During pregnancy: Third trimesters

Third trimester (weeks 28-40)

The final trimester is the time that your body prepares itself for labour.

Your body

During the third trimester you may find that you need to increase certain vitamins and nutrients in your diet such as calcium and vitamin D. Your baby will be taking more of these vitamins from you as its bones develop.

As the baby grows and your uterus expands, you may find that you can breathe less deeply and get out of breath more easily. You may also experience more backache so be sure to take plenty of rest. This will also help stop your blood pressure getting to high.

You should also be aware that this is the time that you are in danger of developing pre-eclampsia so if you notice that you have very swollen ankles and wrists you should consult your doctor.

You may have leakage from your breasts. This is called colostrum and it happens in preparation for breastfeeding by 30 weeks.

As the final week 40 approaches, the Braxton Hicks 'practice' contractions will increase.

Your baby

In the third trimester your baby’s senses will have developed enough to hear and recognise your voice. Playing relaxing music to your baby is thought to help it be calm and has even been suggested to increase intelligence.

The development is now nearly complete so much so that your baby will have individual fingerprints and a preference for the left or right hand. Your baby will gains up to 227g of weight per week and by 36 weeks should have its head down and be ready to engage in the pelvis.

Your baby’s immune system will get a final boost as your antibodies pass into your baby's bloodstream which will help your baby in the first six months of life.

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