Hello home stretch – it’s been six months of baby growing and for mum and bub, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
Just 12 weeks to go, and you may think all bub is doing in there is getting bigger but there’s a whole lot more that happens to your baby in the last trimester. Your little one is getting ready to enter the world, and there are some incredible things going on womb-side.
Here are 7 fascinating third-trimester baby facts that may just blow your mind a little.
1. Nailed it
Baby’s teeny tiny fingernails have been taking shape since about 12 weeks, and they’ve been busy growing but heading into week 34 your bub finally has a full set of the sweetest little finger and toenails. Mini mani and pedi anyone?
2. Heard it here first
By the start of the third trimester, baby can not only hear noises and voices – but they can respond. While the sounds are muted by half because of the amniotic fluid, a sudden noise can make your bub startle.
2. Dream baby
Those beautiful little brains are working overtime in the womb – even helping bub dream. Studies have found that babies in utero go through the rapid eye movement stage that happens while dreaming.
3. Smell it
Bub can smell that extra garlicky kebab you snaffled for dinner – and it’s a good thing, really! The amniotic fluid that bub is floating around in actually helps increase their sense of smell, and some experts say it’s the perfect time to make sure bub doesn’t become picky with food later. So don’t hold back on your favourite dishes!
4. The eyes have it
If you pop a torch on your belly, you may just notice bub becomes more active. That’s because they can see the light coming into the womb in the third trimester. Baby’s eyes finally open at 27 weeks, so their tiny pupils will be constricting and dilating. They may even be able to work out the difference between day and night (here’s hoping!).
5. Hairy situation
The soft hair that started growing all over bub at around 14 weeks, called lanugo, starts to fall off in the third trimester. But hair reappears in other spots – like bub’s head at around 30 weeks. Eyelashes and eyebrows are next at 32 weeks.
6. Weighty issue
Your little chubba bubba puts on about half a kilo every week during the first five weeks of the final trimester. Time to get that maternity wardrobe working overtime!
7. New coat
While baby is busy growing in the third trimester, they’re also popping on the final piece of their birthday suit – vernix. It’s a waxy coating that protects your little bun’s skin and some babies are born with quite the new coat. It helps keep them safe from some bacterias and viruses during birth, and keeps them warm while still in the womb.
Your baby’s incredible journey is only just beginning – make sure you check out the 9 instinctive things your newborn will do straight after birth.