During the first few weeks of your pregnancy, it’s hard to imagine your due date approaching. It seems so far away and all of those pregnancy calendar apps seem to move at a snail’s pace. But just as you’re wondering when the third trimester of pregnancy starts, boom. There it is. According to the American Pregnancy Association, the third trimester begins on week 27 of your pregnancy (and last until your little bundle of joy arrives.) If you’re in those early weeks still, this will seem like a lifetime away. If you’re closing in on your second trimester, you may be panicking a bit. But don’t worry. Week 27 is still a long way from week 40, and there’s still a lot of things that happen during the third trimester.
If you’re closing in on your third trimester and think this pregnancy thing is old hat by now, you’re in for a surprise. Although some of your symptoms may stay the same, like fatigue and frequent urination, the third trimester really amps them up and can make them feel totally different. This is also the time in your pregnancy where you start to feel like maybe you’re done with this whole pregnancy thing. You’re ready to meet your baby and you’re tired of being pregnant, but you’re also absolutely terrified. It’s a total mind bender this third trimester and there are 11 things to expect on top of it. You may already be suffering from some of these, but you’ll have no idea just how much a back ache can change in a few short weeks.
1. Your Hips Will Ache
The pain I felt in my hips during those last weeks I was pregnant with my daughter were awful. I was miserable and could never get comfortable. According to the American Pregnancy Association, these aches and pains in your hips are from the hormones softening and relaxing the bones and joints in your pelvis. Treat yourself to a warm bath to help relieve the pain.
2. Your Limbs Will Swell
Swelling may have already plagued you during your pregnancy, but it can be even more obvious in the third trimester. As your uterus grows, BabyCenter notes that it puts pressure on your veins and slows down the flow of blood from your leg to your heart, making your feet and ankles swollen and puffy. If you’re retaining water, you may also have puffiness in your face. Keep drinking your water and put your feet up whenever you can.
3. You'll Pee Even More (If That's Possible)
As What To Expect notes, your baby’s moving to prepare for delivery, which this means a lot more pressure on your bladder. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to get around, now you’ve got to hit the bathroom a hundred more times. Thanks, baby.
4. You'll Have Heartburn
They say that heartburn means your baby will have a head full of hair. The way heartburn hit me in my third trimester, I was fully prepared to name my child Fabio or Rapunzel. This is more common in the third trimester because, according to the American Pregnancy Association, your uterus is putting so much pressure on your stomach and intestines. You don’t even have to indulge in anything spicy or chocolate to feel this burn.
5. Your Boobs Will Become Huge
Although your breasts have been growing during your entire pregnancy, it’s the third trimester that makes you say, “Whoa, baby” when you look in the mirror. You don’t have just one bump now. You’ve got two lovely lady lumps that commonly go up an entire cup size or two during pregnancy, according to BabyCenter. They may also be super itchy thanks to all of that growth, so be prepared for nonchalant boob scratching in the Babies R Us.
6. Your Boobs Will Start Leaking
Finding wet spots on your shirt or seeing some leakage while you’re in the shower? Not to worry. Your body’s just preparing to feed your baby. Fit Pregnancy notes that colostrum is a yellow, thick liquid full of nutrients for your baby to digest until your breast milk comes in a few days after birth. Your body’s been creating this liquid for about six months by now, so it’s no biggie if some leaks out in the last few weeks.
7. You'll Be Exhausted
Pregnancy fatigue is no joke, but third trimester fatigue is fairly horrible. You’re probably not sleeping well at night thanks to those back pains and achy hips, plus you’re at your heaviest in the third trimester and have spent nine months carrying around a child. You’re bound to be tired.
8. Your Back Will Be In Pain
You may have already suffered from an achy back during your pregnancy, but this can get even worst in your third trimester. The Mayo Clinic writes that pregnancy hormones are there to relax your joints and bones in the pelvic area so you can be prepared to deliver a baby. This can cause a lot of soreness and back pain. Keep those feet up and try not to stand for long periods of time.
9. You'll Start Nesting
Sending your partner out for a gallon of paint at 11 on a Friday night? Spending three hours organizing your baby’s clothes into color, size, and season? Welcome to the third trimester, baby. Nesting is a totally normal urge to get everything ready for your baby to come home, according to The Bump. Forgive yourself if you’ve managed to fold those tiny newborn socks ten times and you’re still not satisfied.
10. You'll Feel Braxton Hicks Contractions
These practice contractions can keep you on your toes. As the American Pregnancy Association notes, Braxton Hicks are a tightening of the uterus that lasts anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes, are irregular, infrequent, and not necessarily painful, but uncomfortable according to the American Pregnancy Association. They can be triggered by dehydration or being super active, so make sure to keep up with your fluids and take lots of rests.
11. You'll Be Ready To Give Birth
Look, I was that annoying, excited, always happy pregnant woman and even I was officially done once the end was near. You’re huge, you’re ready to meet your baby, and let’s face it — you’re ready for a beer. No one will blame you for yelling “I am done!” like you’re on a Real Housewives reunion show.