Third trimester

Third trimester of pregnancy

Your baby is capable of surviving if delivered now, albeit with medical assistance, but the remaining weeks in the uterus are vitally important. All your baby's development is now focused on maturing the lungs, digestive system and brain so they can function in the outside world. As your abdomen expands hugely to accommodate your growing uterus and baby, your thoughts turn increasingly towards the birth.

If born during the third trimester before the 38th week, the baby might have breathing problems and difficulty keeping itself warm. However, with modern special-care facilities the baby has a good change of survival - about 80 percent at 28 weeks, and rising the closer to term (40 weeks) that it is born.

27 weeks pregnant

By the 27th week, your baby looks like a thinner, smaller, redder version of what he or she will look like at birth. Baby’ s lungs, liver and immune system aren’t yet fully mature, but they’re getting close. If birth were to occur this week, your baby’s chances of survival would be at least 85 percent!

The baby may start recognizing your voice this week, as well as your partner’s. But it’s probably a little hard to hear clearly given that his or her ears are covered with vernix, the thick, fatty coating that protects the skin from becoming chapped or scratched. 27 weeks pregnantIt’s also hard for your baby to hear through the amniotic fluid in your uterus — similar to the difficulty in hearing under water. At 27 weeks, baby is now three to four times as long as he or she was 12 weeks into your pregnancy.

You and your body - Week 27

You will be getting noticeably larger and will have put on weight around your chest as well as your breasts. Make sure that you are wearing the correct size of maternity bra. Avoid lying on your back too much because this may make you feel faint, as the enlarged uterus presses directly against blood vessels.

Your growing baby - Week 27

The baby's eyes are open and it will be able to see light through the skin of your abdomen. It will have started to practise sucking and may even be able to suck its thumb or fist. The baby is now about 14.4 inches (36,6 cm) long and weighs about 1.9 pound (875 grams)

28 weeks pregnant

Your baby’s eyes, which have been sealed shut for the last few months, may begin to open and close this week. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you might be able to determine the color of his or her eyes. But many times baby’s eyes change in color during the first six months of life, especially if his or her eyes are blue or gray-blue at birth. So, the color they are now may not reflect what they' ll be in life.

Your baby's brain also continues to develop and expand rapidly this week. In addition, he or she continues to accumulate layers of fat underneath the skin. Your baby is now sleeping and waking on a regular schedule, but this schedule isn’t like that of an adult or even of a newborn. The baby probably sleeps for only 20 to 30 minutes at a time.

28 weeks pregnantWhen you are 28 weeks pregnant, you’re most likely to notice baby's movements when you’re sitting or lying down. During these last couple of months, your baby is working on the finishing touches of the remaining steps that need to occur before he or she is fully developed.

You and your body when 28 weeks pregnant

Your breasts are producing colostrum, The fluid which precedes breast milk. If your breasts are leaking put breast pads or folded tissues inside your bra. If you have an antenatal appointment you will probably have a second blood test to check tor anaemia. If you are anaemic, iron supplements may be offered.

Your growing baby - Week 28

Now fully formed, the baby would be viable if it were born at 28 weeks, although the body systems are still very immature. The heart is beating at a rate of around 150 beats a minute. The baby weighs around 2.2 pounds (1 kg)

29 weeks pregnant

With the major developments finished, the baby now starts to gain weight very quickly. As space becomes tighter, you may not feel baby’s sharp jabs and punches as much as you did earlier. The baby is also developing a sleep and wake cycle. During periods of sleep, the baby will be very quiet.


29 weeks pregnantYou and your body when 29 weeks pregnant

You will probably be able to feel the baby's bottom and feet as it moves around. The baby will be putting pressure on your stomach and diaphragm now and you will need to sit down and rest more often.

Your growing baby - Week 29

The baby is filling almost all the space in your uterus and its head is now more or less in proportion with the rest of the body. The eyebrows and eyelashes are fully grown and the baby has quite a lot of hair which is still growing. The eyes, which can now open and close, are beginning to focus. The baby weighs around 2.5 pounds (1.2 kg) and is about 15 inches (38 cm) long.




30 weeks pregnant

As your baby gains weight, he or she is also adding layers of fat. From now until about your 37th week of pregnancy baby will gain about a half-pound a week. The baby may also begin practicing breathing movements this week by moving his or her diaphragm in a repeating rhythm. These movements may give your baby a case of hiccups. As your baby continues to make these movements, you may occasionally notice a slight twitching in your uterus from baby’s hiccups. It may feel like little spasms.

