Complications during Third Trimester of Pregnancy

The third trimester of pregnancy can be the most troublesome period in a woman’s life as she has to face certain complications with a view on the impending delivery.

Written by: Vatsal Anand Updated at: 2013-12-30 00:00

The third trimester is the last lap to your journey, and it starts with the 28th week and goes on up till the time of delivery. This phase is the most crucial for the unborn baby’s weight gain and hence should be taken seriously. The third trimester is important because during this time medical problems are bound to develop.


The third trimester of pregnancy can be the most troublesome period for a woman in her entire life. There can be a lot of complications during third trimester of pregnancy for the woman as the baby gains weight with every passing day. The baby’s weight gain is of great importance too in this period. The problems are not altogether physical as the coming baby brings lots of responsibilities for the mother which include future childcare and plans of resuming her career.


The Complications

  • Excessive Bleeding Bleeding in the third trimester of pregnancy can be due to abnormally located placenta or early separation of placenta from the uterus. These two conditions, which account for 95 % cases of bleeding problems, are called placenta praevia and abruptio placentae respectively. These can be a serious health concern for you and your baby as the blood loss results in loss of nutrition.
  • Pain in the Groin During the third trimester of pregnancy, complication of pain in the groin area is common. This is because your body is preparing for labour and causes your pelvic joints to loosen. You will find standing for long periods of time very painful and more so if you do not change positions often. This can end only with delivery.
  • Heartburn You get your worst heartburns during pregnancy in the third trimester. The acid of your stomach moves up the oesophagus leading to a burning sensation. The increased size of your baby presses upon the stomach and this makes it easier for the acid to flow up the food pipe. Eating small frequent meals and not lying after eating are two precautions which can prevent heartburns.
  • Backache This is one of the very common complications during third trimester of pregnancy. Generally, they are caused by poor posture as there is a lot of weight in front of you to compensate. Your baby’s weight pressing on your spine can also be a cause for backache. The problem is aggravated by the loosening of joints by hormonal changes in your body.
  • Preeclampsia is one of the possibly fatal pregnancy problems which can occur in third trimester. Its symptoms are swelling on face and other limbs, headaches and blurry vision. It is caused by excessive water retention in the body and should be taken seriously.
  • Sore Ribs - Your baby is in the last stage of pregnancy and due to his or her positioning you may feel the baby kicking. You could talk to your midwife, because if this is due to the baby’s position then this pain will decrease as your baby settles into the pelvic area. If you experience bad heartburns or feel any heavy pressure on your chest then this may be sign of pre-eclampsia.
  • Itchiness - Your skin may feel itchy and that is most often due to the stretching of your skin and because your skin is more sensitive right now. You can try using moisturisers, the ones that do not have any perfume. You must inform your doctor regarding this itchiness, especially if it is on your hands and feet as this could point towards a serious liver problem.


Complications during third trimester of pregnancy need to be monitored carefully till delivery.


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