3rd trimester: How mothers feel at the end of pregnancy
During this stage of pregnancy, the fetus acquires the necessary lung maturity. In addition, the baby grows and gains weight. For the mothers, it becomes more and more difficult with the growing belly. But relief is at hand: because with the lowering contractions, the baby slips into the pelvis, leaving room for the diaphragm and stomach.
The mother: accompanying symptoms in the 3rd trimester
The expectant mom’s belly is now relatively large, and the baby is making more and more room. Due to the increased concentration of the hormone progesterone, ligaments and muscles loosen to prepare the body for birth. Posture changes and the additional weight of 10 to 15 kilograms can be a great strain on the pregnant woman’s back. But the baby’s size also puts pressure on the internal organs, which can lead to unpleasant side effects such as heartburn.
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The most common problems that a heavily pregnant woman has to deal with in the last period include:
- Shortness of breath
- Back pain
- Stretch marks
So that these symptoms do not restrict the mother too much and do not unnecessarily dampen the anticipation of the offspring, the greatest discomforts can be reduced with mindfulness and a few home remedies.
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3rd trimester: The last developmental steps of the baby
In the last trimester of pregnancy, the fetus must continue to grow and gain weight. As the 3rd trimester draws to a close, the baby is on average 51 centimeters tall and weighs 3.5 kilograms. The fetus soon becomes too crowded, so at this stage it assumes the typical embryonic position, pressing its arms and legs close to the upper body and curling up slightly.
While development at the beginning of pregnancy was particularly focused on the formation of organs and the body, fat cells are now growing in the subcutaneous tissue. These provide for later thermoregulation. In the 3rd trimester, the brain also continues to develop strongly. The furrows that are typical of the human brain form more intensively, and the formation of brain cells is in full swing.
Changing eye color
The eye color of the child is already genetically determined. Nevertheless, almost all fetuses have blue eyes in the 3rd trimester. The iris needs a sufficient concentration of the pigment melanin to form the later eye color. At birth, most newborns lack the necessary melanin. This is formed over the course of the following months until the true eye color is finally developed. The final coloration of the iris can sometimes occur only after two years. Of course, there are also exceptions in which a baby is already born with brown or green eyes.
What mother and child need in the last trimester of pregnancy
Since the extra weight of pregnancy takes its toll on the mother in the 3rd trimester, regular rest breaks should be taken. A relaxing bath, a massage, or simply a regular midday nap work wonders against exhaustion. The need for nutrients from the 2nd trimester often continues in the last phase. So continue to make sure you get enough of the following substances:
- Folic acid
- Omega-3 fatty acids
- Iodine and selenium
- Vitamin B6 and B12
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
Do something good for your body and the baby by also paying attention to a healthy and sufficient diet during the exciting last phase of pregnancy. In this way, you will also tank up enough strength for the upcoming birth.
FAQ - Third Trimester of Pregnancy
✅ How do contractions differ from real contractions?
Basically, it is said that preterm contractions and also sinking contractions should not occur more frequently than three times per hour or ten times in 24 hours. Also, they should not last longer than 30 to 60 seconds. If you want to be on the safe side, take a warm bath: If the contractions become more bearable due to the warmth, or if they end completely, they are preterm contractions. However, if the contractions increase and become more intense, you should immediately notify your midwife or the hospital. It could be that labor is beginning.
✅ What helps against sleep disturbances in late pregnancy?
In many cases, the large belly presses so hard on the back that sleep is almost unthinkable. It is best to lie down only on your left side so that the weight of your child does not press on the great vena cava (vena cava) to the right of your spine. If the large blood vessel is compressed, it can cause discomforts, such as dizziness or nausea. A side-sleeper or nursing pillow is a great help now: lie on your side and place the top of the pillow under your head. Now guide the pillow close to your belly and clamp the lower end between your knees. This supports your belly and relieves pressure on your back. Some midwives also offer acupuncture for better sleep. Learn more about the best sleeping positions during pregnancy.
✅ When will my baby be born?
According to the classic calculation, the child is born on gestational day 40+0, i.e. at the beginning of the 41st week of pregnancy. However, this delivery date abbreviated ET, can vary by a few days since the time of fertilization can rarely be determined exactly. If the pregnancy continues beyond the ET until 41st SSW +6 days, obstetricians call it a missed due date. From 42nd SSW +0 days, according to the WHO, it is called a transfer. As long as mother and child are doing well, there is nothing to be said against transfer and waiting for the spontaneous start of labor. However, the check-ups are then carried out at least every two days, often daily.