You're almost there - you're in the home stretch, known as the third trimester!
Now that you're in the third trimester, your prenatal appointments will become more frequent- from monthly visits to every two weeks, and then to once every week in the last month. This schedule depends on your health, your baby's health, and your doctor's preference.
You might experience a variety of symptoms in the third trimester, which includes:
This may begin to happen at irregular intervals in preparation for childbirth.
Backaches may persist and increase in intensity. Choose chairs with good back support to sit. Stay active.
Shortness of breath:
Practice good posture – it will create more room for your lungs to expand.
Constipation, heartburn, and indigestion
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Avoid spicy and fried foods.
Haemorrhoids (swollen veins that appear as painful lumps on the anus) may persist and increase in severity. Constipation can make them worse. Eat fibre rich foods (fruit, vegetables, beans, etc.) and drink plenty of water to prevent haemorrhoids. To help relieve haemorrhoids during pregnancy, ask your doctor for medications that are safe to use during pregnancy.
Varicose veins are twisted, enlarged veins (blood vessels) more common in the legs. They may persist and increase in severity during the last trimester. Stay active and elevate your legs frequently.
You may want to urinate more often. You may also leak urine if you cough, sneeze, bend or lift. If this is a problem, consider using pads or panty liners.
They may appear on the stomach, breast, thighs, and buttocks.
Colostrum (fluid in the breasts that nourishes the baby before your breast milk comes in) may begin to leak from your nipples. You can keep breast pads in your bra to absorb the leak.
Third Trimester To-do-list
- Think about stopping work
- Start preparing handover notes well in advance.
- Take prenatal classes to prepare for your baby's birth, especially if this is your first pregnancy.
- Make sure you know to identify the signs of labour.
- Get organized
- Pack your hospital bag.
- Keep all the phone numbers handy – the ones you will need when you go into labour.
- Keep your hospital file/notes handy.
- Buy a nursing bra/ breast pump if you think you will need it.
- Shop for things you'll need for your baby.
- Choose a paediatrician
- Finding a paediatrician may take some time, and it's best to do this sooner rather than later.
- Make your home safe for baby
- Check the safety of your baby's crib, pram, and other baby items.
- Put emergency numbers near each phone.
- Stock up on essentials
- Stock up on basics, such as sanitary towels and nappies.
- Plan your travel in advance
- Plan how you'll get to the hospital when you go into labour.
- Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. The third trimester: Entering the home straight of pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.hey.nhs.uk/news/2018/07/19/the-third-trimester-entering-the-home-straight-of-pregnancy/. Accessed on May 25, 2020.
- John Hopkins Medicine. The last trimester [Internet]. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/the-third-trimester. Accessed on May 25, 2020.
- Mayo Clinic. 3rd trimester pregnancy: What to expect [Internet]. Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046767. Accessed on Aug 25, 2020.
- March of Dimes. Common discomforts of pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.marchofdimes.org/pregnancy/common-discomforts-of-pregnancy.aspx. Accessed on Aug 25, 2020.
- Your pregnancy to-do list [Internet]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/to-do-list-pregnant/. Accessed on Aug 25, 2020.
- Public Health England. Week-by-week guide to pregnancy [Internet]. Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/pregnancy/week-by-week/3rd-trimester/week-38/#anchor-tabs. Accessed on Aug 25, 2020.