You’re almost there! This is the part where you’re really getting in the mood for motherhood. You’re probably going back and forth over your baby’s possible names, fretting over getting the right hospital, and worrying about whether you’ll be as awesome as your mom was to you. Well, while the third trimester can be a rollercoaster of emotions for you and your partner, it can be an awesome time simply because it’s almost time for your baby to arrive.
To help you take charge of these last few months of pregnancy like the strong incredible woman you are, we’ve compiled the pregnancy symptoms week by week from week 26 to 40 of your pregnancy.
Week 26 – 30
Your body has changed a lot since your pregnancy began, and you should be proud! You’re carrying a baby who’s going to grow into a beautiful and healthy boy or girl. At this stage you may feel some rib pain, indigestion and a little heartburn. You may also have leg cramps, swelling of the ankles, shortness of breath and a general sense of clumsiness. It all comes from your child’s growth inside your body. As your child grows bigger and stronger, your centre of balance may be affected. And before you ask, yes, you’ll have stretch marks. They’re your battle scars, your war paint, your mark as a warrior mom who’s been through a lot to bring your child into this world.
As for your child, he or she is nearing the final stages of development before birth. Your baby can hear you, and move more frequently. With ultrasound, you may even see your bundle of joy sucking his or her thumb in your womb. Sleeping comes naturally to all of us, and your baby’s no different. You may notice your child moving sometimes, and going a bit quiet at other times. This indicates a sleeping pattern in your baby.
Here’s what you can do: Plan the logistics. You may think it’s still a long way to go, but trust us when we say that it’s better to arrange everything earlier. Pick a hospital, check out the routes, maybe have a birthing plan if you think it will help you on the actual day. Get your partner involved. It can be something nice for both of you to do together.
Week 31 – 34
After all the energy of the second trimester, you may now feel a little more tired with fatigue. And the feeling of discomfort doesn’t help. That’s why it’s important now to save all your energy for the big day. Rest is good. Don’t overburden yourself with hard, heavy house chores. That’s what your partner is for. Get him to do some of the chores, it’ll definitely help you get the rest you really need. Here’s a tip; if you’ve been sitting down for a while, try not stand up so quickly. Blood may have gathered in your legs; when you stand it can cause your blood pressure to drop temporarily, and make you feel dizzy.
Your child’s organs are almost fully developed, and his or her size is nearly the full size of the womb. One thing you can do is to keep track of your baby’s movements. Your baby should be moving as frequently as before. There shouldn’t be a huge drop in movement, especially at this stage. What you can do is time the movements, and count the number of kicks in a specific time period. For example, when your child is most active, he or she may kick about 10 times within 2 hours.
Here’s what you can do: Braxton Hicks contractions are painless, irregular contractions that occur from mid-pregnancy to before pre-labour. What’s the difference between Braxton Hicks and actual labour contractions? Actual labour contractions occur at a regular rate, and consistently grow stronger and longer, while the time in between each contraction reduces. Braxton Hicks aren’t as rhythmic as actual labour contractions, and usually don’t hurt. In any case, do check with your healthcare professional if you’re unsure.
Week 35 – 40 and above
You’re almost at the finishing line! Are you excited? At this stage, you may suddenly feel a spark of energy before feeling fatigued again. If you’re feeling like a klutz, it’s normal. Your baby’s growth and development has shifted your centre of gravity, and it may affect the way you get around. A check up is good; your healthcare professional may schedule a few checks in the weeks before your due date.
Your baby is also almost ready for birth. It’ll have lost all the downy hair, coating and vernix. Your baby may have also turned heads down to prepare for exit. All the muscles are ready, as well as the organs. If your baby could communicate with you, he or she may be as excited as you for the big day.
Here’s what you can do: Don’t worry if your due date is not exactly the 40 week mark, as some mothers give birth before the 40th week, and some mothers give birth slightly later. On the due date itself, your baby, being the drama queens all babies are, may make a late entrance. Each mom may have a different birthing experience. It may be totally different from how you’ve spent months imagining it would be.
And that’s it, all of your pregnancy symptoms week by week until childbirth. Once you’ve given birth, it’s a whole new adventure together as a family. Of course, that will bring its own challenges, and happy moments as well. Do check out our other sections on post-natal care for some advice on what to do once you’ve given birth.
We wish you luck and all the happiness and love in the world as you approach your big day, and congratulations for being a mom!