What Happens In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy?

What Happens In The Third Trimester Of Pregnancy?

4 Aug 2022 | 7 min Read

Sayani Basu

Author | 607 Articles

The third trimester of pregnancy lasts from weeks 28 through 40 of pregnancy. In the third trimester of pregnancy, you are impatient and are eagerly waiting to hold your infant in your arms.

But the journey through the third trimester is not as easy as it can be physically and emotionally challenging. Your baby’s size and position might make it difficult for you to get comfortable. Plus, might develop some symptoms like swollen feet and itchy skin that are more common in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy.

Here’s everything you need to know about the third trimester of pregnancy.

Pregnancy Third Trimester Symptoms

  • Backaches: As you are in your third trimester, the pregnancy hormones relax the connective tissue that holds the bones in place, especially in the pelvic area. These changes can be tough on your back and might lead to backaches in the third trimester weeks.
  • Shortness of breath: Shortness of breath in pregnancy in the third trimester is common. You can also get winded easily. Therefore, it is advisable to practice good posture to give your lungs more room to expand.
  • Heartburn: Pregnancy hormones can relax the valve between your stomach and oesophagus which can allow the stomach acid to reflux into your oesophagus, causing heartburn. It is one of the common third-trimester symptoms. It is advisable to avoid fried foods, citrus fruits, chocolates, and spicy or fried foods.

These were some of the third-trimester symptoms. Some other symptoms include changes in your body. Keep scrolling to know more!

What Changes Does Your Body Undergo During The 3rd Trimester?

Some of the changes that your body undergoes during the third trimester are:

  1. Haemorrhoids
  2. Painful occasional random tightening of the uterus called Braxton-Hicks contractions
  3. Frequent urination
  4. Difficulty sleeping
  5. Swollen ankles, fingers, or face
  6. Tender breasts that might leak watery milk

Pregnancy Diet for The Third Trimester

Ensure that your pregnancy diet for the third trimester is varied and includes a range of fresh fruit and vegetables as it is the most crucial phase.

Here are some of the building blocks of your meals and snacks:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Protein and whole grains
  • Low-fat or fat-free pasteurised dairy
  • Healthy fats and oils

Fruits For The Third Trimester

Enriched with Vitamin C, here are some fruits that should be added to your third-trimester pregnancy diet:

  • Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, and grapefruit
  • Kiwi and strawberries
  • Broccoli
  • Red and green peppers
  • Tomatoes

Foods To Avoid In the Third Trimester

  1. Salt: Try to avoid eating salty foods such as potato chips and fries.
  2. Raw Vegetables: It is recommended to avoid raw veggies or uncooked veggies that can lead to a gas problem.
  3. Spicy Foods: Doctors advise avoiding spicy foods in the third trimester as these can cause indigestion and heartburn during pregnancy.
  4. Pineapple: Try to avoid pineapple in the third trimester as it can lead to uterine contractions.
  5. Raw papaya: Pregnant women should avoid raw papaya during pregnancy in the third trimester because it is enriched in a substance called latex that might trigger uterine contractions.
  6. Grapes: It is advisable to avoid grapes during pregnancy in the third trimester as grapes are known to generate heat in the body which is not good for both mother and the baby.

Exercises Recommended for The Third trimester

  1. Yoga: Besides lowering body pains and boosting breathing rates, yoga improves the flexibility and strength of your body. It lowers symptoms of anxiety and stress and improves your sleep in the 3rd trimester weeks.
  1. Exercise ball: You can use the exercise ball to make your abdominal muscles tough. It is effective, safe to use and plays a crucial role in improving core strength.
  1. Pelvic stretches: Pelvic stretches include keeping your feet firmly on the floor, and then stretching your legs away from each other while maintaining your posture. This is effective in the third trimester as it improves the flexibility of your pelvic floor and lowers labour time and pain during delivery. This exercise can also ease pelvic pain during pregnancy in the third trimester.
  1. Pelvic tilts: Pelvic tilts are usually recommended during the third trimester to help flip a baby in breech position into the downward descending position (cephalic presentation) and thus lower labour difficulty.
  1. The cobbler pose: The cobbler pose relaxes the tension in the lower body muscles and is therefore recommended by doctors. It can also be performed sitting on the floor with your feet against each other.

