Women's Health

What to Expect: The Third Trimester

The final stage of pregnancy can be challenging, but the end is in sight. You’ve overcome the morning sickness and the stretch marks, and now you’ll be introduced to new changes during the third trimester. Knowing what to expect will help lessen any anxiety you may have before the birth of your new baby.

Bodily Changes During the Third Trimester

You’ll be feeling a lot of movement inside your abdomen, and this is an important sign of your baby’s health. You can also expect aches, pains, and swelling during the third trimester as you carry around your baby. Common symptoms also include frequent trips to the restroom and Braxton-Hicks contractions. However, one of the most prevalent symptoms to expect during the third trimester is insomnia.

The National Sleep Foundation reports 97 percent of women claim to wake up an average of three times each night toward the end of their pregnancies. This is due in part to the baby’s growing size, increased snoring, and restless legs.

Luckily, there are several ways to reduce episodes of insomnia:

  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day to reduce cramping
  • Try sleeping on your left side, instead of your back, to ease discomfort and increase blood flow to the baby
  • Stretch your legs before bed to help lessen cramps throughout the night

Healthful Tips

Maintaining your healthy diet, taking your prenatal vitamins, and staying active with daily walks will keep you physically prepared for your delivery day. To mentally prepare, there are a few things you can to do ease your mind. Planning ahead will help you feel more in control when your delivery day arrives:

  • Create your birth plan
  • Pack your overnight bag with items for you and your baby
  • Plan the route to the hospital, ensuring you have the carseat you plan to use in your vehicle
  • Stock up on baby supplies including clothes in all sizes, diapers, and wipes
  • Arrange maternity leave with your employer

Finally, celebrate your pregnancy with friends and family, as you’ve made it to the end!

Prepare for your delivery with your Baylor St. Luke's Medical Group OB/GYN. The staff at CHI St. Luke’s Health Family Birthing Centers will ensure you receive the care and attention necessary to make your delivery day go as smoothly as possible.

Sources:
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Healthline | Trimesters and Due Date | Third trimester
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Weight Gain and Other Changes
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Pain and Insomnia
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Shortness of Breath and Edema
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Concerns and Tips
Healthline | The Third Trimester of Pregnancy: Skin Changes

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