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Your Pregnancy: The Third Month

what happens in the third month of pregnancyTHE THIRD MONTH (Weeks 9-12)

In the third month of pregnancy, your baby (now called a fetus), will grow a lot! As a result, you are likely to feel more tired than ever. Let’s look at the amazing changes to your baby and your body in the last month of the first trimester.

What Happens with Your Baby in the Third Month of Pregnancy

By the end of the third month of pregnancy, your baby is about and 3.5 inches long—about the size of a plum.

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Although your baby is still very small, all his or her body parts and systems are in place. And actually, he or she is now officially a he or she—as the sex organs are developing, though they can’t be seen on an ultrasound quite yet.

Your baby has grown fingers and toes, as well as fingernails and toenails! Bones, cartilage and teeth under the gums are forming and so are your baby’s muscles.

Your baby can now move his or her arms and legs (though you won’t feel it for a couple more months).

Your baby’s face has also formed and he or she may start sucking on a thumb or fist. Baby is making digestive juices and excreting urine.

What Happens with Your Body in the Third Month of Pregnancy

Don’t be surprised if you often feel tired during your third month. Growing a baby is hard work! Plus, your blood sugar and blood pressure have both dropped as a result of being pregnant.

You might notice now a slight rounding in your abdomen—not surprising since your uterus is now the size of a grapefruit.

Having digestive troubles yet? The hormone progesterone slows down digestion so that more nutrients can be absorbed by your body for your baby. Unfortunately, this slowed digestion can leave you feeling bloated and gassy. Headaches and dizziness are also likely during this time.

Weight gain during pregnancy is normal and you may have gained a few pounds. No need to hit the maternity stores yet, but clothes might be getting tighter. Now is a great time to get a maternity belly band so you can keep wearing your regular pants and skirts for a little while longer until you get a full-on belly.

What You Need to Know in the Third Month of Pregnancy

It can be really hard to eat a well-rounded, diverse, and healthy diet during the third month of pregnancy if you’re suffering from morning sickness. Do your best to get a variety of fruits, vegetables, proteins, probiotics (yogurt, cottage cheese, miso, tempeh), and whole grains into your day. To support your pregnancy, also do your best to take a prenatal vitamin. Your baby is growing at a rapid rate now and needs all the nutrients you can give her.

Speaking of nutrients, if you’re not taking a prenatal calcium supplement, now is a great time to start. Calcium helps your baby to develop strong bones and teeth—and those are forming now.

Remember to stay hydrated. Carrying a water bottle around can really help.

Even though it might seem early, the third month of pregnancy is a good time to start looking into birth classes. The kind of class you take will depend of the kind of birth you are planning. For those planning a hospital birth, the hospital is probably the best place to check for classes. If you’re planning a natural birth, check with midwives, birth centers, or with professionals who are trained in the kind of birth you would like to have.

The third month may be your most tiring month of pregnancy, so be sure to get a lot of rest. Even a catnap in the middle of the day can help. Taking time for a cup of tea can also help. Tea for Two is a delicious herbal blend made especially for pregnant moms!

Read More About the Different Months in Pregnancy:

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