You are almost to the finish line when you’ve hit the third trimester at week 28 into your pregnancy. For some, this may seem like the longest of the three trimesters, and for others, it goes way too quickly. No matter which of the two experiences you may have, one thing is for sure, your baby is on its way to the outside world. He or she still has some growing to do, but rest assured you have almost made it.
What to Expect:
Baby Is Constantly Growing
As your belly gets bigger than you had previously imagined, just think about what’s going on inside to cause all of this noticeable weight gain. Your baby is roughly 10 inches long and weighing approximately 2 pounds as you enter week 28. This last trimester is when your baby will make the most gains.
So Many Movements
This is the time when your spouse, friends or family members, or heck whoever you feel comfortable with touching your belly, can also feel your baby moving. Even though you’ve been feeling the movements for quite some time now, this trimester is when others can start to feel your baby kicking too.
Labor- The Big Moment
This is the time to prepare for labor. You may want to take a birthing class. If you have a midwife, chances are you are all set. If you don’t have one and would like to take a class, your local hospital should be able to set you up. Either way, your baby is on its way whether you take a class or not.
For some, a class will ease the anxiety. For me, the class frightened me as I watched a hard plastic doll being pulled through a sock as the nurse was trying to illustrate how the baby will travel down the birth canal. Now, it’s funny to think back to how when I saw that, I had doubts that my baby would ever get out of me. I was planning to have a hospital birth and also didn’t realize until the class how many people may be coming and going during my labor. I was having some modesty issues at that point, but when the actual time to give birth arrived, all those feelings were thrown out the window, as I could have cared less if the janitor pulled up a chair to watch.
When the time comes, it will be your time, and for me at least, I was just focused on my baby girl and not who was in the room. Be careful to not get scared of labor during this trimester by listening to too many scary labor stories. Your experience will be unique just for you and your baby. When it’s over, you will have a great story to tell and will most likely laugh at your previous concerns or fears. During this trimester your body will be getting ready for labor without your permission so take comfort in that. You may start feeling Braxton Hicks contractions for several weeks before the actual onset of labor. These are all great signs that your body knows what to do.
How To Prepare:
Now is the time to commemorate that baby bump. Take some photos on your own or get a professional to get some pictures of you and your family while your newest addition is still inside. This is a beautiful time, and it won’t last much longer, so commemorate it while you can. Some women also like to get a clay casting made of their belly. How fun to hang that up in your house and remember how it felt when your baby was still inside.
If you’ve been given the go ahead to keep exercising, now is not the time to stop. I went for a beautiful 3 mile run the day I delivered. I was two days beyond my due date, but couldn’t see why sitting on the couch would do my daughter or me any good. My sister played tennis the morning of delivering her daughter. My friend who delivered last year gardened right up to the end before delivering her bouncing baby boy. She was having a home birth and choose to garden while she was still in labor. She walked in the house at the last stage of labor and had a water birth in a cleaned out stock tank in the living room just as planned. With your doctor’s permission, staying active is going to help both you and your baby. Staying fit throughout the pregnancy will make labor go smoother too.
Some women are starting to have a nesting feeling now. So, if you want to rearrange the cupboards or redo the whole interior of your house, now is the time to go for it. Act on those feelings while you have them because chances are, the feeling to organize and clean every corner of your dwelling is going to pass very quickly when your baby arrives. Organizing is also an excellent way to pass the time when you feel like all you’re doing is waiting for labor.
The third trimester was my favorite one. Usually, morning sickness is over or at least the worst of it is, the super sleepy feelings have subsided, and you can practically count the days down until you hold your precious baby. Enjoy this time, and own it. Make it your special time, something you will get to tell your child and others about for years to come.
For more motherhood tips, check out how to survive your first week with the baby here.
And, to be even more prepared, check out our reviews of the top ten double strollers of 2018 here.