What to Expect at your Third Trimester Appointments at Mankato Clinic

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This post is written in partnership with Mankato Clinic
Dr. Katie Keepers, Mankato Clinic Obstetrics and Gynecology Department

It’s your third trimester and your baby is really growing!

The third trimester appointments at Mankato Clinic were my favorite (if it’s possible to have a ‘favorite’).  The anticipation of knowing that my due date was drawing closer.  The possibility that my OB would tell me she thought the baby would be here soon (which literally never happened thanks to two overdue babies).  Aside from the normal discomforts during the final months of pregnancy, I was feeling good and always looked forward to those updates from my doctor every couple of weeks.

You’re definitely showing and your baby is growing rapidly during your final trimester – weeks 28-40. Your baby will likely double in weight in the eighth month of pregnancy to about 5 pounds. Then in your final month of pregnancy, your baby may gain a half pound per week!

You may find you tire more easily, feel short of breath or have trouble sleeping through the night. You may feel a “lightening” when the baby drops into your pelvis. Now you may have to pee more often!

From 28-36 weeks, your appointments should be scheduled every two weeks. At each appointment, your Mankato Clinic provider will weigh you, check your blood pressure and urine, listen to the baby’s heartbeat and measure the growth of your uterus and baby.

Women should watch for preterm labor. Signs include contractions, often called Braxton Hicks contractions. These contractions are often harmless unless they become regular or persistent. Other warning signs are vaginal bleeding, pelvic pressure or a change in vaginal discharge. In these cases, call your health care provider or go to your emergency room.

If you’re a first-time mom, you should be finishing your Prepared Childbirth, Newborn Care, Breastfeeding and Car Seat Safety classes. It’s time to get ready for labor, delivery and your newborn!    

In your Prepared Childbirth class, you will learn about labor and delivery options. Some women may choose to write a birth plan. Birth plans should include your top five priorities during delivery such as whether you want pain relief medication and who you want in the room. You will also learn about natural ways to avoid pain medications or measures to use until pain medication is an option. We advise you to be flexible with your plan. The goal is a healthy mom and a healthy baby.  

After your baby is born, skin-to-skin contact between mom and baby is standard. When baby is doing OK, she is placed on mom’s abdomen and covered with a blanket to help regulate baby’s body temperature, stabilize breathing and boost bonding!

If you plan to breastfeed your baby, you will receive information on breast pumps at your 34-week appointment. Mankato Clinic has breast pumps available to our patients and you have the option to take one home at your 36-week appointment. Your insurance will be billed for the pump, so be sure to call the number on the back of your card to check your plan’s coverage.

Between week 35 and 37, pregnant women are tested for group b streptococci. Normally harmless in adults, this bacteria can infect a baby during birth. If you test positive, you may receive antibiotics during labor to decrease the chances of passing the bacteria on to your baby.

At week 36, it’s time for weekly OB visits at Mankato Clinic. Exams to check your cervix may begin at this stage. Your provider will also be checking your baby’s position. If your baby is in the head-down position, your chances of vaginal delivery are high. If baby is breech – or the buttocks and feet are positioned to come out first – you and your doctor will discuss turning your baby externally and a planned cesarean delivery. Remember, the safe and healthy delivery of your baby is the priority.

The third trimester is exciting, but it’s normal to feel anxious. At Mankato Clinic, we tell our expectant moms to call us if they have any concerns between visits. Our nurses can answer your questions 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Breathe, you’re going to have a baby very soon!

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Jessica is an Iowa native turned Minnesota girl. She relocated to Mankato for a job 10 years ago and has never turned back. Together, Jessica and her husband George host a morning radio show. They have a wonderful blended family that consists of a very talkative 5 year old boy and a sweet 6 month old girl. On weekends you can find Jessica in the kitchen trying new recipes (with the help of her husband, who is normally the chef of the family). She also loves doing Barre, reading, live music, and running. She is currently training for her 6th Half Marathon coming up this fall.