Third Trimester of Pregnancy
Changes in Baby
During the third trimester your baby continues to grow and mature so she is ready for life outside the womb. She is practicing breathing with rudimentary movements. She is probably very active, and will become less active near the end of pregnancy when there is no more room to move about the uterus. You will notice she responds to sounds, and may recognize her regular periods of sleep and wake.
As he gets ready to be born, he will probably turn into a head down position. The downy hair all over his body is almost gone and he is settling into your pelvis. His skin has less wrinkling, but may still be covered with the vernix caeosa when he is born. His bones have all hardened except in his head. This allows him to move through the pelvis to be born.
Your baby is also storing iron in her liver and gaining antibodies from you. Both of these help protect her during the first moths outside the womb. By the time she is born she will weigh somewhere around 7 pounds and be around 19 inches long.
Changes in mom
During the third trimester most women experience Braxton-Hicks contractions. These are normally painless and actually help the uterus prepare for labor. You may find your breasts excrete colostrum, but its excretion in pregnancy is not necessary for successful breastfeeding.
Your growing baby may have you feeling short of breath, off balance, sore in the lower ribs or back, warmer and sweatier than usual and as if you have to pee non-stop. Almost all women experience stretch marks on the lower abdomen and some swelling in the ankles. You may have frequent heartburn or indigestion, and may continue to struggle with constipation. Some women experience hemorrhoids or varicose veins.
Your sleep may be disturbed either from discomfort or having to wake up to pee. You may also feel clumsy as your joints loosen to prepare for labor. Some women feel beautiful with their round belly, others just feel really fat. You don't have any control over how your body carries your baby. All these factors work to change your sexual relationship as you near term.
Emotionally, you may be excited about the upcoming birth or you may be nervous about labor. Some women feel uneasy about becoming a mother and have concern that they will be "good enough." You may struggle with feeling dependant on family and friends for assistance, or you may enjoy the increased attention you are getting.