Third Trimester of Pregnancy
It’s your seventh month; you are rounding the last bend! By the end of these next 3 months, you’ll be holding your sweet babe in your arms.
Between now and then, you and your baby will grow and grow and grow! One of his main objectives during this last bit of time in your womb is to put on extra body fat to help regulate his temperature after birth. Your baby will gain 4-7 pounds this third trimester (he is about 2 pounds on your twenty-eighth week), most of it during his last 7 weeks, and all of his growth will show in your big, beautiful belly! As your baby grows, his skeleton is also growing and hardening. In order to complete this work, your baby will soak up around 250mg of calcium from you each day!
As your pregnancy progresses, you may notice the return of fatigue. Your body is working very hard to accommodate its extra little resident, and on top of this, it does become harder to get a good night’s rest. Between the size of your belly and the seemingly constant need to urinate, waking in the night becomes the norm. This is good preparation, though, for once your baby arrives!
By the time you reach 35 weeks or so, you will likely notice a difference in your baby’s movements. This is because he is taking up so much room in your uterus that he no longer has the space to do the back flips and somersaults he has been able to enjoy! However, the number of kicks you feel should stay about the same.
Your baby will be considered full term if he is born anywhere between your thirty-seventh and forty-second week of pregnancy. At this point, it is all a waiting game. Although there are signs for which your care provider can be watching, to show that you are progressing toward labor, there is, of course, no way to guarantee when you’ll have your baby. During this time, your baby is finishing up any growing and weight gain needed, as well as getting his respiratory system ready for that first breath of air.
While it is hard to wait these last few weeks for your baby, you can take this time to enjoy the last bit of one-on-one time you’ll have with your partner and finish any needed preparations. Soon-to-be-siblings may need a bit of extra attention during this time, too. They, too, are getting ready for this big transition and may need a bit of additional support. Other preparations you can make are freezing meals for the first few weeks after the baby is born, making sure your baby’s clothes and blankets are washed and ready, and finalizing your birth plan.
Before you know it, you won’t be pregnant anymore (really, you won’t!), and your baby will actually be here! It is hard to believe, but it happens every time.