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You are now entering the third and final trimester of your pregnancy, which is expected to last until week 40- the time when you are most likely to give birth. Isn’t that an amazing feeling? The third trimester typically lasts from the 7th month to the 9th month of pregnancy, although there are high chances that labour pains may start a couple of weeks before the due date.
At this crucial juncture, it is advisable that you visit your doctor at least once every 2 weeks.
Your Baby’s Growth During Pregnancy – Week 28
By week 28, your baby can blink her eyes and has a developing eyesight. She is able to see the faint light entering your womb. Her little brain is also developing billions of neurons, and is able to perform skills such as blinking, dreaming, and controlling the body temperature.
The biggest transformation in the third trimester is the development of your baby’s bones from cartilage, which happens in the 7th and 8th month. Make sure that you eat a lot of calcium-rich foods, as your baby requires all the calcium for bone development.
Your baby will also develop all her 5 senses during the third trimester. This would include the development of her touch receptors (around week 29 or 30), along with other sensory signals like light perception, tasting what you eat, and listening to your voice, all of which happens by week 31.
What is the Baby’s Size?
When you are 28 weeks pregnant, the baby’s size would be around the size of a large eggplant and she will weigh around 2.25 pounds (approximately 1.02 kgs). The baby is now around 16 inches long.
The third trimester is also the fastest period of growth for babies as they grow from 16 inches to around 19-22 inches by the 40th week of pregnancy. Along with the height, the weight of your baby would also increase. From around 1 kilogram at the beginning of the 28th week to between 2 to 4 kilograms by the 40th week, your tiny human grows bigger by the day!
Common Body Changes
With all the baby development happening inside your belly, you are going to experience more body changes during pregnancy in this final trimester.
Common body changes that occur during this pregnancy period can include:
- Appearance of stretch marks on your baby belly: These are tiny tear marks that appear on your belly skin, and are caused by the skin being stretched during the final phase of your pregnancy. This could also be genetic in nature, so if your mother had them during her pregnancy, you are also likely to develop stretch marks.
- Lack of sleep at night: This is a common occurrence in this trimester, and is caused by factors like your baby’s kicking, the large belly, frequent trips to the bathroom and several more.
- Swelling of your feet: Also known as Oedema, this is caused by water retention as well as the increase in weight.
Other common body changes during the third trimester could include leaking breasts and bulging of veins in your lower body.
Symptoms of Pregnancy at Week 28
Other than the body changes, you may experience a few mild or serious symptoms during the third trimester:
- Pain in the abdomen: You may experience cramping or sharp pain in your lower abdomen as it stretches to accommodate your growing baby bump.
- Fatigue: In the third trimester, your pregnancy demands a lot from your body, resulting in regular fatigue. You must eat well and be active to avoid excessive fatigue.
- Backache: The growing belly will put a lot of pressure on your backbone, thus causing the backache. It is important to keep both your feet up to reduce the back pressure.
- Restless leg syndrome: Some pregnant women may experience a creepy sensation in their lower limbs, resulting in an urge to keep moving your legs, even when sleeping or relaxing. Stretching or massaging your legs can help in relieving the restless leg syndrome, or you can consult your doctor for any iron supplements.
- Preeclampsia: This occurs in women with high blood pressure after 20 weeks of pregnancy. Common symptoms of preeclampsia include major swelling of your face or puffiness around your eyes, rapid weight gain, persistent headaches, nausea or vomiting. Severe preeclampsia can lead to life-threatening problems, hence it is best to consult your doctor if have any of these symptoms.
- Leaky Breasts: By now your body is preparing food for your baby however you may have to deal with some milk leaking out of your breasts.
- Shortness of breath: As your baby continues to grow and your belly expands, it puts immense pressure on your lungs because of which you may feel you need to catch your breath from time to time.
Other common symptoms that you may experience include dizziness, bloating or gas problems, stuffy nose, and bleeding gums.
Belly at 28 Weeks Of Pregnancy
At 28 weeks, your baby should get in the right position (head downwards) inside your belly in preparation for labour. The fundal height of your belly, which is the distance from the pubic bone to the top of your uterus should measure around 26 to 30 centimetres. If you are expecting twins, the measurement of your fundal height may not possible.
You must now start keeping tabs on whether your baby is moving consistently through the day. Check how long your baby takes to reach 10 foetal movements in a day. Ideally, it should be less than 2 hours.
28 Weeks Ultrasound
After 28 weeks of pregnancy, your baby is developing more fat, so her skin is starting to get smoother. Your baby’s lungs are mature enough to start the process of breathing.
Unless there are any pregnancy-related complications, 28-week ultrasound would not be recommended by any doctor. You would probably start seeing your doctor more often, every 2 weeks or twice a month.
What to Eat?
As your baby experiences the fastest growth during this trimester, your 28th week pregnancy food will help supplement her growth. However, due to the size of your baby belly and regular nausea, you may not feel like eating a lot. So, instead of quantity, opt for quality foods that are rich in essential nutrients. Instead of large meals, opt for 6 or more mini meals or snacks through the day.
Doctors also recommend eating fish during the third trimester, as fish provides a lot of health benefits for your baby. Avoid fish like king mackerel and swordfish, as they contain high quantities of mercury.
Tips & Care
As you approach towards finally delivering your baby, here are tips of essential do’s and don’t.
Listed below are some pointers that should be done during the third trimester of your pregnancy.
- Ensure that you schedule and go for your 28-week prenatal appointment.
- Keep a regular count of the foetal kicks.
- Ensure that you get lots of sleep.
- Maintain your daily exercise schedule.
Listed below are some pointers about what should be at every point in your pregnancy.
- Avoid smoking as it can lead to lower baby weight and respiratory problems.
- Don’t consume alcohol, as it can greatly impact your baby’s overall development.
- Do not eat raw or undercooked meat or eggs.
- Avoid deli meat such as hot dogs and sausages.
- Avoid sitting in a sauna or a hot tub.
What You Need to Shop for
The rapid growth of your baby-belly can create a lot of discomfort in the abdominal area and this puts pressure on your backbone. You can shop for a maternity belt if you are experiencing severe pain in the hip and pelvic area. A belly wrap would also be a good buy to reduce your back strain.
Knee-high maternity compression socks are also a good buy, to provide you relief from your leg muscle ache and varicose veins.
In the third trimester, you may be excused for feeling just a little tired of the discomforts that have been plaguing you for some time now. The good news is that delivery is almost around the corner, and soon the struggle of the last few months will be rewarded with the miracle of birth.
Read this article in Arabic: الأسبوع 28 من الحمل