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Expert Explains Transformations To Expect And Role Of Diet And Lifestyle

As the journey through pregnancy progresses into the third trimester, expectant mothers are met with a culmination of growth, anticipation, and preparation for the arrival of their precious bundle of joy. This final stretch of pregnancy is marked by significant changes in both the mother’s body and the development of the foetus, along with important considerations regarding health, diet, and medical care. We spoke to Dr Barun Chakraborty, Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist, Manipal Hospital Salt Lake, Kolkata, who explained transformations during the third trimester of pregnancy and the role of a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Growth and Development

“In the third trimester, the foetus undergoes remarkable growth in size and weight as it prepares for life outside the womb. Expectant mothers may notice a surge in foetal movement, with kicks and stretches becoming more pronounced and frequent. These movements serve as a reassuring sign of the baby’s health and vitality as it continues to develop and mature”, said Dr Chakraborty.

As per the Office on Women’s Health, by week 37 of pregnancy, the baby typically measures approximately 19-21 inches in length and likely weighs between 6-9 pounds.

Also Read: First Trimester Of Pregnancy: Expert Explains Transformations To Expect During This Phase

Medical Care and Interventions

Medical care during the third trimester becomes increasingly focused on monitoring both maternal and foetal well-being. Routine tests and screenings, including anomaly scans and serology tests, are commonly recommended to assess the baby’s growth and development, as well as to screen for any potential complications.

“One important intervention during the third trimester is the administration of dexamethasone to select women at risk of preterm birth. This medication aids in the maturation of the foetal lungs, reducing the incidence of respiratory distress syndrome in neonates born prematurely”, highlighted Dr Chakraborty. However, it’s crucial for expectant mothers to only take medication under the guidance and supervision of their healthcare provider.

Diet and Nutrition

According to a 2022 study, the dietary habits of mothers, particularly in the third trimester of pregnancy, could potentially affect the sleep patterns of their offspring in the long term.

Green leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grains, beans, and citrus fruits are particularly recommended during this stage, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and fibre to promote optimal health and well-being.

“Iron-rich foods are especially important during the third trimester to prevent maternal anaemia and support the baby’s increasing blood volume. Lean meats, poultry, fish, fortified cereals, and legumes are excellent sources of iron that can help meet the heightened demands of pregnancy”, added Dr Chakraborty.

Also Read: Second Trimester Of Pregnancy: Expert Explains Symptoms, Diet, and Exercise

Lifestyle and Wellness

  • Expectant mothers should also prioritise staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day, as adequate hydration is essential for maintaining amniotic fluid levels and supporting maternal circulation.
  • Expectant mothers should focus on maintaining a healthy lifestyle and wellness routine during the third trimester. This includes abstaining from tobacco and alcohol, as these substances can pose serious risks to both maternal and foetal health.
  • Regular prenatal check-ups and consultations with healthcare providers are vital during the third trimester to monitor the progress of pregnancy, address any concerns or complications, and ensure that both mother and baby are thriving.
  • Moderate exercise, such as prenatal yoga, swimming, and walking, can help alleviate discomfort, promote relaxation, and prepare the body for labour and delivery. However, expectant mothers need to listen to their bodies and avoid activities that cause strain or discomfort.


Dr Chakraborty concluded, “The third trimester of pregnancy is a time of anticipation, preparation, and continued growth for both mother and baby. By prioritising a balanced diet, regular medical care, and a healthy lifestyle, expectant mothers can navigate this final stage of pregnancy with confidence and peace of mind, eagerly anticipating the arrival of their little ones.”

[Disclaimer: This article contains information provided by an expert and is for informational purposes only. Hence, we advise you to consult your expert if you notice any problems during pregnancy to avoid any complications.]

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