Common Complications in Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Complications During Third Trimester 

 The common complications which may happen during the third trimester of pregnancy are:

  1. Placenta Previa
  2. Placenta Abruption
  3. Preeclampsia 
  4. Gestational Diabetes.
  5. PROM
  6. IUGR
  7. Post Term
  8. Malpresentation

Diet during Third Trimester – What and What Not?

third trimester

1 – Placenta Previa

The placenta is the food supply of the baby inside the womb. Usually the placenta is found lying on the lower side of the uterus and it starts growing and moves towards, above the uterus due to the growth of the baby.

The placenta completely moves to the top of the uterus at the Third Trimester. But in fewer instances of pregnancy, the placenta doesn’t move and also starts covering the mouth of the cervix partially or completely. The Cervix is the way where the baby can come through and reach the vagina during the delivery time. The placenta covering the cervix is called placenta previa.

Reasons of Placenta Previa:

  • If the woman has a multiple pregnancy as twins, triplets.
  • If the previous delivery was a caesarean.
  • Had uterus surgery like uterine fibroid removal.
  • Had abortion history.
  • Abnormal uterus shape.

Treatment of Placenta Previa:

There are no any medical or surgical treatment for diagnose this, but C section is the common, advisable option of delivery if it is severe.

A Thing to remember:

  • Avoid intercourse after 28 weeks.
  • Avoid more physical movements and should be under complete bed rest.
  • Should contact a doctor immediately if there is blood discharge.

2 – Placental Abruption

Another common complication during third trimester of pregnancy is Placental Abruption. As the placenta is the one which supplies the oxygen and food for the baby, it plays very important role in the growth of the baby. And this placenta detaches from the wall of the uterus after the baby comes out at the time of birth.

The placenta getting detached earlier than before the baby comes out is called Placental abruption. When this happens, the supply of oxygen and nutrition for the baby will be stopped completely and this is a pressing danger to the baby in the womb. Also the pregnant lady may bleed at this time.

Symptoms of Placental Abruption:

  • Can experience the heavy Vaginal Bleeding.
  • Sharp pain in back.
  • Heavy stomach pain.

Reasons of Placental Abruption:

  • High Blood pressure
  • Uterus Infections.
  • Problems in the umbilical cord.
  • Unhealthy eating habits during pregnancy.
  • Water bag breakage in early stage.

Treatments for Placental Abruption:

Surgery of C section or induced labor will be recommended if the pregnant woman is close to delivery time.

Baby development in Third Trimester

3 – Preeclampsia

The disorder Preeclampsia occurs when the blood pressure becomes very high during pregnancy and it happens mostly after the 20th week. If  Preeclampsia occurs, it may affect other organs such as Kidneys, and lungs.

Symptoms of Preeclampsia:

  • High blood pressure (Hypertension), due to improper blood circulation.
  • Protein in Urine (Proteinuria) due to kidney problems and leads to kidney failure in some severe cases.
  • Swelling in hands, feet, ankles and face due to fluid retention (edema).
  • Shortness in breathing, pain on the right side rib.
  • Blurred vision, bright flash vision in rare cases.

Reasons of Preeclampsia:

  • Genetic Problems.
  • Insufficient blood flow to the Uterus.
  • Damaged blood vessels.
  • Immunity problems.


  • Immediate delivery will be recommended under C section if the baby growth is mature enough.
  • Labour Induction also advised if the risk factors are low.

If it is the early stage of pregnancy and if there is no major risk, then the pregnant woman is asked to be on complete bed rest to avoid continuous high blood flow to the placenta.

4 – Gestational Diabetes

Gestational Diabetes is the most common complication during the third trimester od pregnancy. In pregnancy, the body needs more insulin for the glucose levels to be stable. Due to hormonal changes, if the level of glucose cannot be completely controlled by the insulin, then the blood sugar levels will increase. This condition is called Gestational diabetes.


  • Frequent Urination.
  • Urge to eat more.
  • Abnormally thirsty.

Reasons of Gestational Diabetes:

  • Overweight or obesity
  • Had Gestational Diabetes in previous pregnancy.
  • Has PCOS (Polycystic ovary syndrome).


  • Regular monitoring of the Blood sugar level is a must.
  • Proper Medication should be followed.
  • Follow healthy diet.
  • Regular exercise is a must.

Gestational Diabetes – Myths and Facts You Need To Know – FAQs

5 – PROM (Premature Rupture of Membrane)

By Nature the baby in the womb is completely covered by a sac which is called Amniotic sac and it contains Amniotic fluids. This Amniotic sac usually breaks and opens just before the labour. But if this membrane (Amniotic sac) breaks before 37th week, when the baby is still not grown to be ready for the birth, the condition is called as Preterm Premature Rupture of Membrane (PPROM).


  • Leakage from vagina even when the baby is not ready for labour.
  • Foul smelling vaginal discharge.
  • Sudden gush from vagina.


  • Uterine Infection.
  • More expansion of Uterus due to multiple fetal development


  • If it is severe then C section delivery will be arranged.
  • If it is moderate then you should be under medication.

6 – IUGR (Intrauterine Growth Restrictions)

If the growth of the baby is not normal in the womb, then the baby’s weight will be very less even after the 38th week of pregnancy. This undergrowth is called IUGR.


  • Pregnant lady with unstable Blood pressure levels.
  • Placenta Abnormality
  • Uterus / Uterine infections.


  • Healthy diet.
  • Proper Medications.
  • Regular Ultrasound scans

7- Post Term

If the pregnant woman does not deliver the baby even after the completion of 42 weeks in the absence of natural labour pain, it increases the risk of the lives of both baby and mother.


  • Heaviness in abdomen.
  • Less baby movement.
  • Amniotic sac not breaking in due time


  • Mostly unknown
  • Overgrown Baby.
  • Irregular menstrual cycle.
  • May be miscalculated due date using the wrong last menstrual date.


  • Caesarean section will be encouraged immediately.
  • Vacuum suck method for taking out the baby.

8 – Malpresentation

The abnormal position of the vertex of the baby’s head in the pelvic area is called as Malpresentation. Breech position is the most common malpresentation.


  • Placenta Previa
  • Premature baby
  • Fibroids in the uterus
  • Amniotic fluid problems.
  • Abnormal shape of uterus.


  • C section would be advised.

These information are just for your knowledge and be cautioned about the symptoms. Do not delay to call your Doctor when you face even a slight discomfort or doubt about your pregnancy.

Happy Pregnancy!!!

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