3rd Month of Pregnancy – Symptoms, Body Changes & Diet
- Three Months Pregnant – Symptoms
- Physical and Emotional Changes in the Third Month of Pregnancy
- Foetal Development During the Third Month of Pregnancy
- To-Do List for the Third Month of Pregnancy
- Exercises You Can Do During the Third Month of Pregnancy
- Precautions to Follow During the Third Month of Pregnancy
- What to Expect During Your Visit to the Ob/Gyn
- 5 Tips for the Dad-to-Be
The first three months are the most exciting part of the pregnancy period. You know you are pregnant but are not visibly pregnant to the world around you. You keep looking at the calendar to count the days, take a careful look at your diet, find yourself growing and expanding, and begin to feel the life growing inside you. Also, it’s quite reassuring that you have made it to this point in your pregnancy! As for the foetus, the body parts begin to develop around this time, and the sex organs are also in place by this time.
Three Months Pregnant – Symptoms
You will notice the following changes and symptoms in your body during the third month of pregnancy:
Nausea and vomiting could peak by the third month. Most pregnant women are relieved of these symptoms by the end of the first trimester.
Pregnancy hormones make you feel tired and drowsy. The body needs extra blood to supply essential nutrients to the fetus, affecting blood sugar and pressure levels.
Increased formation of urine and the pressure exerted on the bladder by the growing uterus can cause a greater urge to urinate often.
Higher progesterone levels slow down the digestion process.
High oestrogen levels and the dilation of the cervix and vaginal walls result in an off-white or translucent mucous discharge from the vagina, which prevents any infection from passing into the uterus.
Severe leg cramps and pain may be common during the night. You may need to include potassium and iron in your diet, and some gentle exercises could also help to reduce discomfort.
Changes in hormone levels and the growing uterus stretch the ligaments and tendons, leading to back pain and pain in the lower abdomen. Try doing some low-impact exercises and stretching but only after prior consultation with your doctor.
Hormonal changes can definitely affect your emotions. You may find yourself experiencing an array of emotions, from being sad and low-spirited to happy and joyous.
Changes in your body’s hormone levels also lead to inflammation and bleeding of the gums.
The growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach and your expanding body slows down the digestion process. The pressure on the stomach causes the acids to move upwards, causing heartburn. Eat at regular times and try eating small meals.
As the uterus expands, it compresses the blood vessels and slows down blood circulation. This causes the swelling of the veins in your legs. Your increasing weight could also add to the load on the circulatory system leading to the appearance of varicose veins.
Increased blood volume leads to the swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages. This, in turn, leads to a stuffy or blocked nose.
It is very common for expectant mothers to develop a craving for some types of food. Alternatively, you could even develop a dislike of the smell or taste of certain foods and other substances too.
Don’t get too worried about them if you notice any of these symptoms during the third month of pregnancy, as they’re all a natural part of this phenomenon.
Physical and Emotional Changes in the Third Month of Pregnancy
Your pregnancy belly will slowly start to show during the third month of pregnancy, as your uterus will now be about the size of a grapefruit. The uterus is lifted up into the abdomen area and covers the entire pelvic region. You will definitely experience physical and emotional changes in this phase. Some of these changes might occur in the second or third trimester, if not the first itself.
Your breasts become tender as your body prepares for breastfeeding. The size of the breasts increases and the areola becomes darker and larger.
You will notice stretch marks on your belly and breasts due to your skin stretching during pregnancy.
The melanocyte-stimulating hormone produced by the placenta causes the darkening of the nipples. It also leads to the darkening of the line running down from the middle of your abdomen to your pubic bone.
You may find variations in your sleep pattern and could find yourself waking up in the middle of the night. Blame it on the change in your hormone levels.
Most women feel a sense of excitement and romance during the first trimester; however, they tend to lose interest in sex by the end of this time. It could be because of the fluctuation in hormone levels and changes in physical appearance that lead to self-consciousness.
What is your baby like when you’re three months pregnant? It would be too early to feel any particular movements, but you will feel and experience the baby’s presence in the womb. You are sure to be curious to know what is happening inside! By the third month, your baby will be about 3.5 inches long, weighing approximately 0.04 kilos – the size of a ripe plum or lemon. The embryo gets settled inside the uterus, and the organs start their growth too.
|BODY PARTS||DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE|
|Head||Due to the development of the brain, the head will be slightly bigger than the body.|
|Skin||The skin is transparent with the veins visible through it. The baby’s fingerprints are formed.|
|Eyelids||The eyelids, in formation, protect the baby’s eyes by covering them entirely.|
|Mouth||The baby’s tongue and larynx begin to develop; the jaws and the upper lip are also formed during this time.|
|Thumb||The baby begins to suck the thumb and also starts getting hiccups.|
|Heart||The heart develops, complete with a heartbeat, which can be heard using electronic monitoring devices.|
|Musculoskeletal system||The muscle and bone structure of the baby is formed.|
|Movements||Your baby will begin to kick, stretch, twist, and turn. However, since the uterus still lies over the pelvis, you may not feel all these movements.|
|Bone marrow||The bone marrow begins the production of white blood cells to keep the baby healthy.|
|Intestine||This organ begins to contract and relax to aid digestion.|
|Pancreas||The pancreases start to function and secrete insulin.|
|Kidneys||The kidneys start the excretion of urine into the bladder.|
|Other parts||Distinct fingers and toes along with fingernails and toenails are formed. The little hands can now open and close. The baby’s nose and ears will be seen on the scan. The neck will be formed during this time, along with the hair follicles and nipples.|
If you are pregnant with twins, the growth in the 3rd month of pregnancy for the twin foetuses will be the same as above.
