Prenatal Visits: Monitoring Baby's Well-Being During Third Trimester

by Shannon Bartlett

Your next third trimester checkups will be around 30 and 32 weeks

prenatal visits third trimesterIf you've just started your third trimester, there's 10 weeks to go! You'll be holding your new bundle in your arms soon! While you're hugging your precious bump in anticipation, what can you expect at your early third trimester prenatal appointment?

According to recent research, unless you have a medical emergency, your baby's best off waiting until the week 39 to make an appearance.

From this point forward you might feel like you're the equivalent of the next NASA space launch as you have entered the "final countdown" phase. 10... 9... 8... BLAST OFF!

The good news is that your body uses these last weeks gearing up and preparing for the incredibly important tasks of labor and delivery.

Action Item List

actions for your prenatal visitHow's your baby doing? You might have been on the receiving end of boots and kicks any soccer player or martial arts student would be proud of. As the room in your womb becomes cramped, your baby's motions may seem less frequent.

At your appointment, you might talk about keeping track of your baby's movement, when to call in with concerns and ways your midwife or doctor can check up on your baby's well-being. Our mobile app has a handy fetal kick counter you can use to make it easy!

Your Tasks

• Bring your list of concerns. Are you wondering about the upcoming birth, swollen ankles or long working hours? Discuss these issues during your visit.

• Schedule your next prenatal visits; one for two weeks from now. Soon you'll start coming in every week. Your clinic might prefer you schedule those now.

• Bring along our mobile app or your kick count sheet if your midwife or doctor asked you to keep track.

Appointment-Specific Checklist

• Fetal movement check: Keep track of your baby's movements between appointments so you can accurately tell your doctor about your baby’s movement and activity level.

• Monitoring your baby's well-being: If you have gestational diabetes, have noticed less movement or if your provider has concerns, you and your baby might have a non-stress test, a bio physical profile, a contraction stress test or an ultrasound.

Routine Visit Checklist

• Blood pressure check and urine test: Your healthcare provider pays special attention to these tests the last trimester. They can signal preeclampsia.
• Current weight: Your provider will want you to gain about a pound a week for the rest of the pregnancy, unless you started your pregnancy underweight or overweight.
• Uterus size: Your fundal height in centimeters, corresponds closely to your week of gestation.
• Baby's position: Head down is the best position for birth, but many babies don't flip until 34 to 37 weeks.
• Fetal heart rate: Here's another chance to listen to that thump-thump-thump.
• Talk time: You'll have a chance to talk about various pregnancy symptoms and bring up your concerns.

Questions to Ask

Common questions at a third trimester visitThis stretch of your pregnancy can be the most challenging. You're lugging around extra weight and dealing with a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

Prenatal appointments give you a chance to ask questions about your newly, discovered discomforts, your concerns and the upcoming birth.

Other third trimester moms asked questions like these:

• What do I really need for a new baby?
• When should my baby flip out of a breech position?
• When should I quit working?
• What can be done if I go into preterm labor? What are the risks to me or my baby?
• What should go in my birth bag?
• How can I stay comfortable in the heat (or cold)?
• Can I opt out of vaginal exams?
• Is there anything I should be doing now to prepare for the birth, or can most preparations wait a few weeks?
• What's your opinion on chiropractic care during pregnancy?

Articles to Read
Non-stress Test: Monitoring Your Baby's Well-Being
His Third Trimester Concerns
10 Tips to Prepare Your Child for New Sibling

Tools to Use
• Find out what's happening each day in your pregnancy!
• Your baby may groove to the rhythm of music. Studies with heart rates show that babies also prefers some types of music to others -- already! See what else is happening on the fetal development front.
Pregnancy Videos
Podcasts

Get Peer-to-Peer Support
Find your parent and birth groups
Pregnancy.org on Facebook
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Join Pregnancy.org on Pinterest

Print out this article, add your own questions and notes and bring it to your appointment to share with your healthcare provider.