Congratulations! You made it to the third trimester! Common feelings include nervousness and also excitement about your upcoming birth and parenthood. Rest assured, these are all normal feelings.
The third trimester will take you from week 28 through week 40 of your pregnancy. During the third trimester, you may notice some changes due to your growing baby and your body preparing for birth.
Here are few common changes you may notice during this final trimester:
- Abdominal aches: These aches could be caused by round ligaments stretching to accommodate your growing baby bump and preparing your body for birth..
- Fatigue: As baby grows to full-term, the demands baby puts on your body increase. Be sure to get lots of rest.
- Heartburn: As your uterus pushes your stomach upwards, you may notice an increase in heartburn. Talk to your doctor if it is bothersome or severe.
- Contractions: Braxton Hicks contractions may start as your body prepares for the birth of your baby. These contractions are irregular and usually mild. True contractions will be progressive, increasing in frequency and intensity. Be sure to call your doctor if you can time the contractions and they become painful.
- Stretch marks: Stretch marks typically appear due to genetics. Moisturizing your belly may help minimize their appearance.
- Generalized discomfort: As the baby continues to grow, some women will experience backaches, shortness of breath, urinating frequently or other discomforts.
- Breast changes: Some women notice their breasts feel very full and begin leaking towards the end of their pregnancy. This substance is called colostrum, and it’s common to notice some leaking even before the baby is born. Colostrum is very nutrient-dense and will be a wonderful source of nutrition when your little one arrives.
Your baby is also going through many changes during the final trimester to help prepare for birth and life outside the womb.
Here are a few notable milestones:
- Baby weighs between 2-4 pounds
- Rapid brain development that enables baby to regulate body temperature and have rhythmic breathing movements
- Lanugo (fine hair all over baby’s body) starts to disappear, and the hair on baby’s head starts to thicken
- Your baby gains more fat stores, and bones are fully developed (although still soft)
- Baby’s eyes are able to be wide open, and pupils are responsive to light
- Fingernails have grown to reach the tip of the fingers
- Lungs continue to develop and prepare for independent breathing
- Multiple separate bone plates in her skull that are able to slide and move to allow the baby to pass through the birth canal
- Baby is rapidly gaining weight! Expect your baby to gain about ¼ to ½ pound per week in the last few weeks of pregnancy.
- Baby drops lower in mom’s belly and is typically positioned head-down to get ready for birth!
Even though there can be many discomforts and physical demands during a pregnancy, we hope you have enjoyed bonding with your little one even before he or she is born! Every woman’s experience of pregnancy is different, so if you have any concern if something you are experiencing is “normal,” we always encourage you to reach out to your prenatal provider.
Be sure to join us for a birthing class as you prepare for delivery!
We hope this blog series has given you a glimpse of some of the changes you and your baby may encounter from conception to birth!Learn More
Becoming pregnant while pursuing a college education can seem like a huge roadblock but it doesn’t have to be. With some tips for managing pregnancy as a college student you can be successful. If you’re a student in the Twin Cities at the University of Minnesota, Hamline, St. Thomas, Augsburg, Macalester, or St. Catherine University, you can find support and help through our centers.
At First Care, we will help connect you with resources in the community in addition to helping you identify available resources at your school.
Here are some of our tips to help manage pregnancy as a college student:
Gain a shift in perspective.
As we all grow and mature in life, it is important to realize that hard, difficult, challenging and unexpected things will ALWAYS be a part of life. They are unavoidable and that is not meant to be discouraging. Rather, it is intended to help you see the strength and capability you have within yourself to press on in the midst of unexpected challenges.
Who is in your corner?
I like the metaphor of a boxer who may have thousands of cheering fans but only a select few people in her corner, walking alongside her each step of the way. Take a moment to think about the people in your corner; who is there to support you through this pregnancy? Family, friends, partner? If you don’t have enough support, our Client Care staff can help you widen your support base.
Another key aspect in managing your pregnancy is recognizing any material or financial support you might be needing. This could be baby/maternity supplies, getting connected to programs like WIC, education classes to help prepare you or parenting groups for support.
- The U of M has a Student Parent Help Center that helps students who are pregnant and/or parenting with a variety of resources and support such as: child care resources, family housing, lactation resources, Parents As Students Support Group, Family friendly activity and events list, Teen Parent Outreach Program, and scholarships.
- The University of St. Thomas provides numerous resources to assist pregnant and parenting students.
- The Jeremiah Program provides services for pregnant women who want to pursue or continue their education and/or workforce prep.
We can help you gain access to all of these resources and more.
Believe In Yourself
Recognize you can do both – carry a pregnancy to term and be a student. It may look different than expected but, becoming pregnant does not mean you cannot continue your education. A lot of colleges have resources for pregnant students and want to help you through this as well. We encourage you to talk with your professors and advisers to make a plan for what this can look like.
Often with holistic support, women who experience an unplanned pregnancy realize they are stronger than they know and can move from surviving to thriving in their situations.
Remember you are not alone, not the first person to be experiencing this and you are so capable to get through this season of life.
Schedule an Appointment
Connect with one of our Client Advocates today to learn how we can specifically help you!Learn More