12 Dangers In The Third Trimester Women Need To Worry About

There are dangers during this part of the pregnancy that can put both the baby and mom's life at risk.

When it comes to the 28th week of a woman's pregnancy, she is reaching that point where she is ready for that baby to come out. It os the homestretch of the pregnancy and she has done great thus far. She now sees the green light; however, there are a couple of red flags that she might want to look out for.

Now, here is the deal ladies - no one wants to really rush that baby coming out just yet. Like a chicken in the oven, people don't want to take it out raw. The baby needs a couple more weeks until it is fully ready to be placed on planet Earth.

With that being said, we don't want to frighten women; however, there are numerous dangers that pregnant women face during this part of their pregnancy that can risk not only the neonate's life, but the mother's life as well. By being aware of these dangers, moms will be one step ahead of the game and know what to look out for.

Let's take a look at the dangers that pregnant women face as they near the end of their pregnancy.

12Is The Baby Moving Less?

In the third trimester, it's more important than ever before to track your baby's activity. To do this, doctor's encourage pregnant women to count how many times the baby kicks each day. Reason being, if a baby is not active or showing any signs of activity, it could mean numerous things, like a distressed baby.

If you are noticing that your baby is not as active or is showing decreased signs of energy, it's important to communicate this information to the doctor as soon as possible. More important than ever, in the third trimester, you do not want to risk stressing out the baby.

Today, there are numerous ways that mother's can track their baby's activity in third trimester. In fact, there are applications on smart phones like Count the Kicks, which help mothers track the baby's activity and allows them to compare the number each week.

11Baby Isn't Growing At A Normal Rate

When a mother first learns that she is pregnant, it is an extremely exciting time. After a few visits to the doctor, the parents of the baby will develop a game plan and know what to expect through the entire pregnancy. One of these expectations is how much the baby should grow through each stage or trimester.

This leads us to intrauterine growth restriction, another danger that pregnant women face during the third trimester. Simply put, IUGR is the technical term to describe a baby that is not growing at the standards or rates of expectancy.

This could be caused by numerous factors such as:

  • Smaller size parents.
  • Anemia
  • Placenta Previa
  • Diabetes
  • Malnutrition
  • Chronic Renal Disease

When a fetus is deemed IUGR or simply growth restricted, it becomes a greater concern, especially during the third trimester. Reason being, growth restricted babies have a more difficult time during the natural delivery process and struggle to maintain their body post delivery.

Today, given the advancements in technology, doctors are able to recognize when a baby is showing any signs of growth restriction. On top of this, doctors can take action immediately and adjust the course of pregnancy the insure the safety of the baby and mother.

10Water Breaks Before 24 Weeks

Ladies, if your water is breaking earlier than expected, it's safe to say, "Houston, we have a problem." One of the greatest dangers that pregnant women face during their third trimester is early water breakage, or, if you want to sound fancy, Preterm Premature Rupture of Membranes.

It's completely normal during the third trimester for the amniotic sac to break; however. it's not so normal if the sac breaks early, If a pregnant women experiences her water breaking earlier than 24 weeks, the risk of infection and premature birth are extremely high.

In some cases, women also may experience their water breaking earlier around the 32-34 week marker. In the event that this happens, depending upon the development of the baby, many doctors may opt to inducing the mother.

In either case, it's a dangerous situation that any pregnant woman wants to avoid. To sooth any mother's worry, in the event of a pre-term pregnancy, given the advancement of nursery treatments in hospitals, many babies born from PPROM do well after the delivery.

9Problems With The Placenta

While Placental Abruption may be rare, it is a danger that all pregnant women must be wary of. This is simply when the placenta actually separates itself from the uterus. This is an extremely dangerous situation, which can result in the death of the baby and harm to the mother.

In the third trimester, there are numerous signs and symptoms that pregnant women can look out for, such as:

  • Drug use
  • High blood pressure
  • Old age
  • Diabetes
  • Short umbilical cord
  • Trauma to the stomach
  • Excess amniotic fluid
  • Multiple babies

Today, given the advancements in technology, doctors have the ability to gauge the stress level of the baby and the risk of any dangers, reducing the threat of placental abruption from happening or harming the baby.

8Is The Baby Properly Positioned?

Come the third trimester ladies, it's time to begin preparing the extraction process of the baby - that's if you have not decided to get a cesarean yet. If you are still sticking with the old fashion vaginal birth method, you are faced with the danger of malpresentation.

Malpresentation is when the baby is not in the proper formation for a successful and healthy deliver for the mother and the baby. In some occasions, a baby may be positioned to be deliver feet first or sideways. These presentations are more formally known as breech or transverse.

When it comes to the delivery date, if a baby still is malpresented in a transverse or breech position, it could present dangers to both the baby and the mother. This is why during the third trimester, around the 37 week period, doctors suggest making sure the baby is in the vertex or cephalic presentation.

7There's Been Rapid Weight Gain

When you are pregnant, especially in the third trimester, oreos, cookies, and other delicacies look tastier than ever before. It's important to know that one of the greatest risks and dangers that pregnant women face in their third trimester is rapid weight gain.

