Pregnancy Third Trimester
Your Pregnancy Third Trimester Weeks 24 - 36
Your baby is now fully formed and gaining about 200 grams with each passing week. The lungs start to reach maturity at 34 weeks of pregnancy and your baby can hear you at about 35 weeks of pregnancy.
You may experience more backache because of the increasing size of your tummy. It helps to lean backwards slightly to counter the weight of your tummy, thereby keeping your back straight and minimizing backache. When the backache becomes too much, it is safe to take some Panadol (if you are not allergic to them) to ease the pain. Alternatively, you can get a gentle back massage to ease the strain.
As you approach the date of delivery, you may feel increasing frequency of tightening sensations over your womb. These are the Braxton-Hicks contractions which are actually ‘practice’ contractions in anticipation of the actual labour. You should contact your doctor if the Braxton-Hicks contraction is associated with the following.
❖ Continuous watery discharge from the vagina
❖ Reduce baby movement or
❖ Increased frequency and discomfort
Term : Weeks 37 - 42
Term is the time your baby is all ready for life in the outside world. During this time, you may feel your baby ‘dropping’ further down into the pelvis. This is called lightening and it signifies that the baby has engaged it’s head in the pelvis ready for delivery. You should make your way to the hospital when:
❖ There is regular contraction pain every 10 minutes for the last hour
❖ There is continuous watery discharge even without pain
❖ There is some sticky red vaginal discharge associated with some pain
There is really no need to rush as the normal duration of labour is about 4-6 hours. This labour duration can be shorter if you had delivered before and may be longer if it is your first pregnancy.
Most women will deliver before the expected date of delivery, which is the 40th week. A few women may carry their pregnancy beyond the expected date of delivery.
There is now strong medical evidence to support a better outcome for both mother and baby if the pregnancy does not exceed 41 weeks. If you have not delivered after the expected date of delivery, you should discuss inducing your labour with your doctor to reduce any adverse outcomes.