Weekly Pregnancy Guide: Third Trimester

Below you will find guidelines on your pregnancy on a weekly basis. While everyone’s pregnancy is different, and babies grow at different rates you will find that this guideline will help you understand how your baby is developing and the changes to your body.

Week Twenty-Six

Baby Development

Now weighing in at two pounds and about 13 1/2 inches long your baby is working on lung development by creating air sacs. The brain is active and connected to the eyes and ears, so baby can both see and hear, as well as begin to understand what he is experiencing. Baby is likely very active as he or she now has enough room to move around freely.

You & Your Body

Welcome to the third and final trimester. The closer you get to delivery, the more often you will notice Braxton Hicks contractions. As long as they don’t become too regular or painful you don’t need to worry. Consider them practice for the real thing, which is not too far away now.

Thoughts for Dad

Where is baby sleeping? If you are preparing a nursery or part of your room as baby’s space you will want to have everything ready before baby comes. A lot of this work is going to fall to you dad, since mom is spending more and more energy getting ready to delivery your new bundle of joy. Remind mom that painting is definitely off limits to her.

Week Twenty-Seven

Baby Development

The brain and lungs are rapidly developing, and the eyelids are tentatively opening. Baby’s retinas are developing as well, better to see you with! Baby is nearly 14 inches long by the end of this week and is likely feeling his environment get a bet smaller.

You & Your Body

The uterus is beginning to push up under your rib cage, meaning that you may notice some difficulty breathing. While this may be a bit irritating you will still manage to get plenty of oxygen for yourself and baby.

If you notice that coughing, laughing, running or sneezing is resulting in a little urine leakage do not be concerned because this is pretty normal. Hormones as well as pressure on the bladder contribute to what is called stress incontinences. If you are not already doing Kegel exercises you may want to start now, as they help to strengthen the muscles that control your bladder and also help with labor and delivery. Here’s how:

  • Identify the pelvic floor, or Kegel muscles by stopping the flow of urine while you pee.

  • Start by slowly squeezing these muscles and holding for 8-10 seconds. Try for reps of 10 a few times a day and work up to 50 reps.

  • If you need some guidance, try squeezing the muscles during sexual intercourse, as your partner should be able to feel you tighten up. It may even make for better sex!

  • Continue doing Kegel exercises for a few weeks after delivery as this will increase healing and also help get rid of post-natal incontinence.

Thoughts for Dad

Mom may be having some strange cravings. At two in the morning. On a Sunday. Don’t fight it, just hop in the car and head out to pick up some chow mein and ice cream. It will pass and you will both laugh about it later.

Week Twenty-Eight

Baby Development

Baby is fattening up at about 2 pounds now and has about 2-3% body fat. The lungs are nearly developed giving baby a much better chance of survival if born this early. Your baby likely has some hair on his head by now, although some babies tend to lose their first crop of hair and start from scratch after birth. The eyes are completely formed, so baby is likely wondering “where am I?”

You & Your Body

Your pregnancy has reached a point where your health care provider will likely want to see you every two weeks instead of every four. Meanwhile you are probably dealing with itchy skin, hemorrhoids, heartburn and varicose veins – all par for the course.

Thoughts for Dad

Times are going to get a bit tough from here on in as mom gains more weight and the baby starts to put more demands on her body. Try to distract her with anything you can, from massages to dinners out. If walking is getting uncomfortable for her, trying going to the local pool so she can experience some weightlessness.

Week Twenty-Nine

Baby Development

Baby’s head has now reached normal size in proportion to her body and she is putting on more fat to keep her warm. Her eyes are able to move around in the sockets and baby can detect light, sound, taste and smell, although the last two of these senses won’t come in handy until after the birth. Baby is likely very active, especially when you are trying to sleep!

You & Your Body

You are likely looking at the calendar by now and wondering if your due date is ever going to arrive. Hang in there. Before you know it everything will be over and you will have the ultimate reward. Take lots of breaks and treat yourself with a warm bath or some chocolate, whatever makes you feel a bit better.

It is a good time to begin formulating your birth plan – an outline of how you would like your labor and delivery to progress. The first step is to talk to your health practitioner about their practices and to take a tour of your labor and delivery location.

