Pregnancy: third trimester

, medical expert
Last reviewed: 19.10.2021

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The third trimester of pregnancy lasts from 28 weeks until the birth of a child. The doctor will calculate a certain date of birth (40 weeks), but the child is considered full if born from 37 to 42 weeks. During the third trimester, the fetus gains weight and ripens all its organs. He often moves, especially during the period from 27 to 32 weeks.

In the last two months of pregnancy, the fetus becomes too large, which makes it difficult to move in the uterus. By the end of the third trimester, he turns his head down, which causes discomfort. This is a sign that the date of delivery is approaching.

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Characteristic signs of third trimester pregnancy

  • Braxton-Hicks contractions (painless contractions of the uterus, a kind of preparation for childbirth, but they do not provoke the opening of the cervix and the beginning of labor).
  • Fatigue
  • Back pain
  • Pain in the abdomen and flank
  • Hemorrhoids and constipation
  • Heartburn
  • Wrist canal syndrome
  • Difficulty in breathing, since the uterus is under the chest and lung, there is not enough space for inspiration.
  • Slight swelling of the legs and ankles, because during pregnancy, the body accumulates a lot of fluid and the uterus creates additional pressure.
  • Sleep disturbance and inability to take a comfortable posture during rest. Rest on the back slows the circulation of blood, and it is not possible to turn over on the stomach. Sleep on your side, put a pillow under your stomach. Later it is best to lie on the left side, as the position on the right side or back increases the mass of the uterus and partially blocks large blood vessels.
  • Frequent urination caused by uterine enlargement and fetal pressure on the bladder.

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Signs of approaching delivery

The fruit is turned upside down and lowered (but not always the woman feels it).

The cervix becomes thinner and begins to open. The doctor usually does an inspection and determines the degree of opening.

Braxton-Hicks contractions become more frequent and intense and, to some extent, painful. There is also constant pain in the lower back.

The fetal bladder ruptures. In most cases, the gap occurs after the onset of labor. In some women, this also happens before the onset of labor. Immediately call an ambulance in case of rupture of the bladder.

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