The Third Trimester: What to Expect

The third trimester of pregnancy is the last stretch before your baby is born. It is an exciting time, but it can also be tiring and overwhelming. During this trimester, your baby will continue to grow and develop, and you will notice significant changes in your own body as well. 

Here is what you can expect during the third trimester:

Increased Fatigue

As your baby grows and puts more pressure on your uterus, you may feel more tired than usual. Your body is working hard to support the growing baby, so it is important to rest when you need to and listen to your body.

Shortness of Breath

As your baby grows, it will push up on your diaphragm, which can make it difficult to take deep breaths. This is normal and should not cause any concern, but if you experience shortness of breath that is accompanied by chest pain or difficulty speaking, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Heartburn and Indigestion

The growing baby puts pressure on your digestive system, which can cause heartburn and indigestion. To help relieve these symptoms, try eating small, frequent meals and avoid spicy or acidic foods.


As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may experience swelling in your feet, ankles, and hands. This is due to the increase in blood volume and the retention of fluid. 

To help reduce swelling, try elevating your feet, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding standing for long periods. If you have any worries about swelling, you should book in with your nearest medical clinic for a checkup.

Braxton Hicks Contractions 

As you come to the end of your pregnancy, you may experience Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as “false labor.” These contractions are usually irregular and do not get stronger over time. 

Braxton Hicks are usually not a cause for concern, but if you experience regular contractions that get stronger and closer together, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Changes in Baby’s Movements

As your baby grows, it will have less room to move around. You may notice that their movements feel less frequent or less vigorous. This is normal, but if you notice a significant decrease in your baby’s movements, you should contact your healthcare provider.

Baby “Dropping”

As your baby’s head moves down into your pelvis, you may feel like they are “dropping” lower in your abdomen. This is called “lightening,” and it usually occurs a few weeks before labor. Lightening can make it easier to breathe and may also cause some relief from heartburn and indigestion.

Nesting Instinct

As you near the end of your pregnancy, you may feel an increased desire to clean and organize your home. This is known as the “nesting instinct,” and it is a natural response to the approaching birth of your baby.

During the third trimester, it is important to continue to attend your prenatal appointments. Your healthcare provider will monitor your baby’s growth and development, as well as check your own health and well-being. 

They may also discuss labor and delivery options with you, including pain management techniques and any potential medical interventions.

If you have any concerns or questions during the third trimester, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare provider or visit a medical clinic. It is important to address any concerns you have before labor and delivery, as it will help you feel more prepared and comfortable during this exciting time.

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