Third Trimester : Nausea Sickness Weight Gain Doctors Appointments
If you’re in your third trimester, take a minute and let yourself heave a sigh of relief. After months of morning nausea sickness, weight gain, doctors appointments, etc., you’re finally in the home stretch. Almost near home stretch. By now you’re probably at the end of your patience for being pregnant and eager to give birth and meet the little life you’re bringing into the world.
During the third trimester, Mother Nature will be putting the finishing touches on your soon-to-be born child. Although your child is considered viable outside the womb after 24 weeks, don’t think that nothing important is going on during the third trimester. Your baby’s organs fully mature and become able to function on their own outside the womb, facial features become set and the baby bulks up in weight.
During this time the baby also shifts positions to face head down, in preparation for his or her birth. During this time, you need to keep up with the good habits you’ve formed during your first two trimesters, namely, taking your folic acid supplements, eating healthy foods, managing any chronic health problems you may have, engaging in mild exercise and keeping up with regularly-scheduled visits and check-ups with your health care provider. Also, needless to say (but we’ll say it anyway), you should continue to avoid smoking, drinking and using illicit drugs and you should get clearance for any prescription medication you may be taking with your health care provider.
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But enough about you. Let’s find out what’s going on with your baby. To get a better understanding of what’s going on inside you, here’s a week-by-week breakdown of your baby’s development during the third trimester:
- In your 28th week of pregnancy, your baby weighs about three pounds and is a little more than a foot long. The kid’s getting smarter as his or her brain is slowly developing wrinkles. Brain wrinkles are indicative of increasing complexity of the brain. Also during this time your baby’s eyes are open. All babies have blue eyes at this point but the color may later change. During the 28th week your baby is also sleeping more often, taking cat naps of 20 to 30 minutes at a time.
- On week 29, your child’s inner boxer comes out as he or she starts testing his or her limbs more often. Some of your little featherweight’s jabs and kicks may be painful and some could even knock the breath out of you. At this time, however, your child’s bones remain fairly soft. At this time your baby starts stocking up on minerals important to bone growth.
- By week 30, your baby is ready to start packing on the pounds. From this point on the child will gain about a half a pound per week until birth.
- On week 31, your baby’s boy or girl parts have completed forming. Also at this time your child’s lungs are almost fully formed. If your child is born premature at week 31, he or she will have to breathe with the help of a ventilator but your baby does have a great chance of surviving.
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- By the 32nd week of pregnancy his or her laguno, a soft layer of downy hair that helps protect your child in the early stages of pregnancy falls off. At this point, your baby weighs about four pounds or so.
- On the 33rd week of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs are more or less fully developed and his or her eyes can detect light.
- Week 34 sees a thickening of the pasty white covering that protects your baby’s skin.
- On the 35th week of pregnancy, your uterus starts to get crowded as your baby continues to rapidly gain weight. The upside to this is that you’ll feel a lot fewer punches and kicks, as it has gotten a little too crowded in there for baby to put much oomph into it.
- By week 36 your baby is continuing to chunk up and at this point he or she may flip head down to get into position for birth.
- The 37th week of your pregnancy sees continuing growth in weight and height for your baby. At this point your baby is considered full term, so birth at the 37th week isn’t considered particularly dangerous.
- On week 38, your baby weighs about seven pounds. His or her organs continue to gain ground and the child continues to plump up.
- By week 39, you’re about tired of this pregnancy business and we can’t blame you. Your child continues to develop, and the placenta continues to supply the child with the antibodies he or she needs to fight off infection in the first weeks of life. Also, your baby puts on a little more fat, to help keep him or her warm after birth.
- Week 40 sees the arrival of your due date, and hopefully, your baby. Occasionally this date is off by a day or two, so don’t panic if the date comes and goes without a newborn. Your health care provider will know what to do and will induce labor if necessary.
Once your child is born, congratulations! Your pregnancy is complete, and you have a new life to nurture and guide. Enjoy it!