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What To Expect In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy

Week 28

At this week, your baby will begin to settle into the proper position for birth – with their head facing downwards. In terms of development, your little one will now be able to blink, as well as having rapid eye movement, meaning that they are beginning to dream whilst they sleep.

Week 29

At a whopping 2 ½ to 3 pounds, your little one will measure 15 ½ to 16 inches long. Although, this is close to their birth length, they still need to add on a bit more weight before they are born. You will also notice a increase in your little one’s activity in the womb. This is a good time to begin a kick count to monitor your baby and make sure they are doing fine.

Week 30

At week 30, your baby’s brain is growing bigger and is beginning to take on the characteristic indentations you would normally associate with the brain. The lanugo, the downy hair covering your baby’s skin, is starting to disappear now that they are able to regulate their temperature more easily. An important milestone at this stage is that your baby’s bone marrow now takes over the production of red blood cells – this means that they are better able to thrive once born.

Week 31

Your baby is now around 16 inches long so is quickly approaching their birth length! You may also notice that your little one is moving around at certain times, and is still at others. This is because they are sleeping for longer stretches of time. When they aren’t still, it is quite likely that your little one is sucking on their thumb, making faces, hiccuping, breathing, swallowing or even pedaling with their little feet.

Week 32

At this stage, the majority of your little one’s organs are fully developed, and if they are born this week, they have a good chance of survival. Your baby’s digestive system fully develops this week and your little one will be practising the skills they will need to thrive outside the womb, i.e. swallowing and breathing.

Week 33

At this stage, baby will weigh more than 4 ¼ pounds and is still putting weight on. Also, at this week the amniotic fluid has maxed out so, there is more baby than fluid in your bump now! Your baby is also able to differentiate between night and day at this week of your pregnancy. This is because the uterine walls are becoming thinner, meaning that more light can penetrate the womb, depending on if it is day or night. Another important milestone – your baby now has an immune system. This means that once born, they can fight all sort of germs!

Week 34

In the 34th week, your baby is around 18 inches long and weighs around 5 ¼ pounds. Also happening in this week, your little one’s fingernails have grown to their fingertips, meaning that they are probably due a manicure once they are born!

Weeks 35 and 36

During the 35th and 36th weeks of your pregnancy, your baby’s brain is continually developing at a super fast rate! The skull however, remains soft (the baby’s skull bones are not yet fused together), making it easier for the baby to squeeze through the birth canal! It is not just the skull which is a soft structure in the body, the majority of their bones and cartilage are also soft, making it much easier for them to journey through the birth canal and say hello to the world! By the 36th week, most of your little one’s systems are mature and ready to be used once they’ve been born. The circulatory and immune systems are both matured and fully functioning, whereas some others, such as the digestive system, still need some finishing touches.

Week 37

It’s getting closer to your due date, and baby now weighs around 6 ½ pounds – although boys tend to be heavier at birth than girls. During week 37, your little one is busy practising breathing, sucking their thumb and blinking!

Week 38

D-day is fast approaching, and whilst you prepare for labor, your little one is preparing for their first appearance in the world! During this week, your baby will continue to shed the vernix and lanugo from their skin.  Your baby’s lungs are slowly maturing, as well as their nervous system.

Week 39

At week 39, your baby is now full term! Generally, your baby will weigh about 7 to 8 pounds and will measure between 19 and 21 inches. Although once born a baby is capable of crying, they do not yet produce any actual tears.

Weeks 40 – 42

At 40 weeks pregnant, you have technically got to the end of your pregnancy! Congratulations! However, it may still be a few weeks until baby makes an appearance!  It may be weeks 41 or 42 when your little one makes an appearance, but that is perfectly normal!

The first major milestone, is when your baby takes their first breath. This will require a lot more effort than a normal breath because the lungs need inflating for the very first time before they can do their job for a lifetime. When baby is first born, their vision isn’t great and so everything they see is blurry! This is temporary don’t worry! For the first few months of their life, your little one will like to be swaddled as this reminds them of being in utero. This will soon pass though, once they realise that they can spread out as much as they like!

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