3rd Trimester Pregnancy Symptoms

Find out what to expect during the 3rd trimester of your pregnancy symptoms. Below, you will find a wealth of information, which you can use as a resour



    Week 27

    1. Baby weighs about 1kg now.
    1. Baby is about 32cm in length now.
    1. Baby may turn summersaults in the womb.
    1. Convolutions appear in Baby’s brain matter.
    1. This is a critical time for nervous system development and avoidance of later learning difficulties.
    1. Eating foods rich in essential fatty acids supports brain development.
    1. Capillaries are visible under baby’s skin at this stage.
    1. Baby’s heart rate is almost twice as fast as an adult’s.
    1. Motor neurons of the nervous system control baby’s movements.

Week 28

  1. Baby weighs 1,1kg or a little more at this stage.
  1. Baby is about 34 cm long now.
  1. Baby detects odours at the 28th week of pregnancy.
  1. Taste buds have fully developed now.
  1. Some baby boys’ testes will have descended by now.
  1. Hiccupping in the womb by baby is possible and quite frequently encountered.
  1. Baby’s movements are vigorous at this stage.
  1. Baby could breathe alone if born now but much maturing is necessary.
  1. Baby’s lungs are fully developed but require maturing still.
  1. Baby shares many of the smells and flavours that the mother experiences and remembers these after birth.
  2. By the third trimester mom and dad-to-be should feel far more vigorous movement and be aware of movement on a daily basis.
  1. Sometimes, as space for movement becomes less toward the end of pregnancy, baby’s movement might seem more infrequent or less vigorous, but regular patterns remain important.
  1. Baby is able to distinguish between sweet and sour tastes.
  1. Baby responds to light and sound stimuli.
  1. The third trimester of pregnancy starts at the end of 28 weeks and takes you to the end of pregnancy, at between 37 and 42 weeks.

Week 29

  1. Baby weighs about 1,2kg now.
  1. Baby is about 36cm on average in length now.
  1. Baby’s eyes are fringed by lashes now.
  1. The umbilical cord looks twisted and as if it has knots, but there should not be real knotting.
  1. Baby’s bones are all formed but they are still soft and flexible.
  1. At least 25 percent of all babies are born with the cord around the neck.
  1. Some umbilical cords are even tied into knots but nothing that a mother does will cause this, including the popular myth that lifting arms above one’s head is a factor.
  1. Most umbilical cords are between 32 and 80 cm long.
  1. Billions of neurons are being formed each day as part of brain and central nervous system tissue.

Week 30

  1. Baby weighs about 1,4kg now.
  1. Baby is about 40cm long at this stage of pregnancy.
  1. Baby has a papillary light reflex at this stage.
  1. The Moro or fright reflex is already present in baby at this stage.
  1. Baby’s movements are sustained for longer periods at this stage.
  1. The volume of amniotic fluid now gradually starts decreasing.

Week 31

  1. Baby weighs an impressive and viable 1,6kg on average now.
  1. On average at this stage a developing baby is 42cm in length.
  1. Rapid eye movement (REM) or dream sleep occurs at this stage.
  1. Baby’s brain waves can be detected and show wakeful and sleep patterns.
  1. Inner ear organs that regulate balance are mature enough for baby to regulate its own position in the womb.
  1. Baby’s heart is beating strongly and rapidly.

Week 32

  1. Baby now weighs about 1,8kg.
  1. Baby is between 45cm long at this stage.
  1. Fat layers are rapidly accumulating under the skin, making baby bonny and cuddly.
  1. Baby will mostly have turned into a head-down position by the end of this period.
  • A baby boy’s testes mostly descend to the scrotum at this stage.
  • Baby’s nails reach the tips of its fingers.
  • Baby’s ear cartilage is very soft at this stage.
  • Baby looks less wrinkled by now due to fat deposits accumulating below the skin.
  • Baby has an excellent chance of survival if born now.
  1. Baby’s heart pumps about 23.7 litres of blood a day in the womb.

Week 33

  1. Baby weighs about 1,9kg at this stage.
  1. Baby is about 45cm in length now.
  1. Baby’s eyes move as if exploring the womb environment.
  1. Baby’s back is extremely flexible.
  1. Baby curls forward tightly into the well-known foetal position.
  1. Baby opens eyes when awake and closes them when asleep.
  1. Movement is an important criterion that indicates much about how baby is doing.

Week 34

  1. Baby weighs about 2,1kg now.
  1. Baby is about 47cm in length.
  1. Foetal blood continues to deliver vital nutrients to baby in the womb.
  1. Baby’s skull bones are not fused solid, but consist of 5 unconnected plates of bone.
  1. Baby can tuck its head so far forward that it reaches its hands at abdominal level.
  1. Every baby in the womb is unique in size, shape and proportions, just like children and adults.
  1. On a detailed ultrasound scan one may be able to see family likenesses on baby’s features.
  1. Babies have mostly turned into the head-down position by 34 weeks, although it is quite possible to still turn right up to the end or even when in labour!
  1. Some babies turn right back into breech, even if turned by the doctor into the vertex position.