30 weeks pregnantYou and your body in week 30 of pregnancy

You will feel larger and clumsier now and your movements will be slower. It is important to try to maintain good posture to prevent backache. You may have problems sleeping and become a bit breathless it you walk too last or climb stairs.

Your growing baby - Week 30 

The baby is beginning to move about less vigorously now because it has less space to move around in the uterus. To get comfortable it is likely to adopt a curled-up position with arms and legs crossed. The baby is now about 15.7 inches (39,9cm) long and weighs around 2.9 pounds (1320 grams)



31 weeks pregnant

During week 31 of your pregnancy, the baby’s reproductive system continues to develop. If your baby is a boy, his testicles are moving from their location near the kidneys through the groin on their way into the scrotum. If your baby is a girl, her clitoris is now relatively prominent. However, the labia are still small and don't yet cover it.

Your baby's lungs are now more developed, but they're not yet fully mature. If your baby is born this week, he or she will probably need to stay six weeks or more in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and will need the help of a ventilator to breathe. However because your baby's brain is more mature than it was several weeks ago, he or she will be at reduced risk of having bleeding in the brain.

31 weeks pregnantYou and your body 31 weeks pregnant

Breathlessness may be more of a problem now, especially if you overdo things. Try to get as much rest as possible and slow down any exercise regime to a pace that suits you. If your breasts feel uncomfortable when you go to bed, wear a maternity or specially designed sleep bra at night.

Your growing baby - 31 weeks

The organs are almost completely developed, apart from the lungs which are still not fully mature. The brain is still growing and the nerve cells and connections are now working. The baby is around 16.2 inches (41 cm) long and weighs about 3.3 pounds (1,5 kg).



32 weeks pregnant

Lanugo, the layer of soft, downy hair on your baby’s skin, starts to fall off this week. The baby will lose most of his or her lanugo over the next few weeks. Right after your baby's birth, you may see some remnants on his or her shoulders or back.

Some women may notice a change in baby's movements this week, now that he or she has grown to the point of being crowded inside your uterus. Although your baby is moving around just as much, kicks and other movements may seem less forceful. For many women, this change becomes more apparent about week 34. You may want to check on your baby’s movements from time to time, especially if you think you’ve noticed decreased activity. To do this, sit down and keep a tally of how often you feel your baby move. Your baby's kicks or movements may seem a little muffled, given the space constraints inside your uterus. If you notice fewer than 10 movements in two hours, contact your care provider. Although no one would welcome the early arrival of your baby, it’s comforting to know that almost all babies born at this age will survive without life-threatening complications.

32 weeks pregnantYou and your body when 32 weeks pregnant

If you work, you may have left by now or will have a date when you are going to leave. Enjoy the last weeks of your pregnancy and spend time singing and talking to your baby. You may find your baby's movements uncomfortable now that it is so much bigger. Occasionally, you may feel its feet getting stuck under your ribs.

Your growing baby - 32 weeks

The baby is now very energetic and it will have periods of extreme activity, and you will feel it twisting and turning. As it continues to grow it will have less and less room to move in, so it will soon settle, probably in the head-down position, ready for birth . The baby is about 16.7 inches (42 cm) long and weighs about 3.8 pounds (1700 grams)



33 weeks pregnant

The next four weeks will be a period of extraordinary growth. Next month, as your pregnancy approaches term, weight gain will occur a bit more slowly. At week 33, baby is almost fully developed. The pupils of his or her eyes can now constrict and dilate in response to light.Your baby’s lungs are much more completely developed, which allows for greater optimism if he or she is born this week. While their birth isn’t yet welcome, most babies born at this age will be healthy.

33 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 33 weeks of pregnancy

Your blood pressure may be slightly raised and you will probably be told to take things easy. Swelling of the hands and feet could also be a problem so try to get as much rest as possible, preferably with your feet up.

Your growing baby - Week 33 

The fingernails are fully formed although the toenails are not quite so advanced. The vernix covering the skin has become thicker. The lungs are almost fully developed and the baby will be practising breathing in preparation for the birth. It measures around 17.2 inches (44 cm) and weighs 4.2 pounds (1,9 kg)



34 weeks pregnant

The white, waxy coating protecting your baby’s skin (vemix) thickens this week. When your baby is born, you may see traces of vernix firsthand, especially under your baby's arms, behind the ears and in the groin area. At the same time, the soft, downy hair that has grown on the skin for the past several months (lanugo) is now almost completely gone.

