What will I look like during the 3rd trimester of my pregnancy?

Dr. Deborah Raines, MSN
Nursing Specialist

At 28 weeks, the woman has usually gained approximately 12 pounds. The uterus has grown into the abdomen and the woman looks pregnant. The growing uterus has shifted the woman's center of gravity and the hormones have relaxed the pelvic ligament resulting in the "Waddling Gait" of pregnancy.


At 36 weeks the woman looks very pregnant. The uterus is large causing a shift in the body's center of gravity and a lordosis or curve of the lower back. The woman may have difficulty changing positions, getting up from chairs and picking up items from the floor all related to the enlarged uterus.

During the last trimester, most women gain between one to two pounds per week. Here are some other changes you might expect in your third trimester of pregnancy:

  • Your belly will grow larger in preparation for your baby’s birth. (The baby will double or triple in weight during this time.)
  • Blue varicose veins may develop—but most go away after birth!
  • Your back may curve differently to hold the added weight.
  • Your breasts will grow as you prepare to produce milk for your baby. (They may also leak colostrum in preparation.)
  • Your belly button will likely pop out and your nails will turn brittle. (Both will return to normal after giving birth.)
  • Body hair.
  • Stretch marks.
  • General swelling, especially in the feet and ankles.

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Important: 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.