Your pregnancy, trimester by trimester

The third trimester, beginning at Week 27 from the start of your last menstruation, is a time in which the fetus finishes developing and becomes well prepared for life outside of the womb. Many of the potential changes that you may experience during this trimester have already been detailed in the first and second trimester.

You may only start experiencing certain symptoms listed in prior trimesters, or symptoms you have already experienced may be improving or worsening as you come close to the finish line of your pregnancy. Remember, each pregnancy is different and the symptoms you may experience may be completely different than what others experience.

Here is a list of what you may experience this trimester, some with additional information related to the third trimester:

  • tiredness (some woman still feel tired and some women feel like they are getting more energy – both are normal)
  • breast changes (your breasts will continue to grow in preparation for giving birth)
  • nausea and vomiting (should have disappeared by now but some women experience this throughout pregnancy)
  • increased frequency of urination – this may become more pronounced this trimester as your baby pushes more pressure on your bladder
  • dizziness
  • varicose veins
  • increased heart rate
  • heartburn and indigestion and gastrointestinal symptoms – this may worsen this trimester as your uterus may start pushing and misshaping your stomach
  • hemorrhoids
  • missed menstrual periods
  • changes in taste and smell
  • weight gain (although this can vary depending upon weight gained or lost in the first trimester and your pre-pregnancy weight, the typical target for weight gain for this trimester is around 1 lb per week – by your due date you may have put on 25 to 35 lbs!)
  • mood changes – you may be feeling more anxious as your due date nears
  • mild swelling of the ankles and feet and occasionally the hands and face (edema) – this may worsen due to the increased size of your uterus and the pressure it puts on your blood return system (veins)
  • slight increase in vaginal discharge – this could get much heavier as your pregnancy comes close to an end
  • sensitive gums with or without bleeding during brushing
  • occasional headaches
  • nasal congestion or stuffiness
  • shortness of breath – this may worsen as your uterus keeps expanding, it may then improve as your baby moves deeper into your pelvis to get into the birthing position
  • backaches – as your belly continues to grow and your pregnancy hormones relax your muscles, your back may ache more throughout this trimester
  • skin changes
  • changes in sexual desire
  • absentmindedness
  • growing belly and stretch marks
  • Braxton Hicks contractions
  • baby movement – as your baby grows this trimester, there will be less room for them to move around