During your third trimester, also called the perinatal period, you will continue to gain weight and may even experience false labor contractions, called Braxton-Hicks contractions. If you plan to take any childbirth, breastfeeding or parenting classes, now is the time to schedule them. You may also want to work with your partner to develop a plan for your labor and delivery.
During your third trimester, your physician will change the schedule of your prenatal visits from monthly to every two weeks. During your last month of pregnancy, you will likely visit your physician once a week. Your physician will check a number of things, including:
Around week 38 of your pregnancy, your physician may do a pelvic exam to determine if you cervix has started to open and thin in preparation for birth. Your physician will also ask if you are having any contractions, talk to you about labor and delivery, and discuss your birth plan.
By the end of the third trimester, your baby is about 19-21 inches long and weighs about six to nine pounds. During your last few months of pregnancy, your baby’s lungs and kidneys continue to mature. Several other developments are taking place, including:
As your baby grows, you may find it difficult to take deep breaths or get comfortable for a good night’s sleep. You may also experience some anxiety about the arrival of your baby. Changes to your body during the third trimester may include:
If you experience any symptoms that cause you concern, contact your physician immediately.
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