An Important Look at Third Trimester Fetal Development

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Fetal Development Continues in the Third Trimester

During the third trimester, fetal development continues even though it may seem like there couldn’t possibly be any more room in your growing belly. Even though most babies born during the third trimester have a very good chance of survival with minimal complications, there is still plenty of growing left for your baby to do.

Fetal Development Month Seven

The seventh month of your pregnancy includes weeks 28 through 31. Your baby will really start gaining weight now that the third trimester has started. At the beginning of the month, your baby will weigh about two pounds; however, by the end of the month, your baby will weigh about three pounds. Your baby will also start opening and closing his or her eyes. Although your baby’s brain, lungs and muscles are still developing, your baby’s bones will be fully formed.  Your baby’s nervous system will be able to regulate body temperature by the end of the month, and your little one will be able to hear sounds outside the womb. Eyelashes and eyebrows can easily be seen, and your little one may even have a full head of hair.

Fetal Development Month Eight

The eighth month of pregnancy includes the 32nd through 35th weeks. Your little one will continue to gain weight this month, and may weigh between five and six pounds by the 35th week of pregnancy. Your baby will be able to detect changes in light, and his or her hearing will be fully developed by the end of the month. Some studies suggest that babies even start to prefer certain types of music during this time. Most babies will settle into a head down position sometime this month.

Fetal Development Month Nine

As you near the end of the third trimester, fetal development is almost complete. Your ninth month includes the last four weeks of pregnancy (36 through 40.) Although, it is not unusual for some women to go a few days to a week or two past their due date. Your baby may be moving less frequently, but you will still feel kicks and wiggling as your baby settles into the birth canal. If this is your first pregnancy, you may notice that you can breathe easier at some point this month. Lightening happens when the baby gradually drops lower towards the birth canal, which takes pressure off of the mom’s lungs. All of your baby’s organs will be fully developed this month, with the exception of the lungs. Your baby will practice breathing by sucking and swallowing the fluid in the womb. This may cause your baby to start having hiccups, which usually feels like flutters that continuously occur. Your body is busy transporting antibodies to your baby this month. By 37 weeks of pregnancy, you are considered full-term, and your baby may arrive any day. The lanugo (fine hair that was protecting the baby’s body) will be mostly gone by the end of the month. By the end of your pregnancy, your baby will probably weigh between six and nine pounds.

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