The last third of pregnancy is called the third trimester. It covers the period from the 27th week of pregnancy until birth. Many pregnant people enjoy this phase. However, you may feel restricted by your weight and by your belly. You may also experience new pregnancy symptoms.

In the last trimester of pregnancy, heartburn, digestive problems and water retention are common. Many pregnant people also complain during this time that they are not getting enough air. This is because the uterus presses against the diaphragm from below, constricting the lungs. Four to six weeks before the birth it lowers again and you can breathe a literal sigh of relief. In the next period, the body prepares for the upcoming birth. The cervix, the tissues of the vagina and perineum loosen, as do the pelvic floor and the birth canal. Immediately before delivery, the mucous plug that lies in front of the cervix dissolves.

Uterine contractions are not unusual in the last trimester of pregnancy. The uterus will contract and relax again. These are Braxton Hicks contractions, also known as ‘practice contractions’, which strengthen your muscles. Starting at 36 weeks, you'll probably experience false labour as well. This moves the baby even deeper into your pelvis. You should check with your midwife or doctor if the contractions occur more than three times an hour. If you have contractions, it is best to go directly to the clinic or birth centre you have chosen. You can recognize labour pains by their frequency and length. Braxton Hicks contractions are 20 to 30 seconds long, while labor contractions last around 60 seconds. You can also tell that you are having labour contractions by the fact that they do not subside when you put your body in a relaxed position. If you take a bath, the contractions get stronger. Braxton Hicks contractions ease in warm water.

In the last stage of pregnancy, your baby's organ and brain development are complete. In the case of a premature birth, the baby has a better chance of survival starting from the 27th week of pregnancy. Babies born after the 37th week of pregnancy are not referred to as premature. The baby continues to increase in size and weight during the last trimester. Its nails and hair grow. Often the lanugo hair that has covered its body up to this point also disappears now. Other babies, especially children of dark-haired parents, are born with this delicate fuzz of hair. They lose it only after some time. With the help of Braxton Hicks contractions, the baby usually moves into the birthing position by early in the third trimester. Then it sits with its head down. If the baby is breech, your midwife will show you exercises that can help the baby turn. There is little space left in your uterus now. That's why the baby assumes a curled-up fetal position. As the due date approaches, fatty tissue forms under the baby's skin. It will be an important source of energy shortly after birth. A baby weighs between 2,800 and 4,200 grams at birth. They are usually 50 to 52 centimeters long.

At the beginning of the last trimester, the third major check-up takes place. Another ultrasound examination will be performed at this appointment. Of course, this is also about your health. Your current weight, urine values, haemoglobin levels and other measurements will be recorded in your maternity record (Mutterpass). Starting in the 32nd week of pregnancy, your doctor or midwife will examine you every two weeks.

You should take advantage of a birth preparation course by the beginning of your third trimester at the latest. Decide on a birthplace and register there for delivery. You can pack your hospital bag well ahead of time just in case. In the 35th week of pregnancy, maternity leave begins and you can get some rest.