During weeks 27 to 40 of your pregnancy, your baby will put fat on their body, strengthen their bones, open their eyes for the first time and finish their lung development. As you prepare for your new little one outside of the womb, make sure you have a healthy third trimester with these tips.
Monitor Your Baby's Movement
As your baby grows larger, his or her movements will change from flips to kicks and jabs. By the third trimester, your baby should be moving frequently. A sudden decrease in movement can mean that something is wrong, so it's important to monitor your baby's movement and report anything unusual to your doctor.
At approximately the same time every day, sit for an hour and count your baby's movements. Record how long it takes for you to feel 10 movements. If your baby isn't moving, he or she may be asleep. Try drinking a cup of cold water or juice or eating a carbohydrate-rich snack. If baby still hasn't moved after an hour-and-a-half, call your doctor. They may want to do some additional tests or monitoring to make sure your baby is doing okay.
Checking on Growth
In the third trimester, your doctor may deem it important to monitor your baby's growth. An imaging specialist with a bachelor's in sonography says this is best done with a sonogram. Some conditions, such as gestational diabetes, may make the baby grow too large and allow too much amniotic fluid to form in the uterus. Left unmonitored, this excess amniotic fluid may cause an early delivery. A large baby may make it necessary to have additional fetal monitoring to ensure baby is still doing well. Sonograms can also monitor a baby's movements, their "practice breathing" and ensure the placenta and cord are still normal.
Get Plenty of Rest
Sleeping may be more uncomfortable at night, but it's important to get as much rest as possible. Try putting your feet up after work, taking a short nap or trying to go to bed earlier. Your body and baby need the extra rest. Remember to always lie on your left side and not your back. Sleeping on your back not only is uncomfortable, but it can put pressure on a major vein that is returning blood to your heart. This can make you feel dizzy and interfere with the flow of blood and nutrients that are going to your baby. Lying on your left side increases the amount of blood and nutrients that go to your baby.
Get Some Exercise
With your doctor's permission, it's still safe to exercise during the third trimester. Avoid exercise machines that could cause you and baby harm if you fell, heavy weight lifting and high impact exercises. Swimming, walking and light aerobics can help tone your body and prepare your body for delivery.
The third trimester is an exciting time in your pregnancy as you prepare to meet your new little one. Keep you and your baby healthy by taking the time to care for you with proper rest, exercise and healthy eating. Doing so will put you in the best position for a safe delivery and a short recovery.