This is the final trimester of your gestation period. Your baby continues to grow and listens for sound in his or her immediate environment.
You are at the highest risk of developing gestation diabetes during this period.
Your baby weighs about 4 pounds, and is about 16 inches long, is plump, due to the fat build up under their skin. They will start developing an endocrinological and enzyme system this week while the lungs also keep developing.
The baby’s thalamocortical complex, which is responsible for the baby’s consciousness starts functioning this week. There will be more punches and kicks this week and in the coming weeks.
You continue to gain weight as your baby continues to put on weight.
The baby continues growing and you may experience some severe pains in your pelvic and ribs as the baby kicks and punches regularly. There may be instances of urine leakage.
The baby’s brain system keeps growing as the muscles and lungs grow. Your baby’s skin is less translucent at this stage; the veins and bones are no longer visible.
Additionally, the lanugo hair starts disappearing.
At this stage, your baby is fully developed for a life in the outer world, but the lungs have not yet matured enough to function in the outer world. The bone marrow has started production of red blood cells.
It may interest you that your baby is now 39cm long and weighs at least 3lbs. You should expect some flutters as the baby keeps on doing some breathing experiments as its diaphragm moves outwards and upwards.
The baby also occupies the entire uterine cavity by now while its brain system and the digestive system are fully functional.
The brain is also very developed such that it can signal the muscles, eyes, and lungs and even signal their functioning.
Your baby is now 40 cm long at this stage. You are just a few weeks to delivery, so you will start feeling Braxton hicks contractions (which is also known as fake contractions), and heartburn.
You should also expect leaking of colostrum from your breasts as your body preps for lactation/breastfeeding.
The baby also swallows the amniotic fluid a lot more in a bid to make sure that it does not have various gastrointestinal problems.
Your baby is growing bigger by the day; he or she should be weighing 4lbs at this stage and 48cm long. You will notice that your belly button becomes more visible or protruded.
Also, your blood has probably increased by up to 150%. The baby also appears a lot calmer at this time, adopts a sleeping pattern of about 20-40 minutes per session, and is likely to cause many disruptions in your sleeping patterns.
Also, its umbilical cord is covered by a gelatinous substance, which usually helps protect the baby from injury as it moves around
Your baby’s bones continue to harden while his or her head takes the perfect position facing down in your womb. Most of the bones have already hardened except the skull.
Also, the baby keeps on building fat under its skin then adopts the head-down position (although this might take some more time for some women).
The amniotic fluid that is present is also decreasing greatly with the growth of the baby so the baby’s kicks will seem a lot sharper in the coming weeks.
The baby’s immune system has also developed and has a set ofits own antibodies.
Your baby’s lungs are almost developed; his testicles (for a male child) are down in his scrotum. His or her weight for now is 5lbs and he will continue to add weight until his or her birth.
You should probably expect to see a reduction in pressure on your lungs and chest as your baby now moves to the pelvic area.
The lungs are the only organs that are not fully developed at this stage; they will at birth. The baby will also have some hiccups.
Measuring 18 inches in length and 6 pounds in weight, the baby keeps growing and developing as it nears delivery.
The liver and the kidneys are in a fully functional state while its lanugo hair starts disappearing pretty fast and its place replaced by vellus.
There will be a few kicks in the amniotic sac but this is reduced.
At 7 pounds and 50cm long, your baby is almost ready for delivery. His or her tummy at this stage is filled with meconium, which will be the major content of his first excretion.
At this time, you may experience some UTIs (urinary tract infections), which are caused by the frequent urination and hemorrhoids although this doesn’t happen for all women.
There will be episodes of high blood pressure and high blood glucose levels but these will ease with time. At this time, the baby is almost done with growing except for the buildup offat deposits under the skin to make them plump.
The baby also starts absorbing any surrounding amniotic fluid. And this week is the last one of the weeks when the baby is considered immature ifyou deliver.
Your baby is now at full term, so delivery can take place any time from this week. The baby’s growth reduces to about ½ inch per day while its skin starts taking shape from the wrinkly and loose texture to the smooth skin.
The baby’s lungs continue growing and its breathing keeps improving. If you deliver in this week, the vernix or lanugo hair will still be visible on the baby’s skin.
During this week, the baby is now in position with your pelvic bone and growing to get to about 20 inches. There is also the development of the tear ducts, which usually form the tears once you give birth.
The baby’s sex organs are also now fully-grown and the baby tends to clench fists and react to sounds.
Also, the eyes at this time look bluish because of lack of proper pigmentation but this should change to brown or green after delivery.
This is ideally the healthiest time for you to deliver but don’t be disappointed if you don’t.
At this time, the lungs are fully developed but they won’t start functioning until delivery. The baby should also continue remaining active throughout this time.
As such, if you notice any changes, talk to your doctor.
The baby has an extensively developed immune system, which can allow it to survive after birth.
If you haven’t delivered yet, the baby weighs about 10 pounds and measures about 21 inches and the bones are hard, except the skull.
You can go for an ultrasound scan to know how the placenta is doing if your due date passed. The quality of the placenta will probably have deteriorated if you are overdue.
Over 40 weeks
If you exceed 40 weeks, and you have not discussed with your doctor, you need to talk to your doctor immediately.
The doctor will probably induce labor or recommend something else.
Tips To Survive The Third Trimester
This is the final trimester in your gestation period, and you need these tips to survive this period:
- Out of Breath
Your uterus expands at this stage and gets to your rib cage making it difficult for you to breathe well. A little regular exercise will help ease offthe stress.
Your baby’s bones, skeletal framework, muscles and cartilage will undergo serious development during this period, and thus, you will need to eat meals and snacks with plenty of iron and calcium to help your baby’s development.
Swimming and yoga are the best exercises for you at this stage. Remember that you really need to keep moving around no matter how tired you may feel.
- Weight gain
Keep in mind that you might gain between 25-35 pounds throughout the pregnancy due to increased blood volume, breasts increase, and the baby.
The increased baby size and weight coupled with pregnancy hormones’ effects will probably cause backaches.
Use an ice pack, a seat that has a good support, go for a massage or look for a heating pad to relieve pain.
- Braxton Hicks contractions
These will continue but they will probably be weaker and painless as you near delivery.
Try to take small meals regularly, take lots of water, avoid citrus fruits, dried foods, and spicy foods.
Try to prop your legs frequently and try not to stand for too long. Spider veins, hemorrhoids and varicose veins.
Try to use a warm water bath to deal with hemorrhoids. Also, ensure to take a lot of water and eat foods high in fiber to minimize constipation.
- Vaginal discharges
These are common. As such, wear panty liners. But if you notice amniotic fluid discharge, see your doctor immediately.
This could signal placental abruption (this is whereby the placenta separates from the uterine wall) or preterm labor.
And in other instances, it could be a sign of placenta previa i.e. where the placenta drops low to cover the cervix. In any case, see your doctor.