Thoughts for Dad

Get involved with the birth plan so you can feel like a part of the labor and delivery experience, which you should. Ask questions and make suggestions, she will appreciate that you are taking an active part instead of picking out cigars.

Week Thirty

Baby Development

Wow – baby is now 3 pounds and putting on weight rapidly. The lanugo (light covering of hair) is disappearing as your baby no long needs it now that the skin is more durable. Bone marrow is producing red blood cells.

You & Your Body

Sleep begins to become an issue around this time as it may be difficult to find a comfortable position. It is best to sleep on your left side, rather than your right or back (obviously sleeping on your front is impossible). There are many varieties of maternity pillows that can help you sleep more comfortably. If you happen to have a reclining chair in the home this can provide a more comfortable sleeping option when heartburn decides to rear its ugly head.

Have you thought about breastfeeding yet? About 50% of new moms choose to breastfeed, which by most medical groups is considered more beneficial for mom and baby. However, you may want to consider your own personal circumstances and do some more research before you decide.

Now is the time to familiarize yourself with the different stages of labor, as it will help you focus during labor and delivery.

First Stage- this is effectively the preparation stage of labor, where your body is working on dilating and effacing the cervix so baby can pass through. It generally lasts 12 to 13 hours for the first child and has three parts:

  • Early labor (one to four centimeters) – at the start of labor contractions will still be fairly far apart and shouldn’t cause too much discomfort. Try to rest up for the remaining stages.

  • Active labor (four to seven centimeters) – you will no longer be able to ‘do anything’ while having a contraction other than try to work your way to it. You should be heading to the hospital or birth center at this time.

  • Transition (seven to ten centimeters) – this part of the first stage can be quite intense, as rapid contractions are working to quickly dilate the cervix. Hang in there!

Second stage – This is the process of moving the baby through the birth canal. Concentrate on your contractions and push with them to help get baby out. This stage ends when your baby is born.

Third stage – Contractions continue to help deliver the afterbirth or placenta.

Thoughts for Dad

Whether mom decides to breastfeed or not, you can still be involved in the whole feeding process. Talk to your partner about how you would like to help, whether it be preparing a midnight feeding, changing baby and bringing the baby to mom, or feeding baby yourself.

Week Thirty-One

Baby Development

Nearly everything is fully developed by now, except the lungs. Additionally the brain is going through a big growth stage, getting ready to take on the colossal task of running your baby. Baby weighs about 3 ½ pounds and is about 15 inches long.

You & Your Body

It is common to have an achy abdomen as your ligaments and muscles are stretched to the limit to hold your uterus. Unfortunately there is not much you can do to relieve the discomfort other than to rest, and stay off your feet as much as possible.

Baby needs more nutrients than every – particularly calcium and iron. Make sure you are getting enough, and add a supplement if you need to. Many mothers at this stage experience fatigue due to low iron levels, so do yourself a favor and stock up on iron-rich foods.

Thoughts for Dad

Each week is going to get more difficult from here on in, but on the bright side your baby is almost here! If household chores are getting the best of both of you, consider hiring a maid to tidy up once or twice a week. You will both appreciate the break.

Week Thirty-Two

Baby Development

Baby weighs 3 ½ to 4 pounds by now and is 15 ¼ inches long. Hair is growing rapidly and so are toenails. Baby can move his or her head from side to side.

You & Your Body

Generally you will visit your health care practitioner every two weeks so they can monitor the baby’s development and watch for signs of early labor. Everything around your uterus is starting to feel cramped for space, even your baby is running out of room.

Thoughts for Dad

Why not start a baby pool? Have friends and family guess the due date, sex, and weight of the baby and each can chip in $2 for a guess. Split the pot between your family and the winner for a little post-delivery treat.

Week Thirty-Three

Baby Development

Your uterus is full of amniotic fluid, which will protect the baby until birth. The baby’s skin is turning a healthy shade of pink as more fat develops under the skin. Baby is 15 ¾ inches long and weighs nearly 4 ½ pounds. If you happen to notice a shudder in your abdomen this may just be a case of the hiccups!

