Pregnancy is an exciting and bumpy ride. While there is a lot that happens in the first two trimesters, the third trimester is when things really start to get fun.
During the third trimester, there are tons of important things happening to both mom and baby, according to mayoclinic.org. For example, when a woman is between 28 and 40 weeks pregnant, the baby goes through a stage where he or she begins to rapidly get bigger during the weeks that come right before they are born.
One fun fact is that by the time a woman reaches the 30th week of her pregnancy, the unborn baby should be approximately 10-and-a-half inches long. Here are some other things that go on during the third trimester.
20 The Baby Drops
Moms in the third trimester will certainly notice that, at some point, their baby drops lower in the womb. According to uofmhealth.com, this is something that is referred to as “lightening,” and it is part of how the mother and baby prepare for birth. Sometimes it happens approximately two weeks before birth, and other times it does not happen until labor has started.
19 Babies Practice Breathing
An unborn baby’s lungs begin to develop early in pregnancy. But something many people do not know is that babies actually start practicing taking breaths during the last few weeks of pregnancy.
A child’s lungs are not completely developed at this point. Nevertheless, according to healthline.com, kids who are born during this point in pregnancy have a great chance of surviving outside of their mother’s womb.
18 Moms Can Watch The Baby Move
During the second trimester, many women can feel their baby moving. But as a woman’s pregnancy progresses, she will likely notice that she can actually see her child moving around in the womb when she looks at her stomach, according to community.babycenter.com. It’s so awesome to be able to see our little ones moving around. Sometimes this even makes bonding easier.
17 The Baby's Nails Finish Forming
Unborn babies tend to develop a lot during the last trimester of pregnancy. For instance, according to allinahealth.org, by the time a mother has reached the third trimester of her pregnancy, her baby’s tiny nails have finished developing. Also, children’s brains go through drastic changes during this time as well.
16 Babies Begin To Practice Blinking
There are a lot of important things that happen during the last trimester of pregnancy. Babies start practicing a lot of things at this point, including blinking. According to webmd.com, this usually happens when the mother has reached the 36th-week of gestation. In addition, this is also the point in a pregnancy during which a woman starts visiting her doctor every week.
15 Little Ones Develop A Keen Sense Of Smell
One thing many people don’t know is that unborn babies can actually smell things. According to whattoexpect.com, their sense of smell begins to develop rather early.
But they usually cannot smell things until much later on. A baby’s sense of smell really kicks in during the last two months before they are born.
14 The Baby Dreams
Most people know that newborns actually sleep most of the time. Well, according to parents.com, they also sleep a lot right before they are born, which means that they spend a great deal of time in REM sleep. Some even believe that babies dream during the time they spend sleeping in the womb during the last couple of weeks before they are born.
13 Moms May Have Some Bathroom Issues
Let’s face it, the third trimester of pregnancy is great, but it can bring mothers a lot of bathroom related issues. For example, ladies who are really close to the finish line (labor and delivery) may notice that they have hemorrhoids. According to medium.com, that is because their growing uterus is putting a lot of pressure on other parts and organs.
12 Eating Actually Gets Harder
Nutrition is important, especially for pregnant moms. According to mother.ly, there are lots of different things moms need to include in their diet during this time.
However, eating can actually get pretty hard at this point. Moms might feel pretty full because they are carrying a baby. Plus, some ladies get constipated when they are expecting, which means they will have even less room for food.
11 Babies Have A Good Sense Of Sound In The Third Trimester
Moms typically love talking to their unborn babies when they are pregnant. The good news is that babies can actually start to hear them around the 18th week of gestation. However, a child’s hearing abilities get much better once their mother has reached the third trimester. At this point, little ones can recognize their mother’s voice, according to healthline.com.
10 The Baby's Grip Strengthens
Anyone who has ever had a baby knows that they have a pretty strong grip right away. Well, according to mayoclinic.org, a baby begins to get his or her strong grasp when their mother has been pregnant for approximately 37 weeks. This might also be the time when a baby gets into the position they will be in when they are born.
9 Vernix Decreases
For those who don’t know, vernix is the substance that covers a baby’s skin when he or she is born. According to parents.com, vernix is pretty good for little ones. After all, it does moisturize their skin. Babies also have this before they are born, and they usually lose some of it during the third trimester.
8 Hair And Eyelashes Come In
The third trimester brings a lot of new things to unborn babies. According to familydoctor.org, a child’s eyelashes begin to come in right before they are born. Furthermore, babies who are born with hair usually have a head full of it at this stage in pregnancy. In addition, babies can also usually respond to sounds they hear outside of the womb.
7 The Mucus Plug Comes Out, But It Doesn't Always Look The Same
The mucus plug is a handy little thing that pregnant women have that is meant to keep the baby safe and healthy before he or she has been born. According to motherrisingbirth.com, this comes out before birth happens.
Furthermore, mucus plugs do not always look the same. Some of them are clear, while others have more of a cream color. Some are even a bit brown.
6 Mom Might Actually Lactate
Some people think lactation does not start until the baby comes, but that’s not necessarily true. Ladies who are expecting will likely notice that they are producing something very similar to milk, according to livestrong.com.
The lactation process actually can begin earlier. However, moms don’t start making this substance until they have reached the last trimester.
5 Edema Can Occur
Pregnancy can be very hard. One of the most difficult pregnancy symptoms to deal with is edema, which usually happens in the third trimester.
According to babycenter.com, edema is a condition that causes an expectant mother’s ankles or feet to swell up. This is a rather unfortunate symptom, but it is normal and common.
4 It Could Be Longer Than Expected
In most cases, pregnancies can last anywhere between 37 and 42 weeks, which is quite normal. But according to medline.plus.gov, that is not always the case.
There are actually some cases in which pregnancies can last much longer than that. Some women have been known to have a pregnancy go past that amount of time. In cases like that, the mom is officially past-due.
3 Bending Over Gets More And More Difficult
According to livestrong.com, it is totally safe for pregnant women to bend over, even when they are in the last trimester. However, that does not mean it is an easy thing to do.
If it is possible, ladies who are this far along should have someone who can help them complete tasks that require bending, since that can be hard to do depending on how big their baby bumps are. Bending over during the third trimester can increase a woman’s risk of falling.
2 Mom Can No Longer See Her Feet
There are a lot of minuscule tasks that become quite a big deal during the third trimester. In fact, according to motherhooddiaries.com, women who are that far along may be surprised to find out that they are unable to see their feet. This certainly makes it much harder to put on shoes.
1 Everyone Will Remind Mom How Close Her Due Date Is
According to community.whattoexpect.com, there are lots of women who feel as though the third trimester is very difficult to get through, since it feels as though it lasts longer than the other two. But something that can make it worse for expectant mothers is when all of her family and friends are reminding her how close to she is to her due date.
Pregnancy can seem like it lasts forever. Moms who have reached the last trimester are not usually fond of being reminded how long they may have to wait until the baby is born.
References: What To Expect, Mayo Clinic, Michigan Medicine, Health Line, Baby Center, Allina Health, WebMD, Parents, Medium, Motherly, Familydoctor.org, Mother Rising, Livestrong.com, MedlinePlus, Motherhood Diaries