Third Trimester of Pregnancy Guide

By the time the third trimester rolls around, you are accustomed to the various transformations your body has gone through. Unfortunately, it isn’t over yet. Many of the changes you noticed in previous months persist, though some come at a more rapid pace. Here are some changes you may notice during the remainder of your pregnancy.

Belly and weight gain

Yes, your belly keeps growing, believe it or not. Your baby is growing fast now, so your belly continues to make room for your baby. At the time of delivery, most women have gained at least 20 pounds. Some of this is your baby, but most of it is due to larger breasts, the placenta, amniotic fluid, and increased blood volume.

Breast changes

Your breasts are also still changing and enlarging. By the time your third trimester begins, you have an additional 2 pounds of breast tissue. This is also the time when your nipples start leaking a yellow fluid called colostrum. Colostrum helps nourish your baby after its born.

Skin changes and swelling

The skin changes and swelling you experience continues to show in your third trimester. Swelling is often worse because as your uterus grows, it puts pressure on your veins. This causes swelling in your feet, ankles, and legs. Elevating your feet helps with swelling. Other skin changes include possible varicose veins, spider veins and a darkening linea nigra down your abdomen. Your stretch marks also darken as your abdomen grows.

Cramps and pain

Your cramps and pain may go from occasional to more regular in the third trimester. Not only are your feet hurting by now, but so is your back. Your pelvic bone joints are relaxing to prepare for delivery, which means your back picks up all the slack.

Vaginal discharge

Heavy vaginal discharge is also common in the third trimester. It usually isn’t an issue, but if it’s enough to fill a panty liner in a couple hours, it could be amniotic fluid, and it's best to contact your doctor.

Shortness of breath

As your uterus continues to expand, your diaphragm is struggling to take in the same amount of oxygen. This often leads to shortness of breath in the third trimester. As you prepare for delivery, your baby moves deeper into your pelvis, and this calms down some.

Frequent urination

While the shortness of breath is improved with your baby moving deeper into your pelvis, your bladder is another story. This places a lot of pressure on your bladder and causes you to urinate more frequently resulting in making many trips to the restroom.

In general, some symptoms you experienced in the last trimester are fading away, while others worsen. This may not be the most comfortable trimester, but every day brings you closer to delivery!

Third trimester tools, calculators, and quizzes

Pregnancy Countdown Calculator
Quiz: Am I in Labor?
Labor Contractions Timer
Labor Curve Interactive
Labor & Delivery Clock
Baby Kick Count
Bishop Score Induction Calculator
Apgar Score Calculator

Third trimester by the week

Week 28
Week 29  Week 30

Week 31

Week 32  Week 33 
Week 34  Week 35 Week 36 
Week 37 Week 38  Week 39
Week 40 Week 41  Week 42

What you need to know about your third trimester

Third Trimester Checklist
What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy With My Body
What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy With My Baby?
What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy with Doctor's Appointments and Tests?
What Happens in the Third Trimester of Pregnancy With My Relationship?
How to Survive the 3rd Trimester of Pregnancy in 12 Steps
The Third Trimester from the Male Perspective

All pregnancy trimesters

  1. Pre-Trimester (preconception)
  2. First Trimester (up to 12-13 weeks)
  3. Second Trimester (up to 26-27 weeks)
  4. Third Trimester (up to delivery)
  5. Fourth Trimester (postbirth or postpartum)
  6. Fifth Pregnancy Trimester (going back to work)

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