You & Your Body

From here on in you will be gaining about a pound a week, which will nearly all go to your baby. Keep an eye out for pre-eclampsia, which is pregnancy related high blood pressure and can be indicated by swelling, abdominal pain, seeing spots or vomiting. This condition is manageable but can be harmful to you or the baby if left untreated.

If you become the proud parents to a baby boy you will want to consider whether you are going to have him circumcised. There are arguments both for and against circumcision, so spend some time researching.

Thoughts for Dad

Help mom put together a list of people she wants to notify of the baby’s arrival. This can be broken into two groups: call from hospital (siblings, parents, etc) and send a notice via mail. You may also want to consider putting an announcement in your local newspaper.

Week Thirty-Four

Baby Development

The baby is busy this week building immunity to fight infection. He or she likely has sharp fingernails, so make sure you have some clippers for when baby comes home! You can also get some little mittens so baby doesn’t scratch herself. Baby is now about 4 pounds 11 ounces and is 16 inches long.

Near this point your health practitioner will begin to track the position of your baby to ensure that the baby moves into a heads-down position before the birth.

You & Your Body

Likely there are more and more instances of Braxton-Hicks contractions occurring now, and they are getting more intense. As long as they are painless and don’t seem to get more regular there is nothing to worry about. Consider them practice.

For moms who are planning to breastfeed, it is good to find some support groups before baby is born. Although breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, not all babies find it easy to get started. Knowing where you can go for help beforehand can help ease some of the stress of trying to give your little one the nourishment he or she needs.

Things to do: It’s about time to consider a pediatrician for your baby. If you don’t yet have a family physician then perhaps you will want to go this route, so you all can get the care you need.

Thoughts for Dad

Mom is probably feeling pretty big and awkward by now, and likely is a bit moody and vulnerable. Make sure you tell her how beautiful she is and how great of a mom she is going to be. Treat her to breakfast in bed and help her get the important rest she needs to get ready for the big day.

Week Thirty-Five

Baby Development

Your baby weighs about 5 ½ pounds now and is putting on more fat on the arms and legs. Baby is running out of room in the uterus, so you likely will feel less kicks and more pushing as baby tries to get comfortable in its cramped environment.

You & Your Body

At your regular visits your health care practitioner will begin checking your cervix to look for signs of effacement and dilation, as well as to make sure the baby moves into position before your due date.

Thoughts for Dad

By now mom’s size and energy level is likely reducing her sexual appetite. If mom is still game you can try different positions to make it easier for both of you. However, you need to respect that she may not want to have sex right now and provide your support with lots of hugs and cuddles, kisses, foot rubs and back massages.

Week Thirty-Six

Baby Development

Only four more weeks, or less! Any time now your baby will ‘drop’ into the birth canal, and you will have some breathing relief. At the same time, moving around will get much more difficult and you will probably be feeling tired a lot of the time. Baby weighs about 5 pounds now.

It is a good idea to start keeping track of fetal movements at this time to ensure that baby is doing ok. By measuring the amounts that baby moves at a given time of the day you can let your health care practitioner know if baby starts to significantly reduce or increase the amount of movement.

You & Your Body

By now your prenatal visits are once a week so everything can be checked out. You’ve gained about 30 pounds and are eating 2400 calories per day. Keep up the good work and aim for as many healthy calories as you can since you are going to need the energy.

If you haven’t already, get familiar with the signs of labor so you can recognize them:

  • Lightening – the baby drops into the pelvis

  • Bloody show or passing of the mucous plug

  • Rupture of membranes – breaking of the bag of waters (amniotic sac)

  • Nesting – you feeling a burst of energy and start cleaning your house

  • Cervical changes – your cervix begins to dilate and thin

  • Diarrhea – a common pre-labor occurrence

  • Contractions – becoming more intense, longer and closer together

Thoughts for Dad

Hey, you are almost an official dad! By now you are probably getting anxious about all the fatherly duties you will be required to perform. Don’t worry, just like mom instinctively knows how to take care of baby you too will quickly figure out how things work. Just relax and get ready for the big day when your life will change forever.

Week Thirty-Seven

Baby Development

Your baby is gaining about one pound per week now and is probably about 5 ½ pounds! If born now your baby is considered full term and should have no difficulty breathing as lungs are matured. He or she can detect light in the womb and will turn towards it. Baby is also practicing how to breathe for that important first lungful of oxygen before the heartwarming first baby cry!

