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Third Trimester Growth and Development

The third trimester brings excitement and more changes as the woman gets ready to meet her baby. However, as the baby grows more in preparation for the birth, she will begin to feel more uncomfortable, and the fatigue from the first trimester will return.

Into the seventh month, the baby is starting to feel a bit cramped as it continues growing. Its eyes are opening and closing, and their eyelashes have grown. They are also making grasping motions with their hands, and may even be sucking their thumb. While the bones are fully developed, they are still very soft and pliable.

As the baby continues to grow into the eighth month, it will be forming taste buds and the brain will be commanding bodily functions. The baby will begin to practice breathing, even though the lungs are not completely developed. Vital minerals are being absorbed by the baby, such as calcium and iron. The soft hair, lanugo, that has covered the baby’s skin until now will start to fall off.

The baby can gain up to a half a pound a week in the ninth month, as it grows and starts to fill out its skin. It will drop down into a head down position. As it gets closer to birth, the baby will be taking in important antibodies through the placenta in order to help fight infection for up to six months after it is born. At this time, the baby’s organs are fully developed and it can survive on its own. At the end of the month the baby will weigh between 6 to 9 pounds and can be up to 20 inches long.

The mom can be experiencing a lot of fatigue, and the increased weight of the baby in the uterus can cause some discomfort. She may suffer from hemorrhoids, backache, sore legs and varicose veins. Braxton-Hicks contractions can be happening which prepare the body for birth. As the due date approaches, the mom will be feeling nervous but excited about finally getting to meet the baby.

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