The Final Countdown: What to Look for in Your Third Trimester


You’ve made it through fatigue, nausea, morning sickness, baby bumps (actually now it’s more of a baby mound), swollen feet and more. Congratulations. You’re almost there. Before you know it, you’ll be holding you baby in your arms instead of in your tummy.

So, what can you expect in your final trimester? Here are some of the main changes you can expect as you count the days until your little one makes her grand entrance:

  • Back aches. Your baby is really growing now, and as she continues to grow, the added weight you’re carrying up front can be tough on your back. Additionally, your body produces hormones which cause the joints in your pelvic bones to relax. This is necessary for delivery, but tough on the back.
  • Heartburn. Your stomach can actually be pushed out of position at this point in your pregnancy to make room for your uterus. You can reduce heartburn by eating smaller meals more often, making sure you stay hydrated, and avoiding fried, spicy, or acidic foods.
  • Urination. You’ll find yourself having to pee constantly. This is a result of the baby’s increasing weight on your pelvis. You might even leak urine, especially when you cough or laugh. Panty liners can be a big help. Keep an eye out for urinary infection, and contact your doctor at the first sign of an infection.
  • Crazy emotions. It’s normal to be moody and emotional in the final stages of pregnancy. Give yourself some grace as you try desperately not to kill those around you.
  • Colostrum. Some women leak colostrum, a clear yellow fluid, from their breasts as their delivery dates nears.
  • Braxton-Hicks contractions. It’s important to know the difference between real contractions and Braxton-Hicks. Most women will have Braxton-Hicks (false labor) contractions at some point during the third trimester. Braxton-Hicks are generally irregular and non-painful. Your doctor or health care provider will explain how to tell if you are actually going through labor.

The third trimester can be tough. By now, you may be saying, “Just get this thing out of me.” If you are, you’re not alone.

Hang in there. It won’t be much longer. When you first hold that beautiful new baby in your arms, it’ll be worth it all. 

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