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 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 inside you. Attention! The risk of miscarriage and other issue drops as the growth of foetus increases at this point. The embryo changes to a foetus and you can feel some movement. Body parts begin to develop and the sex organs are also in place.

3 Months Pregnant Symptoms

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

1. Morning Sickness

Nausea and vomiting could peak by the third month and most pregnant women come out 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 the digestion process.

5. Vaginal Discharge

High estrogen levels, 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 in 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, growing uterus stretch the ligaments and tendons causing back pain and pain in the lower abdomen. Try doing some low-impact exercise and stretching with prior consultation with your doctor.

8. Mood Swings

Hormonal changes cause an emotional rollercoaster ride in your body and you may find yourself experiencing an array of emotions from being sad, low-spirited to happy and joyous.

9. Bleeding Gums

Change in hormone levels also leads to inflammation and bleeding of 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 swelling of the veins in your legs. Your increasing weight could also add to the load on the circulatory system causing varicose veins.

12. Congestion

Increased blood volume leads to dryness of the nasal line causing swelling and inflammation of the nasal passages leading to a stuffy or blocked nose

13. Food Cravings

It is very common for expectant mothers to develop a craving for some types of food or even develop a dislike to the smell or taste of any other.

CRAVINGS

There is nothing much to worry about these symptoms as they are just a part of the natural process.

Physical and Emotional Changes in The Third Month of Pregnancy

The 3rd month pregnancy belly is quite visible as your uterus is now 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 will 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 the tiny tears in the supporting layers of the tissue under your skin form them

3. Dark line on the Abdomen

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone that is produced by the placenta causes darkening of the nipples and also a dark 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 is getting bigger and you are becoming 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 hormones.

6. Lack of libido

Most women feel a sense of excitement and romance during the first trimester, however they lose interest by the end of it. It could be because of the increase in hormones and also changes in physical appearance.

Baby Development in Three Months of Pregnancy

How is your baby at 3 months pregnant? It is too early to feel any movement but you will feel and experience the 3 months baby in the womb. You are curious to know what is happening inside. Read on to imagine more:

By the third month, your baby is about 3.5 inches long weighing approximately 1.5 ounces- the size of a ripe plum or lemon. The embryo gets settled inside the uterus and organs start their growth too.

BABY DEVELOPMENT

BODY PARTS DEVELOPMENTAL STAGE
Head Due to the development of the brain, the head is slightly bigger than the body
Skin The skin is transparent with the veins visible through it. Baby’s fingerprints are also formed
Eyelids The eyelids on formation protect the eyes by covering them entirely
Mouth Baby’s tongue and larynx begin to develop; the jaws and the upper lip are being formed 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 Muscle and bone structure of the baby are formed
Movements Your baby begins to kick, stretch, twist, and turn. As the uterus still lies over the pelvis you may not feel all these movements
Bone marrow Begins the production of white blood cells to keep the baby healthy
Intestine Begins to contract and relax to aid digestion
Pancreas Begin to function and start secreting insulin
Kidneys Start the excretion of urine into the bladder
Other parts Distinct fingers and toes along with fingernails and toenails are formed. Nose and ears can be seen on the scan. The neck is being formed, 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 Third Month

A to-do list for the third month will help you focus on your health and remain fit until the delivery.

1. Healthy Eating

You will have cravings. Your 3rd month of pregnancy diet must aim to maintain a wholesome, healthy and balanced combination of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meat, nuts, grains, rice etc. Your diet should have the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients for your good health and a good growth for the baby.

2. 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 are very prone to infection at this stage so make sure you follow proper hygiene and cleanliness standards for everything from cooking, cleaning to gardening. Keep your vaginal area clean and dry.

5. Dental Health

Schedule an appointment with the dentist as you may be prone to bleeding gums due to changes in hormones.

6. Birthing Knowledge

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 partners and close friend or relatives about any issues or apprehensions. It is important to take your loved ones into confidence to get some reassurance and avoid falling into depressions.

8. Quit Smoking and Alcohol

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

9. Limit Intake of Caffeine

Cut down your intake of hot beverages like coffee and tea as it increases the risk of miscarriages and results in low birth weight.

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

Try to keep yourself engaged in activities that will keep your mind engaged. Knit, paint or sketch to de-stress yourself.

TAKE UP EXERCISE/YOGA

Exercises You Can Do during Third Month of Pregnancy

A few exercises to stay fit during the third month

  • Morning Walk: It helps to beat fatigue and morning sickness. It refreshes you and increases blood flow to the body
  • Swimming: Tones your muscles, stretches your ligaments and increases blood circulation
  • Pilates: Build strength and increase flexibility
  • Low-impact aerobics: Strengthen heart, tone muscles and relieve body pain
  • Yoga: Performed under professional guidance, it could do wonders for your baby and you

Don’ts during 3rd Month

Here is a list of 3rd month pregnancy 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 indigestion trouble.
  • Wear loose-fitting clothes and a comfortable bra
  • Wear comfortable footwear which are flat.
  • Quit drugs to protect your baby’s growth

5 Tips for Dad-to-Be

Dads-to-be have some responsibility during pregnancy and here are some useful tips to play the perfect husband

  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.

What to Expect during Your Visit to Ob/Gyn 

Your doctor will check the following

  • Your health history and that of your parents
  • Check if you have had any previous medical conditions
  • Check your weight and blood pressure
  • Check the size of your abdomen to approximate the size and fundal height of the uterus
  • Check the baby’s heartbeat

Lab Tests

Some of the tests performed in the 3rd month of pregnancy are,

  1. Urine Test

To determine sugar and protein level and to check for any infection.

2. Blood Test

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

3. Fluid Retention Test 

If you have swelling in the arms and legs.

4. First-trimester Screening Tests 

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

5. Maternal Serum (blood) Test

There are two tests used to determine pregnancy-associated plasma protein screening (PAPP-A) and human chorionic gonadotrophin(hCG).

6. Chorionic Villus Sampling (CVS)

This is carried out during the 11th week of pregnancy to check for Down ’s syndrome and other chromosomal abnormalities.

Ultrasound Scan

Nuchal translucency (NT) is a 3 month pregnancy scan done to examine the amniotic fluid parameters, position of the placenta in the uterus and assess any risk of abnormality in the foetus.

ULTRASOUND SCAN

FAQ’s

1. Is Detecting Neural Tube Defect possible during 3rd Month of Pregnancy?

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

2. How Much Weight Should I Gain in Three Months of Pregnancy?

Since the baby is still small, you will gain about 1kg- 2kg by the end of the first trimester. Some women tend to lose weight due to food aversions and morning sickness.

3. Can Ultrasound Detect Gender By Third Month?

The reproductive system of the baby is still developing, so it is difficult to determine the sex of the baby. Results are about 75% accurate when done between 11-14 weeks of the gestation period.

The third month is a crucial period during pregnancy. You no longer experience nausea and vomiting and you will have more medical visits. But it is an exciting phase and you simply cannot miss the small bulge, shiny eyes and glowing skin. Get ready to make the announcement officially.

Also Read: Third Month Pregnancy Diet