Today, I am 34 weeks and counting. Generally I feel fine; there are still days when I am more emotional, more tense, more angry, more tired but thankfully on they do not all come through on the same day. Maybe if I could relax more, it would help but maybe not. I am a workaholic and even in the evening when I should be taking it easy, I am doing something in the house or you will find me in my office working on something. I wonder how I will manage it when the little one arrives but knowing me I will adapt my work and sleep routine to suit hers so I can keep on working.
What Is The Third Trimester?
The third trimester starts from week 28 until we deliver.
My books and reading say that the third trimester can be both physically and emotionally challenging. The baby is considered full term at the end of week 37 and it’s only a matter of time before the baby will finally arrive. I feel like I have been pregnant for a long time. For anyone with pregnancy and/or birth anxiety, researching and understanding what to expect during the third trimester can help during the final stages of your pregnancy.
Between weeks 31 and 34, many major baby changes start to take place. At week 31 of pregnancy; baby’s lungs and digestive system are almost ready for use outside of the womb, and the baby will gain more weight than length from this point forward.
By week 34, the baby is usually in the head down position. I had my scan this week and indeed the baby’s head is down.
During weeks 35 through 37, the baby continues to grow and put on weight by developing his or her fat layer. By the end of week 37, we may notice at this point pressure pressing on the lower pelvic region, which is due to the baby starting to drop into position for birth.
What Is Happening To My Body?
The biggest thing I have noticed so far in my third trimester is my rapid weight gain. Up until 6 months, I had only put on a two kilos and in the last two months, I have put on 6 kilos. I have been advised by my Doctor to be careful with my diet and to remain exercise active.
The baby weight only makes up part of the weight we gain during pregnancy, the rest is:
- more blood
- amniotic fluid
- a larger uterus
- the placenta
- fat stores
It is important not to give in to unhealthy food cravings and to be as active as possible. Doing both will help you prevent unnecessary weight gain and this is where I am at, at the moment. I can not say that I get cravings but when I am hungry, I can not always control my portion size and I have to tell myself off.
The total amount of weight we should gain depends on how much we weighed pre-pregnancy. My Doctor says 10 kilos should be my maximum. Complications of too much weight gain can show up during the third trimester and this is what I am trying to avoid:
- gestational diabetes
- high blood pressure
- premature birth (baby is born at 37 weeks or earlier)
- heavy birth weight
Other Physical Changes
Braxton Hicks Contractions
This is our body’s way of preparing for labour, I understand that and I feel them daily.
I am definitely feeling more tired in this trimester especially in the evenings but it is not every day. It usually reflects what kind of day I have had. I find if I can stay cool in the Cyprus summer heat (not always possible), have some time to relax during the day and exercise, it definitely takes the edge off and I am more awake for longer.
My heartburn is a little better at the moment but I am told that in the last few weeks of pregnancy, the uterus will push on the stomach so it is likely to get worse and to enjoy my short relief.
With the growing belly pulling my centre of gravity forward, there are some days when I have an achy back and some sciatic pain where I feel shooting pains down my back and down my right leg. To try and alleviate this, I continue to strengthen my core and back muscles and when I am resting, I elevate my legs.
I am definitely more clumsy that I have ever been in recent weeks. I drop things, my belly is throws me a little off balance and I am more forgetful than ever.
I have noticed an increase in spider veins on my legs. I am told that some will probably stay after the baby comes and some will go. There are many things that can be done these days to reduce their appearance. This is something I would like to look in to after pregnancy so watch this space.
There are other physical changes which you may be experiencing that I have not listed. I have only listed what I am personally experiencing. Additional normal physical changes are: abdominal pain, varicose veins, stretch marks, vivid dreams, insomnia, lack of bladder control and breast leaks.
What I Tell Myself Daily
With all these irrational emotions, pregnancy symptoms and weight gain, I tell myself daily that soon I will meet my beautiful little girl and it will all be worth it!
If you have any specific pregnancy related questions, please send me a message.