligence for nesting and preparing for your baby’s arrival. At this point, you probably already have lots of new things for your baby, but you should make sure you absolutely have the essentials, including:

- A safe place to sleep

- A car seat

- Access to YOU – for nursing or bottle feeding, for emotional and physical comfort, and for social bonding

Do you need any of the essentials listed above? Contact LivingWell – we have many resources to help ensure you have what you need.

Physical Changes

In the third trimester, you may be experiencing many new physical changes as your baby bump gets bigger and bigger.

With a busy baby inside your belly, it may be difficult to sleep – even when you’re fatigued and desperate. Continue to sleep on your left side for maximum blood flow to your baby and placenta, and don’t be afraid to sleep propped up with several pillows, if it’s more comfortable.

Your belly is big. But so are your breasts. As your body prepares for lactation, you may need to increase your bra size. In fact, now is a good time to invest in a comfortable nursing bra, if you plan to breastfeed.

From week 35 on, you may begin to notice Braxton Hicks's contractions. These “practice contractions” help your baby get into his or her birthing position, and they’re your body’s way of preparing for labor.

Headaches, backaches, and loose hips are common in the final trimester of your pregnancy. Expect your center of gravity to change as your belly grows, putting added stress on your lower back and feet – and anticipate a bit of clumsiness as your pelvic joints loosen and prepare for childbirth.

Your baby is in his or her final stages of development. At this point, your baby is also gaining weight rapidly to prepare for life outside your womb.

Your Third Trimester Checklist Even though you’re getting close to the end of your pregnancy, there is still much to be done. Here are some important to-dos in your third trimester:

· Keep track of your baby’s movement.

· Schedule third-trimester checkups, up to once a week.

· Take a childbirth, baby care, breastfeeding, or infant CPR class.

· Choose a pediatrician for your baby.

· Watch for labor symptoms, including bloody show, pelvic pressure, water breaking, and labor contractions.

For helpful guidance and resources, reach out to LivingWell Pregnancy Centers.


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