What to Expect in the Third Trimester

The third trimester of pregnancy is from week 28 through week 40. The end of pregnancy may bring feelings of excitement, nervousness and discomfort. Your baby is growing and gaining weight, and so are you. Your growing baby may crowd your midsection, making it hard to breathe deeply or get comfortable while sleeping. Below is what to expect in the third trimester.

Second Trimester Symptoms

You may experience all of the previous listed symptoms from "What to Expect in the Second Trimester." You may also experience additional symptoms below.

Abdominal achiness

As your round ligaments stretch to accommodate your growing baby, you may feel cramps or sharp pain.


You feel more tire during this trimester because of the demands pregnancy is putting on your body, so eat well and frequently, stay active and get plenty of sleep.


In the last few weeks of pregnancy your uterus will push your stomach and its contents upward, causing that persistent burn. If it is really bothering you, talk to your doctor about what medications are safe to use during pregnancy.

Breast enlargement

Your breasts are still growing as they prepare to feed your baby. Going up a bra size (or more) and wearing a good supportive bra can make you feel more comfortable.

Braxton Hicks contractions

This is your body’s way of preparing for labor. These irregular contractions may continue until real labor starts.

Varicose veins

You may notice these bulging veins in you lower body due to all the extra blood you are pumping.


As your uterus expands during the second trimester, it presses against blood vessels and may cause you to feel dizzy at times. Other causes of dizziness are low blood sugar, dehydration, or hormone changes during pregnancy. Avoid standing for too long. Rise slowly from chairs or bed. Eat healthy meals and snacks, avoid hot showers and baths, hydrate with water, and try not to lie flat on your back.


Moisturize to minimize their appearance.

Hair growth

Pregnancy hormones can boost hair growth. The hair on your head may become thicker. You may also see hair in places you have never had it before, including your face, arms, and back.


Headaches are one of the most common pregnancy complaints. Try to get plenty of rest. Aspirin and ibuprofen should not be taken during pregnancy. Regular strength Tylenol is okay to take while pregnant. If you are having severe or persistent headaches not resolving with Tylenol, see your provider.


Pregnancy hormones loosen your joints and your growing belly pulls your center of gravity forward which can cause your back to ache. Sharp shooting pain from your back down your legs may be a sign of sciatica.


Avoid constipation. Sitz baths, over-the-counter Preparation H and Hydrocortisone topically may be helpful.

Vivid dreams

Pregnancy hormones may cause your dreams to be more vivid as you near your due date. This is very normal.


By the midpoint of your pregnancy (20 weeks) you will probably have started to feel the first delicate flutters of movement in you abdomen, which is often called “quickening”. Some women don’t experience this until after their sixth month of pregnancy


Your growing belly can cause you to be off balance and pregnancy hormones may cause you to be more forgetful.

Lack of bladder control

The added weight from your growing baby on the pelvic floor can cause you to leak urine when you laugh or sneeze. This is a great time to practice your Kegel exercises.

Leaky breasts

This is your body’s way of warming up to feed your baby.

Symptoms to have checked out in the third trimester

As a mom-to-be, you're focused on having a healthy baby. It is important to know these symptoms and call your provider right away.

  • Leaking of amniotic fluid
  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Headache that won’t go away with Tylenol OR a headache that is accompanied by blurry vision, increased swelling, upper gastric pain, sudden weight gain.
  • Contractions- regular or irregular
  • Or any other concerns

If you experience any of the above symptoms, call your doctor’s office right away. If you don’t get someone on the phone within a few minutes, head to the nearest emergency department.

Third Trimester To-Dos

If you’re having a healthy, uncomplicated pregnancy, you can probably continue to have intercourse right up until your water breaks or you go into labor.

Helping You Navigate the Insurance Maze

Because today’s insurance policies come with significantly higher co-pays and deductibles, you’re likely to face larger out-of-pocket expenses for your health care. Our team at Pella Regional help you prepare for the cost of your medical procedure, understand the payment process and avoid financial surprises.

Our team will review your specific insurance situation and your doctor’s recommended procedure. Then, staff will estimate your actual cost and work with you to find the best method of payment.

Preparing for a baby? Pella Regional also offers opportunities to pre-pay for your maternity care.

We understand that sometimes paying for deductibles, co-insurance, or copays may be difficult. If you are unable to pay all or part of your responsibility, please call the Business Office at 641.628.6700 to discuss options for financial assistance.

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