After a long journey of pregnancy, with the large fetus inside the tummy, finally, it is time to meet her or him. You must have gone through several precautions to avoid the complications during the whole cycle, but the final stage of pregnancy demands more care to ensure no real discomfort. It is important to stay in touch with your medical health professional and follow all the guidelines accurately. However, more than that it is important to stay up to date about essential things that happen during final stages of pregnancy.
The final stage of pregnancy means that time when your body stays making preparations for labor and the baby is about to step into your world. As the dates come near, your body starts experiencing so many unique things and sometimes the level of discomfort also increases. In this article, you will find all details about final stages of pregnancy along with few tips about how to care for your body during last trimester.
Top things that you will notice during final stages of pregnancy
Time to face peak discomfort:
The 29th week of pregnancy is the indication about the beginning of the final stage of pregnancy, and it is often named as the third trimester. It is time to get used to peak discomfort as they baby now grows to get its maximum size in your womb. The fetus in your body may now take up space in the womb, ribs, tummy and back portion; with time you will start realizing that you are carrying a tiny turkey in your body and it is stuffed inside. You will find much difficulty to sit down for so long that is why most working mothers decide to take maternity leave at the final stage of pregnancy. The baby’s weight starts adding more strain on the back of mother, and this process makes the pain more intense as compared to first two trimesters. Sometimes, ladies even feel difficulty in breathing because the uterus starts expanding right below the diaphragm area. Some of the common issues that are reported by most pregnant ladies include heartburn, urination, swelling, spider veins, and weight gain.
You will not be able to see your feet:
At this stage of pregnancy, you will feel your stomach muscles little bit separated. In medical terms, it is known as diastasis recti; however, there is nothing to worry about because this is a normal process during pregnancy. During the third trimester of pregnancy, your tummy will expand greatly, and you will not be able to bend down or even sit up. In general, we need to bend and sit up many times a day, but you have to forget this during final stages of pregnancy. It clearly means that you will not even be able to wear socks or shoes; not only this, at this stage of pregnancy, you will not even be able to see your feet. The baby inside will not allow you to reach down; probably you may need help from your partner. Or, the simplest trick is to wear slippers all the time; that is much easier.
Forget the happy sleep:
There is no doubt to say that mind and body are perfect partners. When your body starts feeling discomfort, mind reacts accordingly. You will understand this thing well during the final phase of pregnancy. You will not be able to sleep during the third trimester; most ladies report that they need to wake up every two or three hours. It clearly means that you need to forget that 7 hours of happy sleep. Now you might be thinking about what can make you wake up again and again; well! body use so many tricks for that. You may need to go to the toilet after every two to three hours. Not only this; you will also feel hungry again and again, so you have to take some snacks in-between. In simple words, your brain will not switch off, and it will also make all the efforts to keep you active as well. Everyone will suggest you getting more and more sleep, and every time you will just reply that you are it trying hard.
The term lightening is used to describe the process of baby dropping down into the pelvis region. It means the foetus inside is ready for the labor and in most cases this process eases the breathing process. Most of the pregnant women experience heartburn during early stages of pregnancy but now as the baby is about to come out, the feeling of heartburn may start diminishing with time. However, some of you may not feel lightening until the beginning of labor pain or in other cases; it may occur few days or few weeks before the labor.
You might be aware of the fact that cervix becomes thick during pregnancy cycle and it stays closed. The body develops some mucus in the area that fills small cervical opening; it is well named as mucus plug. The time when the baby weight starts pushing downwards, the cervix also starts its ripening process and slowly becomes favorable to handle labor. When the cervix ripens completely, it becomes thinner, and this process is known as effacing. The time when opening gets wider, it is known as dilation. You may have to meet your doctor during final stages of pregnancy as they often check the performance of cervical to know how well your pregnancy is progressing towards labor. Few ladies get slightly effaced or dilated even before a week of their labor due date.
The bloody show begins:
The moment when the cervix dilates, the mucus plug becomes loose. The liquid inside may start passing out gradually, or sometimes it comes out in large mass with huge vaginal discharge. Many ladies report this mucus discharge having pink or brown color and the process is well known as the bloody show. This discharge indicates that labor may occur even within few hours or in two-three days.
The early labor phase:
Medical health professionals explain that the early labor phase begins with the onset of labor until the dilation of cervix reaches up to 3cm. There are chances that some woman dilates for a few centimeters even without feeling any contractions and they don’t even feel that their body has entered early labor phase until the contractions begin. As soon as the contracts begin, the early labor phase usually last for around 8 to 12 hours. You may feel contracts for 30 to 45 minutes with a break of around 30 minutes every time. the contraction pain appears same as menstrual cramps, and there are chances that the bag of uterine water break during this stage or in other cases it breaks during the active labor phase.
Active labor phase:
As soon as the cervix dilates up to 4cm, your body enters to active labor phase. Medical health professionals say that the active labor phase usually lasts for around 3 to 5 hours. With time, the contractions increase, they become stronger, longer and also come closer together. It is important to take mother to the birthing facility during this active phase at the final stage of pregnancy. The trained medical health professionals usually provide pre-instructions about when to get admitted at the hospital; in most cases, they advise to come to the facility when the contractions start lasting as long as up to 60 seconds, and they repeatedly occur after every 5-6 minutes.
Here is the hardest part of the final stage of pregnancy. It is time when the cervix dilates from 8cm to 10cm, and the contractions often last from 60 to 90 seconds continuously. The resting duration between successive contraction may also reduce to 30 seconds or two minutes at this final stage. This phase may last for around 30 minutes to two hours. Ladies suffer major discomfort and critical pain at this stage.
Time to push it out:
When the cervix dilates up to 10cm, it is time when a woman actually feels ready to push. This phase usually lasts from 20 minutes to 2 hours and the contractions also achieve their higher peak. Most pregnant ladies report that contractions at this phase last from 45 seconds to 90 seconds and they may have a break of around 3 to 5 minutes in-between. At this stage, the mother needs to push the baby out to lead the delivery.
Finally, your baby has stepped into your world, and his first cry has brought a real smile to your face. This is time to enter into a new life with your baby and dream about the happiness all around.
In order to ease the process, we have explained few tips that can ease the discomfort during the final stage of pregnancy:
Prefer to take rest:
It is time to understand that your baby is about to come out and soon your relaxing life will turn out into an over-busy life. That is why we advise you to take as much rest as you can during the final stage of pregnancy. Make efforts to prepare your body to handle the horrific routines ahead. Even if you cannot sleep continuously for 6 to 8 hours; try to get enough sleep in parts whenever possible.
Don’t stress yourself:
There is no need to feel stressed about anything because the happiness of your life is about to arrive. The final stage of pregnancy means you should get ready to take maternity leave from your office so that you can enjoy a relaxing schedule ahead. Your body needs more care and attention, so it is better to stay at home and fulfill its needs.
Make some arrangements:
When you already know that final stage of pregnancy has started, it is good to make some arrangements for the labor and after labor time. Pack your hospital bag with all essential things that you may need during delivery. Also, manage your home for the new arrival, fix the place where your baby will sleep and get some baby clothing, diapers and other special gifts for your new-born child.
It is time to spread happiness all around so that you can welcome your baby with a happy mood. There is no doubt to say that final stage of pregnancy is a phase loaded with major discomfort, but you can keep yourself busy in some good things to ease the process.