When does the 3rd trimester of pregnancy start?

(February 2, 2010)

The final trimester usually starts around week 28. This is the last and final lap before the baby arrives and is an important stage in the development of the baby as well as in the life span of the expecting mother. Although there are some general expectations that most mothers have regarding this trimester based on general conceptions, each pregnancy is unique and not all generalizations may apply to each unique condition.

Both first-time mothers and those who have had babies in the past may have concerns about physical pain and mental strength during this sensitive time period. One way to ensure a smooth final trimester is to find and maintain a relationship with a doctor that inspires trust and is a source of comfort to the expecting mother.

Some women may experience a pain in the hips and pelvis area as the baby continues to develop and the pelvis continues to spread in preparation for the oncoming birthing. The pelvis and other joints are actually becoming more flexible at this time in order to facilitate the delivery of the baby. Some expecting mothers may experience shortness of breath and this is the result of the changes in hormonal levels. It is a good practice to indulge in some deep breathing exercises such as yoga to help maintain mental and physical calm.

Another condition to watch out for is that of preeclampsia which is a precursor to eclampsia. This can be detected by a urine test and if there are elevated levels of a protein called albumin it could indicate preeclampsia. A spike in blood pressure and edema also characterizes this condition. A swelling in ankles and other joints due to fluid accumulation indicates edema. Maintaining a low sodium diet that prevents water retention as well as making sure some levels of physical activity are maintained helps in curbing the swelling due to edema.

Some psychological factors that can come into play at this critical juncture include a fear of the pain involved in the birthing process as well a concern for the safety of the baby during delivery. Once again the expectant mother’s relationship with her doctor plays an important part. The doctor can play a vital role in allaying any fears that an expecting mother may have. These fears may actually create the very conditions that the expecting mother wishes to avoid. Use of deep breathing techniques, being well informed about the pregnancy process, maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle, recognizing that worry is a normal part of the process but not giving in to it, are all various ways in which a more beneficial state of mind can be attained.

Submitted by P T on February 2, 2010 at 09:52

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