Week 35

  1. Baby weighs 2,5kg on average now.
  1. Baby’s length is around 46cm now.
  1. The plantar creases on the palm of a baby’s hands are visible.
  1. The placenta allows oxygen and food to be exchanged between baby and the mother.
  1. The brain continues to grow at a rapid pace, though growth of the rest of the body slows down from now on.
  1. The gag reflex, which is important after birth, has fully matured.
  1. Accumulation of fatty deposits below the skin to ensure a well-padded, healthily plump baby, accounts for the main growth activity n the womb now.

Week 36

  1. Baby weighs in at all of 2,7kg or even more at this stage.
  1. Baby is about 46 to 47 cm in length now.
  1. Baby is growing and maturing all the time and all the finishing touches are being done.
  1. Baby’s hair might be 2 to 3 cm long by now.
  1. The late pregnancy scan will be done sometime around the end of this period.
  1. Baby looks plump and rounded.
  1. Most lanugo hair has been shed from baby’s body by now.
  1. Baby’s spinal cord ends at the third lumbar vertebra at this stage.
  1. Baby has very few creases on the soles of his feet at this stage.
  1. A baby boy’s scrotum is rather small at this stage.
  1. Lightening, the term used for when the baby starts moving a little down into the pelvic area usually occurs between 36 and 38 weeks.
  1. Many women do not even notice lightening because the effects may well be minimal.
  1. Many babies only engage, or drop properly down into the pelvis, once mom is in labour, especially in first pregnancies and if you have very good abdominal muscle tone.

Week 37

  1. Baby weighs in at all of 2,9kg or even more at this stage.
  1. Baby may well have reached the 50cm mark by now.
  1. At birth the placenta weighs about 16-17% of the baby’s birthweight
  1. The placenta is about 20 cm in diameter at birth.
  1. The placenta is about 2.5 cm thick at the centre at the end of pregnancy.
  1. The pupils in baby’s eyes respond to light.
  1. Baby’s skeleton hardens near the end of pregnancy.
  1. Twins will often be born a little earlier than singletons.

Week 38

  1. At 38 weeks baby weighs about 3,1 kg.
  1. Baby is anything from 48-50 cm long now.
  1. Baby’s movements might feel less vigorous as space is at a premium now, but they must still follow the regular pattern.
  1. Baby gains in the region of 25g a day in this last stretch, although some seem to have a weight stabilisation now.
  1. Subcutaneous fat layers continue to be deposited in the final month and baby looks beautifully plump and rounded.
  • Baby’s lungs are maturing a little each day.
  • The vernix layer becomes a little depleted as baby passes the due date mark, although there are still traces of this super-emollient all over the body and thick deposits in the creases of the body.
  • Lanugo hair has mostly fallen off baby’s shoulders and forehead but there will probably still be some on his ears that will fall off after birth.
  1. Baby’s nails are long and give an indication of how overdue baby might be.

Week 39

  1. Baby of course only weighs an average of 3,2 – 3,5 kg at birth, so a lot of the weight is contributed by other structures and changes.
  1. Vernix caseosa covers baby’s skin, protecting it from constant exposure to moisture.
  1. Head hair may grow up to 4,6 cm long.
  1. Baby’s skin is very sensitive to touch, all over the body.
  1. Amniotic fluid helps control baby’s temperature.

Weeks 40 – 42

  1. By 40 weeks baby weighs 3,2 to 3,5kg on average.
  1. Baby is all of 50cm at the end of a full term pregnancy.
  • There are still traces of vernix all over but thick, white deposits remain in the creases of the body.
  1. Baby’s nails are quite long and give an indication of how close to or overdue baby might be.
  1. An ovum is 0,8 mm in diameter and a sperm is 0,05 mm long and the fusion of these two cells results in the birth of a bonny baby weighing an average of 3,2-3,5 kg!
  1. At about 40 weeks the fusion of miniscule egg and sperm results in a baby of about 50 cm in length.
  1. In the last two weeks before labour mom might experience an increased mucus discharge, much like before menstruation.
  1. Uncomfortable back and groin pain and an increase in the strength of ‘practice pains’ is common now.
  1. Baby is optimally ready to be born.
  1. A baby boy’s testes will mostly be in the scrotum by now.
  1. Baby absorbs maternal hormones.
  1. There might be a slight swelling of baby’s breast tissue due to maternal hormones.
  1. Baby’s genitals are quite prominent due to the effect of maternal hormones.
  1. Baby’s skull bones are becoming firmer.
  1. Most babies prefer to orient themselves toward light in the womb.
  1. The two reflexes used and needed by babies most frequently are sucking and grasping and these are strongly developed at term.
  1. Amniotic fluid is essential for proper development of baby’s lungs.
  1. On average baby weighs 3,5kg at full term birth.
  1. The placenta weighs about 0,5kg at this stage.
  1. Amniotic fluid accounts for 1kg of pregnancy weight at 40 weeks.
  1. Increase in weight of the womb itself during pregnancy is about 1kg.
Copyright 2012 Sister Lilian