The Mother’s Physical Symptoms
The uterus continues to grow and will be approximately at the level of the lowest ribs by the end of this trimester.
This is the stage at which most pregnant women feel at their best physically and they usually look healthy although they will tire more easily and need more sleep.
Your hair and skin are in good condition due to high estrogen levels and any blemishes usually disappear. However, dark patches of chloasma may develop due to extra melanin stimulation by the pituitary gland.
Towards the end of this trimester, the hormone relaxin, which is only produced during pregnancy, affects connective tissue causing tendons and ligaments to soften and stretch. This prepares the pelvis for childbirth but can also result in lower back pain.
Posture will begin to alter to maintain balance as the body changes shape and lordosis, an exaggerated lumbar spinal curve, becomes visible. Legs will begin to feel the strain of extra weight and for some women, especially those with a family tendency, varicose veins may begin to develop.
Stretch marks can begin to form during this stage and for prevention it is recommended that daily massage with suitable Aromatherapy Associates products should be carried out, covering the area from breasts to thighs.
The Mother’s Emotions
Hormone levels are high and most women feel happy and balanced at this time. There are usually fewer physical discomforts at this stage than during the earlier and later months and so a woman can socialize and exercise.
Some women experience mental changes such as poorer memory and forgetfulness. Many women will begin to make plans for the baby by the end of this stage, although some may be reluctant to ‘tempt fate’ by buying baby items.
The Developing Baby
The baby now looks clearly human and its sex can be determined. It begins to ‘quicken’ or move at about the fifth month. It will grow from about 15cm long and 10g in weight to about 35cm and 600g.
If the baby were born now, it would have a fair chance of survival but would need intensive care, especially help with breathing as the lungs are not fully mature.