The third trimester with a first time mum

11th August 2020

The third trimester is the final hurdle of pregnancy. For me, it’s now a distant memory – I know, I can’t believe it either! It seems like only yesterday I was writing about the first trimester and now my pregnancy is over.

I started writing this post at 35+2 weeks. Now, I’m a whopping ten weeks postpartum, because it has taken me that long to get through the third trimester and through the first stage of motherhood. I simply haven’t had the brain power to compile a blog post. But finally, here we are!

Anyway… the third trimester. That’s what you’re all here for, right? Let me give you my insight, as a first time mum, as to what’s in store…

The third trimester – what to expect

When you reach the third trimester, you’re on the home stretch of pregnancy. The weeks are numbered and before you know it, you’ll have your baby here in your arms and your world changed forever!

For those who struggle during pregnancy, there is the hope that the third trimester brings some relief. You don’t have much longer to go, soon it will all be over! However don’t be fooled – the third trimester can bring the most challenges, for a number of reasons.

For me, personally, the third trimester was tinged with sadness because I was fortunate enough to have a blissful pregnancy. I loved pretty much every moment andnow that it’s over, I feel so sad. I’m absolutely one of those annoying mums who says how much she misses pregnancy!

As the third trimester whizzed by, I remember feeling sad that there was so little time left. I tried to savour every moment of it all – even the less than lovely things that I definitely don’t miss…

The baby shower!

I thought I’d start on a positive! The baby shower is something every mum looks forward to. Unfortunately, mine was cancelled due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but I was able to do a digitial baby shower. We played games on social media, such as guessing the baby’s weight and birthday. One of my friends even arranged for people to send us cards and gifts and dropped them off in a big box, which was lovely. The baby shower really is a special event that helps the mum/parents to feel loved and celebrated, and gets everyone geared up for the arrival of the baby! It’s definitely a high point of the third trimester.

The maternity shoot

Many people choose the third trimester for their maternity shoot, as it’s when their bump is showing at it’s ‘best’. Again, our shoot was cancelled, but we managed to have a doorstop shoot, which will be a cool piece of history for our baby. I would encourage everyone to get a maternity shoot, even if you don’t feel comfortable in your appearance. You’ll appreciate having the photos to look back on in the years to come.

maternity photoshoot third trimester partner holding mums belly

The tiredness returns

Remember that tiredness from the first trimester? Yup, it comes back with a vengence. I mean, I wouldn’t say it was wholly as bad as the tiredness from the first trimester, but it’s definitely exhausting carrying around a baby that’s basically full grown and ready to arrive in the world! Getting a lot of rest is important, because energy is zapped up pretty quickly.

Swollen feet and ankles

In my last two weeks of pregnancy, my feet and ankles got very puffy and swollen. I didn’t really notice it, to be fair, until my midwife pointed it out. I know I’m lucky – many women get this earlier on in pregnancy. Drink plenty of fluids and keep your feet elevated where possible. At night, try sleeping with them raised up on a cushion or pillow.

Difficulty sleeping

If you thought sleeping was hard before, then I hate to break it to you but it’s only going to get worse. For some reason, I didn’t bother to invest in a pregnancy pillow, so maybe this is why I found it so hard. Or maybe it was baby kicking away, using my bladder as a trampoline. Something like that.

Try to sleep slightly propped up to avoid heartburn, go to the toilet before bed to *try* to stop the need to get up to wee (or at least as often, anyway) and just make sure your bed is as comfortable as it can be.


Help getting up

Forget getting out of bed by yourself – you may as well be a toppled turtle, stranded on your back. Ditto the sofa – good luck getting up without needing assistance. My partner was very good at pulling on my arms to help me get to my feet.

Hot flushes

And that’s not just if you’re pregnant during the summer – you’re going to feel warmer than usual regardless of the temperature outside. There’s no brilliant hacks from me on this one. Unfortunately, pregnant women just have to suffer.

An increased need to pee

Or it feels like it, anyway. I think by the end of my pregnancy, I was going to the toilet at least every half an hour. There’s no easy way around this one, either. You need to drink lots to keep hydrated! Combine that with a baby jumping around on your bladder and you’re destined for the toilet.

maternity shoot doorstep photoshoot


This can happen at any stage in pregnancy. Mine started in the second trimester but was manageable with an adjusted diet. However, in the third trimester, it was happening almost every night, no matter what I did to try and help it. It wasn’t comfortable by any means but wasn’t unbearable… just another joy of the third trimester!

Difficulty walking

Walking? Forget that! From now on, all you can do is awkwardly wobble around at the pace of a snail. It’s uncomfortable, everything aches (especially your back) and you feel like you’re participating in an extreme sport. But it’s important to keep moving – not just because it can get labour started but because it’s good for you too!

Negatives aside, it’s important to savour the third trimester if you can

It might be your first time, it might be your last time, you might have been trying for ages, or maybe have been able to conceive via IVF or similar. Whatever the situation, it’s my personal belief that even during the discomfort, pregnancy should be savoured. Our bodies are performing a miracle. Pregnancy is a miracle and it’s one that might not happen again. That was my thought process, anyway, and so I was sure to savour every second. I never once wished for it to be over – but I do acknowledge that I am very privileged to have felt that way.

Remember that no two pregnancies are the same. Everyone experiences something different. It’s fine if you don’t enjoy pregnancy, because a lot of people don’t. It’s fine if you love pregnancy, like me. Don’t feel guilty for feeling either way.

My third trimester was nowhere near as bad as it could have been, and I do feel very lucky. I enjoyed my entire pregnancy so much, and I wish I could do it all again.

Have you been through the third trimester? Why not share your experiences, advice, tips or stories below?

Love from, Florence Grace

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