What is it like?
You have reached the last trimester of your pregnancy! Can you believe the time has passed so quickly? You are just about 3 months away before the day you will give birth and you are probably very eager to get there. Try to keep this in mind if you become frustrated and feel overwhelmed. Worrying doesn’t need to be part of your schedule – you’re almost at the finishing line. If you find your hormones act up, try to take a deep breath and think things through. A positive mental attitude will affect your own health and that of the baby.
Your baby’s growth
- The hearing
At this point, your baby can hear better and distinguish certain sounds and voices.The amniotic fluid conducts sound. Some cultures believe that too much noise may over stimulate the baby so it’s best if you keep the volume moderate while others celebrate with loud music. There is no science behind this so do what is comfortable for you.
- Sight and taste
Your baby’s sight becomes clearer this month. During the ultrasound, if you are looking closely you can see how your baby’s eyes open and close without a problem. Also, the taste of your baby is developed and despite the fact that the amniotic fluid has a distinctive taste, the food you eat can influence its taste.
If last month your baby’s lungs were undeveloped, this month they can survive outside the womb. However, their development is not completed yet. The lungs are the last major organs to mature.
- Body hair
The fluff from his or her skin, called lanugo begins to disappear, while the hair on the head still grows. The eyelashes and eyebrows become very visible.
Most babies assume the vertex or head down position. But up until week 36, it doesn’t matter because there is still time to make the change.
What happens inside your body?
As your belly swells, it may feel itchy as the skin stretches and dries out. Your breast may leak a yellowish fluid called colostrum. This are also known as beestings, bisnings or first milk. Your pregnancy vaginal discharge or leucorrhea may increase too. And you may feel more lower abdominal pain, as the ligaments supporting the uterus become more stretched. Any digestive problems such as constipation, flatulence or bloating will likely continue. Your feet may even swell to the point of needing new shoes.
- Braxton-Hicks contractions
You have likely become accustomed to these types of contractions over the past few months. These are the body’s way of practicing for the coming labor. These contractions begin at the top of your uterus and then spread downwards, lasting from just a few seconds to several minutes. The contractions should stop if you change position, such as moving from sitting to standing. If they don’t or the contractions become painful or become increasingly stronger, it is best to inform your obstetrician. You may be going into early labour.
- Pelvic pressure
The pregnant uterus continues to press on the bladder causing frequent urination.
How different will you look?
Your face will become rounder and fluffier. And the pounds will continue to pile on. Your baby will gain about half a pound of weight per week from now until about two weeks before birth. The stretch marks can become even more visible this month. The skin around your nipples may get darker but the size of your breasts will likely stay the same. In other words, the changes are nothing that you haven’t handled before.
How can you care for both of your loved ones?
Now is a good time to talk about a birthing plan with your partner. It’s good to agree on things like who will be there in the delivery room with her. You might also want to talk about what medical procedures she feels comfortable with. While being there for mom, you can also start building a relationship with your unborn child. You can sing, read and tell your baby stories about yourself and his or her mom. After birth, your baby will likely recognize your voice and will react to it. Your baby’s life has already begun, and you’re preparing to be a great dad.
Tips to help you go through this trimester
- Get enough rest: During this period you need to rest during night and day and not take on any stress. These will decrease the risk of a premature birth. Try not to stand too much, don’t lift weights, and avoid overwork. A positive attitude will affect your pregnancy. Continue the daily walks, light exercises and breathing exercises.
- Drink plenty of liquids: Dehydration can cause preterm labor by increasing uterine excitability. Drinking a glass of water as soon as you wake up is highly recommended. This will stimulate your cells and your energy level will be higher.
- Eat healthy: Eating well is an on-going concern during pregnancy. Especially during the 7th month, as it is a time of rapid fetus growth, and so your baby needs calcium for his bones and iron for red blood cells. Proteins are also key to cell growth.
- Sleep in the correct position: It is recommended to sleep on the left side with the knees bent to improve blood circulation and to ensure your baby’s comfort. Avoid lying flat on your back for long periods of time.
- Start to research your pain management options: Do you want to try and avoid pain medication altogether? Or would you prefer an epidural? Now is a time to think about these options. Then if you go into labor early, you will already be prepared. Good breathing techniques will also help with the pain, so it’s also a good time to start practicing.
The entry into the third and last trimester of your pregnancy can bring a certain state of serenity. Your body has gone through some huge changes, but you and your baby have survived and are developing normally and healthily. Try to enjoy the calm before the storm. A kick from your baby might surprise you anytime, indicating a preterm birth.