You & Your Body

You’ve probably noticed that there is a lot more vaginal discharge occurring now, which is your body’s way of preparing for labor. If your baby has not turned head down yet, he or she should soon. Your health care provider may order an ultrasound to determine the exact position of the baby and may also recommend an external version to help turn a baby who is in a breech position.

Things to do: Have you packed a hospital bag yet? If not, you should get packing as you could be off to the hospital any time now. It’s best to pack two bags – one for labor and another for after baby is born. Keep both of the bags by the door or in the car.

Thoughts for Dad

While mom is getting ready to have a baby, you can help out by getting ready to get her to the hospital or birthing center. Pre-register to ensure that mom can be admitted more quickly, and know how to get there. Also install the baby seat in your car so you don’t have to worry about it when it’s time for baby to come home. Ask mom for a list of phone numbers of the people she wants to notify while at the hospital, and know where your camera is!

Week Thirty-Eight

Baby Development

Your baby is gaining an ounce or more per day, and is accumulating meconium in the bowel. The baby’s head and abdomen have the same circumference. By now baby weighs anywhere from 5-8 pounds and can gain another pound or two by the time you are 40 weeks. He or she is about 18 inches long.

You & Your Body

You may be experiencing some more painful contractions now, but as long as they remain irregular you are fine. You will know it is the real thing when they start radiating from the top of your uterus down your pelvis and around your lower back. The contractions will become stronger, more painful and more regular when labor begins.

Thoughts for Dad

Mom is cranky and tired, and feels like a walking hot air balloon. She isn’t sleeping well and is having mood swings so quick that it’s giving you whiplash. Hang in there, the light at the end of the tunnel is close. Listen to her, talk to her and help her remain as comfortable as possible. Sometimes the best thing you can do is make a cup of tea and give her some space.

Week Thirty-Nine

Baby Development

Almost there! Baby has shed most of the lanugo and the lungs are mature. Baby is getting pretty cramped and you are both counting down the days. Baby weighs over seven pounds and is about 19 inches long.

You & Your Body

As the baby drops into your pelvis you are feeling clumsy and awkward. The ligaments of your pelvis are stretching in order to make room for baby to pass through, which is probably making you feel a bit wobbly. Be careful as the last thing you need right now is a sprained ankle from a fall.

Thoughts for Dad

This is the home stretch, hang in there! Spend some quality time with your partner, as soon there will be three of you. Bubble baths are a great way to help mom relax and gather energy for the important job ahead.

Week Forty

Baby Development

Baby is just about ready and weighs over 7.5 pounds and is 20 inches long. Baby has over 15% body fat and should be in a head down position, facing your lower back. Anytime now you will start feeling those early signs of labor and will eagerly head to the hospital. Before you go, think over how far you and baby have come and congratulate yourself on a job well done!

You & Your Body

While you are eagerly (or anxiously) counting down the days, remember that the length of your pregnancy is just an estimate. Technically you are not overdue until 42 weeks, so don’t freak out if baby decides to stay inside for a little while longer. Take time to mentally and physically gather your strength.

If you are feeling like you have had enough of this whole pregnancy thing your health care practitioner may be able to induce labor. This is a very personal decision and you should research all the pros and cons before proceeding.

For those who don’t want medical intervention, there are many old wives tales related to getting labor started, and many of them have been proven to work. Spicy food, long walks and sexual intercourse are a few, so if you want to get that baby born sooner rather than later it can’t hurt to try!

Thoughts for Dad

The number one priority for yourself and your partner is lots of rest, because the next few weeks are going to be exhausting. Help mom out with lots of massages as she is likely pretty uncomfortable by now, as well as anxious and impatient. Be supportive and soon all of your efforts will be rewarded.

When the time comes remember that mom will be looking to your for support. No matter what you need to be the rock that she leans on. Remember that although labor and delivery may be an intense experience, it will only last 12-24 hours and when it is over you will have the best reward in the world!

 

    

 

HOME  |  PREGNANCY SIGNS  |  FERTILITY  |  CONTRACEPTION

© YourDays.com. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Use  | Ovulation Calendar)