Third Trimester Symptoms
During months 7 through 9, prepare to have lots of symptoms as you enter the homestretch. Here's what to expect in the third trimester. Plus, pick your baby name while you wait
By month eight or nine, you'll probably feel Braxton-Hicks "practice" contractions. They prep your body for labor and can startle you into thinking birth is imminent. How to distinguish them from labor? False contractions tend to be felt in the front of the abdomen; real ones start in the back and come around to the front, sometimes moving from top to bottom. Real contractions may also intensify if you shift your position, so try moving around to determine if it's time to go the hospital. Still not sure if it's the real thing? Call your doctor.
Many moms-to-be report bizarre nighttime dreams, from giving birth to frogs or puppies to losing their baby in childbirth. You remember dreams better during your third trimester because you're waking up frequently at night (to use the bathroom or because the baby's kicking). The most common dreams moms report revolve around:
- Fear of losing the baby
- Labor pain
- Not being a good mother
- Loss of control
While some night visions may seem particularly disturbing, they're normal. Dreams may be an outlet for your feelings of anxiety. Try not to become too stressed by these strange new emotions -- discuss them with your spouse or a close friend. They're simply another way your mind works through the immense changes that are about to happen.
As your baby's arrival nears, your body is going through some of the most intense changes of your whole pregnancy. This is also an emotional time, as you prepare for an addition to your family. Try not to do too much, and focus on taking care of yourself by getting plenty of rest and talking about any worries you have with your partner, friends, or doctor.