The 3rd trimester started with us taking a trip to Hello Baby – a local baby shop in Regina’s east end. We were on the hunt for more information on car seats, bassinets, strollers, and some smaller little items. We have lucked out and had a significant amount of baby items gifted or handed down to us, but we wanted to buy a few things brand new.
We were/are super thankful to all of our friends and family who have graciously helped us out. Our house is currently almost out of a state of disarray as we prepare for the littles arrival. We have been purging, selling, donating, and finishing up some smaller projects around the house, albeit in a bit more of a frantic state.
Entering into the 3rd trimester also means we are on the home stretch and we will be meeting our tiny little human soon! There is an increased sense of relief as we enter into the last trimester. It was reassuring to learn that if our baby is born premature their chance of surviving is close to 100%. Baby will also continue to fill out, adding more fat and getting stronger. Their movements will also increase tossing, turning, kicking and punching as if they were in the middle of a street fight! We are also in the middle of creating our plans for when the baby decides they are ready to meet us! Currently, we are working to build the birth preference plan, hospital plan, our introductions to our dog, and finalizing and organizing our hospital supplies.
Over the course of the final trimester, the changes for mom and baby are still happening at a fairly steady pace!
Week 28 marks the 7th month of pregnancy for my wife. During this month, baby will develop their forehead, bone marrow/development of their red blood cells. They are roughly the size of a pineapple or a bottle of whiskey! They are going to continue to use mom as a punching bag as they continue to kick and punch, but they are also now able to move their head side to side, smile, experience some aspects of REM sleep and dream!
During week 28, the baby is now over the 2lb mark and their lungs continue to mature. They may or may not be already transitioning into a head down position in preparation for their arrival. They are now growing neurons and their viability has increased if born prematurely! Mom’s organs are now feeling the squish as the baby continues to grow and may find it difficult to do more of the routine tasks throughout the day.
Week 29 marks the baby’s first smiles – they are now able to move their facial muscles and show expression. They are also starting to experience their first bouts of REM sleep which may include some dreams. Their bones continue to mineralize (harden) and their forehead is prominent to help with their growing brain. Mom is now producing more prolactin in anticipation of lactation and she may experience some early release of colostrum.
Week 30 means that the baby’s brain is starting to wrinkle up and look more like it will when it is fully developed. They have fully developed hands and are now grasping at things. Their fat cells are regulating body temperature so their previously developed lanugo is now starting to disappear. Finally their bone marrow is now producing red blood cells. Mom’s ligaments are now starting to relax in preparation for delivery and may now be finding it difficult sleeping which in turn is leading to exhaustion. Be sure to have a strategy to help remedy this and get her the sleep she needs!
During the 31st week, the baby continues to pack on the lbs and is now over the 3lb mark or roughly the size of a coconut. Their fat is increasing and so are their movements. Baby can now move its head side to side. Mom can really feel the baby moving and is now starting to wake her up in the night. Mom may also be experiencing some Braxton Hicks contractions.
This marks the 8th month of pregnancy; only 2 left! During this month, baby will develop their opaque skin, and their skull. They are roughly the size of a nerf football or a size 12 mens shoe. They are now inhaling/exhaling, responding to pain and moving towards a downward position.
Week 32 means that all of the baby’s organs, except for the lungs, are completely developed. Baby is working on inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid. They have also hit the 4lb threshold and their skin has finally turned opaque. Mom’s fundal height (distance from the pubic bone to the top of the uterus measured in centimeters) may be between 12 ½ and 13 ½ inches and her belly is getting bigger. Her belly button may have transitioned from an “innie” to more of an “outie”. Those Braxton Hicks contractions are still present but may be increasing in strength.
We had a 32 week growth scan this week to check in and make sure our baby was growing and developing at an appropriate rate. Below is the first picture of their face we were able to see with the cool 3D ultrasound imaging.
In the 33rd week, the baby’s skull is still now fused together and it needs the flexibility to travel safely through the birth canal. This is why babies are born with a “soft spot” also known as the “fontanel”. Baby is likely in their final downward position or moving closer to mom’s pelvis as they get ready to join the world. They are likely gaining roughly around 0.5lb/week. Mom’s uterus is roughly 5 inches above her pubic bone and her belly is round and LARGE! Mom may still be experiencing some discomfort with heartburn, joint and muscle pain.
Week 34 marks the 5lb mark for the baby’s and is about the size of the cantaloupe and is now for sure in a head down position. They are doing some fine tuning on some of their new gear – their fingernails are now on their fingertips and their lungs are in the final week of development. Mom’s uterus is now taking up significant room and may be causing more discomfort. Anxiety towards the whole birthing process may be creeping in.
Entering into week 35 the baby is growing at a warp speed and is now the size of a nerf football. Their lungs are now fully developed in addition to their kidneys, liver and all other major organs. With lungs fully developed, if they are born early, they are likely to be able to breathe on their own. Mom may be feeling a lot of pressure on her lungs if the baby has not dropped yet into a more downward position. If the baby has dropped, mom will have felt some relief of the pressure the baby may have been putting on her. The Braxton Hicks contractions are increasing and may be mistaken for the real deal!
Week 36 marks the 9th month of pregnancy and officially hitting the home stretch! Baby will still be getting outfitted with new gear this month. Their vocal cords, fully developed lungs, kidney and intestines and rapid brain development. The baby is now the size of a watermelon and can now hear, blink and grasp! The baby is fully developed but continues to gain weight. Their movements in the womb may be more subtle and their cheeks are filling out. They are forming meconium from swallowing amniotic fluid. Mom’s hormones are loosening her connective tissues in preparation for delivery. She may now be experiencing lower extremities, back pain, and poor sleep which could cause some irritability.
Week 37 the baby is continuing their growth, plumping up and dropping in the uterus. They are at term so there are not many changes this week. Because the baby is dropping, mom may be experiencing constant pelvic pain and an increased urge to pee. Due to the delivery date being so close, mom’s energy towards delivery may be seeing a surge.
Week 38 not many physiological changes are happening this week, but the baby will still be plumping up. They’re over the 7lb threshold and are almost as long as a football. Their toenails are not at the end of their tiny toes and the vocal cords are fully developed. Mom is still feeling the baby dropping into the pelvis and her cervix is softening and dilating.
The baby is close to their birth weight in week 39 and they’re forming new skin as their old skin sloughs off. They are now weighing between 7.5 – 8lbs. Mom will now be feeling some nerves being pinched as a result of the baby’s position. All of her previous discomforts are continuing.
Week 40 means it is finally time to meet the baby! They are now at their birth weight and they are ready to meet the world. Mom’s cervix continues to soften and dilate. Mom’s anxiety and stress are likely increased now that it is delivery day, be sure you are there as their support in whatever facet they want you there. Be sure to discuss what your roll looks like on delivery day.
There is a chance that the baby may be born after 40 weeks. About 16% of babies are born in week 41 and 1% in week 42. If a baby is born in week 42 they are considered post term and the doctor will likely induce labor or deliver via c-section before that time comes.
Until next week,