You’re in the home stretch! Some of the same discomforts you had in your second trimester will continue. Because the baby is getting bigger, many women find breathing difficult and notice they have to go to the bathroom even more often. Don’t worry, your baby is fine, and these problems will lessen once you give birth.
Some new body changes you might notice in the third trimester (28 weeks or more) include:
- You become short of breath more easily
- Swelling of the ankles, fingers and face
- Tender breasts, which may leak a watery pre-milk called colostrum
- Your belly button may stick out
- Trouble sleeping
- Headache or vision changes
- Right upper belly pain
- The baby “dropping”, or moving lower in your abdomen
- Contractions, which can be a sign of real or false labor
As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) open during the birthing process. Your doctor will check your progress with a vaginal exam as you near your due date.
Common tests during your third trimester:
- Fetal kick counts. You should feel your baby move 10 times in two hours. If you feel your baby’s movement has decreased, please eat and drink something and sit or lie down. If you still don’t feel your baby move 10 times in two hours, call your doctor.
- Group B streptococcus screening: This test is done at 35 to 37 weeks to look for bacteria that can cause pneumonia or a serious infection in newborns. A swab is used to take a sample from your vagina and perineum to be tested.
- Antepartum Surveillance: High risk pregnancies may have antepartum surveillance of fetal health with monitoring the baby’s heart rate or measuring the amount of amniotic fluid with an ultrasound. When these tests begin and how often they are performed depends on many factors including the gestational age of your baby and the problem that you are having.
- You should receive a vaccine for whooping cough (Tdap) during the third trimester. Vaccination while pregnant will give some immunity to your baby after birth. Women who are Rh negative will receive Rho (D) immune globulin at 28 weeks to prevent some types of anemia in babies.
Make sure to pre-register at Cabell Huntington Hospital so that most of the paperwork is completed before you come in for delivery.
We encourage all obstetrical patients to look into prenatal classes at Cabell Huntington Hospital. Childbirth classes are available as well as classes on breastfeeding, infant CPR, new baby care, and sibling classes. For information or to register, please call 304-526-BABY.
Community service organizations
- Cabell County Family Resource Network: 304-697-0255
- United Way, Cabell County Substance Abuse Prevention Partnership, Education Matters, Financial Stability and Success by 6: 304-523-8929
- Huntington City Mission: 304-523-0293
Early childhood/development/day care
- Birth to Three: 304-523-5444
- Head Start & Pre-K: 304-697-4600
- LINK Child Care Resource & Referral: 1-800-894-9540
- TEAM for WV Children: 304-523-9587
- WV Help Me Grow: 1-800-642-8522
- Cabell-Huntington Health Department: 304-523-6483
- Ebenezer Medical Outreach: 304-529-0753
- Medicaid: 304-528-5800
- WIC – Cabell County: 1-800-953-1009/304-302-2013
- WV Children’s Health Insurance Program: 1-877-WVACHIP
- Family Child Care Food Program: 304-751-5253
Crisis and emergency needs
- Maternal Addiction & Recovery Center (MARC): 304-691-8730
- Abuse Hotlines (children and adult protective services, domestic violence): 1-800-352-6513
- Branches Domestic Violence Shelter: 304-529-2382
- Information & Referral (referrals, utility assistance, food and clothing pantries, etc.): 304-528-5660
- Poison Control Center: 1-800-222-1222
- Marshall OB Concern Line: 681-378-4662