3rd Month of Pregnancy – Symptoms, Body Changes & Diet

3rd Month of Pregnancy

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, you take a careful look at your diet, and you find yourself growing and expanding, and also begin to feel the life growing inside you. The risk of suffering a miscarriage and other issues drop as the growth of the foetus increases at this point. The embryo becomes a foetus and you can sense some movement. The body parts of the baby begin to develop and the sex organs are also in place by this time.

3 Months Pregnant – Symptoms

You will notice the following changes and symptoms in your body during the third month of pregnancy:

1. Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting could peak by the third month. Most pregnant women are relieved of these symptoms by the end of the first trimester.

2. Fatigue

Pregnancy hormones make you feel tired and drowsy. The body needs extra blood to supply essential nutrients to the foetus, thereby affecting blood sugar and pressure levels.

3. Loss of Bladder Control

As the body produces the pregnancy hormone hCG, there is a surge in the blood volume which puts pressure on the bladder. The growing uterus also puts pressure on the bladder and there is a greater urge to urinate often.

4. Constipation

Higher progesterone levels slow down the digestion process.

5. Vaginal Discharge

High oestrogen levels and the dilation of the cervix and vaginal walls result in an off-white mucus discharge from the vagina, which prevents any infection from passing into the uterus.

6. Leg Cramps

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.

7. Back Pain and Abdominal Pain

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.

8. Mood Swings

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.

9. Bleeding Gums

Changes in the hormone levels of your body also lead to inflammation and bleeding of the gums.

10. Heartburn

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.

11. Varicose Veins

As the uterus expands, it compresses the blood vessels and slows down the circulation of blood. 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.

12. Nasal Congestion

Increased blood volume leads to the swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages. This, in turn, leads to a stuffy or blocked nose.

13. Food Cravings

Food Cravings in Pregnancy

It is very common for expectant mothers to develop a craving for some types of food. Alternatively, they can even develop a dislike to the smell or taste of certain foods and other substances too.

If you notice any of these symptoms during the third month of pregnancy, don’t get too worried about them 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.

1. Tender Breasts

Your breasts become tender as your body prepares for breastfeeding. The size of the breasts increase and the areola becomes darker and larger.

2. Visible Stretch Marks

You will notice stretch marks on your belly and breasts, as a result of your skin stretching during pregnancy.

3. Dark Line on the Abdomen

The melanocyte-stimulating hormone that is 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.

4. Mood Swings and Depression

It is quite common to experience mood swings and depression during this trimester. Your body gets bigger and you may become increasingly conscious of your bigger appearance.

5. Sleep Disturbance

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.

6. Lack of Libido

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 also due to changes in physical appearance that lead to self-consciousness.

Baby Development During the Third Month of Pregnancy

Baby Development in Three Months of Pregnancy

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 is formed.
Eyelids The eyelids, on 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 formed during this time as well.
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 nose and the ears of the baby 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 baby’s 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.

1. Eat Healthy

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 of the essential vitamins, minerals, and nutrients required not just for your good health but also for the health of your baby.

2. Get Adequate Rest

Fatigue is very common and you must take rest when you do not feel alright. Invest in some maternity pillows to rest comfortably.

3. Administer Supplements

Take folic acid supplements to avoid any birth defects and other vitamin supplements as advised by the doctor.

4. Maintain Cleanliness and Hygiene

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.

5. Pay Attention to Your Dental Health

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.

6. Gain Knowledge About the Birthing Process

Enrol in childbirth education classes to cope with anxiety, stress, and other issues.

7. Communicate

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 to avoid falling into depression.

8. Quit Smoking and Alcohol

Smoking and alcohol are strictly not recommended as it could prove detrimental to your baby’s health and could also lead to a miscarriage.

9. Limit the Intake of Caffeine

Cut down your intake of hot beverages like coffee and tea, as it increases the risk of suffering a miscarriage and can result in the low birth weight of the baby.

10. Exercise

Indulge in simple exercises like walking and swimming. Avoid sports which carry a risk of a fall or pressure on joints.

11. Stay Active

Stay Active during Pregnancy

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:

  • A 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.

Precautions to Follow During the Third Month of Pregnancy

Here is a list of precautions you should consider:

  • Avoid lifting heavy objects and doing stressful activities that will apply pressure on the womb.
  • Stay away from spicy, oily and fatty food to keep away from digestion troubles.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and a comfortable bra.
  • Wear comfortable footwear which are flat and do not put any pressure on your feet, and consequently, your back.
  • Quit smoking, alcohol and drugs entirely to ensure your baby’s good health.

What to Expect During Your Visit to the Ob/Gyn 

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
  • The size of your abdomen to approximate the size and fundal height of the uterus

Lab Tests

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.

  1. Blood Test

To detect your blood group and Rh factor to check for anaemia.

  1. Fluid Retention Test 

To check if you have any swelling in the arms and legs.

  1. First-trimester Screening Tests 

To determine any risk to the foetus, and to screen for birth and genetic defects.

  1. Maternal Serum Screening Tests

These 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.

  1. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This is carried out during the 11th week of pregnancy to check whether the unborn child will be having any congenital defects.

Ultrasound Scan

Ultrasound Scan

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 to assess any risk of abnormality in the foetus.

FAQ’s

1. Is Detecting a Neural Tube Defect Possible During the 3rd Month of Pregnancy?

Spina bifida or neural tube defect is a congenital malformation that can be detected during the first trimester. It can be detected more accurately during the second trimester through an ultrasound scan.

2. How Much Weight Will I Gain by the Third Month of Pregnancy?

Since the baby is still small, you will gain about 1 or 2 kilos by the end of the first trimester. However, some women tend to lose weight due to aversions towards certain foods and morning sickness.

3. Can an Ultrasound Detect the Gender of the Baby by the Third Month?

The reproductive system of the baby 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.

5 Tips for the Dad-to-Be

Dads-to-be have some responsibility during pregnancy as well. Here are some helpful tips that will 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 the 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.

The third month is a crucial period of 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 of the fact that you have a little one growing inside you. Get ready to make the announcement officially!

Also Read: Third Month Pregnancy Diet