Third Trimester of Pregnancy Its spread over the 28th-40th week (or till delivery) and is a most crucial period for the mother and the baby. This is time of excitement of the due arrival of the child as well the anxiety behind the process. Lot of physical & emotional developments takes place.By now, the abdomen turns very large and prominent. Movements of the baby are clearly visible. However, towards the end of the 8th month the frequency of movements reduces as the baby now has very little space to move about inside. Most of the development of baby’s organs is complete and now it will steadily grow in size and gain weight. There will be a steady increase in the mother’s weight as well; most women gain about 4-5 kgs in the last trimester and a total of 8-10 kgs throughout the pregnancy.
At this third trimester pregnancy uterus contractions (termed Braxton Hicks contractions) continue till the end. Urinary tract is more stressed due to frequent urination. Mother may complain about loss of appetite, while in many cases it increases too. The best way is to have small meals at frequent intervals to avoid discomfort and heartburn.
Constipation also bothers most pregnant women in this third trimester of pregnancy, once again due to the pressure of the uterus on the colon. It may be associated with hemorrhoids, which usually subside following delivery. It’s a must to drink plenty of water to keep hydrated and include fruits for the fiber. If hemorrhoids are severe regular use of laxatives will help.Breathlessness becomes more pronounced, mostly on exertion but may occur even on lying down on the back. This can be avoided by sleeping on the sides, preferably the left side as that promotes placental circulation.
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A major change in posture may lead to backache as the stretching of the abdomen exerts pressure on the back. This may be associated with leg cramps as well. Mild stretching exercises, under supervision of your attending doctor, will help reduce both.Swelling of feet, predominantly near the ankles might be noticed due to the gain in weight. Mild swelling is normal and reduces with elevation of feet at rest. However it is advised to consult your doctor if the swelling is more or does not subside by elevation. It may also be accompanied with Edema, which is swelling of the face.
The blood circulation is in full swing at this third trimester stage of pregnancy and this can cause visibility of blood vessels on face, neck, arms etc especially when the skin is fair. The varicose veins, which are the blue or red lines beneath the skin, become prominent. The vaginal discharge is heavy towards the end of the pregnancy. If it’s an amniotic discharge then the doctor should be immediately consulted.
Emotions play a huge rule during the last days of pregnancy at third trimester stage. So it’s very important for other people in the family to adjust with the mood swings of the mother. Keep her happy & you will also stay happy. Just with a thought that you will hold a small bud soon in your hands, you will just be on the cloud nine.