34 weeks pregnantYou and your body - Week 34

During the last trimester of your pregnancy, you may discover you leak a little urine when you cough, sneeze, exercise or lift something. It is quite normal as your uturus enlarges and puts pressure on your bladder. A few weeks before labor begins or at the beginning of labor, you may notice a change in your abdomen. When examined by your doctor, measurement from your bellybutton or the pubic symphysis to the top of the uterus may be smaller than a previous visit. This phenomenon occurs as the head of the babyenters the birth canal. This doesn't occur with every woman or with every pregnancy. It's also common for your baby to drop just before labor begins or during labor.

Your growing baby when 34 weeks pregnant

The weight gain continues to increase. The eyes respond to bright lights and the baby will practise blinking. Eyebrows and eyelashes are fully developed. A boy's testicles will have descended into the groin. The baby is 17.7 inches (45 cm) long and weighs about 4.7 pounds (2,1 kg)

35 weeks pregnant

The baby continues to pack on the pounds, accumulating fat all over his or her body especially around the shoulders. Your baby's most rapid period of weight gain will occur over the next three weeks, with weekly gains of up to a half pound. Given the crowded conditions inside your uterus, you may feel fewer of your baby’s movements this week.Crowding may make it harder for this bigger, stronger baby to give you a pinch, but you’ll probably feel lots of stretches, rolls and wiggles.

35 weeks pregnantYou and your body at week 35 of pregnancy

Discuss any worries you may have about labour and birth with your doctor or midwife. You will be feeling tired and even a little fed up, so try to get as much rest as you can. Pay special attention to your diet: you will be needing another 200 calories a day during these last weeks. Some practical planning now can save time and forestall anxiety at the time of labour and delivery.

Your growing baby - Week 35

The baby is putting on weight each day and now fills most of the uterus, so you may find it uncomfortable when it moves around. The baby now does body rolls rather than the more energetic movements it made when it was smaller. it is now about 18.2 inches (46 cm) long and weighs around 5.25 pounds (2,4 kg)


36 weeks pregnant

During week 36 of pregnancy, your baby continues to add more fat underneath his or her skin. If you could sneak a peek at your baby this week, you would see an infant you could almost describe as plump, with a little but fully rounded face. The fullness of your baby’s face is the result of recent fat deposits and powerful sucking muscles that are fully developed and ready for action.

36 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 36 weeks

You will be able to feel the top of your uterus just below your breastbone. This can make breathing uncomfortable and you may suffer from pain in your ribcage. Your antenatal checks will be weekly from now on.

Your growing baby - Week 36

The nervous system is maturing and the baby is getting ready for birth by starting to practise breathing movements, sucking, and swallowing. It is now about 18.7 inches (47,5 cm) long and weighs around 5.8 pounds (2,6 kg).




37 weeks pregnant

By the end of this week, your baby is considered full—term. He or she isn't quite done growing yet, but the rate of weight gain has slowed. As fat is being laid down, your baby’s body is slowly becoming rounder. A baby's gender seems to play some role in determining size at birth. If you have a boy he'll likely weigh a bit more than a baby girl born to you at a similar length of gestation.

37 weeks pregnantYou and your body after 37 weeks of pregnancy

Your baby could arrive at any time from now until the end of week 42, so check that you have everything organized. You will probably be given the chance to visit the hospital and see where you are going to give birth. Don't be afraid to ask questions if there is anything you don't understand about hospital procedures. Sometime between now and the birth, you may experience a sudden burst of energy, known as the nesting instinct. Don't overdo things and decide to spring-clean your whole house. Remember that you will shortly need all your energy reserves for the exhausting demands of labour.

Your growing baby in week 37

The lanugo, the fine hair that covers the baby’s body, is beginning to wear off. The baby has started to produce a hormone called cortisone, which will help the lungs to become fully matured so that they are ready to cope with breathing once the baby is born. The baby will be practising breathing although there is no air in its lungs. The baby is now about 19.1 inches (48,6 cm) long and weighs around 6.3 pounds (2,85 kg)

38 weeks pregnant

In recent weeks, your baby's development has focused mainly on improving organ functioning. Your baby's brain and nervous system are working better every day. However, this developmental process continues through childhood and even into the later teen years. This month, your baby’s brain has prepared to manage the complicated jobs of breathing, digesting, eating and maintaining a proper heart rate.

