Pregnancy Essentials Part 5: The Third Trimester

Pregnancy is such a remarkable marathon! So many incredible moments including the baby’s first kick, seeing the anatomy in full form, being able to balance a soda can on your belly.

But, there are challenges after the second trimester (aka the Golden Period). Irregular contractions start, increased pelvic discomfort, difficulty moving around. So how can you as the patient or the partner prepare for the Third Trimester and finally labor?

Here are the highlights of this last trimester:

Weeks 28-36 – The Start of the 3rd trimester
Dr. Niku, How Big is the Baby now?

Highlights: Your body changes!

During this time in the pregnancy, you will experience some noticeable changes. The first and most obvious is as the baby grows, your belly will as well. Between the start of the third trimester to the time you deliver, the baby can grow from 2.5 pounds to between 6-9 pounds.

Some women have an incredible ability to balance cans on their bellies.

But all joking aside, there are other common changes that a woman may experience during pregnancy.

  1. Heart Burn – as the uterus grows, it can push up against the stomach, allowing for reflux to occur
  2. Fatigue
  3. Braxton Hicks contractions – these are infrequent but noticeable contractions, similar to doing an intense ab workout.
  4. Stretch marks – most commonly seen on the abdomen, breast and thighs. These are normal occurrences as the body adapts to the physical and hormonal changes of pregnancy
    1. Moisturize (one of my recommendations is cocoa butter)
    2. Watch your weight
    3. Stay hydrated


For all those male partners out there: No uterus, no opinion is a good rule to live by. Be supportive of the discomfort your partner may be experiencing.

Somethings to keep in mind…

  • Your doctor visits are every 2 weeks
  • Your baby will move a lot! Learn about kick counts!
  • Take a child birthing class
  • Talk about Breast v. Bottle Feeding with your doctor
  • Tdap vaccine is recommended
  • Is your blood type Rh Negative? Did you receive your Rhogam shot?

Weeks 37- 41 – The Final Sprint
Dr. Niku, How Big is the Baby now?

Highlight: A Group B Streptococcus (GBS) Swab is collected

This is bacteria that is normally seen in human genital, urinary and intestinal tracts. In pregnant patients, when there is too much of the bacteria, it can lead to maternal bladder infections, kidney infections, or infections of the amniotic fluid. It has also been known to be associated with preterm labor if inadequately treated.

The primary concern for the infants is that infection, if present at labor and not treated, can lead to meningitis.

A swab is collected at the 36-37th week of pregnancy, and if it is positive, you will require antibiotics (penicillin) at the time of labor.

Highlight #2:

Labor precautions and things to look for if you need to call your doctor or go to the hospital.

The final tips…

  • Your visits are now weekly – don’t miss those one-on-one visits with your doctor and your team!
  • Take a tour of the hospital
  • Do you have your hospital route? Do you have a go to bag ready

Download the pdf of these highlights here! Share with your soon-to-be or current pregnant friends.

Click here for a Highlights of the Third Trimester

Are you ready? You and your team are entering this last stage. The baby is almost here! The next post will be on Labor and delivery.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, feel free to ask me. Never hesitate to talk to y our health professional about these final steps.

Get In Touch

Daniel Niku, MD, MS

Call Us: (310) 652-9347

Visit Us: 150 North Robertson Boulevard Suite 200
Beverly Hills, CA 90211

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