The third trimester is approximately week 28 through to delivery. Fetal movements are stronger and more frequent. At the same time, your baby is getting bigger and you may be finding it more difficult to undertake your normal day-to-day activities. We will be talking to you in more detail about your preparations for delivery and if there are any specific requests that we haven't already discussed. We will also be meeting with you more frequently to monitor your progress, fortnightly then weekly from around week 36.
Summary: A paediatrician will monitor your baby during your stay and you'll get to choose your preferred paediatrician.
A paediatrician is a medical doctor who understands about the health and development of children. Some paediatricians will specialise in neonatology which is the treatment of newborn babies. Your paediatrician will check your baby immediately after birth to check that everything is ok. They will also check your baby over the first few days to make sure that it is healthy enough to go home.
Summary: We will recommend you be tested for Group B streptococcus and recommend treatment if required.
Somewhere between 10% and 30% of women test positive to Group B streptococcus. During labour and delivery it is possible for the infection to be transmitted to your baby which can result in early onset Group B streptococcal disease in your baby. To prevent this, if you test positive, we will recommend a course of antibiotics to minimise the risk of transfer. RANZCOG have produced some information on the Screening and Management of Maternal group B Streptococcus in Pregnancy.
Summary: Be aware that it is possible to go into premature labour, but in general it can be managed quite effectively. Make sure you tell us if you have symptoms of premature labour.
A normal pregnancy is nominally 40 weeks in duration. However in some cases women can go into labour early. If you commence labour more than 3 weeks before your expected due date it is called premature labour or preterm labour. In general, premature labour can be managed quite effectively to minimise the risks associated with an early delivery and we can take some actions to reduce the likelihood of an early delivery if you do start premature labour. Some of the symptoms of premature labour include contractions more often than every ten minutes, cramping, fluid leaking from your vagina and vaginal bleeding including light bleeding.
Summary: Pre-eclampsia is uncommon but potentially very serious. If you start to suffer from the symptoms identified below please contact us immediately.
Pre-eclampsia occurs in between 2% and 8% of pregnancies worldwide. The symptoms and effects can range from mild to very severe and can progressively develop or worsen as the pregnancy progresses. It is generally a combination of raised blood pressure (hypertension) and protein in the urine (proteinuria). Symptoms may include:
- Severe headache that doesn’t go away with simple painkillers
- Problems with vision, such as blurring or flashing before the eyes
- Severe pain just below the ribs
- Heartburn that doesn’t go away with antacids
- Rapidly increasing swelling of the face, hands or feet
- Feeling very unwell
Pre-eclampsia can be very serious in severe cases so if you have these symptoms then you should seek immediate advice from your doctor or obstetrician. Treatment will vary greatly depending on the severity of the symptoms and the progress of the pregnancy but the most effective resolution in the most severe cases is to delivery the baby which can be problematic with severe and early onset. If you start to suffer from pre-eclampsia we will discuss the implications with you in detail. The RANZCOG have produced this brochure on Pre-eclampsia.