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Maternity – Third trimester

The third trimester lasts from week 28 through 40 and brings with it some added discomfort. Hang in there – you are almost to the finish line!

Third-trimester checklist

  • Purchase items for your hospital bag.
  • Attend childbirth classes.
  • Consider a doula or labor coach.
  • Have your baby shower two months before your due date.
  • Purchase and install your infant car seat.
  • Consider cooking and freezing food items for after delivery.
  • Choose your pediatrician.
  • Enjoy your last few days of being pregnant.

Signs of labor – call your doctor

  • Your baby drops a few weeks before labor.
  • Your cervix dilates.
  • Increased cramps and increased back pain.
  • Your joints feel looser.
  • You have diarrhea.
  • You stop gaining weight (or lose pounds).
  • You feel extra tired or you have an urge to nest.
  • EARLY LABOR: Vaginal discharge changes color and consistency.
  • EARLY LABOR: You feel stronger, more frequent contractions.
  • EARLY LABOR: Your water breaks.

What’s happening with mom

Month 7: The increased size of the growing fetus adds stress to your system, causing some discomfort. The breasts and uterus continue to increase in size. Stretch marks may appear on the abdomen and breasts and you may feel false labor pains known as Braxton-Hicks contractions.

Month 8: You may continue to feel stronger contractions this month, and you may notice leakage of colostrum, a fluid secreted from your breasts at the beginning of milk production. Aches and pains due to increased weight may occur more frequently.

Month 9: Congratulations, you’re almost there! You may notice your navel protruding and shortness of breath. Once the baby drops toward the end of the month you may be able to breathe easier. You may also feel an increased need to urinate. Your cervix will soften and contractions will increase. You may need to rest often during the day.

What’s happening with baby

Month 7: Baby is still rapidly growing. He or she exercises by kicking and stretching. It sucks its thumb and opens and closes its eyes. Calcium is being stored and fetal bones are hardening. Premature babies have a much better chance of success if born early.
Length: 15 inches
Weight: 3 pounds
Your baby is the size of an eggplant.

Month 8: The baby is too large to move around much, but its kicks are felt much more strongly. The bones of the head are soft and flexible.
Length: 18 inches
Weight: 5 pounds
Your baby is the size of a pineapple.

Month 9: The fetus now gains 1/2 pound per week. The bones of its head are soft and flexible for delivery. It is getting ready for birth and usually settles into a favorable position. At 40 weeks it will be full term. The baby could arrive anywhere from 37–42 weeks.
Length: 18–21 inches
Weight: 6–9 pounds
Your baby is the size of a watermelon.