Everything you need to know about the third trimester of pregnancy

When does the 7th month of pregnancy begin, which marks the beginning of the 3rd trimester?

The third trimester of pregnancy begins in the 7th month of pregnancy, i.e. at the beginning of the 27th week of pregnancy or the 29th week of amenorrhea. It ends at birth, theoretically around the 41st week of amenorrhea. “Some women give birth before term: juntil 37 SATwe think that’s them Baby is of legal age and we are therefore not talking about premature birth,” the midwife specifies.
Other women may exceed the deadline by a few days: in this case, surveillance must be set up to check that everything is in order. If labor does not start 4 to 5 days after the appointment: You need to start it. “There is a planned obsolescence of the placenta, which makes for less and less good exchange when the lifespan is exceeded,” Barbara Forster points out.

A baby almost ready to come out

In the womb, the baby is getting tighter and tighter in the womb. At the beginning of the 7th month he measures about 27 cm from head to tailbone and weighs approximately 1.8kg.

Barbara Forster, midwife: “All of the baby’s organs are present and functional, a whole growth and maturation process continues.”

This affects, among other things, its lungs as well as its entire neurological system, which helps the baby to adapt to its new living environment: the air environment.
This trimester is a growth chamber for the fetus, which will grow and grow to 3-4 kg and 45-50 cm at birth.
His hair is starting to grow, his vision and hearing have improved, and he can now perceive variations in light, music, and more recognizes the voices of his parents. Between the 30th and 35th SA, the baby rolls over in the womb to turn upside down in anticipation of birth.

Heavy legs, tiredness, nausea, pain, constipation…: the small ailments of the last trimester

In those final months of pregnancy, the baby is there and making it known! And if the mother enjoys feeling it moving and manifesting, she may suffer as well inconvenience related to his imposing presence, which helped greatly transform his physique.

circulatory disorders

Circulatory problems are particularly common among women during pregnancy, whose veins widen and weaken under the influence of progesterone. This phenomenon increases in the last trimester as the inferior vena cava becomes increasingly compressed by the uterus expanding into the uterine cavity. Result: Heavy legs, cramps, impatience, edema, but also vulva varicose veins and hemorrhoids are the many celebrations that can spoil these last weeks of pregnancy.
“In order to alleviate these circulatory disorders and prevent them from getting worse, we can then offer the women compression stockings, stockings or pantyhose, possibly vein tonics adapted to the pregnancy,” advises the midwife. Shower your legs with cold waterby reaching from the ankles to the top of the thighs, it can also relieve heavy legs.

The constipation

Between the progesterone, which slows down intestinal peristalsis, and the uterus, which compresses the large intestine: transit is often particularly sluggish. Constipation is the lot of nearly every second woman, and it fuels the appearance of the dreaded hemorrhoids.

Whether you have circulatory problems or transit problems: A high-fiber diet, good fluid intake (water is the ideal drink) and regular physical activity are strongly recommended.

Abdominal pain or tightness in the lower abdomen

Finally, this trimester is almost always marked by pain in the lower abdomen, pelvis or sacroiliac region. This pain can be entirely physiological: it is related to the baby’s weight and to the movements of the bones and ligaments moving apart to prepare for birth. In any case, the mother-to-be should not hesitate to make an appointment with her gynecologist or midwife at the slightest concern.

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Stretch marks

They are the fear of expectant mothers whose stomach, breasts or thighs they like to touch in the last trimester of pregnancy. Stretch marks are the result of stretching of the skin and the action of cortisol, a hormone released during pregnancy. When good skin hydration is recommended, the appearance of stretch marks seems to be a fatality for many mothers-to-be who, despite good prevention, are still victims.
We sometimes hear that black skin is more prone to stretch marks, but that’s a commonly accepted idea. However, if not more common, they can be more visible than on white skin as stretch marks turn white over time.

“Caring for the skin and massaging it with products suitable for pregnancy is definitely recommended and represents a pleasant time for the mother-to-be,” adds the midwife.

Insomnia in the 3rd trimester: what position and what solutions for a good night’s sleep?

Between the tummy that blooms as the baby grows, the hormonal fluctuations, the cramps, the pains, but also the stress and fear of the birth: the nights of the mother-to-be are often restless. Result: a great tiredness that lasts all day.
So what solutions to sleep better and reconcile with Morpheus?
In terms of position, the pregnant woman no longer has much choice: sleeping on her stomach is like a contortionist action, and sleeping on her back is often poorly tolerated by the mother, who feels harassed by it. The best supported position is therefore on the side.

