As baby prepares to join the outside world
- Baby is getting more and more ready to breathe the outside air. The structure of the respiratory system is now complete; while still immature, it could function independently with medical help if your baby was delivered now.
- Baby fat increases, changing your baby’s lean look to a more rounded one, making the skin less wrinkled. The bones and muscles are maturing, and your baby will continue to gain weight rapidly.
- Baby can blink! Its eyelashes have formed and its eyelids can open. The eyes have some amount of vision at this stage and your baby can see, though not clearly.
- Baby is becoming increasingly sensitive to external sound stimuli, especially to the voices and music – it is even capable of responding to this: it will move and its heartbeat will accelerate!
As your body enters the third trimester
- You can sometimes feel a tightening in your back or a hardening of the belly – this may be Braxton Hicks contractions. Not to worry, it just means your uterus is practicing a little for the birth. Increased Braxton Hicks contractions can mean that you’re doing too much though – make sure you don’t carry anything too heavy and take frequent breaks during the day. If the contractions don’t stop or continue to get stronger then consult your doctor.
- Perhaps your favourite shoes don’t fit right now and you can hardly get the ring you wanted to wear over your fingertip. Ahh, the joys of water retention. Because there are so many more fluids circulating in your body, it may collect in your hands and legs by the end of the day. Normally the swelling disappears again overnight. If the swelling remains or increases suddenly, inform your doctor so the possibility of pre-eclampsia can be ruled out.
- You might struggle to get your normal size meals in. This may be because that little person inside is continually encroaching on your tummy space - leaving not much room for your regular meal.
- A few weeks ago, you greeted the first movements of your little one with delight. Now your baby’s gymnastics can sometimes feel less than lovely: your uterus has now grown so much that when baby pushes against your ribs with a fast movement, it can hurt. Some moms start to report aches and pains all over right about now.
- You might be surprised by the size of your breasts, but remember that your body is getting ready to breastfeed. There might be yellow flecks on your shirt once in a while – that is “pre-milk,” or colostrum. This is a good sign as it means your breasts are ready for feeding your child. Not every woman produces pre-milk at this point. If you are one of them, you can protect your clothing with a nursing bra and breast pads.
Your pregnancy: weeks 32-35. Learn more about what to expect during your eigth month of pregnancy.
Your pregnancy: weeks 36 – 39. Learn more about what to expect during your ninth month of pregnancy.
Tips to help get you and baby to the finish line:
- Keep active – it will help you relax and prepare you for what lies ahead in child birth. Talk to your doctor before starting any new regime. For more information, see Exercise During Pregnancy
- Don’t overdo it – it’s perfectly safe to move around, whether you’re on the job or doing chores, but listen to your body and take a break when you need to.
- Try to get enough sleep – it helps your body rest and renew itself. Sleeping on one side with a pillow under your tummy and one between your knees may help you sleep better. Here are 10 tips for a good sleep during the 3rd trimester.
- Eat frequent, small meals - they’ll help keep up your energy throughout the day. Choosing lighter meals will make it more comfortable as your room inside dwindles as your baby grows bigger.
- Drink plenty of water to support your total blood volume, and eat foods rich in iron to support your red blood cells. Learn more about healthy pergnancy diet and nutrition here.
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