3. The excitement of the final three months - This is the stage when you are most excited because the date of your delivery is near. At the final three months of your pregnancy, the baby is fully developed and ready to emerge into the world. You’re already accustomed to your heavily belly. You have to take as much care as you did during the first and second trimester.
FETAL DEVELOPMENT (3rd Trimester)
- Seventh Month – Fat stores are accumulating and the body is covered in thick grease (vernix), which prevents the skin from becoming soggy from immersion in the amniotic fluid. The head is already proportioned to the size of the body. The baby can now breathe and see. Its eyes are already open. Approximate length is 14 ½ inches and weight is 2 lbs.
- Eight Month – Now the baby lies with its head towards your pelvis. The face is now smooth. The baby is also much stronger and can make even more vigorous movement, which the mother can easily feel. Ideal length is 16 inches and weight, 3-1/2 lbs.
- Ninth Month – Your baby moves to fill the uterus and is now positioned for birth. The head descends toward the pelvis. Fingernails and toenails are soft and hair can be 1-2 inches long. Ideal weight is 5 lbs while the length is 18 inches. By now you can feel a leakage of amniotic fluid and contractions of the cervix. The baby’s hand and feet cause jabs and fetal activity is inconsistent as the fetus takes longer naps and longer active cycles. Average length is 18 inches and weight is 5 ½ lbs.
YOUR CONDITION AT THIS STAGE
- Edema (Swelling) – Swelling of the hands and legs is common at the final stage of pregnancy. This occurs especially when the weather is warm and fluid settles on your legs and feet. There is no proof that lowering your intake of salty and junk food can prevent edema. To be safer, though, drink lots of fluids to wash out the salt substances in your body and avoid staying in one position for a long time. Elevating your feet and doing some exercises, even if it’s just walking, can reduce the swelling.
- Shortness of breath – During this period the uterus is so enlarged that it presses upward on your diaphragm, making less room for your lungs. Because of this, you experience shortness of breath. But if you feel more than that, you may have other lung complications that only your doctor can detect. Another possible reason is that progesterone is affecting your respiratory system.
- Insomnia – Insomnia or difficulty in sleeping usually occurs during this final stage of pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about it to make sure that there is now serious medical cause. To cope with sleeplessness, try the following tips:
- Drink warm milk; it induces sleep
- Take a short warm bath to relax your muscles
- Do some simple exercises
- Read good book or magazine
- Use comfortable pillows and beddings
- Put yourself in a comfortable position
- Avoid drinking soft drinks, coffee, or tea.
Hemorrhoids – Hemorrhoids are dilated, swollen veins around your rectum and are usually related to constipation. Progesterone causes the veins to swell, and constipation makes it even worse. This is due to the pressing of the bowels that puts pressure on the veins. If your bowel movement is not smooth, the veins in your rectum are likely to stretch, making it more difficult to move your bowels. If the pressure is strong, pain and bleeding may be experienced. Constipation doesn’t harm your pregnancy, but for your own comfort have a nutritious, fiber-rich diet that can ease your bowel movement.