To-Do List for the Third Month of Pregnancy
A to-do list for the third month of your pregnancy will help you focus on your health and remain fit until the delivery.
You will have cravings, for sure! However, your pregnancy diet during the third month must consist of a wholesome, healthy, and balanced combination of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, nuts, grains, rice, etc. Your diet should comprise the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients required not just for your good health but also for your baby’s health.
Fatigue is very common. You must take the rest when you do not feel alright. Also, you can invest in some maternity pillows to rest comfortably.
Take folic acid supplements to avoid any birth defects and other vitamin supplements as advised by the doctor.
You will be very prone to contracting infections at this stage, so make sure you follow proper hygiene and cleanliness standards for everything, from cooking to cleaning to gardening. Keep your vaginal area clean and dry as well. Ditch synthetic fabrics during this period and get your hands on cotton undies that will be comfortable and breathable.
Schedule an appointment with the dentist as you may be prone to bleeding gums and aching teeth due to the changes in your hormone levels. It’s important to take great care of your gums during this period, as developing gum diseases can also affect the health of your developing baby.
Enrol in childbirth education classes to cope with anxiety, stress, and other issues.
A very crucial aspect, make sure you communicate enough with your partner, close friends or relatives about any issues or apprehensions that you have. It is important to take your loved ones into confidence to get some reassurance regarding your problems and avoid falling into depression.
Try to keep yourself engaged in activities that will keep your mind engaged. Knit, paint or sketch to stay stress-free.
Exercises You Can Do During the Third Month of Pregnancy
A few exercises to stay fit during the third month of pregnancy:
- Morning Walk: It helps to beat fatigue and morning sickness. It refreshes you and increases blood flow in the body.
- Swimming: This activity is highly recommended for pregnant women as a great form of exercise. It tones your muscles, stretches your ligaments, and increases blood circulation.
- Pilates: This activity helps build strength and increases your flexibility.
- Low-impact aerobics: This activity strengthens your heart, tones your muscles and relieves you of body pain.
- Yoga: Performed under professional guidance, it could do wonders for you and your baby.
Here is a list of precautions you should consider:
- Avoid lifting heavy objects and doing stressful activities that will pressure the womb.
- Stay away from spicy, oily and fatty food to avoid digestion troubles.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes and a comfortable bra.
- Wear flat, comfortable footwear that does not put any kind of pressure on your feet or the back.
- Quit smoking, alcohol and drugs entirely to ensure your baby’s good health.
Your doctor will check the following:
- Your health history and that of your parents.
- Any previous medical conditions you’ve had.
- Your weight and blood pressure.
- The baby’s heartbeat, which would only be audible on the hand doppler after 10 to 12 weeks of pregnancy.
- The size of your abdomen to approximate the size and fundal height of the uterus (which only starts to become palpable post the third month of pregnancy).
Some of the tests performed in the 3rd month of pregnancy are as follows:
1. Urine Test – To determine the levels of sugar and protein in the body and to check for any infection.
2. Blood Test – To detect your blood group and Rh factor to check for anaemia.
3. Fluid Retention Test – To check if you have any swelling in the arms and legs.
4. First-trimester Screening Tests – An ultrasound is conducted to determine any risk to the fetus, screen for birth and genetic defects, and detect markers of chromosomal disorders.
5. Maternal Serum Screening Tests – A series of tests are conducted to assess whether you face the risk of giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome, Edward Syndrome, or any neural tube defects. VERIFIED
6. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS) – This diagnostic test is carried out on pregnant women who are at high risk for the conditions mentioned above. It is carried out during the 11-13 weeks of pregnancy to check whether the unborn child will have any congenital defects.
The Nuchal translucency (NT) scan is a 3-month pregnancy scan done to examine the amniotic fluid parameters, the position of the placenta in the uterus, and assess any risk of abnormality in the foetus.
Since the baby is still small, you will gain about 1 or 2 kilos by the end of the first trimester. However, some women lose weight due to aversions of certain foods and morning sickness.
The baby’s reproductive system is still developing at this point, so it will be difficult to determine the sex of the baby. The results will be about 75% accurate when done between 11-14 weeks of the gestation period.
Mommies, it’s not you alone who has to follow many tips and precautions during this period. Dads-to-be, you need to take up some responsibility as well. Here are some helpful tips to help you become a great partner and dad-to-be!
1. Help your partner with household chores to reduce her fatigue.
2. Support her by being there all the time as she might have no time left for social interactions.
3. Be supportive and understanding when she experiences her mood swings.
4. Talk to the baby to establish a bond.
5. Accompany her for all her doctor visits to know what is happening.
By the 12th week of your wife’s pregnancy, there is a good chance that even you’ll experience pregnancy symptoms – yes, it’s true! Known as couvade syndrome or sympathetic pregnancy, it’s a condition in which the partner experiences certain pregnancy symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, minor weight gain, and disturbed sleep. Now, don’t worry if you notice these symptoms. Indulge in the same home remedies your wife tries out to gain relief from these symptoms.
Moms-to-be, the third month is a crucial period for your pregnancy. You will no longer experience nausea and vomiting, but you will have more medical visits. It is definitely an exciting phase, and the changes in your body will certainly make you conscious that you have a little one growing inside you. Get ready to make the announcement officially!
Also Read: Third Month Pregnancy Diet