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3rd Trimester: 3rd Prenatal Visit

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Your body is working hard to help your baby develop, and you may be more tired than before. During this visit, your doctor may ask if you're experiencing symptoms such as hemorrhoids, heartburn, or leg cramps that are common late in pregnancy. Your doctor will also measure your progress and answer your questions.

What You Can Expect:

Your doctor will feel your belly and try to determine whether your baby is head-down yet. Most babies move to a head-down position by 37 weeks. If your baby is breech (bottom-down), there's still time for your baby to change position.

Also during the appointment your doctor will:

  • Make sure that you're still eating well and gaining enough weight. You may feel too full to eat much if the baby is pressing on your stomach. However, eating enough is important, because babies gain much of their weight during the last two months of pregnancy. You may find it helpful to eat multiple small meals instead of three large meals a day.
  • Ask if you're experiencing hemorrhoids, heartburn, leg cramps, or swollen ankles, which are common late in pregnancy. He or she will suggest possible solutions for these problems.
  • Check your weight and blood pressure.
  • Measure the height of your uterus to gauge your baby's growth.
  • Check your baby's heart rate.
  • Ask if your baby's movements are occurring about as often as your last appointment.
  • Ask you to leave a urine sample to check sugar and protein levels.

Be Prepared to Discuss:

Your doctor will want to help you get ready for life with your baby. Be prepared to talk about:

  • Breastfeeding. Your doctor will want to know whether you're still considering breastfeeding. If you are, he or she can tell you what to expect, whether you will need a breast pump, what type of pump to rent or purchase, and when to start pumping. Your doctor may suggest that you take a breastfeeding class for additional pointers.
  • Child-care options. Your doctor will ask whether you plan to return to work after your maternity leave. If you do, your doctor will suggest that you begin searching for child care before giving birth. He or she can discuss the many options available, including nannies and child-care centers.

Ask Your Doctor:

Tap the Action button above to select questions to ask your doctor.

  • What foods are high in nutrients but less filling?
  • If I change my diet, will that help with my heartburn?
  • Is there anything I can do to prevent hemorrhoids?
  • Can I use OTC hemorrhoid or heartburn medications?
  • Should I wear support hose for my swollen ankles?
  • What can I do about leg cramps?

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kecia Gaither, MD, MPH on June 29, 2014

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