BISERKA KNEZIĆ FRKOVIĆ MSc. spec.gin. dr.med. (domski)

Third trimester of pregnancy


What happens in the third trimester?


The third trimester of pregnancy involves your baby continuing to grow. Layers of fat are being formed and your baby starts to look pinker and plumper. At around 32 weeks your baby is about 40cm (15 inches) long and weighs 1900g (4lbs 3oz) and has a much better chance of surviving if born early. By 36 weeks your baby has grown to 47-49 cm (18-19 inches) long and weighs around 2662g (6 lbs).


Some women like to "nest" during the last month of pregnancy and get ready for their birth and being a mum. Braxton-Hicks contractions are often felt. These are tightenings and are the body's way of practising for labour.

It is important that, if you feel a sudden reduction or change in your baby's movements, you should contact your midwife or the hospital for advice. It may be that your baby is unwell- reduced or changed movements should always be checked out.

During this trimester you will be seen routinely more often by your midwife and sometimes a doctor if there are any concerns.

For further information, see A summary of antenatal care in Liverpool.

Most babies adopt a "longitudinal lie" and are in a "head down" position towards the brim of the pelvis. Usually at 36 weeks your baby will "descend" and become "engaged". Some babies, particularly if you have had a baby before, may just be at the "pelvic brim" and will not descend and engage until actually in early labour.



We are supporting Tommy's campaign to 'Sleep on (your) Side'. There is now research that suggests that sleeping on your back in the 3rd trimester of pregnancy can cause stillbirth. Therefore, it is safer for you to sleep on your side. You can use pillows or cushions to prop yourself or your tummy, and make yourself comfortable. Putting pillows behind your back will also help to stop you rolling on your back whilst asleep. Please CLICK HERE for more information.


The third trimester ends at 40 weeks of pregnancy, and "full-term" is between 37-40 weeks. Many babies will be born during this period or between 40 weeks and 42 weeks.

Information NHS


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