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Guide To The Third-Trimester Of Pregnancy For Expecting Moms

By Dr. Nikita Toshi +2 more

This article is written by Dr Veena H (MBBS.DGO). Dr Veena is a gynaecologist with 10 Years Of Clinical Experience

Third-trimester pregnancy is the last phase of the development of a baby inside the mother’s body and the first step of parenthood. It is the period during which your baby will mature rapidly and you will experience enormous changes in your body, mood, etc.

The third trimester of pregnancy begins at 28 weeks and lasts till 40 weeks or childbirth whichever is earlier(7–9 months).

Walking is easier to fit into a day than some exercises as you can sneak in walks while running errands, on breaks at work, or as a way to wake up or wind down the day. Walking, especially in the last trimester, helps baby achieve optimal positioning in the uterus.

Dr. M.G. Kartheeka, MBBS, MD

Changes the expecting mother may experience-

From the beginning to now, pregnancy would have been like a bundle of surprises. 

Some of the most common changes or symptoms are seen in women in the third-trimester pregnancy are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Pain in the abdomen region and back
  • False contractions (Braxton Hicks Contractions)
  • Varicose Veins (bluish coloured swollen veins on legs)
  • Frequent Urination
  • Leaky breasts

Clinically first trimester is the most difficult phase for most first time mothers, fatigue due to the baby’s growth and Poor sleep during the third trimester are associated with a host of problems, including preeclampsia (hypertension in pregnancy) and preterm birth.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

Developmental changes in the baby

You may be puzzled and curious to know about the growth of your baby. And as the due date approaches, it is human to feel anxious.

Here’s a summary of what happens to your baby during the third trimester of pregnancy:

Weight: Increase in the total body weight to 2.5 to 3.5 kg by term on an average.
Height: Increase in height.
Bones: Your baby will start developing cartilages and other important bone components.
Skin: The skin of the fetus’ body will become opaque. Your baby will also start gathering fat under the skin.
Digestive system: Your baby will develop its first defecation (called meconium) in the intestines.
Touch: With the onset of the third trimester, your baby will get signals from all five senses and develop touch receptors.
Brain: In this period, the brain of the baby will grow faster than ever. They also come about skills like blinking, dreaming and regulating their own body’s temperature.

Especially during the third trimester, try to avoid sitting in the same position for more than 30 minutes. At work, adjust your chair height and workstation so you can sit up close to your work and tilt it up at you.

Dr. Ashish Bajaj – M.B.B.S, M.D.

What can you do in the 3 rd trimester of pregnancy?

  • Take care of your diet, exercise, hygiene and sleep routine
  • Keep the count of fetal movements – how many times the baby has moved or kicked- At least 10 movements in the given hour.
  • Check your weight – you will gain weight at the start of the third trimester
  • If your doctor has allowed you, then keep exercising, meditation and breathing exercises are also good for relaxation.
  • Monitor your blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Schedule regular visits to the doctor
  • Start preparing your hospital bag after the 9th month

When do you call your doctor?

  • Call immediately if you experience any painful contractions frequently
  • Copious vaginal discharge mixed with blood
  •  Bleeding
  • Swelling of legs
  • Breaking of water
  • Loss of baby movements 
  • Bleeding through vagina
  • Severe headache, dizziness
  • Pain during urination

Click here to know more about mother care products


This is just a general summary of the third trimester of pregnancy. Be sure to speak with your doctor and inform them of any symptoms you develop during your term. You may be advised of some tests, medications and vaccines by your doctor. Make sure to follow every instruction sincerely. Hopefully, this guide on pregnancy by trimester has given you an idea of what to expect! 

Also read: Eating Right: Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

Disclaimer: The information included on this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.


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