The 3rd Trimester Mommy Experience - Weeks 34-40

34th Week

Some women develop itchy red welts or bumps on their thighs, bellies, or buttocks, which develop as a result of a harmless but uncomfortable condition called pruritic urticarial papules and plaques of pregnancy (PUPPP). Talk to your doctor to determine whether you need medication to treat the condition or to ease your discomfort. If you feel general itchiness all over your body but don’t see a rash, make sure to see your doctor, as it could indicate a liver problem. Braxton Hicks contractions will considerably intensify this week as your body prepares itself for the big day. Mothers of multiples often go into labor anytime between weeks 34 and 37, so make sure you’re ready to leave for the hospital if you’re pregnant with twins. Since you’ll be feeling particularly fatigued again, you need to get enough rest to save up your energy for the impending labor.

35th Week

As your body prepares itself for labor, your doctor will begin to check for cervix dilation over the upcoming weeks. Your uterus will now reach up under your rib cage, and your baby will be taking up most of the space in your womb. This might not be a comfortable time for some moms, since their oversized uterus will be pressing against their organs, causing heartburn and other gastrointestinal discomforts.

36th Week

The average mommy-to-be will have gained between 11-14 kgs by the 36th week, and most won’t be able to eat a regular-sized meal with that overgrown uterus pressing against their stomachs. On the plus side, the majority of first-time moms will find that they no longer experience shortness of breath or heartburn as their babies settle lower into their pelvis. As your baby drops lower, you’ll feel more pressure in your lower abdomen and might find walking uncomfortable. Keep an eye out for signs of labor, vaginal bleeding, fever, severe headaches, continuous abdominal pain, and vision problems. Also make sure to monitor your baby’s activity closely; if you feel your baby’s activity is decreasing, make sure to see your doctor as soon as possible.

37th Week

In addition to intensifying Braxton Hicks contractions, you should be experiencing heavier vaginal discharge as you approach your due date. If you’re pregnant with multiples, this is the week that you’ll be reaching your full term. If you see a small amount of blood mixed with mucous in your panties or when you go to the bathroom, know that your labor is a few days away or less. If you experience heavier bleeding or spotting, you must contact your doctor immediately. Monitoring your little one’s activity is very important at this point, and you should contact your doctor immediately if you notice a decrease in your baby’s movements.

38th Week

False labor contractions are not unusual at this stage, and you’ll have to learn to tell the difference between the real thing and false alarms. Continue to closely monitor your baby’s activity levels, as fewer movements can indicate a problem. It’s normal for your feet and ankles to swell during the last few weeks, but call your doctor immediately if you exhibit symptoms of preeclampsia. You should also contact your doctor if you think your water broke; if it did, you will feel a gush of fluid or a slow leak.

39th Week

By now, your uterus will be 16.5-20cm above your belly button. Your baby will be settling lower in your pelvis now, and you’ll be feeling unbalanced again as your center of gravity shifts once more. Since your uterus will be pressing down on your bladder more than ever now, trips to the bathroom will be extremely frequent. Your doctor will be keeping close watch over your baby to make sure everything is going smoothly as you near your last week of pregnancy.

40th Week

You’re quickly approaching the appointed day! Of course, it’s important to remember that your baby’s due date is only an approximate estimation, so don’t get discouraged or worry if you exceed your due date; some women reach their 42nd week before they give birth! Your doctor will be making sure that everything is alright and will take suitable measures when needed, so relax and take it easy until your baby’s ready to come out or your doctor decides to induce labor.