Hey mama - it's time. Neither you nor baby can wait any longer - and we know that you at least, are more than ready for baby's arrival! What was once a tiny poppyseed is now fully developed, and the placenta, which provides nutrients to baby, is …
It is hard to imagine but your uterus has expanded to 1000 times its original size. You have a lot more baby and a lot less amniotic fluid inside your uterus. All this weight, coupled with the fact that your pelvic floor has been weakened due to increased levels of progesterone may aid in experiencing what is called 'stress' incontinence - a slight leakage of urine when straining, coughing, laughing or sneezing. This is very common and can be relieved using panty liners, they come in a range of varieties depending on your requirements. It is important to be vigilant with your pelvic floor exercises to ensure that your pelvic floor muscles regain their usual strength after your baby is born.
Starting this week, you may begin to see your LMC every week. He or she will take a urine sample to check for sugar and/or protein, and check your blood pressure and swelling. He or she will also feel your belly to check baby's size, position and the fluid around baby.
Your appetite may return because the baby is no longer putting as much pressure on your stomach and intestines, and if you've been experiencing heartburn, the baby's descent may somewhat alleviate it.
As the skin on your abdomen stretches thinner your baby will be exposed to more light. This enables your baby to develop sleep and awake cycles that relate to light.
You will be getting frustrated with the frequent visits to the toilet, however try not to drink any less water.
The wrinkly, tiny fetus you may have seen on earlier ultrasounds has given way to an almost plump baby. Fat is deposited on the cheeks this week, and powerful sucking muscles also contribute to your baby's full face. Your baby now weighs approximately 2.75kg and is about 47cm long.
Maternal calcium intake has helped to create the baby's firm skull, but it's still soft enough to deform slightly when the baby passes through the birth canal. Don't be surprised if your baby arrives with a pointy or misshapen head! After a few hours or days, your baby's head will be back to a rounded shape.
What to Expect
- You may be starting to get nervous (although you may have been for months), the baby is on its way. Try and enjoy this special time, allow your support people to be there for you.
- Brush up on what the early signs of labour are, you should be prepared.
- This is the last week you can travel by air
- Make sure you have credit on your mobile phone to contact your LMC if labour does start, and to contact friends and family to announce your baby's arrival!
- Get things ready for breastfeeding
- Take your electric blanket off, just in-case your water's break you do not want to have an electric shock.
- If you have severe swelling with headaches go to your doctor immediately it may be a sign of pre-eclampsia.
- You may have difficulty sleeping, lie on your side with a pillow under your belly.
- You may experience bouts of irritability or depression, if it becomes serious talk to your health care provider.
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