- Breathing movements begin
- Small amount of fat under the skin develops
- 14-17” in length
- Weighs 202.5 lbs.
- Skull bones are soft and flexible to accommodate movement through pelvis
- Stores vitamins and minerals in liver-especially iron
- Moves energetically
- 16.5” to 18.5” in length
- Stores immunities from mother
- Fat under skin develops to help maintain temperature after birth
- Skin wrinkles disappears
- May begin to descend into pelvis
- May be less active due to lack of room for moving about
- 19” in length
- Weighs 5-6 lbs
- Head grows large compared to body
- Fat develops on body
- Lungs ready to breathe air
- Loses much of downy hair
- Fingernails grow beyond fingertips
- 20” in length
- Weighs 7 lbs
The Third Trimester – Your Body
The uterus continues to grow. The cervix becomes softer and may begin to efface (thin out) and dilate (open up). Braxton-Hicks, or false labor contractions, often become stronger. Round ligament pains are sharp with pulling sensations down either side of the uterus. This may happen as the uterus grows.
Vaginal secretions increase, preparing the birth canal for delivery.
The uterus is pressing on the stomach and may cause heartburn.
The woman may notice shortness of breath, as the growing baby puts pressure on the diaphragm.
Varicose veins may develop in the legs, the perineum or the rectum (hemorrhoids). Wearing support hose is helpful.
Urination becomes more frequent, especially after the baby moves further into the pelvis.
Many women feel tired and have trouble sleeping, because they find it difficult to get comfortable and fall asleep.
A woman becomes very focused on her labor and birth and involved in preparing for the baby. She many feel very large and unattractive. A woman’s self-esteem very often is at a low. Time may seem to go by slowly waiting for her due date.
A partner can help by reassuring the pregnant woman about her appearance and helping her feel confident about her abilities. Try to spend time together, talking, planning or going on a date.
To a great extent a woman’s birth experience is influenced by her attitude.