Your baby’s head is now in proportion with the rest of his body. Fat is still accumulating under her skin and the brain can now control primitive breathing. The eyes can now move inside the sockets and can even respond to light and dark.
Your baby continues to be active, and those first few flutters of movement have given way to hard jabs and punches that may take your breath away. If you notice a decrease in movement, do a fetal kick count: your baby should move at least 10 times in an hour. If your baby moves less, talk to your health care provider.
The baby’s adrenal glands have begun to produce hormones such as androgen and estrogen. These hormones stimulate the hormone prolactin in the mother’s body, causing her to make colostrum, the miraculously nutritious milk that will feed the baby in the first few days.
It is during the third trimester when itchy skin, shortness of breath, hemorrhoids, leg cramps, heartburn and indigestion and achy muscles takes a toll. These are just temporary difficulties, and soon you will be so wrapped up in the pending birth of your baby that you won’t even notice these discomforts.
Because iron deficiency is common during pregnancy, your health care provider may recommend that you receive a blood test to check your iron level. If your iron levels are found to be low, you may be prescribed an iron supplement.
Revision date: July 5, 2011
Last revised: by Janet A. Staessen, MD, PhD