We often hear that it’s better to sleep on the left side to free up the vena cava, but this advice can be distressing and guilt-ridden for the mother-to-be and isn’t always justified.

“As long as the mother is fine, the baby is safe!” reassures the midwife, who recommends that mothers fall asleep in the most comfortable position for them.

the pregnancy pillow is also a precious savior of the nights of the mother-to-be, who can slide it between her two legs and thus support her stomach.
L’acupuncture or even thehomeopathy can also be interesting tools to fight against insomnia.
After all, the mother-to-be should not hesitate to take little naps during the day from the beginning of the maternity leave period.

After all, it sometimes happens that night cramps spoil the nights of pregnant women at the end of pregnancy. “They are often due to a magnesium deficiency and can therefore be alleviated by magnesium supplementation,” says the midwife.

Physical activity: which sports are allowed?

If the pregnancy is going well and there is no particular risk, then physical activity is always welcome. “It increases the mother’s breathing capacity and maintains her physical and mental well-being,” explains Barbara Forster. It also allows control weight gainD’Improvement of venous blood flowfrom Prevent transit disruptions intestines and Reduce lower back pain.
The physical activity must be of moderate intensity: the expectant mother must be able to continue talking during the exercise. For less athletic women, this activity can be limited to about 30 minutes of walking per day.
For others: Prenatal yoga, Pilates, gentle gymnastics or even stretching are physical activities that are perfectly compatible with the end of pregnancy.

Nutrition: what weight gain in the last months of pregnancy?

During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, the baby will twice as heavy, which further increases the calorie needs of the future mother compared to the previous trimester. His daily intake is now around 2500 caloriesideally distributed over 4 to 5 meals – if the stomach is squeezed by the baby.
“A mother’s appropriate weight gain depends on her pre-pregnancy BMI,” explains the midwife. If a very thin woman can afford to gain 15 kg without risk of pregnancy, another who was overweight or obese must limit her weight gain significantly.
“But overall, the recommendations are the same for everyone: you must prioritize fruit, vegetables, legumes, and whole grain and semi-whole grain products. It’s healthy food that needs to be appreciated recalls Barbara Forster. Conversely, processed products, fried foods, sauce dishes and pastries are carefully restricted to control weight gain.
In the case of excessive and difficult to control weight gain, the expectant mother has a keen interest in consulting a nutritionist who can advise her accordingly.

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3rd trimester ultrasound: Growth ultrasound

The exam that all moms look forward to is the third and final ultrasound, known as the growth ultrasound between the 32nd and 34th week of amenorrhea.

“It allows to monitor the correct growth of the baby. The radiologist therefore takes there a certain number of measurements: the circumference of the baby’s head, the biparietal diameter, the transverse abdominal diameter, the length of the femur … which make it possible to check the good growth of the fetus and also to have one estimated baby weight“, explains Barbara Forster. This ultrasound can also be used to check the position of the placenta, the amount of amniotic fluid and the blood flow in the uterine arteries and the umbilical cord.

Labor: How do you know when to announce the onset of labor?

The final weeks of pregnancy are marked by the arrival of the famous Contractions de Braxton-Hicks. These labor pains — also called “false labor” — are characterized by a tight abdomen that lasts a few seconds, usually without any associated pain. “They are fleeting with no regular rhythm: so they are not labor pains‘ the midwife reassured.

Then, from the 37th week of pregnancy – if everything is going normally – the contractions can start at any time, this time with real contractions. It’s difficult to miss contractions that are intensive and tend to take the mother-to-be’s breath away.
Contractions tend to intensify and get closer over time. The pain can be felt in the lower back, resemble menstrual pain, or even radiate into the inner thighs. “The special thing about these contractions is that they continue despite rest and continue to intensify,” explains the midwife.

When is it time to go to the maternity ward?

The bursting of the water bag is one of the first reasons to go to the maternity ward – whether in labor or not: it is desirable that the mother gives birth without waiting too long.

If the water sac does not rupture, the theoretical signal is when the mother regularly feels 2 to 3 intense contractions every 10 minutes.

“She needs to stop her conversation and focus on her breathing while she looks for a pain-relieving position,” describes Barbara Forster. The big day has probably come, and it is Baby is ready to go !

Whatever happens, it’s important that the Mom listens to herself and trusts herself “because who knows her body better than she does?” closes the midwife.

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