Pregnancy 2022

3 trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests

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3 trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests
3 trimester of pregnancy: symptoms, care and tests
Anonim

The 3rd trimester of pregnancy, corresponding to the 7th to 9th month and weeks 28 to 41 of pregnancy, is marked by the rapid growth of the baby's brain, which allows it to react to pain, touch, sound and light that passes through the mother's belly, causing her to move more.

During the third trimester, the belly grows more and more and can cause itching and the appearance of stretch marks in women. Some women may also experience constipation or excess intestinal gas. In addition, at the end of this trimester, the woman should be aware of the signs of labor, such as regular contractions and rupture of the amniotic sac.

During the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, at least three prenatal consultations and the exams recommended by the obstetrician, such as morphological ultrasound, biophysical profile of the baby and blood pressure measurements, should be performed, so that the doctor can assess the he alth of the woman and the development of the baby, in addition to providing guidance on measures to help alleviate the symptoms of the third trimester of pregnancy.

Baby development

The development of the baby in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy is marked by the maturation of the organs and main body systems. In addition, the brain's rapid growth allows it to better command movements and better control the rhythm of breathing and body temperature.

In this trimester of pregnancy, the baby already has a more developed palate, being able to differentiate between sweet and s alty flavors, reacting to pain, touch and light. At this stage, she is also able to hear better, and react frequently to sounds, being able to move or jump when she hears a loud noise, music or the mother's voice, and it is possible for the woman to feel the baby's movements and look at her face. belly, can sometimes make out the outline of an elbow, foot, or head.

The third trimester of pregnancy is the phase in which the baby accumulates more fat on the skin and gains more weight, and at the end of pregnancy its weight is about 3.5 kg. Also, at the 40th week of pregnancy, the baby measures approximately 51.2 centimeters measured from head to toe.

Changes in a woman's body

In the third trimester of pregnancy, the belly continues to grow as the baby develops, and some women may experience itchy belly or stretch marks. It is also common for women to experience insomnia or difficulty sleeping due to the normal hormonal changes of pregnancy and the size of the belly that can make it difficult to find a comfortable sleeping position.

Furthermore, due to pressure from the uterus on the intestines and decreased bowel movements, a woman may experience constipation, excessive intestinal gas or hemorrhoids.

In this trimester of pregnancy, the woman may also feel short of breath, which occurs due to the enlargement of the uterus that can cause compression in the lungs that cannot expand as before pregnancy, making breathing difficult. This symptom is considered normal at the end of pregnancy and does not affect the baby's oxygenation because throughout pregnancy the woman's body undergoes adaptations to provide oxygen to the baby.Check out all the changes in a woman's body week by week in the third trimester of pregnancy.

At the end of this trimester of pregnancy, the woman should be aware of the signs of labor, such as rupture of the amniotic sac, regular contractions that increase in intensity and do not improve with body movement, and the presence of discharge vagina, called a mucous plug. Check out other signs of labor.

Care in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy

In the third trimester of pregnancy, you should continue to follow all the obstetrician's recommendations, perform prenatal consultations, and continue taking folic acid or supplements and do physical activities recommended by the obstetrician, as they allow you to control your weight better, improve sleep quality and strengthen muscles.

In addition, you should drink at least 8 glasses of water a day and have a nutritious and balanced diet, including fresh fruits and vegetables, to ensure the supply of essential nutrients for the baby's development and help to control weight gain during pregnancy.See how to eat during pregnancy.

During the entire pregnancy, it is also important to avoid the use of self-medication, the consumption of alcoholic beverages, cigarettes or drugs of abuse, as they can harm the baby's development.

