Ellen Schneiderman, R.N., shares what a woman can expect in her third trimester and describes nesting.
In the third trimester mom and baby are really starting to grow. Mom is starting to notice her weight gain more. She is going to really start feeling more tired. It’s going to take a lot more energy to get around. She is probably going to feel more tired because it’s going to be difficult to sleep, finding a place to feel comfortable. She is going to probably have some backache and back discomfort.
She may notice that her legs get swollen as the day goes on and it’s a good idea to be able to elevate her legs as often as possible. She is going to notice that her breasts are really starting to fill and it’s not unusual for actually to secrete some colostrum, which is the forefront of breast milk and if she wears a good supportive bra that will be a good way to support her breasts.
Constipation is a normal symptom right now, as our hemorrhage because there’s a lot of congestion in her lower area and that’s a common discomfort that she will have. The baby is getting much larger and she is also going to have that frequent urination back because the uterus is moving back down into the pelvic area.
She is going to start having some Braxton Hicks contractions. These are sort of practice contractions for the uterus to start to get ready for the real thing, for the real show. They are irregular contractions; they are in the front. They don’t really do anything to change the cervix or really bring labor on. However, if she sees that these contractions become regular, if they are from the lower back area to the front, those she should let her doctor know about right away. Also, if she feels that her water broke, that her membranes have ruptured - those are also something that she should call her doctor about right away.
The baby should be moving everyday and very regularly and mom should really be very aware of the baby moving on a very regular basis. If she notices any difference in the movement pattern of her fetus, or if she goes for a day without feeling the baby move she should call her doctor right away.
In the third trimester, which is weeks 28 to 40, women start to get a feeling of nesting. They want to stay home. They want to get the nursery ready. They want to start preparing for the baby. It’s very important that she has everything she needs for the baby when she comes home and it’s very important that you have a car seat for the baby. We need the car seat present when you are discharged from the hospital to put the baby in when you go in the car.