Third Trimester of Pregnancy : Pregnancy lasts for nine months or an equivalent of 40 weeks. The 40 weeks are divided into trimesters, with the third trimester including weeks 28 to 40 of pregnancy. At the end of week 37, the baby is considered full-term and it is only a matter of time before it is born.
This is the last phase of pregnancy and it can be particularly challenging for the expectant mother, both physically and emotionally. To help reduce anxiety, the expectant mother should research and consult a competent OBGYN in San Antonio to help her understand what to expect during these final stages of pregnancy.
The Mother’s Body
Doing anything against the advice of any seasoned OBGYN is a big mistake, and this applies to everything from eating right to exercising. In the last trimester, the baby has grown in size, and the mother experiences more aches, pain and swelling in the body as she carries the baby around. During this period, the baby moves around more frequently, which means the mother experiences occasional reflex tightening of the uterus, a state referred to as Braxton-Hicks contractions.
These contractions are random and usually painless. Moreover, the mother will feel the need to go to the bathroom more often, experience frequent heartburn, swollen face, ankles and fingers, as well as tender breasts, and difficulty sleeping. If the woman experiences any bleeding, painful, intense contractions, or sudden decrease in the baby’s activity, she should immediately contact an accomplished OBGYN in San Antonio.
Development of the Baby
The baby’s bones will be fully formed around 32 weeks. At this time, the baby can sense light and will occasionally open and close its eyes. Consequently, the baby’s body will begin storing nutrients and minerals such as calcium and iron. The baby will move into a head-down position by week 36.
If this does not happen, the doctor may try moving it or may recommend that the mother give birth by cesarean section. This is where the doctor cuts and creates an opening in the mother’s belly and uterus in order to deliver the baby. The baby’s organs will be fully grown by week 37, and at this time, the baby is considered full-term. It will be about 19 to 21 inches long and will weigh around 6 to 9 pounds.
During the third trimester, the mother is expected to meet the OBGYN more regularly. The doctor may perform a Group B strep test, which is also known as a GBS test to find out if the bacterium (GBS) has infected the baby. GBS is normally found in the intestines or lower genital tract of about 25 percent of healthy women but is harmless to them. However, it can cause serious illnesses to a newborn. If the mother tests positive, they will be given an antibiotic to clean the reproductive system.
The OBGYN will conduct a vaginal examination as the due date approaches. During this time, the cervix becomes softer and thinner in order to assist in opening the birth canal during delivery. An expectant mother should know what to do, and what not to do during pregnancy to be able to take care of the baby and themselves. They also need to decide where they will deliver. These last-minute preparations for delivery will go a long way in ensuring the delivery process goes smoothly.
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