The Third Trimester of Pregnancy

Dr. Barra O' Briain, MD, discusses the third trimester of pregnancy.

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Dr. Barra O' Briain, MD, discusses the third trimester of pregnancy.
Video transcript

Featuring Dr. Barra O'Briain, MD
Duration: 2 minutes, 50 seconds

The third trimester in pregnancy runs from 26 to 28 weeks all the way to the end of the pregnancy and it is the last third of the pregnancy. 

It is a very busy time during the course of the pregnancy with increased frequency of prenatal visits. From sort of 32 to 36 weeks, the patients come to see us every two weeks and in the latter part of the pregnancy beyond that from 36 until delivery, it is usually about once a week and sometimes more frequently.

The reason why the visits are more frequent is usually we are getting closer to the big event. Usually closer to the birth and that is when anxieties and worries may come to the fore and so it allows the healthcare provider and the patient to interact a little more frequently so that worries don’t linger and peace of mind sort of prevails.

It is also a time where medical conditions in pregnancy that have been probably discussed in other of these big events come to rise. Like problems with the growth of the baby, or blood pressure issues in the pregnancy so we are more adapt to diagnose them sooner rather than later if we see the patient or the woman more frequently.

Things that often come up in the third trimester are issues around what kind of on-call availability. What is the availability of the doctor, the midwife? Who will be covering for them if they are not there? How to reach the doctor? When to reach the doctor? Worries that come up in the pregnancy often the big one being pain management and what the patients expectations can be of the healthcare provider and what the healthcare provider has in the ways of expectations on the part of the patient.

I think anytime you have a worry that is disrupting your peace of mind and you cannot sort of shake it is a good time to call your doctor to address that if you feel you need to address that before your next prenatal visit. From our point of view, we really want to hear from our pregnant patients if there is any bleeding, if the water breaks, if there is obviously, any signs of labor or if the baby’s movements have dropped substantially. In any of those four situations, those are necessary calls that we would like to see. 

But, from the point of view of the patient, if there are other things that arise, worries that they may have that cannot wait until the prenatal visit, then by all means call your healthcare provider.

Presenter: Dr. Barra O'Briain, Family Doctor, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Family Doctor

This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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