Pregnancy Handout

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3rd Trimester Overview

  • Your baby gains body fat, his lungs mature, and his brain is wired for thinking.
  • You may experience a wide range of emotions and fears. Be sure to communicate your feelings with your partner, friends, and healthcare provider.
  • Your baby needs more nutrients to help his brain and bones develop, so have lots of healthy foods on hand. Foods such as carrots, hard boiled eggs, cheese sticks, and fruit are easy to grab and go.
  • Since your baby is still developing, it’s important to continue avoiding hazards, such as alcohol, cigarettes, illegal drugs, and marijuana.
  • Exercising has many benefits: it can relieve pregnancy discomforts and increase your chances for an easier labour and postpartum recovery. Try swimming, yoga, and walking.


  • Upset stomach
  • Backaches
  • Leg cramps
  • Swelling
  • Itching abdomen
  • Shortness of breath

Call Your Healthcare Provider

Preeclampsia Warning Signs

  • Severe headaches
  • Vision changes, such as seeing spots or double vision
  • Rapid weight gain
  • Sudden swelling in face, hands, ankles, or feet
  • Puffiness in the face and around eyes
  • Upper abdominal pain

Preeclampsia is a serious medical condition marked by high blood pressure and the presence of protein in your urine. If you develop preeclampsia, you and your baby will need to be monitored closely. If it’s severe, you may need to be admitted into the hospital.

General Pregnancy Warning Signs

  • Vaginal bleeding
  • Fever above 100°F (37.7°C)
  • Pain or burning with urination
  • Vomiting or diarrhea lasting 24 hours or more
  • Major change in your baby’s movement patterns
  • Sudden pain in your belly

Signs of Preterm Labour (Before 37 Weeks)

  • Change or increase in vaginal discharge (watery, mucus-like, or bloody)
  • Pelvic or lower belly pressure
  • Dull ache that is constant or repetitive in your lower back, pelvic area, lower belly, or upper thighs
  • Mild belly cramps (with or without diarrhea)
  • Your water breaks in a trickle or a gush
  • Regular or frequent contractions that occur 4 or more times in 1 hour and might be painless*

*If you have contractions, empty your bladder, lie down on your left side for an hour, drink 2-3 glasses of water, and time the contractions. If they don’t go away or if the pain is persistent and severe, call your healthcare provider.
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