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Third Trimester

Weeks 28-30

Week 28

Your baby is approximately 14.5 inches long and weighs 2-2.5 pounds. Her bone marrow has taken over red blood cell production. Her eyes are opening and closing, and she is turning her head and practicing "looking" movements. She is very active, and movements can be felt inside and outside your abdomen throughout the day and night. The amount of movement varies but typically increases when you are sitting still or after a meal. The convolutions, wrinkles or "gyri" on the surface of the brain appear as it continues rapid growth and contains more brain cells.

To do:
  • Schedule your 30-week prenatal visit
  • Educate yourself on C-sections
Week 29

His growth in height or length will be slower from this point on, but he will continue to gain weight. His skin still looks red and wrinkled, but as he adds more fat, his skin will become more flesh colored and smooth. Lanugo, the fine hair covering his body since the fifth month of pregnancy, is beginning to disappear. If the baby is a boy, some time between now and birth, the testes will have completely descended.

Week 30

Your baby is approximately 15-16 inches long and weighs three to four pounds. She is able to use all five of her senses, hearing sounds and seeing bright lights in your environment, and tasting, touching and even smelling the amniotic fluid surrounding her. Her toenails have grown and are completely formed.

To do:

Weeks 31-33

Week 31

His skin color changes from dark red to pinkish as the fat underneath his skin increases. His fingernails have reached the end of his fingertips. He may have scratches or marks on his face at birth from his fingernails. The hair on his head and his eyelashes and his eyebrows grows longer.

Week 32

Your baby is approximately 16-18 inches long and weighs four to five pounds. She is beginning to develop her own immunity to mild infections. If she were born now, she could survive outside the womb and resist some disease. Her appearance is similar to that at birth, but she will fill out more in the next few weeks. She may be positioning for birth with her head turned down toward the pelvis.

To do:
Week 33

He is beginning to run out of space to move in the uterus and is tucked into the fetal position. His movements in the womb may be less frequent as a result of cramped space, but he is growing and delivering stronger punches and kicks. He will have periods of deep sleep and periods of being actively awake, much like a newborn baby.

Weeks 34-36

Week 34

Your baby is approximately 16-18 inches long and weighs 4-5 pounds. Her arms and legs are continuing to fill out from fat accumulation. She's dimpling at her elbows and knees and forming creases around her wrists and neck. The percentage of fat on her body is eight percent, compared with only one percent of her body weight at 20 weeks. At birth, her body fat will be about 15 percent, helping her to keep warm.

To do:
  • Pack your hospital bag
  • Consider taking an Infant Massage class
  • Schedule your 36-week prenatal visit
  • Get to know the signs of your upcoming labor
Week 35

As your abdomen stretches thinner, light is visible inside the womb, helping your baby to develop sleep cycles, reactions and responses to her surrounding environment. As he grows and the space gets tighter inside the uterus, his foot, elbow, or other little body part may protrude from your belly.

Week 36

Your baby is approximately 18 inches long and weighs five to six pounds. Your baby will be descending even lower into your pelvis; this is called "lightening" or "engagement." As your baby rests her head in the pelvic cavity, your lungs and stomach are less pressured, possibly making breathing easier. Usually, by this point in the pregnancy, a boy's testes have completely descended.

To do:
  • Schedule your 37-week prenatal visit
  • Learn the signs of postpartum depression

Weeks 37-38

Week 37

Any day now! By the end of this week, your baby is "full-term" and can be born two weeks before or after the expected due date. Meconium, a dark greenish substance, gathers in her digestive tract and will be passed shortly after birth as her first bowel movement. Your baby's skull is not solid and has a "soft spot" on the top and open fissures between the different parts of the skull that allow her head to mold and fit through your pelvis at birth. As a result, her head may be a pointed shape at birth, but will become more rounded a few days afterwards.

To do:
  • Schedule your 38-week prenatal visit
  • If you plan to breastfeed or want to learn more about breastfeeding to help make a decision, attend our Breastfeeding Class. This class provides information on the benefits of breastfeeding and techniques including pumping and storing breast milk. Spouses/partners are encouraged to attend
Week 38

An average baby at birth is approximately 20-22 inches long and 7.5 pounds. As her lungs are among the last organs to mature, after birth it may take her a few hours to establish normal breathing patterns. Her true eye color will not reveal itself until she is 6-12 months old. At birth, dark-skinned babies may have dark gray or brown eyes, which will become darker, and Caucasian babies usually have dark blue eyes or slate gray eyes, which will change to brown, hazel, green or blue.

