Pregnancy Calendar

What week does the 3rd trimester of pregnancy begin? What is the best way to prepare for childbirth and what to avoid in the third trimester of pregnancy? During this stage of pregnancy, are uterine cramps and lower abdominal pain always a signal that there is an urgent need to go to the hospital? How much does a baby weigh in the third trimester and since when do we count fetal movements? What exercises in the third trimester of pregnancy are safe for mother and baby?

If you are interested in how the third trimester works week after week, check out our detailed pregnancy calendar, developed in cooperation with the best specialists in the field of gynecology and obstetrics. In this text, we present general information and interesting facts about the last three months of pregnancy.

When does the 3rd trimester of pregnancy begin and when is a full-term pregnancy?

The last three months of pregnancy are called the third trimester, which begins at the 7th month and lasts up to the 9th month of pregnancy inclusive. The entire period of pregnancy in medical nomenclature is also described in individual weeks, which is why many pregnant women ask themselves: What week exactly does the third trimester begin and when does it end?

We consider it to begin at 27,1 weeks, while this period of pregnancy ends in the textbook at 40 weeks of pregnancy (tc). However, it is worth remembering that only 5% of babies are born exactly on the date indicated by the doctor, calculated on the basis of the date of the patient's last menstruation. The date of delivery is then confirmed during the XNUMXst trimester ultrasound, and later also during the mid-ultrasound and the XNUMXrd trimester ultrasound.

Why might delivery not take place on the scheduled date?

This is because, inter alia, many women have irregular menstrual cycles, and conception does not always occur exactly on the 14th day after the onset of menstruation (i.e. during ovulation itself). The delay or acceleration of the delivery date may also be influenced by, inter alia, the child's weight, the amount of amniotic fluid, multiple pregnancies or the patient's individual predispositions. Pregnancy is considered full-term from 37 weeks of gestation and delivery after this date is perfectly normal. So when the third trimester begins, it is worth starting to prepare the bag to the hospital for yourself and the baby, so that in the 3th month you will have it fully prepared for delivery, which can start at any time.

What is not allowed in the third trimester of pregnancy and is it possible to rest on your back?

In the last three months of pregnancy, a woman should, above all, avoid high stress and strenuous physical exertion. It may intensify the pain in the back, abdomen and groin, which is often present in this period. Exercise, cleaning, cooking or a walk should be divided into smaller stages. In the meantime, it is worth having short moments of rest in a sitting position, preferably with slightly raised legs (this prevents and helps to reduce the feeling of heaviness and swelling of the lower limbs).

What to avoid in the third trimester of pregnancy is body position that causes discomfort. Many women feel best lying on their left side during the night. It often relieves heartburn and relieves the inferior vena cava, ensuring better blood supply to the placenta. It is worth noting that lying on the back or on the right side in the third trimester is not forbidden and does not lead to impaired fetal development. However, you should closely monitor your body and change the position of the body in the event of discomfort or shortness of breath.

Are abdominal massage, breast massage, and sex something worth avoiding in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy?

If a woman experiences shortening of the cervix during pregnancy, the doctor may advise her to avoid intensive massage of the abdominal skin and breasts, as this may cause a sudden release of oxytocin, which stimulates the uterus to contract.

Many women are wrongly concerned that what is not allowed in the third trimester of pregnancy is having sex, which may induce labor prematurely. In fact, natural prostaglandins are present in semen which soften and stimulate the cervix to contract. However, in a physiological pregnancy in which the doctor does not observe any abnormalities in the cervix, sexual intercourse will not cause premature labor, on the contrary.

Many gynecologists recommend having sex as the best form of perineal tissue preparation for childbirth, in addition to massage of the perineum. This helps to significantly avoid their incision or rupture in the fourth stage of labor. If a pregnant woman has doubts about what to avoid in the third trimester of pregnancy and whether sex is safe for the further course of pregnancy, she should talk to her attending physician.

What exercises are safe in the third trimester of pregnancy?

Moderate physical activity during pregnancy (unless the pregnant woman has medical contraindications) helps to relieve back pain, reduce swelling in the legs and wrists, and significantly improves the well-being and blood supply to the fetus. Recommended exercises in the third trimester of pregnancy include leisurely walks and marches with Nordic Walking poles, yoga and Pilates for pregnant women, gentle stretching and swimming in the pool.

If a woman, apart from taking walks, has not practiced any of these activities before, it is worth signing up for classes with an instructor or a physiotherapist who will help to ensure the correct, unforgiving pace and correctness of the exercises performed.

In the final months before the birth, you shouldn't forget about pelvic floor muscle training, as well as your breathing and labor positions. It is worth asking your midwife about them or signing up for childbirth classes, during which the exercises in the third trimester of pregnancy, recommended as preparation for childbirth, are discussed in detail.

Gastric ailments in the third trimester of pregnancy - how to deal with them?