38 weeks pregnantYou and your body

You will notice that the baby is moving about less now that it is head down in the uterus. You may be feeling tired and rather depressed about the waiting so try to keep busy.

Your growing baby

The baby has put on fat so that it now appears rounded and its skin has a pinkish look. The hair may be as long as 2 inches (5 cm) and the nails already need cutting. The vernix, which has been protecting the skin of the growing baby from the amniotic fluid, is beginning to dissolve. At this stage of your pregnancy, the baby now measures about 19.6 inches (50 cm) and weighs around 6.8 pounds (3,1 kg)



39 weeks pregnant

The Baby has now lost most of the vernix and lanugo that used to cover his or her skin, although you may see traces of them at birth. Your baby now has enough fat laid down under the skin to
hold his or her body temperature as long as there’s a little help from you. This fat gives baby the familiar healthy chubby look seen at birth. Even though the rest of the body has been catching up, baby’s head is still the largest part of his or her body, and that’s why it’s ideal when babies are born headfirst.

You continue to supply your baby with antibodies, protein substances that help protect against bacteria and viruses. The antibodies cross the placenta from you to your baby. During the first six months of your baby’s life, these antibodies help your baby’s immune system stave off infections. Some of these antibodies also are provided through breast milk.

39 weeks pregnant

By the 39th week of pregnancy the average baby weighs about 7 to 8 pounds. By now individual differences in babies become noticeable. A 39-week old baby may weigh 6 to 9 pounds.

You and your body after 39 weeks

The waiting is nearly over and you will probably be feeling both excited and apprehensive. You may be having quite strong Braxton-Hicks contractions as the cervix softens in readiness for the birth. Although you may be feeling heavy and weary, don't simply sit around waiting for something to happen. Keep up your social life and talk to other friends from your parent-craft classes who are at the same stage as you.

Your growing baby

The baby is now able to function on its own, although it is still getting nourishment from the placenta. The baby is in position for birth and is about 20 inches (50,7 cm) long and weighs
around 7.2 pounds (3,3 kg)

40 weeks pregnant

Your due date arrives this week. Hippie! However, only about 5 percent of women deliver on their due dates. It’s just as normal to have your baby a week late as it is to have him or her a week early. Try to be patient, although with all the work you’ve done, that’s not easy!

As labor approaches, your baby will experience many changes in order to prepare for birth, including a surge in hormones. This may help maintain blood pressure and blood sugar levels after birth. It may also have something to do with communicating to your uterus that the time has come.

With labor, your baby is prepared for the blood flow to the placenta to decrease a bit with each contraction. Your baby can coast through these interruptions so long as they aren’t too frequent and don’t last too long. The changes your baby will experience at birth are truly amazing. All that has gone before is prologue to this wonderful, glorious event.

You and your body

You will probably be impatient for labour to start as you approach your EDD. If nothing has happened by your due date try not to be too disappointed; only around five per cent of babies actually arrive on the date they were expected. Keep yourself busy and make plans for each day so that you are not just sitting and waiting for something to happen. Once you are close to your EDD you may feel more confident wearing a sanitary towel just in case your waters break.

Your growing baby

Your baby is curled up, head down, in the fetal position with legs drown up underneath and waiting to be born. He or she measures about 20.1 inches (51 cm) and weighs around 7.6 pounds (3,4 kg). Your own baby may be smaller or larger and still be nomial and healthy.

41 & 42 weeks pregnant

While some moms have their babies prior to their due dates, most moms don't have their babies until after their due dates. You may see your practitioner more often. Some want to do a non-stress test to ensure baby is still doing well. His endocrine system is getting ready to produce stress hormones (you aren’t the only one who’s stressed!), which he’ll need to survive outside the womb. While you're tired of being pregnant, induction is harder on both you and the baby, often leading to increased intervention. 

You and your body

You are probably quite frustrated and tired of being pregnant. Your baby just isn't quite ready to be born. Making love is not only a wonderful way to connect with your partner, but it can help to bring on labor -- if your baby is ready and your membranes have not yet ruptured. Though induction can be tempting, remember that you "buy" a package of interventions if you decide to ask for an induction, so be sure to make an informed choice.

Your growing baby

Not much has changed since last week, to be honest, and your baby is medically ready to be born. She will, of course, continue to gain a little weight for as long as your placenta continues to nourish her, but her length is unlikely to alter much from now until the birth.