After passing through the first and second trimester stages, you would now like to know what to expect in the third trimester.
The third trimester, which runs through weeks 28 -42, marks the last stage of your pregnancy. Now you are in a stage filled with expectation and anticipation. In a few weeks time a little infant is about to be born.
How do you prepare yourself? What are the common tests in the third trimester? Here are some answers.
How Do You Prepare For The Third Trimester?
This is a time full of fun and excitement. You are filled with thoughts of labor and childbirth. You look for information on breastfeeding, normal births, epidurals, and baby care basics.
At the same time, the last few months of pregnancy can be physically and emotionally challenging. Your baby is now growing and his or her movements inside you become more obvious. Along with these exciting sensations, you may also experience certain discomforts. Backaches, shortness of breath and heartburn are common. So also are varicose veins, swelling of ankles, stretch marks, and frequent urination.
You just need to remember that nothing is alarming about these symptoms. Moreover, it should be comforting for you to feel that there will be more frequent check ups with your health care provider. In all probability, the doctor will make a schedule of weekly check ups during the third semester. This will provide you an opportunity to interact with your doctor more and get his advice on how to cope with your specific symptoms.
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During the third trimester, the final weight gain takes place. The fetus grows more rapidly and can gain up to 28 grams per day. The belly will transform in shape and droop due to the fetus turning in a downward position and getting ready for birth. The expanding abdomen is often the cause of discomforts like back- ache and a weak bladder. A woman will also feel more frequent and strong movements of the fetus inside her.
Tests In The Third Trimester
The following are the common tests you can expect in the third trimester.
- Checking of blood pressure
- Doppler fetal heart rate monitoring- This is done by a hand-held ultrasound transducer to detect the heartbeat of your baby during prenatal care.
- Pelvic examination
- Biophysical profile testing- This is a detailed ultrasound test done in your doctor’s office. During this test, your doctor looks for movements of your baby’s arms and legs and breathing movements.
- Amniocentesis- This test is done to determine your baby’s fetal lung maturity, to diagnose if it has any chromosomal disorder, and to rule out any uterine infection. The doctor will take a sample of your amniotic fluid. This fluid surrounds your baby in the uterus.
Signs Of Approaching Pregnancy Due Date
Pregnancy due date will be uppermost in your mind as your trimester stage progresses. Here are some common signs.
- Mucous plug- The mucous plug covering the cervix is usually expelled three days before childbirth.
- Water breaking – Towards the end of pregnancy the amount of collagen decreases in the chorion, the outer layer of the bag of water. Collagen is the extra protective tissue that provides protection to the amniotic membrane. As the collagen decrease, the bags of water break. This event happens either during labor or prior to the onset of labor.
- False contractions – Also called Braxton Hicks contractions, these contractions start about 6 weeks into your pregnancy. However, it is advisable not to make your own judgment. If you have, more than four contractions in an hour call your doctor immediately.
- Nesting – You will be surprised to learn this! As the labor approaches, you may be smitten by the nesting instinct. This means you will develop a distinctive urge to clean, tidy and organize everything around your house. Unbelievably, this is a frequent occurrence during pregnancy.