How to relieve 3rd trimester symptoms

In the third trimester of pregnancy, some precautions are important to help alleviate the discomforts that may arise such as:

  • Itchy belly or stretch marks: Applying almond oil to your belly or doctor-recommended pregnancy moisturizers can help relieve itching associated with tight skin and prevent appearance of stretch marks;
  • Difficulty sleeping or insomnia: Sleeping with a pillow between your legs and lying on your side or in a position that the woman is comfortable with helps reduce discomfort that makes it difficult to sleep sleep. In addition, it is important to create a sleep routine and a calm and comfortable environment to sleep, and avoid sleeping during the day so as not to disturb your night sleep;
  • Constipation: Keep your body hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day and eating more fiber in the form of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables. Practicing physical exercises regularly recommended by the doctor, can also help improve intestinal transit and relieve this discomfort;
  • Excessive intestinal gas: avoid foods that stimulate the production of gas such as beans, cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower or brussels sprouts, for example. In addition, you should keep your body hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water a day, and consuming fiber-rich foods such as fresh fruits and wholegrain bread or cereals. Check out other tips on how to relieve excess gas in pregnancy;
  • Hemorrhoid: Taking a sitz bath with lukewarm water, using unscented wipes, or washing the anal area after defecating can help relieve hemorrhoid discomfort. Also, not sitting or standing for a long time can help to reduce the pressure that the belly puts on the rectum and prevent the development of hemorrhoids.See more tips on how to treat hemorrhoids in pregnancy;
  • Shortness of breath: occurs due to the enlargement of the uterus that can cause compression in the lungs that cannot expand as before pregnancy, making breathing difficult. This symptom is considered normal at the end of pregnancy and does not affect the baby's oxygenation because throughout pregnancy the woman's body undergoes adaptations to provide oxygen to the baby. However, if you experience severe shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, rapid or wheezing, chest pain, bluish lips or fingers, or numbness in your hands or feet, seek medical help as soon as possible or the emergency department more next;
  • Vaginal discharge (mucous plug): While losing the mucus plug is a sign that the body is preparing for labor, it does not necessarily indicate that delivery is coming, it may take hours, days or even 3 weeks to occur, but you should always inform the doctor when you present this type of vaginal discharge.In case the bleeding is heavy, the woman has frequent and regular contractions, rupture of the amniotic sac, or decrease or absence of fetal movements, contact the doctor immediately and go to the nearest hospital. Know the signs of labor;
  • Contractions: you should inform the obstetrician immediately when contractions start and go to the maternity or hospital. In addition, it is important to breathe slowly and deeply, to better oxygenate the body, to keep moving, because in addition to stimulating dilation, it also relieves pain, especially in standing positions, as they help the baby to descend through the birth canal.;
  • Breakage of water: you should report it to the obstetrician immediately and go to the hospital or maternity hospital to get assistance from he alth professionals. When the water breaks, the uterine contractions that mark the beginning of labor are expected to appear in a short time, usually occurring about 5 hours after the water breaks.However, contractions can take up to 48 hours to appear, however, it is advisable to go to the maternity ward after 6 hours of the rupture of the water because this rupture allows the entry of microorganisms into the uterus, increasing the risk of infections in the woman and the baby.

During the entire pregnancy, it is important to follow medical recommendations, perform prenatal consultations, and continue taking folic acid or supplements and do physical activities recommended by the obstetrician. See also how to relieve other symptoms of late pregnancy.

Main 3rd trimester exams

In the 3rd trimester of pregnancy, at least three prenatal consultations must be carried out and follow-up with the obstetrician is done through exams to check the baby's development and to make sure that there will be no problems during childbirth.

Furthermore, from the 36th week of pregnancy, prenatal consultations should occur more frequently, at least once a week until the baby is born.

The main tests performed by the obstetrician in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy include:

1. Blood pressure

The assessment of blood pressure is very important in prenatal consultations as it allows monitoring changes in blood pressure, preventing the onset of preeclampsia, which can result in premature birth.

Generally, when the pressure is high, the pregnant woman should make changes in her diet and practice physical exercise regularly. However, if this is not enough, the doctor may advise the use of some medications. Understand better what preeclampsia is and how it is treated.

2. Laboratory tests

Some laboratory tests may be requested by the obstetrician, such as a complete blood count with platelets to evaluate blood clotting, in addition to evaluating the amount of red blood cells, hemoglobins, leukocytes and platelets in the woman and, thus, verifying whether or not she has anemia.

In addition, it may indicate the performance of other tests such as urea, creatinine and uric acid, liver enzymes, electrocardiogram and ABPM for some pregnant women. Urine tests or assessment of vaginal discharge and cervix may also be prescribed to identify other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. See the most common STDs in pregnancy.

