Third Trimester Guide: What to Expect for Weeks 28-40

By Red Rock Fertility     Posted October 16, 2020     In

Third Trimester Guide What to Expect for Weeks 28-40 Header

 

Every trimester has its own traits, from how your baby is developing to symptoms you are feeling. The third trimester of pregnancy is one filled with both the excitement and anxiety of finally getting to meet your baby. If you are an expecting parent, use this guide to learn what to expect in weeks 28-40 of pregnancy!

 

An Overview of Your Third Trimester of Pregnancy

 

During the third trimester, you’re embarking on the final phase of pregnancy. Starting with pregnancy week 28, the third trimester is the time to relax, bond with your baby, and prepare for arrival. With pregnancy symptoms like pelvic pressure, contractions, and the urge to nest, your body will be feeling a range of different symptoms during this pregnancy phase.

Throughout this time, you may experience third trimester pregnancy symptoms such as:

  • Abdominal pressure
  • Aches and pains
  • Anxiety
  • Back, leg, or hip pain
  • Backaches
  • Better ability to breathe
  • Bloody show
  • Blurry vision
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Clumsiness
  • Constipation
  • Contractions
  • Cramping
  • Darker nipples
  • Dry, brittle nails
  • Fatigue
  • Forgetfulness
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches
  • Heartburn
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Itchy belly
  • Leaky breasts
  • Leg cramps
  • Lightheadedness
  • Mucus plug
  • Nausea
  • Overheating
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Sharp pelvic shocks
  • Shortness of breath
  • Spotting
  • Stretch marks
  • Swelling
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Urge to nest
  • Vaginal discharge

During this stage, you are likely feeling more accustomed to the symptoms of pregnancy and are really starting to get excited for your baby’s arrival. Still, these changes can have a big impact on your physical and mental health. With the right resources and a good understanding of weeks 28-40 of your third trimester, you’ll feel more confident as you finish your pregnancy journey.

 

The Third Trimester Weeks

 

Week 28 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 28: An eggplant

It’s the start of the third trimester of pregnancy, and you are probably feeling the shift in energy! As your baby continues to grow, your body may start to feel a little more restricted than it did in the first and second trimesters. Now and in the coming weeks, be sure to rest whenever possible and don’t exert yourself too much.

Similar to symptoms at the end of the second trimester, symptoms in week 28 include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Shortness of breath
  • Aches and pains

Baby is the size of: An eggplant. As your baby’s skin starts to plump up with more fat, they are also likely using their newly matured lungs. Around this point,  you will want to start doing kick counts to monitor your baby’s movement.

 

Week 29 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 29: An acorn squash

As the weeks go on, you’re probably getting to know your little one a bit more as they move around. Though it isn’t always true, some say that the way your baby acts in the womb is a preview of how they’ll be once they arrive! Pay attention to learn their little quirks and behaviors.

Unfortunately, week 29 of pregnancy comes with some uncomfortable symptoms due to pressure on your body:

  • Headaches
  • Lightheadedness
  • Itchy belly
  • Back, leg, or hip pain
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Constipation
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Frequent urination

Baby is the size of: An acorn squash. Around this time, your baby is experiencing energy bursts. On top of that, they’re probably feeling pretty cramped. Be prepared for some extra kicks and movement.

 

Week 30 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 30: A zucchini

Having some trouble sleeping around this time? You’re 75% of the way through your pregnancy, and moving into that last 25% can definitely be a daunting feeling. To cut down on the anxiety that keeps you up at night, ease your mind by starting to prepare for your baby’s arrival.

Your body is growing and your mind is racing, which may lead to mental and physical symptoms such as:

  • Anxiety
  • Heartburn
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling
  • General discomfort
  • Shortness of breath

Baby is the size of: A zucchini. Your baby’s skin is smoothing out while their brain continues to develop brain tissue. At this point, they’ve also built up enough strength to grasp things with their hands.

 

Week 31 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 31: A bunch of asparagus

On week 31, Braxton Hicks contractions are pretty common. These are your body’s way of preparing for labor. Braxton Hicks tend to happen after exercise or sex, or when you’re tired or dehydrated. If you get them, sit  or lie down, relax and drink water. If they don’t stop or you have more than four in an hour, contact your doctor just in case it’s preterm labor.

Have leaky breasts right now? That yellow liquid is your baby’s first food, colostrum. Additional week 31 symptoms are:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Dry, brittle nails
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Leaky breasts
  • Frequent urination
  • Backaches
  • Trouble sleeping

Baby is the size of: A bunch of asparagus. There are some major brain and nerve developments this week, and your baby has all of their senses ready to go. Their eyes can even react to light!

 

Week 32 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 32: A squash

Changes to your body right now might be a bit shocking, but they are all in preparation for your baby’s arrival. Some notable changes include darker nipples, which some say are to help your baby locate them while breastfeeding, and increased vaginal discharge to help prevent infection before delivery.

Along with your growing belly, your body is going through a few more physical changes this week:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Darker nipples
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heartburn
  • Leaky breasts
  • Vaginal discharge

Baby is the size of: A squash. Starting around this time, there is a chance your baby will drop to the head-down position in preparation of labor. Don’t be alarmed if it doesn’t happen – sometimes the drop doesn’t happen until labor begins.

 

Week 33 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 33: A head of celery

With approximately 2 months to go, it’s really time to start making sure everything is ready to go for when your baby arrives. Square away health coverage updates, work obligations, and any baby prep that is still left over. It doesn’t hurt to start putting together a hospital bag just in case your little one arrives ahead of schedule.

