Your abdomen swells and your rib cage and pelvis may be sore as the baby gets bigger and fills up all the space you have available. While it is really great that your baby is gaining weight and growing strong, you may be in line for different discomforts at this stage of the game, like heartburn and leg cramps.
A few women will breeze by even this phase of pregnancy without any discomforts. This does not mean that your body isn’t preparing for birth. It could be pain tolerance levels, exercise and agility levels and many other factors. So, count your blessings if you fall into this category!
If you feel breathless after walking or other exertion it will not harm baby. Baby will still get just the right amount of oxygen from the placenta. A feeling of waddling is common as your ligaments loosen around your pelvis in preparation for birth.
Ask your doctor how many contractions per hour warrant a call to the doctor. Many doctors will request you come in if you are experiencing 6 contractions per hour. When you lose your mucus plug, which seals the cervix to decrease risk of infection, this is a good sign that labour will happen soon but for some women it falls out two weeks before birth. Another sign that labour is approaching is when your water breaks. This is sometimes difficult to tell however since it is often only a trickle of amniotic fluid and there is a lot of other vaginal discharge during this time. Do not worry about making trips to the hospital before it is really time. It is better to err on the side of caution.
Fathers or birthing partners may want to plan a route to the hospital and think about how much gas the car has and where the keys are left. If possible, partners should take time off from work to bond with their new family member and take care of mom.
By now your baby is urinating approximately several cups of urine a day into the amniotic fluid. He or she is also swallowing amniotic fluid, which is completely replaced several times a day. Excess fluid in the amniotic sac (known as polyhydramnios) may mean that the baby isn’t swallowing normally or that there is a gastrointestinal obstruction. Inadequate fluid in the amniotic sac (oligohydramnios) may mean that the baby isn’t urinating properly and could indicate a problem with the kidneys or urinary tract. Your health care provider will measure your levels of amniotic fluid as part of your routine ultrasound.
Baby is truly filling out now. Fatty deposits under the skin are ensuring that he or she will be a healthy, bouncing baby on arrival. The consistency of the fat below the skin’s surface ensures that your baby is no longer red, but is instead the healthy baby-pink that is expected at birth.
If your baby is a boy, his testes will have begun to descend to the scrotum from the body cavity.
Your little one isn’t likely to grow much longer now but will carry on gaining weight. Your baby can also tell night from day now. Sadly, this doesn’t mean you can teach them when to sleep just yet!
If you’re expecting twins, they will be getting into their final positions before the birth. Around 75 per cent of twins get themselves into the head-down (cephalic) position that makes it easier for a vaginal delivery. If this isn’t the case, find out more from your midwife or GP about the best form of delivery for you.
Baby measures 16.2 inches (41.1 cm) and weighs 3.3 pounds (1502 grams).