Third Trimester (28th Week To Birth)

Changes experienced by the mother

  • The discomforts that started in the second trimesters are likely to continue, and in most cases intensify as the baby becomes bigger.
  • The baby will put more pressure on internal organs causing the mother to urinate more often and have difficulties breathing and difficulties to sleep
  • You will experience contractions which may be a sign of real or false labour
  • The baby will start dropping-moving to the lower side of the abdomen
  • The cervix will become thinner and softer through the effacement process.

Baby Developments

By the end of the third trimester;

Week 28

Your baby’s eyes have developed, and can see light filtering in through your womb.

Week 29

The muscles and lungs are maturing. The head is also growing to make room for her developing brain.

Week 30

Your baby now weighs almost 3 pounds. Meanwhile, hormonal imbalance is causing intensified mood swings, clumsiness, and fatigue.

Week 31

Your baby’s strong kicks might be keeping you up at night. You may start experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions.

Week 32

Your baby is plumping up. Meanwhile, the uterus is expanding and causing you heartburn and shortness of breath

Week 33

The baby is now weighing a little over 4 pounds, you might be waddling – and having trouble getting comfy in bed.

Week 34

Your baby’s central nervous system and lungs are maturing, and dizziness and fatigue may be slowing you down.

Week 35

Your baby is too well relaxed in the womb to do somersaults. However, s/he stills makes frequent and perhaps less dramatic movements.

Week 36

Your baby is gaining an ounce a day. You will also feel the baby “drop” down into your pelvis as the due date approaches.

Week 37

The brain and lungs are continuing to mature. You may have more vaginal discharge and occasional contractions.

Week 38

Your baby has a firm grasp, and may you will greet her sometimes soon. Meanwhile, watch out for signs of preeclampsia.

Week 39

Your baby is full term this week and waiting to greet the world! Body organs are fully developed and can function on their own. The head is now fully in a the head-down position If your water breaks, call your healthcare provider.

Week 40

Don’t worry if you’re still pregnant – it’s common to go past your due date.

Week 41

As cosy as s/he is, your baby cannot stay inside the belly. You will go into labour or be induced soon, and out will come the bouncing baby. By birth, the baby weighs between 6 pounds 2 ounces and 9 pounds 2 ounce and is about 19 to 21 inches in length.

Medical Attention

Besides the normal pre-natal clinics checks seek medical advice when having/during;

1. Heavy bleeding–  Small drops of blood on you knickers in the first few weeks of pregnancy is not unusual,  However seek medical attention if you experience heavy or continuous bleeding

2. Intense headache-Headaches are common during pregnancy; however, intense headaches can be a sign of high blood pressure or warning signs of pre-eclampsia.  It is advisable to seek medical support. 

3. Severe abdominal pain-Abdominal aches and pains are common during pregnancy as the uterus is stretching to accommodate the baby, equally the growing baby is also exerting pressure on the abdomen. However, intense abdominal pains between 6th and 16th week could be a sign of ectopic pregnancy, it is advisable to seek medical attention.

4. Dizziness, paleness, tiredness, headaches, and shortness of breath-These are warning signs of anaemia. But do not worry, it is common among pregnant women, just visit the doctor or a midwife to get an iron supplement

5. Extreme and sudden swelling of feet, hands and face-While it is normal for these parts to swell owing to increased pressure, extreme and sudden swelling may signify pre-eclampsia, therefore it is advisable to visit the doctor.

6. Sky-rocketing body temperatures-If you feel feverish or your body temperatures is CONSISTENTLY high it may be a sign that you have an infection; thus important to get medical attention

7. Constant vomiting-While nausea and vomiting is common during the first trimester, it should ease up during subsequent trimesters. However, if you constantly throw up and cannot keep anything down including water you are at risk of dehydration and this can affect the baby.  Seek medical support and guidance 

8. Urinary tract infections (UTI), haemorrhoids and yeast infections-These are uncomfortable and in some cases, UTI may be passed on to the baby and your partner. Luckily, they are simple to treat, visit your health practitioner and get the appropriate treatment.

Foods to Eat

1. Foliate (folic acid) – Folic acid promotes the proper fusion of the baby’s neural tube, therefore  reducing neural-tube defects such as Spina bifida. Foods rich in folic include Spinach, Citrus fruits, whole grains and dark green leafy vegetables. Folic is also available in supplement form.  

2. Protein-A pregnant women needs about 60 grams extra  of protein a day  from the first trimester, protein  is  a vital  for proper development of  the baby  plus growth and repair of body tissue. Foods rich in protein include legumes, cottage cheese and eggs

3. Calcium and Vitamin D-plays a vital role during the second and third trimester to strengthen the developing child’s bones and teeth. Your body takes calcium from your bones and teeth for your little one.  Calcium  is also important for your bones to withstand with increased weight and pressure.  Sources of calcium include low-fat dairy products such as yoghurt, beans, lentils, Salmon, dark green vegetables and soy products.

4. Fibre-is particularly important  it reduces constipation which is common in pregnancy. It also makes you feel fuller longer; aim for 25 milligrams to 35 milligrams of fibre a day. Fibre is found in fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

5. Zinc– Pregnancy increases the demand for zinc by about  50% therefore taking at least 5mg of zinc per day  is beneficial. Zinc deficiency is linked to premature births, restricted foetal growth and birth defects. Zinc can be obtained from whole grains, spinach, broccoli, legumes, nuts, meat and seafood.

6. Iron–  Your body requires iron to make haemoglobin a  substance in red blood cells essential for  oxygenating your whole body and equally  the growing baby.  Sources of iron include chicken, lean beef, spinach and Collard greens.  It is common for women to be prescribed an iron supplement if they are not absorbing enough from their diet. 

7. Omega-3 fatty acid-This is vital in boosting the baby’s neurological development leading to better memory, language and other cognitive development. It is also vital in reducing post-partum depression. Sources ofOmega-3 includes Walnuts, Flaxseed oil, omega-3 fortified eggs.

“Dos” and “Don’ts”


1. Eat a rainbow of foods-A varied diet provides you and the baby with important nutrients, vitamins and most importantly, introduces the baby to new tastes via the amniotic fluid.

2. Choose “double-duty” foods-Consume foods that are rich in more than one nutrient. For instance, spinach contains iron and zinc, lean beef contains protein and iron, equally wholegrains are rich in fibre and zinc.

3. Drink lots and lots of water-  Water is life it is important for maintaining a healthy environment in the body for you and baby, Thus aiding in the transportation of nutrients within the body and equally flushing out toxins. The recommended intake is about 2 to 3 litres. The amount of water you drink may have an effect on the amniotic fluid. It is ESSENTIAL to keep yourself hydrated. A rough measure as to whether yore drinking enough is to check the colour of your urine. The darker the urine means  you’re not drinking enough it should be pale yellow to deep amber. 

4. Food safety-During pregnancy, you and your immune system is weaker, be mindful of the foods you eat bearing in mind food poisoning.


1. Don’t overeat-While pregnancy requires more calories for sustenance, eating for two is not necessary. 

2. Don’t overdose on refined carbohydrates-Avoid refined crabs such as sweets. They may spike you blood glucose levels and predispose the unborn child too weight related health concerns.

What to avoid

1. Pesticides-Limit your exposure to pesticide by choosing organically grown foods- The developing baby has a sensitive immune system thus exposure to pesticides in pregnancy may lead to later-in-life immune  complications.

2. Drugs-Do not engage in any drug abuse!  Avoid alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and others. These have a direct  negative impacts on  the development of the unborn child