Pregnancy Home > Third Trimester
If you haven't thought about whether you will breastfeed or bottle feed your baby, the third trimester is the time to learn more about both and make a decision about what you plan to do. Breastfeeding has many more advantages over formula for your health and your baby's health. Discuss breastfeeding with your doctor or with a pediatrician, and then make a decision that is right for you.
Before your due date, make sure to talk with your doctor about how to reach him or her if you go into labor. It's also helpful to be familiar with the hospital or birthing center, where you should park, and where to check in ahead of time.
Know that sometimes you can think you're in labor, but really are not (called false labor). This happens to many women, so don't feel embarrassed if you go to the hospital, certain that you are in labor, only to be sent home. It's always better to be seen by a doctor as soon as possible once labor has begun. Here are the signs of true labor:
- Contractions at regular and increasingly shorter intervals that also become stronger in intensity.
- Lower back pain that doesn't go away. You might also feel premenstrual and crampy.
- Your water breaks (can be a large gush or a continuous trickle), and you have contractions.
- A bloody (brownish or blood-tinged) mucous discharge. This is the mucous plug that blocks the cervix. Labor could be at any time or days away.
- Your cervix is dilating (opening up) and becoming thinner and softer (also called effacement). During a pelvic exam, your doctor will be able to tell if these things are happening.