To do:

Weeks 39-40

Weeks 39 - 40

At birth, the placenta weighs about one-in-a-half pounds, and the umbilical cord is at least two feet long, often longer. A healthy weight for a newborn can range anywhere from five pounds, 11.5 ounces to eight pounds, 5.75 ounces. A pregnancy is considered post-term after 42 weeks and often requires medical intervention. It is common, however, that if a baby is "late" the expected due date was miscalculated.

To do:
  • If you haven’t delivered, talk to your doctor about induction options

To Dos for Your Third Trimester

Find a Doctor for Your Baby

Once your baby arrives, it's important they receive ongoing care from a family medicine doctor. Choose your baby's doctor from our provider directory. Sort by 'Family Medicine'.

Consider taking an Infant Massage Class

Infant massage offers many benefits for your baby including improved digestion, increased weight gain, better sleep, improved immune system functioning and it's a great way to bond with your baby. This class is offered every three months. For class times, check our Childbirth Education calendar.

Purchase and Install a Child Safety Seat for your Baby Before you Deliver

Your baby will need a rear-facing safety seat that meets his height and weight range. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends your baby stay rear-facing for two years or until he outgrows the safety seat's height or weight limits. Nearly 85 percent of people install a safety seat incorrectly, so it is important to read the directions and schedule an appointment to check installation.

For more information on child passenger safety, including upcoming safety seat check events in our area, visit www.safekidsnebraska.org.

Purchase a Birthing Ball

If you plan to use a birthing ball during labor, please bring this with you.

Pack your Suitcase

Make sure you have all of your essentials when preparing for your stay. Here's a list on what to bring with you.

Plan for Emergencies

If you need emergency care at this point in your pregnancy, please come directly to the Family Birthplace, Labor & Delivery floor, at Bryan East Campus. Use the Bryan Medical Plaza entrance and follow signs to Women's & Children's Health.

Signs of labor - you may have the following signs or symptoms:

Bloody Show

You may have a thick mucus plug come from your vagina. This is also called “show” or “mucus plug”. This mucus plug formed in your cervix during pregnancy to prevent bacteria (germs) from entering your uterus. As your cervix gets softer and starts to open, this mucus plug may come out. The mucus plug looks like a clear, pink or slightly bloody mucus coming from your vagina. You may have bloody show minutes, hours or up to three days before labor begins. If you experience heavy bleeding, go directly to the labor & delivery floor.

False Labor Pains or Contractions

False labor pains and contractions (also known as Braxton Hicks labor pains) come and go, and do not get close together. These are not true contractions. Braxton Hicks contractions go away when you walk, rest, sleep or drink at least 32 ounces (four eight ounce cups) of water. Braxton Hicks labor pains usually do not mean that labor is near. These false labor pains are usually felt in your belly, but not in your back. Unlike real labor, false labor pains do not cause your cervix to start opening.

In real labor, the contractions come at regular times. This means that there is an even amount of time between contractions. For example, you may have a contraction every 10 minutes, even if you are walking or resting. As time passes, the contractions get closer and closer together. Real labor contractions do not go away when you walk, lie down, or drink water. If you are less than 37 weeks pregnant and experience more than four contractions per hour, call you healthcare provider.

Water Breaks

Your Water Breaks

The amniotic sac or bag of waters is the water-like sac around your baby to protect him during pregnancy. You may feel a slow trickle of fluid from your vagina. Warm fluid may also flow out suddenly when the amniotic sac leaks or breaks. This may happen several hours before labor starts, or any time during labor.

If your “waters break”, you need to go to labor & delivery.

Call us and let us know you are on your way!

Maternity Locations

bryan medical plaza

Bryan Medical Center
Use the Bryan Medical Plaza
entrance door for your
quickest 24/7 access to the
Bryan Family Birthplace.

1500 S. 48th Street
Lincoln, NE 68506
Use Entrance B

Phone: 402-481-7444



crete area medical center

Crete Area Medical Center
2910 Betten Drive
Crete, NE 68333



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