The Third Trimester is the period during which you must prepare to give birth to your child. You may be feeling heavy and fed-up with pregnancy, especially throughout these final three months. It is likely that you also feel somewhat anxious about the birthing process.
During your 8th month of pregnancy, your fetus is about 11 inches long, and the lanugo (the fine, soft hair that covers your fetus’s body) begins to fall off.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (29-30) Weeks Pregnant?
At twenty-nine weeks, baby now tips the (imaginary) scales at 2.5 pounds–about the same weight as a butternut squash. From head to toe, it measures just over 15 inches long. This week, more development goes into the muscles and lungs, and the head is slowly increasing in size to make room for that burgeoning brain. Because the baby is big by now, its movements will be more pronounced beneath the surface of your belly.
You may be able to discern actual body parts a rounded bottom, a sharp knee or elbow, or the bulge of baby’s back. Baby’s increasing nutritional needs dictate that you should increase your intake of protein, vitamin C, folic acid, and iron. Calcium is also important at this time, as baby’s little bones are soaking it up.
As with every nutrient and especially calcium, your baby will take what he needs from YOU. Meaning that if there is a shortage of some essential nutrient, you will be the one who feels it, not the baby. Welcome to the self-sacrificial world of motherhood and remember to drink that milk!
You may have gained up to 25 pounds by now, and the weight is definitely taking its toll on you. An aching back, swollen feet, and slow gait are all common for pregnant women at this stage. You may also experience dizziness and light-headedness when you get up too suddenly, so do take your time.
In order to rise from a fully prone position, it will be necessary to “log roll” onto your side to get up–no more sit-ups for you at this stage of the game! Many pregnant women opt to get regular pedicures during the third trimester; reaching your feet is nearly impossible by now, yet having perfectly painted toenails seem to be high on the priority list when thinking about going into labor.
Now that you are thirty weeks pregnant, you have passed a significant milestone. The end of your pregnancy is just a few short weeks away! You are nearly into your eighth month, and are probably wondering what is in store for you this week.
Baby weighs nearly three pounds now, about the size of a head of cabbage, and is nearly 16 inches long. About 1.5 pints of amniotic fluid surround your baby, although this volume will decrease significantly in the coming weeks as baby gets bigger and takes up more space. Eyesight is developing, and baby can respond to light, even though at birth it will only be able to see about 8 inches in front of it (the approximate distance from your breasts to your face). Weight gain is increasing, as baby continues gaining about half a pound a week, and the grooves in the brain are nearly fully formed. Baby is able to regulate his body temperature now, so the lanugo (the fine, downy hair that covers his body) is starting to disappear.
Your constant companion these days is heartburn, which has definitely kicked up a notch since the early days. As your body prepares to deliver your baby, the muscles in your pelvis start to spread, due to the influence of the hormone relaxin. This hormone also influences other muscles, such as the muscle that separates the stomach from the esophagus. Because this muscle is more relaxed, stomach acid can re-enter the esophagus, making your days uncomfortable, and your nights nearly unbearable. Ask your OB/GYN for an indigestion prescription a bit stronger than the over-the-counter tablets you may have been relying on up to this point.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (31-32) Weeks Pregnant?
Throughout a pregnancy, a woman experiences many changes, both physically and emotionally. Hormonal changes may seem more pronounced during the early stages, tapering off by 20 or 30 weeks. At thirty-one weeks pregnant, most moms-to-be are becoming a little anxious for Junior to arrive. These final weeks of pregnancy can be uncomfortable and a bit tense, especially if this is your first pregnancy.
After thirty-one weeks of pregnancy, the developing baby may gain up to eight ounces per day until reaching full term. The average baby will weigh about three pounds as the mom reaches thirty-one weeks of pregnancy. As the womb is limited to accommodate the growing baby, he or she will be drawn into the fetal position at about 30 or 31 weeks. Although baby’s brain, heart, and other organs are nearly mature, its lungs have not developed enough to function at full capacity outside of the womb. At 31 weeks pregnant, the mom-to-be can expect her bun in the oven to require a little more preparation.
At thirty-one weeks pregnant, the mom-to-be may begin to feel slightly more sensitive to certain foods or scents. Heartburn, nausea, and upset stomach are not uncommon at 31 weeks pregnant. Certain foods that have never caused issues before the pregnancy may begin to cause stomach distress. A good way to deal with these minor issues is to cut back on sodium, as well as fatty or fried foods. If spicy or acidic foods are causing upset stomach or acid indigestion, it may be best to avoid them as well. It is also a good idea to eat frequent mini-meals during the last few months of pregnancy, rather than three full-sized meals a day.
Most pregnant women have heard of Braxton Hicks contractions. These are basically mild contractions which can be felt midway through a pregnancy. By thirty-one weeks, Braxton Hicks uterine contractions may occur more frequently, although they are not usually a sign that labor is imminent. However, whenever uterine contractions occur more than three times per hour, it is best to contact a physician or medical care provider.
Now that you are thirty-two weeks pregnant, you are definitely in the home stretch. You have only eight weeks left in your pregnancy, and time seems as though it has flown. What can you expect this week of your pregnancy?
This week, the baby weighs about a quarter-pound shy of four pounds about the size of a jicama. Head to toe, baby measures a little over 16.5 inches long. Meaning that there is not a whole lot of wiggle room left for him or her.
Baby has now entered the weight gaining phase and will gain a third to a half of his birth weight over the next 7 weeks. Most of it in the form of fat deposits under the skin. Baby has toenails, fingernails, and hair on its head and its skin is losing that wrinkled look as fat accumulates. The downy lanugo is being shed, and baby is nearly ready to be born. A baby born this week would have an excellent chance of survival outside the womb.
To meet your body’s and your baby’s growing demands, your blood volume has increased up to 50 percent since the beginning of your pregnancy. Your uterus, now about five inches above your belly button, is pushing up on your diaphragm and crowding your stomach and other internal organs. The consequence of this is shortness of breath and even more heartburn.
Try sleeping propped up on pillows to relieve some of your discomforts. If you are still exercising this far along, take it easy. The purpose of exercise at this point is to maintain flexibility and relieve stress, not to lose weight. So do not overexert yourself at this stage. Continue gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, as well as performing Kegels to strengthen the pelvic floor in preparation for labor and delivery.
Because of your increasing weight and changing center of gravity, you may be suffering from constant back pain these days. If the pain comes on suddenly and radiates around to the front of your abdomen in the form of cramping, it may be a sign of preterm labor. Be sure to call your OB/GYN should you have any lower back pain that turns into cramping. Spotting at this point should be mentioned to your practitioner, as well.
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