The third trimester falls between the 28th week of pregnancy and delivery (around 37th week). It is normal to feel excited about the last stretch of pregnancy, but anxieties regarding labor and birth are also not rare. From 28th week to 36th week, you may have to visit the doctor once every two weeks. After 36th week the visits will be scheduled once every week till delivery.
During your third-trimester visits your doctor will:
- Review test reports – this will give a quick recall of your health and also conditions that have to be monitored.
- Ask about your specific concerns – your doctor will ask about concerns/issues which you had raised during an earlier visit.
- 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 – these will be measured during each third-trimester Both of these measures are indicators of healthy pregnancy.
- Check baby’s heartbeat – this will be done during each of the third-trimester visits. It is an indicator the growth of the baby in the womb.
- Physically examine your abdomen – this will help to gauge the size of the growing uterus and the fetus within. Fundal height may also be checked after the 36th
- At around 36th week, doctor may conduct an internal examination to check for dilation and softening of the cervical region.
Tests conducted during third-trimester visits:
Ultrasound scan – An ultrasound scan is recommended between 28th and 32nd week of pregnancy. This is to check for the growth of the baby in the womb. Additional scans are suggested if
- baby’s movement is less
- baby has a breech presentation
- you are carrying twins or more
- the scan shows umbilical cord around baby’s neck
- amniotic fluid is more or less than normal
- baby is smaller for the particular gestational age
Test for diabetes – Routine tests for gestational diabetes are conducted during each visit of the third trimester.
Tips for doctor’s appointments in the second trimester
- Record or observe baby’s movements felt in the womb prior to the visit. This will help you to notice whether there are any changes in the normal pattern of baby’s movements.
- Remember to take your medical records
- Prepare a list of questions that you want to be clarified by your doctor.