Third Trimester


    Third Trimester

    The third trimester is such an exciting time! Our mission is to accompany you through each phase of your pregnancy journey. In this post, we'll be focusing on the third trimester, a time filled with anticipation and significant development for your baby. We'll delve into what you can anticipate, both medically and physically, and offer advice on how to prepare. We'll also discuss the best timing for elective ultrasounds during this trimester.


    The Third Trimester: The Final Stretch

    The third trimester, extending from week 28 until birth, is a period of substantial growth for your baby and anticipation for you. As you gear up to meet your little one, here's what you can anticipate and how to prepare.


    Physical Changes and How to Prepare

    During the third trimester, your body will continue to evolve as your baby grows and prepares for birth. Here are some changes you might experience and how to prepare for them:

    • Growing Belly: Your belly will continue to expand, and you may feel increased discomfort and heaviness. Continue wearing comfortable maternity clothes. To support your growing belly, consider using taping methods or maternity belts. Taping methods, such as Kinesiology Taping, can provide external support and may help alleviate discomfort. Maternity belts are designed to support the lower back and abdomen, and can be particularly helpful if you're experiencing back pain. Also, consider using a pregnancy pillow to support your belly and back when sleeping.
    • Shortness of Breath: As your uterus expands, it can put pressure on your diaphragm, leading to shortness of breath. Practicing good posture and sleeping propped up can help alleviate this.
    • Frequent Urination: The pressure of your growing baby on your bladder can lead to frequent urination. Staying hydrated is important, but you may want to reduce fluid intake in the hours before bedtime to minimize nighttime trips to the bathroom.
    • Braxton Hicks Contractions: These "practice" contractions can start to occur. They're usually mild and irregular. If they become regular and more intense, it could be a sign of labor.


    Medical Aspects and How to Prepare

    The third trimester is also a crucial time for medical check-ups and preparations for birth. Here's what you can expect:

    • Frequent Prenatal Visits: Your healthcare provider will want to monitor you and your baby closely. These visits may include checking your baby's heart rate and your blood pressure, measuring your belly, and discussing any symptoms or concerns.
    • Group B Strep Test: Around week 35 to 37, you'll be tested for Group B streptococcus, a type of bacteria that can be harmful to newborns. If you test positive, you'll be given antibiotics during labor to protect your baby.
    • Repeat labs such as RPR and HIV
    • Third Trimester Ultrasound: While not all healthcare providers perform an ultrasound in the third trimester, some may offer one to check your baby's position and growth.


    Changes in Baby During the Third Trimester

    During the third trimester, your baby undergoes significant growth and development in preparation for birth. Here are some of the key changes:

    • Growth: Your baby will gain weight rapidly, almost doubling in size. This growth is essential for healthy development and survival outside the womb.
    • Lung Development: The baby's lungs continue to mature and produce surfactant, a substance that helps the air sacs inflate and keeps them from collapsing.
    • Brain Development: The baby's brain is growing rapidly, and by the end of the third trimester, it will be nearly fully developed.
    • Senses: The baby's senses are also developing. They can now respond to light, sound, and touch. They may even react to loud noises or your voice.
    • Movement: As the baby grows and space in the womb becomes tighter, you might notice changes in the baby's movement. They may not kick and punch as much, but you'll feel more rolls and wiggles.
    • Positioning: Most babies will move into the head-down position by the end of the third trimester in preparation for birth. However, some babies may remain in the breech position (feet or bottom first).
    • Immune System: The baby's immune system is developing. During the last few weeks of pregnancy, you pass antibodies to your baby that will help protect them from infections after birth.


    Preparing for Baby's Arrival During the Third Trimester

    As you enter the final stretch of your pregnancy, it's time to start preparing for your baby's arrival. Here are some key steps to take during your third trimester:

    Finishing the Nursery: By the third trimester, you should ideally have the basics in place - a crib, changing table, and a comfortable chair for feeding. Now is the time to add the finishing touches. Decorate the nursery according to your preference, organize baby clothes, and set up a diaper changing station.

    Washing Baby Clothes and Bedding: It's recommended to wash all baby clothes, blankets, and bedding before the baby arrives. Use a gentle, baby-friendly detergent to avoid irritating your baby's sensitive skin.

    Finding a Pediatrician: Start researching and meeting with pediatricians. Ask for recommendations from friends, family, or your obstetrician. Ensure the pediatrician's office hours, location, and policies align with your family's needs.

    Packing a Hospital Bag: Your bag should include items for you (like a change of clothes, toiletries, and snacks) and for the baby (like a going-home outfit, carseat, and a blanket). Don't forget to include your ID, insurance information, and birth plan. Check out our blog about what to pack in your hospital bag! 

    Self-Care: It's crucial to take care of yourself during this time. Continue eating a healthy diet, stay hydrated, and try to get plenty of rest. Consider scheduling a prenatal massage or practicing prenatal yoga to help alleviate any discomfort.

    Classes: If you haven't already, consider taking a childbirth class. These classes can help you understand what to expect during labor and delivery. You might also want to take a newborn care class or breastfeeding class.

    Birth Plan: If you haven't already, research birth plans. This can include your preferences for pain management, who you want in the room with you, and what should happen in case of complications. Let your support team know your wishes. 


    Remember, the most important thing is that your baby is loved and cared for. Everything else will fall into place. A good birth is a birth that is informed and free of fear. 


    Elective Ultrasounds at Little Peek Boutique

    At Little Peek Boutique, we offer elective ultrasounds that provide a unique opportunity to see your baby in more detail. The best time for these ultrasounds is typically in the third trimester, around weeks 28 to 36. This is when your baby is developed enough to see detailed features, but still has enough room to move around.

    To prepare for an elective ultrasound, drink plenty of water in the days leading up to your appointment to ensure your amniotic fluid is clear. Also, consider eating a small snack or drinking fruit juice before your appointment to encourage your baby to move and show off their personality.

    Remember, every pregnancy is unique, and your experience may differ from what is described here. Always consult with your healthcare provider about any concerns or questions you may have. At Little Peek Boutique, we're here to support you every step of the way during this exciting


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