Feel tired, lethargic and fat? Well, they are symptoms of the third trimester! You are trying to find different comfortable positions that help you relax while sitting and sleeping. By now you get used to the signals your body gives you. That way you are better prepared.
Common symptoms this month:
- Constipation and heartburn
- Shortness of breath
- Frequent urination
- Back pain
- Mood swings
- Stretch marks
- Skin pigmentation
- Bleeding gums
- Leg cramps
- Leaky breasts
- Braxton-Hicks contractions
- Loss of appetite
- Dark areolas the (area around the nipple)
Development of baby
Just a month or so to go and the little one will be in your arms! Most of the body structures internally and externally are almost developed. The little one is quite responsive and keeps moving around, which is perfectly normal. The baby will weigh around 1750 to 1800 grams and measure about 16 ½ to 17 inches from crown to rump (CRL) by the end of this month (almost the size of a yam). The little one will have a well-formed skeleton which continues to harden. As the fat keeps on getting deposited, your baby continues to get plumper with the fat layer being deposited under his skin. In the coming few weeks, the baby’s weight increases to double of what it is now. The tiny fingernails have completed their development. The toenails require a bit longer to grow. Hair starts gaining some pigmentation due to the deposition of melanin. The digestive tract is almost fully developed. But still, your baby receives the necessary nutrients from the umbilical cord. Most babies sleep for 15-20 hours and are active in the evening to night time (between 9 pm and 1 am). The little one also keeps hiccupping which is felt anytime. The amniotic fluid volume is around 1.5 to 2 liters by the end of this month and it keeps increasing every week. This helps the baby to move about and rotate within the womb.
So, what should you do this month?
- Avoid sitting or standing for a long. Keep moving around rather than sitting in one place for a long time (unless suggested by your doctor to rest)
- You feel sleep deprived at times. Napping helps! As the third trimester continues, you may get used to the physical and psychological changes that you are undergoing. A pillow or two may help in improving your discomfort while sleep.
- You might notice that you feel lightheaded if you stand up too quickly, too. To avoid feeling dizzy, lying on your side rather than your back, and moving slowly from lying down to sitting and then standing helps.
- Practice breathing exercises and stay positive. Light walks and simple yoga may prove beneficial throughout your pregnancy. See that you are well rested and properly hydrated. The growing belly shifts your center of gravity (causing strain on your body)
- You stay up at night? If this has been happening for a while, talk to your doctor and figure out alternatives. Sleep is essential for the proper mental development of your baby and should not be compromised upon.
Continue charting! Eat right and continue exercising (as suggested by your gynecologist). Pelvic exercises may be helpful a this stage.
Even if you have a pre-term baby by now, the survival rate of the little one rises to 95%. Any doubts that you have or if your gut instinct tells you something is amiss, pay attention to it and seek advice. If the discharge from your lady parts is watery and in a constant flow, your water might have broken. So, be careful about that. You should by now have increased your trips to your doctor/ gynecologist and if you have any apprehensions regarding your pregnancy, feel free to discuss it with your doctor.
The end is almost near. Stress less and eat right (take your vegetables and supplements) at proper, spaced out intervals and you will sail through your third trimester with ease!
In this month you may have to visit your doctor once every two weeks. During the visit, your doctor will
- Review test reports
- Ask about your specific concerns
- Ask about baby’s movements, symptoms like headaches and swelling, and also about contractions if you had any.
- Record your body weight and blood pressure
- Check baby’s heartbeat
- Physically examine your abdomen
Tests conducted during the visit include ultrasound scan, diabetes test (if suggested by the doctor), and urine tests.
What to eat this month
Concentrate on having food rich in iron and calcium. So include more of green leafy vegetables, nuts, dried fruits, lean meat, fish, bananas and dairy products. As usual, proteins and carbohydrates should be part of every meal. Opt for high-fiber foods like whole wheat breads, corn, broccoli, cauliflower, black beans, and leafy green vegetables. Try to avoid caffeine, unpasteurized milk, and fish like shark and swordfish. Snack on a bowl of colored fruits or half a cup of unsalted nuts like walnuts and almonds. A glass of hot chocolate made with low-fat milk is also a good choice.