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While discussing the third trimester it is important to include what is considered normal findings but could seem alarming to a patient. Women may feel that they are in labor due to the feeling of contractions. In the third trimester it is very common for women to feel a form of contraction known as Braxton Hicks contractions. As they get closer to their due date, they may occur more often but if they become painful or regular, she should contact her provider (Mayo Clinic, 2018). During the third trimester the provider will determine the position of the fetus and if it is positioned head first in the uterus. Along with reviewing this the provider will discuss movement of the fetus along with how the mother is feeling herself including monitoring her blood pressure, level of fatigue, shortness of breath, etc. An ultrasound may be required to determine position of fetus, evaluate fetal growth and look for any problems with the placenta (Stoppler & Doerr, 2018). Along with this they will monitor the fetus’ heart rate which is generally between 110-160 bpm. Depending on the results of any normal findings leading to possibility of abnormal findings further testing may be done which could also include the use of the ultrasound. Additional testing could include electronic fetal heart monitoring or a nonstress test (NST). “An NST may be ordered if you feel the baby is not moving normally, if you are past your due date, or if your doctor wants to ensure that the placenta is healthy and functioning well” (Stoppler & Doerr, 2018). Third trimester requires more frequent and closer monitoring to ensure there are no future complications.
Mayo Clinic. (2018). Pregnancy week by week. Retrieved from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/pregnancy-week-by-week/in-depth/pregnancy/art-20046767
Stoppler, M., & Doerr, S. (2018). Pregnancy: 7 Common Third Trimester Tests. Retrieved from https://www.medicinenet.com/third_trimester_tests_during_pregnancy/article.htm#7_common_third_trimester_tests_introduction