Third Trimester Triumphs

by | Apr 16, 2024

Those exciting, albeit somewhat nerve-wracking, final months of pregnancy have arrived. The third trimester is a whirlwind of growth, anticipation, and maybe a touch of nervousness. Your body is a busy bee, preparing for childbirth, while your baby grows the last of all it needs to thrive in this world physically, developing vital systems and getting ready for the big debut. Let’s answer some questions and ease those fears as we head into the final stretch of your pregnancy journey. 

Your Body

  • Growth Spurt: Get ready for some serious baby weight gain! Your little one is rapidly adding fat and growing in size, so you’ll likely experience relatively more weight gain yourself (reminder, this is normal and healthy).
  • Comfy Clothes are Key: Embrace maternity wear that flatters your bump and keeps you comfortable. Many pre and post-birth labels optimise free-size clothing for a much longer wear out of them.
  • Body Changes: As your baby grows, your body adjusts to accommodate them. Look out for various signs and how to alleviate them. This might mean heartburn, more bathroom dashes than ever before, backaches, and shortness of breath.
  • Relaxation Techniques: Prioritise relaxation with breathing exercises, prenatal yoga, meditation, or warm baths. Keep your body moving even though it may be a strain, and consult your healthcare practitioner to find out which exercises are safe for you.

Your Baby

  • Development Powerhouse: The third trimester is a time of incredible development for your baby. Their lungs mature, preparing them for breathing outside the womb. They won’t be dependent on the umbilical cord for nutrition much longer, so they practice sucking and swallowing, which is essential for feeding. Their senses become more refined. An absolute delight is if you get the opportunity to see if your little one responds to your voice or music.
  • Movement: Don’t you love watching those videos where preggy moms have recorded the movement in their wombs? That’s when you realise what an incredibly miraculous pregnancy is. A whole other person with their own destiny and future is growing in you. You’ll likely feel your baby move a lot in the third trimester, but the kicks and jabs might become less frequent as they run out of space.
  • Finding the Right Position: Ideally, your baby will start turning and move into a head-down position (cephalic position) in preparation for birth. If not, your doctor will discuss options to encourage this position or recommend a cesarean section. 

Prenatal Care

  • Regular Checkups: You will become even more familiar with the doctor’s rooms. Visits to your doctor or midwife become more frequent in the third trimester. These checkups monitor your health and your baby’s development, including weight checks, blood pressure readings, and listening to your baby’s heartbeat.
  • Prenatal Classes: Consider attending childbirth education classes – plenty of online options are available. These classes equip you and your partner with valuable labour, delivery, and newborn care knowledge and skills. While grandparents and friends are great sources of information, professionals bring insights that are often overlooked and can dispel any myths that are floating about. 

Getting Ready for Birth

  • Pack Your Hospital Bag: Prepare your hospital bag well in advance to avoid last-minute stress—pack essentials for yourself, your partner, and a few things to welcome your newborn. Remember, as much as you’re doing everything for your baby, you need to be taken care of, too. 
  • Create a Birth Plan: Discuss your birthing preferences with your doctor or midwife. A birth plan outlines your wishes for pain management, delivery options, and immediate newborn care.

Common Third Trimester Concerns

  • Back Pain: Discomfort in your back is expected due to your baby’s weight and the loosening of ligaments. Supportive belts, good posture, and gentle stretches can help ease the pain.
  • Swollen Ankles: This is uncomfortable, but it’s a common occurrence. Fluid retention can lead to swollen ankles. Elevating your legs, wearing supportive shoes, and avoiding tight clothing can minimise swelling. 
  • Frequent Urination: Your growing baby puts pressure on your bladder, leading to frequent bathroom breaks. What does one expect with at least 2,5kg resting on your bladder? Kegel exercises can help strengthen your pelvic floor muscles and offer some relief.
  • Emotional Fluctuations: These are very real and shouldn’t be disregarded. Hormonal changes can trigger a range of emotions during pregnancy. Talk openly with your partner, lean on your support system, and don’t hesitate to seek professional help if needed.

 

The third trimester may be considered the “longest nine months”, but it’s also a wonderful time to connect with your growing baby and prepare for parenthood. Focus on self-care, prioritise relaxation, and create lasting memories. Don’t worry, mama, you’re nearly there.