Third Trimester of Pregnancy – Changes and Symptoms.

Third trimester can be calculated between the week 28 to week 40 and this is the most crucial period in pregnancy as every pregnant woman gets bigger belly and feels the heaviness.

Baby development in third trimester

Changes and Symptoms during Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Weight Gain:

One visible change during third trimester of pregnancy is the weight gain.

Every pregnant woman will gain more weight than the other two trimesters, as your baby has also started growing faster than before. From the 28th week, the pregnant woman should concentrate on having a healthy diet,’ which should be always rich in iron, calcium, folic acid, omega 3 fatty acid foods, which helps in baby’s vital organs’ growth without any complications. Weight gain between 7-10 kgs is considered as the healthy weight gain during the Third Trimester.

Diet during Third Trimester – What and What Not?

More fetal movement: 

During early weeks of Third Trimester, the pregnant woman can feel more kicks, punches, rolling of baby compared to previous weeks. As the room of the uterus is not enough for the baby now as it starts to grow faster. This is one of the most important changes during third trimester of pregnancy to be noted.

The movements also increase every day as the baby now learns to observe the happenings inside the womb and it can see more light and can hear and react to the sounds outside. Approximately 25-30 kicks/punch can happen in a day during the early weeks of the third trimester. Any obvious reduction in the kicks and movements should be consulted immediately.


This discomfort is a common change during the third Trimester because the growth of the uterus puts pressure on the nearest parts of the stomach and intestines. Burning sensation after having meals can be handled by drinking more water/fluids and avoiding oily food, dieting with easily digest-able food, and avoiding to sleep immediately after food.

Read about Second Trimester of Pregnancy: 14-27 Weeks


Another change during the third trimester of pregnancy is the problem of sleeplessness. And this is because of depression, frequent urination, more baby movements, cramps on leg, stomach cramps, back pain. Keeping both the feet in the hot water tub for a few minutes before going to sleep could help solve this problem.


This is rampant among the pregnant women in third Trimester as progesterone levels rise, this slows down the movements in the intestine and also the digestion process and hence, causes constipation. Keeping your body well hydrated by drinking enough water and involving in mild physical activity at regular intervals by going for short walks or simple workouts/stretches.

Common Complications During Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Symptoms during Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Mood Swings:

  • Most pregnant women in the third trimester will not be able to sleep properly at night due to bigger belly, fatigue and more baby movements. This discomfort may lead to stress and extreme mood swings and this, in most cases, unavoidable.
  • During older times, where living in joint family helped the moms-to-be in preparing for their delivery and also, being under elders’ care helped them cope-up with the stress.
  • Now with nuclear setups have become a common, the moms-to-be, especially the first timers worry more and distress themselves about the delivery, the things to be taken care of before and after, adding to the stress usually caused during the final trimester period. This panicking is termed as “Nesting”.
  • Nesting is nothing but the mom’s mood swings about the preparations for her new baby’s arrival, such as nappies, diapers, feeding, clothes, towels and anything about the baby. Worrying over small things may sound crazy to others, but these things invariably make every new mom to be more anxious and the situation can be better handled if the rest of the family members help her overcome the anxiety in a positive way.

Read about Baby development in Third Trimester

Swollen Feet and Ankles:

Swollen Face, Swollen Ankles, Headache and Dizziness are other common symptoms which tells the onset of the third trimester. This is due to less blood circulation.

Shortness in breathing:

The increase in the uterus size not just presses the gut area down, but also pushes lungs above and it starts to compress. This would lead to breathing difficulty.

Overcome the shortness in breathing by adjusting the sitting position, sleeping sitting straight, keeping the legs in an elevated position, resting your back properly, sleeping by keeping pillows between the thighs and/or by a quick walk.

Frequent Urination:

Once the uterus starts growing bigger as the baby grows, the push in the bladder becomes more intense than before and results in the urge to urinate more often. Empty your bladder, when there is a push. This is a common problem during the Third Trimester and it is unavoidable.

Braxton-Hicks Contraction:

Experiencing this contraction usually starts after the 27 weeks without any pain in an abrupt manner. Most of the pregnant women wouldn’t be able to track, as this happens in a sudden manner and last for less than a second, when it occurs. But, can be felt as a sharp contraction in the lower abdomen area.

If it starts to happen frequently, then it may be a sign of pre-labour in few cases. This is a sign of the body getting ready for labour, preparing the cervix to get thinner and also widen.

Our body is a self healer provided we learn to identify the messages it sends when it has acquired something new. Pregnancy is no exemption and the above mentioned changes and symptoms are the signs the body is getting to the next stage of the pregnancy. Being self-aware and monitoring the bodily changes, identifying and preparing oneself mentally with positivity, avoids a lot of problems and complications, both physically and mentally and preparing for a safe and healthy delivery for both the mother and the baby.

Stay Positive!! Stay Happy!!

Happy Pregnancy!!!

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