This is one condition that can not only impact the delivery process and the health of the baby, it can also impact the mother post pregnancy. In fact, rapid weight gain could lead to:

  • Painful pregnancy
  • Gestational diabetes
  • Delivery complications
  • Gained weight post pregnancy
  • Obese baby/child

It's extremely important to take your health and diet seriously through-out your entire pregnancy. The third trimester is merely a result of your diet and habits from the first two. With that being said, with a proper healthy diet and exercise, you can have a healthy and safe pregnancy and shed the baby weight after the baby is delivered.

6Painful Abdominal Pains

Out of the entire third trimester, one of the gravest dangers that pregnant women face are extensive and consistent abdominal pains. You might be wondering, well, how are abdominal pains a danger? Well, the reality is, consistent abdominal pains are normally linked to much deeper problems.

On top of this, pregnant women that are suffering from intense abdominal pains are also normally suffering from bleeding, headaches or extreme swelling. Any of these conditions are ingredients to a serious condition that can be lethal: preeclampsia or even an ectopic pregnancy.

Doctors suggest that if during your third trimester you experience any of these conditions to call them immediately to get a blood pressure test. In this, given the advancements of prenatal care, doctors to catch any life-threatened condition early on and help protect the mother and the baby.

5Body Gets Ready For Birth Too Early

Another danger that pregnant women face during their third trimester is preterm labor or preterm birth. By definition, this is simply when a pregnant women is experience contractions prior to 37 weeks pregnant. Many of the common signs of preterm labor are often ignored by pregnant women as signs of pregnancy, making this even harder to notice.

This danger is more common for women giving birth to twins, have amnionitis, or have polyhydraminos. Since the baby did not fully develop inside the womb, if born prematurely, the baby faces numerous health risks and problems.

Out of the many different health risks, the most important or deadly is the lungs, since they don't develop until the third trimester. IF you are experiencing any signs listed below, contact your doctor immediately.

  • Diarrhea
  • Lower back pain
  • Vaginal pressure/discharge
  • Tightness in abdomen

Even though they may be passed as regular pregnancy symptoms, it's better to be safe.

4Low Amounts Of Fluid

Out of the many dangers that pregnant women face during the third trimester, this may be one of the gravest and most dangerous for the baby. Amniotic fluid is essentially your baby's defense and life system. Without the proper amount of fluids, your baby cannot grow or function properly.

In other words, if a pregnant women has low amniotic fluids, the consequences could be lethal. This is known as oligohydraminos. This condition, which is seemingly rare but common enough to make our list, is caused because of multiple reasons:

  • Post-Term Pregnancies
  • Mother Complications
  • Placenta Problems
  • Early Water Breakage
  • Birth Defects

Today, doctors can actually measure the amniotic levels to make sure the fluids are at the desired levels. On top of this, there are multiple different ways that doctors can treat a mother that is experience oligohydraminos to help increase fluid levels and protect the baby.

3Delivers Passed The Due Date

One concern that many pregnant women think about during their pregnancy is what if the baby is born before the due date; however, not many pregnant women are considering the dangerous of a post-term pregnancy. Simply, this is when the baby is delivered after the 42 week marker.

In a shocking statistic performed by UpToDate, up to 10 percent of women carry past the 42 week marker. Now, a post-term pregnancy is not necessarily a danger for the mother - it is more of a danger to the fetus. Reason bring, a placenta is not meant to last past 40 weeks.

In fact, a regular placenta only has enough oxygen and amniotic fluid for a 40 week pregnancy. With each passing day after the 40th week of a pregnancy, the risk of oxygen-loss in the fetus is greater than any other trimester.

To avoid any sudden fetal death, many doctors are urging pregnant women to schedule their pregnancy to avoid any problems in the future.

2Catches The Flu

Did you know that pregnant women are more prone to sicknesses? With that being said, one of the biggest dangers that pregnant women face during the third trimester is the flu. In fact, a pregnant women who has the flu could face extreme complications not only to her health, but the baby.

This is why many doctors suggest that pregnant women get the flu vaccine. Now, in the event that you do contract the flu during your pregnancy, during any trimester, it's important to call your doctor first before flying to the hospital.

Reason being, since pregnant women are prone to getting sick quicker - if a pregnant woman with the flu was to show up at a hospital where there are other pregnant women, she could risk not only her health and her baby, but all of the other pregnant women and babies in the area.

1Living In Toxic Environments?

One area that can pose an extreme threat to pregnant women in third trimester is environment that they are primarily in. At this stage in pregnancy, most women are still working and living their normal life. With that being said, every job is different and could prove to be too stressful or physically exhausting.

On top of this, given the environmental concerns of numerous workplaces, it's important to consider potential environmental toxins that pose a threat to the baby's health and safety. If you feel that an environment is not safe, communicate this information with your doctor.

In this, always keep a notice on how your body is feeling and looking. If you are noticing any swelling while working, you may want to communicate this to your doctor as well. You may need to begin your maternity leave early for bed rest.

Sources: AmericanPregnancy.Org,,

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