3. Fetal ultrasound

Fetal ultrasound is one of the most performed tests throughout pregnancy, as it allows monitoring the baby's growth and development and estimating the size, weight and measurements of the fetal head, abdomen and femur, as well as evaluating the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus and see if there is a problem with the placenta. In addition, this exam also helps to more accurately predict the likely date of delivery.

This test can be repeated regularly during pregnancy, especially if there is a special situation, such as multiple pregnancy or vaginal bleeding at some point during pregnancy.

4. Morphological ultrasound

The third trimester morphological ultrasound may be indicated by the obstetrician, to be performed from the 28th to 32nd week of gestation, to evaluate possible fetal abnormalities, such as genetic diseases or malformations. Learn how the morphological ultrasound is performed.

This type of ultrasound allows more detailed images of the baby and a better physical assessment of the fetus.

5. Research of the streptococcus bacterium B

The search for streptococcus B bacteria is usually done between 35 and 37 weeks of pregnancy. This bacterium is quite common in the reproductive tract and usually does not cause any problems or symptoms in women. However, when it comes into contact with the baby during birth, it can cause serious infections such as meningitis, pneumonia or even a whole body infection.

Therefore, to avoid this type of complications, the obstetrician usually performs a test in which he passes a cotton swab in the woman's genital region, which is then analyzed in the laboratory to identify whether there are bacteria of the type B streptococcus.If the result is positive, the pregnant woman usually needs to take antibiotics during delivery to reduce the risk of passing the bacteria to the baby.

6. Baby's biophysical profile

At the 28th week, which is the beginning of the third trimester of pregnancy, the doctor may request the fetal biophysical profile, which is an exam that allows the assessment of the baby's movements and the amount of amniotic fluid in the uterus. See how the fetal biophysical profile is done.

If any of these values ​​are wrong, it may mean that the baby is experiencing a problem and an early delivery may be necessary.

7. Fetal heartbeat

Fetal heartbeat monitoring allows you to assess the baby's heartbeat inside the uterus and helps to identify if there is a problem with its development. This type of monitoring is also done during delivery to make sure everything is going well, and it can also be done several times after the 20th week of pregnancy.

8. Cardiotocography

Cardiotocography is done to assess the baby's heartbeat and movements and, for this, the doctor places a sensor in the mother's belly that captures all the sounds. This exam takes between 20 and 30 minutes and can be done several times after 32 weeks, being recommended to do it once a month in cases of high risk pregnancies.

9. Stress test

The stress test is very similar to cardiotocography in that it also evaluates the baby's heartbeat, however, it does this evaluation while a contraction occurs. This contraction is usually provoked by the doctor by injecting oxytocin directly into the blood. Understand better what stress testing is and how it is done.

This exam also helps to assess the he alth of the placenta, as during a contraction the placenta must be able to maintain the correct blood flow, maintaining the baby's heart rhythm. If this does not happen, the baby's heartbeat slows down, and therefore the baby may not be able to handle the stress of labor, and a cesarean may be necessary.

10. Fetal fibronectin

The purpose of the fetal fibronectin test is to verify if there is a risk of premature birth, and it should be performed until the 36th week of gestation by collecting vaginal and cervical secretions.

For the exam to be carried out, it is recommended that the woman does not present genital bleeding and has not had sexual intercourse 24 hours before the exam.

When the baby will be born

At the end of the third trimester, the baby is fully formed and ready to be born from 37 weeks of gestation, but the woman and the doctor can wait until 40 weeks of gestation, to wait for normal delivery. However, if you reach 41 weeks, the doctor may decide to do labor induction to help with the birth, or recommend a cesarean section. See when cesarean is indicated.

How to prepare for childbirth

Both women who want a cesarean section and those who want a normal delivery should prepare for the birth of the baby in advance.Kegel exercises are important to strengthen the muscles inside the vagina, facilitating the delivery of the baby and preventing involuntary loss of urine after delivery. Learn how to do Kegel exercises.

There are classes on preparation for childbirth available in some he alth centers and also in the private network, being very useful to clarify doubts about the birth and how to take care of the newborn.

Last preparations

At this stage, the room or the place where the baby will sleep must be ready, and from the 30th week onwards, it is recommended that the maternity bag is also packed, although it may undergo some changes until the day of go to the hospital. See what to bring to the maternity hospital.

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