Baby Grows – Third Trimester



Baby Grows – Third Trimester

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28 – 40 weeks

Welcome to the stretch run “the third trimester”. You and your partner can envision the end of pregnancy.

Mothers may experience some of the following symptoms at one time or another:

  • Stronger and more frequent foetal movements

  • Constipation

  • Leukorrhea – whitish vaginal discharge

  • Lower abdominal discomfort – backache

  • Headaches

  • Epistaxis – nose bleeds/congestion

  • Swelling of hands, feet and ankles

  • Varicose veins of legs or external genitals

  • Haemorrhoids

  • Sleeping difficulties

  • Itchy abdomen

  • Heart Burn, indigestion, flatulence

The foetus has a good chance of survival if born at this time. Weight is being gained, fat is being deposited on the foetus. He/She can cry, suck his/her thumb, hiccup, respond to pain, light and sound.

Emotionally, the mother may experience:

  • Increasing apprehension about motherhood, the well being of the baby and her ability to cope with labour and birth

  • Increased and more vivid dreams

  • Increased weariness with being pregnant and anxiety for it to be over

In the final weeks an increase in the above symptoms will occur along with:

  • Heavier vaginal discharge, which may be streaked with blood or brown after sexual intercourse or pelvic examination

  • Buttock and pelvic discomfort and pain

  • Cramping of legs

  • Fatigue or extra energy; alternating periods of each

  • Irritability and over sensitivity

  • Impatience and restlessness

  • Sleep deprivation

  • Lightening and engagement of the foetus; thus facilitating easier breathing and less discomfort.

PRE-LABOUR: symptoms can occur up to 4 weeks prior to the real event or up to one hour before. They may include:

  • Pink or bloody show – i.e., vaginal mucous discharge streaked with blood

  • “Nesting” – some women experience energy spurts and an uncontrollable urge to clean and cook

  • Groin pain and cramping; persistent lower backache

  • Mild weight loss of 2 – 3 lbs

  • Increased Braxton Hicks Contractions. The practice contractions of previous months now become more marked in intensity, frequency and can even become painful

  • Diarrhoea – loose bowel movements just prior to the onset of labour

FALSE LABOUR: labour has not begun

  • Contractions are irregular and non-progressive in frequency or intensity

  • Activity or change in position makes contractions subside

  • Discomfort in lower abdomen not lower back

  • Increased foetal activity with contractions

This is it – REAL LABOUR

  • Pain may begin in lower back and spread to lower abdomen and legs

  • Contractions intensify, increase in frequency, and duration

  • Show is present

  • The membranes (bag of water) may rapture