With hormone changes and general discomfort and stress, your mind and body may feel these symptoms:

  • Overheating
  • Headaches
  • Shortness of breath
  • Forgetfulness
  • Clumsiness

Baby is the size of: A head of celery. Your baby’s body and brain continue to grow, and they are starting to practice basic actions such as sucking, swallowing, and keeping their eyes open while awake.

 

Week 34 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 34: A butternut squash

Feeling the urge to clean, decorate, and prepare? You might be nesting! Nesting is the intense urge to make your “nest” perfect, safe, and comfortable for your baby’s arrival. If you have the energy, use this instinct to your advantage and knock things out, but definitely do not push yourself too far.

Due to hormonal changes and the increasing pressure your body, your body might feel a little off with these symptoms:

  • Blurry vision
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Urge to nest

Baby is the size of: A butternut squash. Does it feel like somebody is always listening? Someone is! Your baby can hear your voice, so create some pre-delivery bonds by talking and singing to them.

 

Week 35 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 35: A pineapple

Just like last week and the weeks to come, the end of your third trimester mostly focuses around one theme: Prepare, prepare, prepare. Stock up your home with items for both you and your baby now so you don’t have to worry about them when recovering after delivery.

Your baby continues to grow, which means your body continues to feel the weight of it all, resulting in these symptoms:

  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Hip aches and pains
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Braxton Hicks contractions

Baby is the size of: A pineapple. Your baby’s hearing is fully developed now, so pick up the conversations and start playing some music. Also, as your baby has grown, your uterus has grown to about 500 to 1,000 times its original size.

 

Week 36 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 36: A papaya

Really start to pay attention to contractions you feel from this point forward. If your Braxton Hicks contractions become more frequent or more painful, it’s time to immediately reach out to your doctor in case your baby has decided to make an earlier-than-expected arrival.

If your baby has dropped at this point and repositioned themselves, you might finally get some relief from symptoms:

  • Better ability to breathe
  • Pelvic discomfort
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Heartburn
  • Swollen ankles and feet
  • Changes in vaginal discharge
  • Braxton Hicks contractions

Baby is the size of: A papaya. At 36 weeks pregnant, your baby’s liver and kidneys are in working order and their circulation and immune systems are nearly fully developed.

 

Week 37 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 37: A head of romaine lettuce

Just one month left! It’s truly crunch time for getting things in order, as the closer you get to week 40 of pregnancy, the higher your chances of going into labor. Make sure you have a pediatrician chosen, your hospital bag packed, labor breathing exercises mastered, meals prepped in the freezer, and your home all tidied up.

The closer you get to delivery, the more your body will be preparing for labor and experiencing these symptoms:

  • Heartburn
  • Spotting
  • Stretch marks
  • Abdominal pressure
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Cramping
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Nausea

Baby is the size of: A head of romaine lettuce. If your baby has still not moved to the head-down position by this point, it may still happen naturally, but your OB may monitor the status of your breech baby.

 

Week 38 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 38: A winter melon

Only a few weeks to go, and you are probably feeling pretty impatient waiting for your baby’s arrival. Not only do you want to meet your little one, the pregnancy symptoms are fairly uncomfortable. Use these weeks before your baby is born to focus on yourself. Sleep, enjoy you-time, and spend time with your loved ones before newborn craziness starts.

Try to relax and rest whenever possible, and definitely closely monitor your symptoms to look out for signs of labor:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Increased vaginal discharge
  • Itchy belly
  • Swollen feet and ankles
  • Anxiety

Baby is the size of: A winter melon. For a baby, yours has developed some luscious locks. With an inch of hair on their head and the shedding of the white film on their skin, your little one is looking more and more like a newborn.

 

Week 39 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 39: A pumpkin

Almost there! Unfortunately, pregnancy isn’t very glamorous at the end. Some say the difficulty in the final weeks is to help you prepare for delivery since you desperately just want your baby to be out. During your OB visits, you will be checked for dilation to see your progress.

With delivery right around the corner, labor can happen at any moment. Keep your OB notified about your symptoms:

  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • Pelvic pressure
  • Sharp pelvic shocks
  • Urge to nest
  • Mucus plug
  • Bloody show

Baby is the size of: A pumpkin. As your baby spends their final weeks in the womb, they are putting on their finishing touches. Limb mobility, long fingernails, and a developing brain all prepare your baby for (finally) meeting you.

 

Week 40 of Pregnancy

Third Trimester Week 40: A watermelon

You’ve made it, week 40 of pregnancy! Though pregnancies typically don’t take exactly 40 weeks, you have made it to your due date. It probably goes without saying, but this is prime time to keep a watchful eye on signs of labor. Have your OB on speed dial for when your contractions become more frequent and/or your water breaks.

In the 40th week of pregnancy, you will probably be looking out for labor symptoms while also feeling the following:

  • Leg cramps
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Contractions
  • Anxiety

Baby is the size of: A watermelon. Oh baby! As you near the end of your pregnancy, you’ve created a beautifully complex being who has hair, nails, and entire systems in their body.

 

Navigating Your Third Trimester

 

An important thing to note about the third trimester is that the 40-week timeline is not a rule, just a guideline. Don’t be alarmed if your baby arrives a couple weeks early or a couple weeks late! It is easy to hyper-focus on a due date, especially if you are feeling uncomfortable, but just stay in communication with your doctor to ensure you and your baby are healthy and safe whenever they decide to make their appearance. No matter how or when the delivery happens, it will be an incredible experience!

Your third trimester of pregnancy is an exciting one where you start to feel more excited and ready to finally meet your baby. Even as it comes to an end after this trimester, the pregnancy journey is a wonderful experience, and being prepared can help you feel more confident and comfortable through it. If you are in your third trimester after a battle with infertility, congratulations! Red Rock Fertility Center is always here to help you through every stage of your pregnancy, from conception to postpartum.