Everything you need to know about the third trimester (weeks 29 to 40)

The end of your pregnancy is in sight. It won’t be long until your baby arrives. Feelings at this stage of pregnancy tend to vary from tiredness and worry to excitement about the baby.

The third trimester of your pregnancy is from week 29 to week 40 - months seven, eight and nine.

Feelings at this stage of pregnancy tend to go from tiredness and worry to excitement about the baby.

Your baby continues to grow, and as the third trimester progresses they'll have a better chance if they're born early. You’ll have more checks with the midwife in the third trimester, because it’s important to keep an eye on your and your baby’s health.

The position your baby is in becomes more important now and you may start to think about what happens during labour.

If you can, use these last few weeks to get ready for the baby and enjoy some time for yourself, especially after you start maternity leave. If you have children already, you may find it hard to keep up with them sometimes. Take any offers of help you can get.

One important thing to remember in the third trimester is that you should now go to sleep on your side at night (and during any day time naps). You can read more here about why going to sleep on your side in the third trimester is safer for your baby.

Things to think about in the third trimester of pregnancy

You can still be active during the last three months, but you’ll probably find your body slowing down naturally. Walking is an ideal exercise.

You may also find that pregnancy yoga, pilates or aquanatal classes are good ways to stay active in the third trimester. Staying active doesn’t have to be planned, though. We’ve got some good tips for staying active without going to the gym here.

If you haven’t written your birth plan yet, you may wish to do it now. As part of your birth plan, it’s good to think about the different kinds of pain relief that are available and what you may like to consider when you’re in labour.

Bear in mind, though, that your wishes may change and you might also need some extra help during labour and birth, so keep an open mind.

Saigal S, Doyle LW (2008) ‘An overview of mortality and sequelae of preterm birth from infancy to adulthood’, Lancet 371(9608): 261–9: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18207020

NICE (2008) Antenatal care for uncomplicated pregnancies, NICE Clinical Guidelines 62. National Institute for Health and Care Excellence http://publications.nice.org.uk/antenatal-care-cg62

NHS Choices. Your birth plan http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/birth-plan.aspx (Page last reviewed: 07/03/2018 
Next review due: 07/03/2021)

Review dates
Reviewed: 28 June 2018
Next review: 28 June 2021

This content is currently being reviewed by our team. Updated information will be coming soon.