Pregnancy Home > Third Trimester

Changes in Your Baby

During this trimester, your baby is still growing and moving, but now it has less room in your uterus. Because of this, you might not feel the kicks and movements as much as you did in the second trimester. During this final stage of your pregnancy, your baby is continuing to grow. Even before your baby is born, it will be able to open and close its eyes, and might even suck its thumb.
As your body starts to prepare for the birth during the third trimester, your baby will start to move into its birth position. You might notice the baby "dropping," or moving down lower in your abdomen. This can reduce the pressure on your lungs and rib cage, making it easier to breathe or so you don't get out of breath so fast.
As you near your due date, your cervix becomes thinner and softer (called effacing). This is a normal, natural process that helps the birth canal (vagina) to open during the birthing process.
Your healthcare provider can check your progress with a vaginal exam. Your visits to your doctor may increase the month before you give birth. The average baby is about 20 to 22 inches long and weighs approximately 7½ pounds at birth, but anywhere between 5 pounds, 11½ ounces and 8 pounds, 5¾ ounces is a healthy range for newborns.
Written by/reviewed by:
Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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