Third trimester is the vital stage of pregnancy, at the end of this the child’s birth occurs. Also the fetal growth is high during third trimester pregnancy, all the parts of baby are mostly developed at the end of third stage. Last three months of pregnancy are physically and emotionally challenging to mother.

Third trimester pregnancy and women – Facts:-

* Third Stage of pregnancy is the vital stage of pregnancy. Third trimester pregnancy is physically and emotionally challenging for women.
* Mother prepares to give childbirth of her lovely baby.
* Pregnant mother becomes uncomfortable with the physical changes and internal changes.
* Rapid growth of baby occurs in third trimester pregnancy as compared to previous months.
* Mother should avoid alcohol and smoking.
* Tetanus toxoid injection should be taken by the mother.
* Iron and folic acid tablets are taken by the pregnant women during third trimester pregnancy.

Fetal changes during third trimester of pregnancy:-

* Fetal brain is well developed
* kidneys and lungs starts maturing but not functional.
* Fetus can hear external sounds
* Fetal head engaged at 36Th week of pregnancy. Head engagement is the process of fetal head drops into pelvic area. This process is known as lightening.
* Fetal skull bones remain soft as they can easily pass the birth canal.
* permanent eye colour is not developed during fetal life. Iris may be blue.
* Between 38 and 40th week of pregnancy, lanugo of baby may be disappeared.
* Lung get matured at 40th week of pregnancy.
* Baby in the fetus is covered a creamy, protective coating on the skin called vernix caseosa.
* Baby is present in flexed position in the womb of mother/ fetal life.
* Near the end of third trimester, baby turns downward

Changes in women during Third trimester pregnancy:-

* Mother may feel hot as the fetus radiates body heat, mother’s skin temperature is Increased.
* Frequent urination troubles the mother as the uterus compresses urinary bladder.
* Fetus compresses the main vein which returns venous blood to heart. this leads to low blood pressure during end of Third trimester pregnancy.
* Fluid retention in mother leads to Swelling of ankles, hands, and even face. Ankle edema is even associated gestational hypertension.
* Increased hormone levels in body stimulates hair follicles and excess hair may grow on pregnant women arms, and legs.
* Leg cramps are also found during third trimester pregnancy.
* Women experience backache due to altered body shape as the growing fetus causes abdomen to bulge. Backache increases with third trimester pregnancy.
* Constipation, indigestion, and heartburn are common during third trimester pregnancy.
* Varicose veins are the dilated veins in the legs are found in some pregnant mother.
* Women feels false uterus contractions called braxton-hicks contractions.
* Stretched marks are appeared on the abdomen, and muscles of thighs and buttocks during third trimester pregnancy.
* Milk or Colostrum, may leak from mammary gland as a clear fluid as a preparation of lactation.
* Stretched abdominal skin causes dry and itchy skin during end of third trimester pregnancy.
* Sexual urge is very poor in most of women during third trimester pregnancy.
* Dark patches are found on facial skin like butterfly structures because of Skin pigmentation.
* White mucus may be discharged during later stage of pregnancy.

Tests done during third trimester pregnancy:-

*      Mother’s weight and blood pressure are checked during third trimester as they are important in assessing health of women and baby.
*      Urine test is done to detect albumin which may indicate preeclampsia or toxemia, and increased blood sugar or hyperglycemia.

*      Ultrasound scan is done to identify the growth and development of fetus and health status of growing baby.

*      Growth and development, and position of fetus are checked.

*      Height of the fundus is measured ( height of uterus).

*      Fetal heartbeat is measured with fetoscope.
What the pregnant mother should follow ?

*      After 29th week of pregnancy, prenatal visits should be given for two weekly once.

*      After 36th weekly once hospital visit is preferred.

*      During 38th week of pregnancy, Pelvic examination is done to determine the dilation and effacement of the cervix.

*      Mother should not be panic about labour.

*      Get adequate information from the your doctor about procedure carried out during labour.

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