Third Trimester what to Expect during the last three Months of Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy covers the twenty-eighth week of pregnancy right up to the time of giving birth, usually around the fortieth week of pregnancy.  In the third trimester, your physical changes will become more obvious.  Your breasts will probably be much larger than before, and your tummy is becoming obvious.  Most of the common ailments or uncomfortable you experience at the third trimester are often annoying but are not life-threatening. 

As you progress into the third trimester, you may feel itch on the scalp, anus and on the abdomen, as the skin is being stretched and is turning drier.  Stretchmarks may get worse as one gets closer to full term.  Apply moisturisers generously several times to the affected areas such as the breast, thighs and abdomen to maintain the skin’s suppleness. 

Varicose veins, which commonly appear during the later stages of pregnancy can be relieved by lying down with your feet raised and avoid standing for long periods.  Support stockings can be helpful too.

Maintaining good pregnancy posture can relieve some of the back and pelvic aches.  Stand tall straight and your bottom tucked in so that the weight of your baby is evenly supported by your thighs, buttocks and stomach muscles.  Good posture helps digestion and well-toned muscles regain their shapes faster after birth. 

Do exercises that are suitable for pregnancy such as swimming, walking and yoga.  You may experience sleeping problems as your tummy grows bigger now that you are in the third trimester.  Find a good posture to sleep and avoid lying on your back.  This position will compress your main artery, making you feel faint. 

Sleeping on your left instead.  This position does not restrict the blood supply to the placenta and the baby.  You can support yourself with pillows under your top leg and place a pillow under your tummy for more comfort.

In the third trimester, you can start preparing your breasts for breastfeeding.  Clean your nipples to clear any debris blocking them, moisturise the nipples with olive or grapeseed oil to reduce the chances of getting chapped or sore nipples after breastfeeding. 

Buy bras of suitable sizes to support the enlarged breasts, with wide elastic bands below the breasts, wide straps and without underwires.

As you progress into the later part of the third trimester, your baby is likely to move down into the pelvis to get ready to birth.  This is called engagement.  There is more pressure on your bladder now. 

Furthermore, increased progesterone levels soften the pelvic floor muscles, causing leaks of urine.  Hence it helps to practise pelvic floor exercises to strengthen the muscles around the vagina and anus area. 

The growing uterus may hinder circulation in the body, causing tissues waterlogged.  You may experience puffy hands and feet as water retention sets in during the third trimester.  Remove any rings before they become too tight and wear comfortable shoes.  You may do some lower and upper body massages to push back those fluids into circulation. 

Some people may have constipation through taking iron supplements during pregnancy.  Remember to drink lots of water and consume lots of fruits and vegetables to promote bowel movements.

Emotionally, you could have before birth or labour anxiety.  You may have pregnancy anxiety dreams.  Try to communicate openly with your loved ones or your gynaecologist to clarify the areas of concern.  Sign up for antenatal classes and do some research so that you know what to expect during labour.  Also learn about how to handle a newborn and breastfeeding if you are a first-time mother.

All mums-to-be should enjoy their third trimesters.  It is the only time that you can pile up all the weight without feeling guilty.  Take things easy and do not exert yourself.  Try to relax and focus on the new life that you are about to bring into this world and everything is going to be fine.