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The third trimester of pregnancy is very taxing on your body. Toward the end of your pregnancy, your pelvic joints feel loose, your back aches and your movements are cumbersome. Even getting out of a chair takes a little time. It is one of nature's great designs that by the end of nine months, most women are tired of being pregnant and looking forward to delivery.
During the third trimester of your pregnancy, your body might react to your rapid weight gain with stretch marks and varicose veins. Some women also experience swelling in their feet and ankles. In preparation for labor, Braxton-Hicks contractions, which are normal and harmless, occur when your uterus practices contracting. Increased vaginal discharge, readying of your cervix, and the "bloody show" occur as early signs of labor. Your body will also prepare for the arrival of your baby when your breasts grow in size and possibly leak colostrum, a pre-milk liquid.
In the third trimester, your baby is growing a tremendous amount. Your belly and for some of us, other body parts, too will be getting very big.
Your growing belly may elicit comments from well-meaning others who have opinions about your size relative to other pregnant women.
Many people like to touch big pregnant bellies, and sometimes they do so without asking permission. Most of the time, people's intentions are loving and they are reaching out toward your belly because seeing it has brought them joy. However, it is your body and you have the right to decide who can touch it. Women have very different feelings about this.
Your baby's movements become stronger as well. You may feel full-body movements as opposed to the flutters of the second trimester. You may also be able to distinguish body parts. Your partner or others will be able to feel the baby move if they can catch the right moment.
The increased size and weight of the baby can bring about other changes as well. You may feel the baby's head on your pubic bone or bladder (leading to increased frequency of urination). As your ligaments loosen in preparation for birth, you may also experience backaches and pain with walking.
This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.