Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters even though the duration of a pregnancy is usually referred to in a weekly time scale. The trimesters are useful for breaking the pregnancy up into developmental stages. During the third trimester the majority of the weight gain takes place and the fetus is growing rapidly during this period. This is also the trimester in which labor and birth actually takes place. But you might still be wondering – when does your third trimester start? This article will answer that question and discuss the symptoms and development that takes place during this period.
When does your third trimester start?
The third trimester starts at 28 weeks and continues until the birth of your baby. This is the seventh month of your pregnancy and during this time the fetus grows larger and the organs begin to mature. You will probably find that the fetus moves frequently during this period and this can be very disruptive. The fetus begins to prepare for birth with improvements in brain, eye, and muscle function. Your due date is the end of the 40th week of pregnancy, however, a full-term pregnancy can happen between the 37th and 42nd weeks of pregnancy and is considered perfectly normal.
Third trimester symptoms
- The navel (belly button) may pop out
- Back and muscle (especially pelvic and hip) aches
- Rapid weight gain
- Heart Burn
- Braxton Hicks contractions (false labor)
- Constipation and haemorrhoids
- Fluid builds up causing swelling (especially in the ankles)
- Frequent urination
- Difficulty sleeping as the fetus makes more forceful movements.