Welcome to the first week of your third trimester! Weeks 28 through 40 signal your last several doctor’s visits and plenty of plans for baby’s arrival. While this week is not ideal for your baby’s delivery, keep in mind that anything can happen. He or she would be very small if born right now, but your baby’s chances of survival could still be positive with intensive care. Certainly it would be best for baby to remain in your body for the next several weeks.
Doctor visits should be every two weeks now, as they continue to monitor both yours and your baby’s progress.
If you haven’t done so already, there are plenty of prenatal classes that you can enroll in. In these classes, you will help you learn what to expect for the rest of your pregnancy, your birth and during your postpartum period. While these classes are optional, they may be beneficial– especially if you have very little experience with babies.
You may have already started getting the nursery ready for the baby and your list of names has probably grown. Do not hesitate to use this time to begin bonding with your baby and have not already done so.
By now, the baby is about 16 inches long and will weigh approximately 2-1/3 pounds. Now packing around 2 to 3 pounds of body fat, your baby is beginning to plump up. Covered in a fine, downy hair known as lanugo, your baby is warm and happy in their watery home. This week, baby’s eyes will Be open and the eyebrows and eyelids are very well formed. The eyelids can open in the eye is fully developed.
Though still extremely premature, babies born during this week have the potential to survive with intensive care that could last weeks or even months. Your baby is continuing to practice his or her breathing movements, strengthening their muscles by kicking rolling and stretching and getting ready for their life outside.
Changes With Your Body
The last trimester may bring on a variety of troublesome symptoms. Hemorrhoids, varicose veins, leg cramps, backaches, and oh yes—the arrival of your baby! Don’t worry, not everything is bad during these last few weeks.
Your weight gain should be between 17 and 24 pounds during this week. While certainly there are many women who are far below are far above this average, research has proven that women who gain too little weight are more likely to deliver a low birth weight and preterm baby. And women who gain too much weight may struggle with the prolonged or difficult labor. It will be to your best interest to keep your weight in check.
Your belly is now very easy to distinguish. Rising about 3 inches above your belly button, it may seem like every stranger in town wants to pat your stomach. Do not be afraid to say “hands off” when necessary. Thanks to the increasing weight of your uterus on the blood vessels of your lower extremities, you may be struggling with hemorrhoids, varicose veins and leg cramps. If any of these are interrupting your day (or your night) talk with your doctor about options to relieve your discomfort.
What To Expect
If your doctor has not already completed a glucose tolerance test to check for gestational diabetes. You may expect to have that completed during your 28th week. This test may be conducted in a variety of ways, which include either a finger stick or a complete blood draw from your arm after you drink a highly concentrated, sugary liquid. If your test is abnormal for any reason, your physician may order an additional screening of the same type for diagnosing you with gestational diabetes. Remember not to eat or drink anything on the morning of your test.
Your expanding uterus is now pressing up against the diaphragm or the muscle that helps you breathe. Many women experience shortness of breath because of this. If you have any shortness of breath, that last for long periods of time or keeps you from being able to get any breath all make sure to report this to your physician. The typical shortness of breath will simply leave you feeling like you have just run a race and you are trying to recover.
This may be a good week to begin considering a pediatrician for your baby. If you have not already found one and might be a good idea to talk with those around you can get an idea of what doctors may be available. If you anticipate that your baby may have any special needs such as a genetic or birth defect. It would be especially important for you to schedule an appointment with a pediatrician before your baby’s delivery to talk about any special needs or care that may be required.