Baby Development in Third trimester | Weeks 28-40

The third trimester of your pregnancy is very crucial. Many of you are as anxious as you are excited about your baby coming into this world very soon. As your due date comes closer, you might even start to get overwhelmed with these feelings. Not only is your body influenced by pregnancy hormones and mood swings, but your growing bump might also be making it slightly difficult for you to do things you did before.

With increasing difficulty in maintaining sleep routines, managing your weight and all the other changes in pregnancy; the third trimester is often the hardest. Yet, with all your struggles, this trimester is also the most fulfilling in your 9 month journey. You can feel your baby move, hear his/ her heartbeat, talk to your baby bump and even start to bond with your child. It is the third trimester that makes you feel closest to your unborn baby and makes your impending motherhood feel much more real. Therefore, you might also be wondering just what happens to the baby in the third trimester?

Baby development in the third trimester like the rest of pregnancy is rapid. To better understand what is going inside that bump of yours, we have divided the baby development by weeks into the following three parts:

 Baby development by week 28

Baby Development By Weeks 28 – 32

  • Almost the size of an eggplant, your baby at 28 weeks has formed its own sleep routine with periods of activity and periods of rest. Their growing size may start to feel a bit uncomfortable too.
  • At 29 weeks, your baby is approximately 33 cm from head to toe. Another one of baby changes during third trimester of pregnancy is that their skin is smoothing out with fat accumulation beneath it.
  • You are at 3/4th of your pregnancy at week 30 and baby development in third trimester is at the size of a cabbage. With quickly developing lungs and functioning kidney, your baby is growing nicely. 
  • From week 31, your baby will start to gain almost 200 grams each week. Baby movements in third trimester of pregnancy will be distinct and recognisable from now on. Keep an eye on the patterns of movement to ensure your baby’s continued health.
  • By the time you reach week 32, your baby is the size of a coconut or squash and moves a lot. In fact, he/ she may have moved in a position where their head is downwards and legs upwards. This is usually the position for normal delivery of the baby. It is also the time you should talk to and play music for your baby.
Baby development by week 32

Baby Development By Weeks 33 – 36

  • Now the same size as a pineapple, your 33 week baby’s nervous system is fully developed. While the other bones in their body start to firm up, your baby’s skull is still soft for the birthing process. It will harden up after his/ her birth on its own.
  • At 34 weeks, your baby is as big as a melon. As their body mass continues to grow, they fit curled-up and snug into your womb. Another one of baby changes during third trimester is ‘lightning’, a phenomenon where the baby moves in a position that makes it easier for you to breathe.
  • Gaining weight steadily, your baby is plumper in week 35. The fat building in their body will help them in regulating body temperature after their birth. Your baby’s genitalia is also developing more.
  • Weighing around 2.5 to 3 Kgs, your baby is the size of a very large melon or cabbage by week 36. Your baby may have lesser space, but baby movements in third trimester don’t stop and you can feel them kicking from now until labour. The baby’s lungs are fully developed at this stage. Birth at this stage is called premature.
Baby development by week 36

Baby Development By Weeks 37 – 40

  • At week 37 and after, your baby is considered to be full term. As big as a watermelon, your baby’s head will move lower towards your pelvis and you might even notice that the bump becomes slightly smaller. 
  • Baby changes during the third trimester of pregnancy in week 38 make the baby ready for the world outside. Now almost the size of a pumpkin, your baby’s body can consume breastmilk and their lanugo fur has disappeared.Baby development by week 38
  • Your baby at week 39 has his first poo inside their gut. It is dark green in color and your baby might poop during labour too. If you give birth to a boy, it is natural for him to be born with slightly swollen testicles, they will be normal on their own in some time.
  • By the time you reach week 40 of baby development in third trimester, you might be just waiting for labour. Because your baby might be coming any time now. The average weight of a baby near the time he or she is born is 3 to 4 Kgs, and they are usually born somewhere between 38 to 40 weeks. The main thing to keep in mind here is that no matter how tight your bump feels, your baby should be moving in the same pattern as always. If they are not moving, you need to inform your doctor immediately.
Most babies are born by week 40 of pregnancy
Source via dribble

Baby movements in third trimester of pregnancy are very important to keep an eye on. You can recognise patterns of movement, sleep routines and any discomforts that your baby experiences inside your womb. No matter what week you are in, make sure to always be aware of the baby movements in third trimester because stopping of the movements might be an indicator of miscarriage or complication in pregnancy.

You may face skin changes, swollen feet and aching body in this trimester; all of these can be tackled with some great pregnancy hacks and advice. As your bump grows bigger in these three months, your maternity fashion also changes as your previous wardrobe don’t fit right. Make sure to take each day as it comes, take deep breaths and relax a little. You may not get the time to catch your breath when the little one finally arrives!

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