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Third Trimester Baby Development

Updated on April 18, 2017

Human Pregnancy Period

Human pregnancy lasts around 40 weeks. It is divided into three trimesters. The third trimester starts from the 28th week and ends when the baby is delivered. The mother spends this trimester eagerly awaiting the arrival of her loved one. The baby undergoes significant development during this period.

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Third Trimester of Pregnancy

The fetus is fully developed by the 28th week of pregnancy. The baby grows during the third trimester. It weighs around one and a half pounds and its crown-to-rump length is around nine inches at the beginning of the third trimester. When the baby is born, it usually weighs around seven and a half pounds and its crown-to-rump length is around 21 inches.

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During the third trimester the baby's lungs mature. The breathing movements are generally observed during this period. The surfactant, a substance which lines the lungs, develops during the third trimester. This substance facilitates easy expansion of the lungs. The baby breaths oxygen-rich amniotic fluid into its developing lungs. It sleeps for most of the time during the third trimester.

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The hair and the fingernails grow. The teeth develop under the gums during this crucial period of pregnancy. The baby opens and closes its eyes during the third trimester. The eyelashes are formed. The baby develops the ability to grasp using its hands during this period. The fat is deposited under the skin during the third trimester. This removes the wrinkles.

The baby puts on weight and prepares for delivery. In fact the baby gains weight rapidly during the third trimester. The bones develop during this period. The baby's sexual development continues. If the baby is a male, the testicles move into the scrotum. If the baby is a female, the clitoris becomes prominent and the labia majora develops during this period. The baby's body begins to absorb vital minerals like calcium and iron. The taste buds develop during this period.

Human Pregnancy Video

The layer of soft hair (also known as lanugo) drops off during the third trimester. The mother generally experiences kicks and punches from her loved one during this period. The baby may also stretch, roll and wiggle inside the mother's womb. The mother needs to watch the activity of the baby during this period. It is advisable to consult a certified gynecologist if there is no activity during this period.

The baby develops sensitivity to light. Its pupils constrict and dilate during the third trimester. The vernix caseosa becomes thicker. Various organs of the baby's body start functioning on their own. The baby generally adopts the "head down" position during the third trimester. The chest becomes prominent. The different regions of the brain and the nervous system develop throughout the third trimester.

The pregnant woman is usually impatient during the third trimester. There may also be third trimester fatigue or third trimester cramping. She needs love and care during this crucial period of pregnancy.

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Trimesters of Pregnancy

Trimester
Period
 
First
Week 1 - Week 12
 
Second
Week 13 - Week 28
 
Third
Week 29 - Week 40
 

Think of stretch marks as pregnancy service stripes.

— Joyce Armor

Summary

  • Pregnancy is divided into three trimesters.
  • The fetus is fully developed by the 28th week of pregnancy.
  • Breathing movements are generally observed during the third trimester.
  • Baby transforms cartilage to bone during the third trimester.
  • Pregnant woman is usually impatient during the third trimester.

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