a large and very busy baby!
Your baby fills your uterus now and weighs about 1,3kg. If
born now your baby has a good chance of survival, but the
immature lungs will struggle to function and the sucking reflex
may not be present. The baby’s
movements can easily be felt by another person with their
hand on your stomach. The baby is gaining weight and brain
development is very pronounced. The size of the baby may make
you very tired, although for some women this is a relatively
easy period. The baby size may also be causing heartburn, insomnia and pressure on the bladder. The heartburn may be eased
by eating small more frequent meals, wearing clothes that
are loose over the stomach and sleeping propped up. For the
insomnia you need to develop a quiet bedtime routine, find
a position which is comfortable ( try lying on your side with
the top leg bent up onto a pillow) and try a soothing snack
or drink at bedtime. If you really cant sleep try to be positive
about the situation and use the time to relax and feel the
hands and feet are also a normal feature of this time
– by the end of your pregnancy your blood volume will
have increased by 50%! In fact more than three quarters of
pregnant women experience swollen hands and feet during the
third trimester. Sudden swelling and swelling of the face
should be reported to your doctor as some women are prone
to a sudden rise in blood pressure during this final stage
which is dangerous to both mother and baby.
Practising for labour
Hicks are small contractions which help tone the uterus
for labour and are felt from the middle of the pregnancy.
They can be quite strong and uncomfortable but remember
that they are a useful part of the process. They will continue
right through your pregnancy and can get so strong in the
last weeks that they can be mistaken for labour (known as false labour) At this stage they play an important part
in the softening of the cervix so that it can open during labour.
Decisions about the
Your choice of hospital may be constrained to those at which your doctor works.
Even so you should sign up for the tour which most hospitals
offer so that in the excitement and drama of the actual
event you are already familiar with your surroundings. Although
the majority of births still occur in hospitals, there is
a movement back towards home
births. If your doctor is supportive of this decision,
he/she will probably give you a list of criteria to fulfil
in order for home birth to be possible. If you feel strongly
about this you may have to change doctors, but since trusting
your chosen doctor is a vital component of a successful
birth, this is a decision you should not take lightly. (see
to call the doctor?