What to Expect in the Third Trimester

by Katelyn Schwanke
(last updated September 5, 2008)

As you enter your third trimester you may be feeling both excited and anxious for the arrival of your baby. During the last few months of your pregnancy you will be preparing your home and family for the arrival of your baby and be preparing physically for a healthy labor and delivery. The third trimester requires you and your doctor to work together to accomplish a variety of tasks that will ensure your health. Here are 10 things that you should expect during the third trimester:

  1. As your belly grows and you gain a few more pounds, it is important that you participate in physical activity. Going for brisk walks, joining a swim class or participating in moderately paced dance classes will help you stay fit and strong for the delivery of your baby.
  2. As you continue to experience changes in your hormone levels, you may be increasingly irritable and quickly go back and forth between feeling jovial and blue. Be patient with others and tell those around you to be patient in return.
  3. If you and your partner have not made plans to draw up a will or pick a legal guardian for your child, now may be the time. It may seem morbid or stressful to think about what would happen if you or your partner passed away, but in fact, you will be doing your child a great service to plan for their safety and well being in case of unfortunate and untimely tragedy.
  4. Continue to prepare your home for the arrival of your child. Stock up on diapers, compile a list of emergency phone numbers and prepare frozen meals so that dinner is easy when the baby comes.
  5. Purchasing a car seat and stroller to put in your vehicle at least a month in advance will help shorten your checklist of things to do when you go into labor.
  6. As you approach your due date it will be important for you to get information on your child's health. Asking for a list of vaccinations and precautions will help you to keep your child healthy once he/she has arrived.
  7. As your body prepares your breast for breast feeding you may feel an increased tenderness. Lying on your back will help ease this pain as you sleep. Prepare to breast feed by purchasing a breast feeding pillow, bottles and a breast pump.
  8. Compile a list of phone numbers to call or people to contact when you go into labor.
  9. Speak to your doctor at your next prenatal visit about your plans for anesthetics. Sometimes the onset of labor and delivery can be so rapid that if plans weren't made in advance for an epidural, the anesthesiologist will not have time to perform one.
  10. Lastly, your doctor will do some tests for diseases that may harm your baby if you're infected. Your doctor will mostly likely test for Strep-B (potentially life threatening of your child), sexually transmitted diseases and others that may be specific to your life-stage or geographical area.

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