The third trimester 28-42 is the final trimester from week 28 to week 42 or from month seven to nine. Usually pregnancies last for 40 weeks from the first day of the last period. But some babies are born in week 38 and some in week 42. By the third trimester, your baby is already aware of sounds outside, and recognizes both your voice and your partner's voice. Your baby is already storing fat below the skin.
During the third trimester 28-42, your little one will continue to grow, develop and mature. The lungs and kidneys mature; the brains continue developing; the bones harden except for the skull which remains soft so that it is easier for the head to pass through the cervix or birth canal; the skin is covered with vernix; the head usually turns downward towards the 36th to 38th week of pregnancy. By the beginning of the third trimester your baby will be 2.2 pounds and 14.8" long and by week 40 your baby will be 7.6 pounds and 20" long. That is quite a lot of growing your young one will do this trimester. Your baby is also very strong and can give some very powerful kicks.
You may experience leg cramps due to a lack of calcium. Eat a lot of calcium rich foods such as milk, cheese and yoghurt. Take supplements if necessary. Towards the middle of the third trimester 28-42, you will be feeling uncomfortable and might find it difficult sleeping. Use a pillow, bolster or one of the many pregnancy pillows to support your body comfortably so that you can sleep. You also have some breathlessness, as the uterus is pushing upwards, and pushing against the ribs, but this will ease once your little one's head gets engaged in the pelvis. You may also suffer from constipation, hemorrhoids, heartburn and frequent urination, when your baby's head gets engaged in the pelvis.
Your doctor will ask you to count the number of kicks per hour to ensure that your baby is still active. It is normal to have around 10 kicks an hour. Sometimes the baby can sleep for an hour. If the baby doesn't kick even in the second hour, you must call your doctor. You may continue to feel false labour or the Braxton Hicks contractions during the third trimester 28-42.
You will put on a lot of weight until week 36. The weight is the result of the larger breasts for nursing your baby when born; the 30-50% increase in the volume of blood; the amniotic fluid; the baby and the placenta. The 25 to 30 pounds that you put on are necessary for the health and well-being of your baby.
In the third trimester 28-42, the doctor may schedule prenatal visits from one month to once fortnightly. By the 36th week, your pre-natal visits will be every week. At the end of the 38th week, your doctor will do a pelvic examination to check for dilation, and at that time, you can discuss anything regarding your labor and would-be delivery process with your doctor.