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​Third trimester baby development

​Weeks 29–34

Baby’s development 

Lanugo starts to disappear and the skin becomes pinkish. The baby appears rounder. His movements are more varied and may alternate between a state of rest and active moving. 

Your symptoms 

Your tummy feels taut and you may feel irregular tightening over your womb — known as Braxton-Hicks contractions. Your baby becomes considerably heavier and you will feel more tired. 

Expect shortness of breath as the enlarging womb presses against your rib cage. At times, your baby’s sudden movements may be painful and his moving limbs may be felt from the surface of your tummy. 

You may get heartburn because of the enlarging womb and a reduction in gastric movements. The milk glands in your breasts start to produce colostrum, which is nutrition for your baby during his first few days of life. ​

​Weeks 35–40 

Baby’s development 

By now, the baby has fully formed and the head is more proportionate to the size of his body. The lanugo would have completely disappeared and the baby’s skin is now smooth. 

As the due date approaches, the baby’s head will begin to descend into your pelvis – a phenomenon known as “engagement”. The baby’s weight continues to increase such that he usually weighs more than 2.8kg at the time of delivery

Your symptoms 

As your baby grows, the aches from the ligaments stretching in your pelvis will increase. The lower abdominal aches and frequent urinating sensations from the pressure on the bladder can be troubling. 

From 37 weeks onwards, your baby is considered fully matured (full term) and labour contractions can begin at any time. In 10 per cent of women, pre-term labour may happen. 


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