As the fetus grows in the uterus, the pressure on many organs, blood vessels and ligaments in the abdominal cavity of the pregnant woman increases, causing the characteristic symptoms to appear in the third trimester. The frequent need to urinate is associated with the increased pressure of the uterus on the bladder, and at the same time the pressure of the intestines often causes troublesome constipation in future mothers.

What is not allowed in the third trimester of pregnancy is reducing the amount of fluids consumed in order to limit the number of visits to the toilet. Drinking a minimum of 3 liters of water a day ensures optimal hydration of the pregnant woman and the fetus, and helps to prevent urinary tract infections and leg swelling.

In some future mothers gastric ailments are accompanied by hemorrhoids, i.e. rectal varices, causing severe discomfort and even slight bleeding during defecation. It is worth talking to your doctor about their occurrence, who will prescribe mild ointments and suppositories, but in case of difficulties with defecation, the expectant mother should not forget about proper hydration and a diet rich in fiber.

Pain in the abdomen and cramps in the third trimester of pregnancy - are they a sign of labor beginning?

When the third trimester begins, the growing uterus can cause groin pain, pubic pain, and lower abdominal pain in a pregnant woman. Especially after standing or walking for a long time. Usually, these are not signs that labor is beginning, but that the body is slightly overloaded. You should be relieved by resting in a reclined or lying position.

Rapid, severe abdominal pain should always be consulted with a doctor, especially if it is accompanied by vaginal bleeding. Irregular uterine contractions, the frequency of which does not increase over time, and which gradually subside at rest, are called Braxton-Hicks contractions, also known as predictive contractions. They should not be a cause for concern as they mean that the uterus is slowly but actively preparing for the upcoming labor.

What to avoid in the third trimester of pregnancy is consulting your disturbing symptoms on internet forums. If a pregnant woman is worried about pain, hardening of the abdomen or irregular contractions, she should immediately talk to a specialist, preferably her doctor, about them.

How much does a baby weigh in the third trimester and from when to monitor fetal movements?

Between 27,1 and 37,0-41,6 weeks of pregnancy, the development of the fetus is very individual and depends, among others, on on genetic and environmental factors. However, at the end of pregnancy, babies weigh around 3000-3500 grams on average and measure between 50 and 55 cm.

The tissues and body systems of the fetus mature and improve their functions in order to provide the baby with the possibility of functioning outside the mother's abdomen. Lung tissue matures the longest, therefore children born before 35 weeks of age may require respiratory support. The bones of the baby's skull are not permanently attached to each other in order to facilitate the head's passage through the birth canal. By the end of the 8th month of pregnancy, most babies are already placed head towards the birth canal, but if the fetus is still in the pelvis it may still turn, even at 40 tc

When the third trimester begins, that is, in the 3th week of pregnancy, it is already possible to monitor the activity of the fetus. After each main meal lying on the left side, the pregnant woman counts the baby's movements. Within an hour, it should charge min. 28 movements (if he notices them within the hour, he can end the observation earlier). Rapid, increased activity of the child or lack of fetal movements for several hours, even after eating a meal, should be consulted with a doctor.

Signs of labor commencing in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy

Pregnant at the end of the third trimester is worried about whether she will know when labor will begin. Especially when she is expecting her first child. Shortly before or during labor, many women experience gastrointestinal complaints such as diarrhea and vomiting. If not accompanied by severe headache, elevated blood pressure above 140/90 mmHg, there is no need to worry. The body of a pregnant woman is naturally cleansed before the actual birthing action. If your contractions are irregular and low frequency, try taking a warm (not hot) bath or shower and relaxing or taking a nap. If contractions are getting worse and more frequent, this is a sign that labor is about to begin.

We go to the hospital when:

  • Strong uterine contractions are very regular. It is a very individual matter for each woman giving birth, but it is assumed that they should occur every 5 minutes. If regular contractions are less frequent, but the pregnant woman is concerned and wants to be under professional care, there is nothing to prevent her going to the hospital earlier.
  • The amniotic fluid began to depart. Somewhat less frequently, the first sign of labor commencing is the loss of amniotic fluid before the onset of uterine contractions. However, cramps may also be accompanying the departure of the amniotic fluid. The water does not have to "splash" spectacularly, but sometimes it seeps out gradually. If vaginal discharge smells sweet and it becomes wet very quickly after replacing the panty liner, it is most likely that the pregnant woman is running out of water.

We go to the emergency room immediately when there are disturbing symptoms such as:

  • abnormal activity of the fetus, which may be unusually mobile or not move at all for hours;
  • the outgoing amniotic fluid has a greenish tint;
  • profuse bleeding from the genital tract.

In the event of any unusual symptoms in the third trimester of pregnancy, it is not worth delaying. It is better to consult a gynecologist or go to the hospital, where the doctor will assess the well-being of the fetus and the future mother during the examination.

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