You’re finally in your third trimester, and you’re feeling it from head to toe. While you enjoyed the second trimester thoroughly, the third trimester starts a whole crop of new physical and emotional changes. You are probably experiencing weight gain, heartburn, frequent urination, varicose veins, fatigue, shortness of breath, and hemorrhoids right about now. But don’t worry, it’s a good sign that your pregnancy is progressing and your baby is going through its own changes.
Throughout these weeks, your baby grows from two pounds to four pounds and is around 14 inches long. No wonder your belly seems to have ballooned up. Your baby regularly responds to light, sound, and even pain during month seven. Around week 28, your baby’s eyes are able to open even more, and eyelashes become more visible. The wrinkles in your baby’s skin even out because of weight gain and all the bones are developed by week 29. If you get an ultrasound in week 30, you may be able to see your baby’s eyes wide open. In week 31, your baby’s central nervous system can control body temperature.
You have felt movement before, but not like now. This is around the time you can see your belly moving as your baby moves, and some kicks are so hard you would swear he or she broke a rib. In week 32, your baby starts to practice breathing, even though its lungs are still developing. In this month, your bundle of joy can also absorb minerals like calcium and iron. The fingernails have reached the fingertips, and your baby can detect light through his or her eyes. Your baby’s limbs are becoming chubby too. Most babies born after 32 weeks have a high survival rate with little risk of complications.
Depending on when you deliver, your pregnancy is likely to be either nine or ten months in total. This is the final stage of your baby’s fetal growth, increasing how much your baby can grasp, see, hear and touch. Your baby’s position will also start moving so the head is facing your birth canal. On average, babies weigh between six and eight pounds now. Your uterus is providing less room for the baby, so don’t be surprised by feeling movements less. He or she can still stretch and roll, but not kick or punch in the same way as before. By week 37, you are considered full term. All of the organs are fully developed and the baby can function on her/his own should you deliver now. The baby’s brain is about 14 ounces now and continues to grow even after birth.
A mixture of emotions is common in the third trimester. Just remember when you’re experiencing cramping, backaches, and achy ribs, your baby is growing fast and is just about ready to be born.