This is the start of the third trimester. Some women find they want or need to start taking things easier around now, if they can. Your antenatal appointments are likely to be every two weeks from now until 36 weeks.
You might start thinking about when to stop working. Many women find about 34-36 weeks is ideal, although some will need to stop earlier or work longer. Depending on your job and work duties, you might need a certificate from a midwife or doctor to keep working past a certain point in your pregnancy.
Common third-trimester issues include:
- swollen hands and feet – drink as much water as you feel like, get your feet up as much as you can, and take off any tight rings or other tight jewellery
- breathlessness – your uterus is pushing further up into your ribcage and creating less room for your lungs
- heartburn and reflux
- lower back and leg pain – try to stand up straight and tilt your pelvis forward
- leaking breasts, as your breasts start producing colostrum.
If you have sudden, fast swelling in your hands, feet or face, see your midwife or doctor as soon as possible.
More than mood swings
Pregnancy is a powerful and life-changing experience for women and men. It can stir up some strong, deep and unexpected emotions and issues.
Hormone changes can affect your mood or energy levels, or there might be occasional days when you or your partner feels flat or irritable. This is normal.
But emotional changes that last longer than two weeks and get in the way of your or your partner’s daily life could be depression or another problem. Make an appointment with your midwife or doctor to discuss changes like this.
You could also call Lifeline on 131 114, Beyond Blue on 1300 224 636 or PANDA on 1300 726 306.
Baby is getting bigger:
- Baby measures about 25 cm from head to bottom, and weighs about 1 kg.
- Baby has a lot less room to move around now. Many babies prefer the breech position at this time – head up, bottom down. Don’t worry about this just now – most move to the head-down position in time for their birth.
- Baby’s immune system is developing.
- Baby is covered in vernix – a white, creamy substance that protects baby’s skin from the amniotic fluid.
- Baby’s eyelashes are growing.
- If you have a boy, his testicles are lowering into his scrotum.
Babies born at this stage have a good chance of survival – about 75-80% – with specialised care.