You can slowly move your knees down towards the ground until you feel your inner thigh muscles stretching.

  1. Kegel exercises: Kegel exercises are an easy way to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles and involve squeezing and relaxing muscles in the pelvic and genital areas.

These muscles support the pelvic organs, including the bladder, small intestine, uterus, and rectum and should be performed in the third trimester after consulting a doctor.

  1. Pilates: As the developing baby weakens the abdominal muscles, it can lead to rib cage and back pain and reduce the pressure on the abdomen and back and performing pilates improves core strength and elasticity.

It is advisable to practise pilates under the guidance of a trainer as incorrect pilates positions might cause foetal distress.

  1. Squats and lunges: Regular squatting in the third trimester reduces labour time and makes the pelvic gap wider, allowing the baby to emerge without much effort.

Improving the range of hip motions, and lunges gives the foetus enough space to turn around while descending.

Pictures of Baby Development In Womb

3rd trimester
Picture of the foetus at month 7. | Image Source: WebMD

Are you looking for 8 months pregnant baby position picture? Here, we go!

 third trimester
Picture of the foetus at month 8. | Image Source: WebMD

Looking for 9 months pregnant baby position picture? Here, we go!

3rd trimester of pregnancy
Picture of the foetus at month 9. | Image Source: WebMD

7 Precautions To Take During The Third Trimester

  1. It is advisable to avoid strenuous exercise or strength training that might cause an injury to your stomach.
  2. Don’t forget to schedule your third-trimester checkups.
  3. It is advisable to avoid tampons for white discharge that’s common during the third trimester as these can cause infections.
  4. Try to avoid using scented creams and bubble baths.
  5. Try to avoid public toilets to prevent any infections.
  6. It is recommended to avoid douching as it might wash off the good bacteria in the vagina.
  7. You can stock up on household staples and supplies to avoid any last-minute major shopping before labour.

When To See A Doctor

It is advisable to call a doctor right away if you experience:

  • Intense or unusual cramping or abdominal pain.
  • Severe headache during pregnancy in the 3rd trimester.
  • Stomach pain during pregnancy in the 3rd trimester.
  • Intense chest pain during pregnancy 3rd trimester
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath that seems to worsen.
  • Changes in your baby’s movement after 28 weeks gestation while sitting still or lying down.
  • Signs of premature labour include:
  1. Regular tightening or pain at the back or in the lower abdomen.
  2. Any sort of bleeding or fluid leak
  3. Extreme pressure in the pelvis or vagina

Key Takeaways

Now that you already have an understanding of the third trimester, we are sure that you will rock the journey. So, cheers and say, “Bring it on pregnancy!”


Why is the third trimester so crucial?

The foetus is developing and growing in weight and size. Most of the organs have also formed. That is why it is crucial.

When should I pack my hospital bag?

As your baby might arrive earlier than expected, it’s worth having your hospital bag packed as you enter the third trimester so that there’s no last-minute rush.

When does the third trimester get uncomfortable?

The third trimester can be uncomfortable with swollen and itchy feet, tender breasts, shortness of breath, heartburn and so on.

Sesame seeds during pregnancy 3rd trimester?

There is no harm in eating sesame seeds in pregnancy in moderate amounts. You can also try dried fruits like walnuts, raisins, dates, figs and almonds.

Is banana in pregnancy in the 3rd trimester a safe choice?

Many expecting mums experience water retention (oedema) in the second and third trimesters of their pregnancies which can lead to swelling of the ankles, feet, and other joints and salty fruits like bananas can worsen the condition.

Will flax seeds be a safe choice in pregnancy third trimester?

Although flax seeds contain numerous benefits, it is advisable to consume them in moderate amounts in the third trimester.



Suggestions offered by doctors on BabyChakra are of advisory nature i.e., for educational and informational purposes only. Content posted on, created for, or compiled by BabyChakra is not intended or designed to replace your doctor's independent judgment about any symptom, condition, or the appropriateness or risks of a procedure or treatment for a given person.