Emotional Symptoms During Third Trimester Of Pregnancy


The 28th week of pregnancy initiates the third trimester, which brings expectant mothers closer to labor and delivery. During this time, the baby continues developing while quickly gaining weight. Hormonal and chemical fluctuations also prepare for the main event. All of the physiological changes contribute to a wide range of emotions that all women experience in one form or another.


The long wait is nearly over and soon the new baby will arrive. Every day brings potential parents one step closer to meeting and greeting the little family member. In anticipation of the big day, friends and loved ones share in the happiness by hosting baby showers while exchanging anecdotes about the joys of motherhood. Mothers happily busy themselves preparing the nursery and shopping for finishing touches while filled with thoughts of welcoming the new arrival.

Worry and Fear

As the delivery day approaches, it is not uncommon for new moms to experience stress and fear when faced with the unknown. Especially if this is a first pregnancy and despite having nine months to prepare, new moms may worry that they will somehow fail as a parent. There might be concerns if existing siblings with accept the baby. New moms may worry that they will miss the signs of labor onset. As the day of birth draws near, there might also be concerns about how long labor will last or the amount of pain involved. If planning on receiving an epidural, the delicacy of the procedure may invoke fear. Childbirth classes are helpful in answering numerous questions and alleviating concerns.


As the last trimester progresses, women are increasingly ready for the baby to be born. Women often experience frustration as the awkwardness of their growing bodies make normal daily tasks more difficult. A little foot or hand positioned in the wrong place causes discomfort. Trips to the bathroom are more frequent. The ever-increasing size of the baby combined with stronger movements and erratic periods of wakefulness interfere with an expectant mother's ability to have a full night of rejuvenating sleep. Sleep deprivation leads to a type of brain fog that manifests in absent-mindedness. While not unusual, not being able to accomplish menial tasks that require basic thought leave many frustrated and ready to return to a state of normalcy.

Postpartem Blues

After the birth of the baby, a woman's body and hormone levels begin the transition of returning to a pre-pregnancy state. Now the infant requires around the clock feeding, changing and comforting, which leads to ongoing interrupted sleep. Moms may feel inexperienced and insecure. All of these factors culminate in the dilemma known as the postpartum blues. Anxiety, frustration and overwhelming sadness are some of the most common symptoms of the condition that may begin within a few days after an infant's birth and last for up to one month.


Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "Emotional Symptoms During Third Trimester Of Pregnancy," in PsychologyDictionary.org, March 25, 2016, https://psychologydictionary.org/emotional-symptoms-during-third-trimester-of-pregnancy/ (accessed September 28, 2022).