The third trimester occurs from 28 to 40 weeks. Your baby’s lungs and brain continue to develop, and your baby grows in length and weight. The average baby is around 20 inches long and at least 6 pounds by the end of this period.
As your due date (estimated date of delivery or “EDD”) nears, it’s important to continue prenatal appointments with your Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN) provider. We also encourage you to maintain healthy habits that benefit you and your developing baby.
You will begin to see your LVHN provider more frequently in the third trimester: About every two weeks until the final month when you will see your provider weekly. During these routine prenatal checkups, your obstetrics provider or certified nurse-midwife will:
Early in the third trimester, you will have a glucose-screening test to measure how your body processes sugar and to rule out diabetes brought on by pregnancy (gestational diabetes). If the test is positive, it indicates your body may not be processing sugar effectively. In that case, your LVHN provider will administer a second test – the glucose-tolerance test. This test determines if you have gestational diabetes. If you do, your pregnancy provider will help you effectively manage it.
Your provider may also use a urine test to detect problematic protein or sugar levels.
About two weeks before delivery, your provider may perform a pelvic exam to measure whether a widening of the cervix has begun. Called dilation, this signals your body is getting ready for childbirth.
The end of pregnancy may bring feelings of excitement, nervousness – and discomfort. Your baby is growing and gaining weight, and so are you.
Your growing baby may crowd your midsection, making it hard to breathe deeply or get comfortable while sleeping. In the third trimester, many women experience:
Late pregnancy development ensures your baby is ready for life outside the womb.