Pregnancy Facts - Third Trimester

week24-ultrasound During the third trimester, your baby is drinking, and then urinating, the amniotic fluid. The amniotic fluid is recirculated and replenished every three hours, so make sure you are drinking plenty of water! Once you have reached 35 weeks, your baby has probably settled into the position for birth. At 36 weeks, your baby will most likely be able to breathe by itself. Its lungs are fully developed. Your baby’s bones are hardening, but not the skull. This stays soft and flexible so it is easier for him or her to come down the birth canal (and easier for you too!). By 37 weeks, your baby is fully mature. The heart and respiratory system are kickstarted by the delivery process so he or she can live outside your body. During the third trimester, varicose veins are common symptoms. In order to try to prevent them or not make them worse, avoid standing for long periods, don't sit with your legs crossed, and elevate your legs when possible. Starting at week 38, Braxton-Hicks contractions are more common. If the contractions continue to get longer, stronger, or closer together, call your doctor. If your amniotic sac ruptures, commonly referred to as “water breaking”, then you are in labor and you need to head to the hospital.