done – you’ve reached the home straight
This last month of pregnancy may be an emotional one for you
as the birth approaches and you encounter many issues related
to it. Will I cope with the birth? Will I be able to breast
feed? Will I be a good mother? Worries about the baby
and whether it is normal may intensify during this time. Keep
in mind that change is always a challenge and that this is
one of the greatest upheavals that you will ever go through,
causing you to reassess your relationships and your perceptions
of yourself and those around you. Your greatest tool in this
situation is knowledge, so read up about birth, labour, pain relief and any other subject that bothers you.
Your childbirth class discussion sessions are a good way to
air what is on your mind in sympathetic and supportive environment.
If none of this applies to you then equally pregnancy, labour
and childbirth can be intensely satisfying experiences for some women.
Oops I need the loo
Any time during this month the baby should drop down into
your pelvis and ‘engages’. The head of the baby
moves right down into the pelvis in preparation for labour.
The engaging of the baby’s head may be an indication
that the baby’s head will fit through the pelvis,
but the converse is not necessarily true – in the
vast majority of cases even a baby who is not engaged when
labour starts, will be born without problems. Engagement
should bring some relief to your breathlessness which
was caused by the height of your uterus, right under your
ribs, but may spell the return of needing the toilet often and the bladder comes under pressure. The baby is
now so large that there is not much room for the athletics
of former months – however there will still be plenty
of action going on inside your uterus, and the parts of
your baby which cause bulges in your stomach may be indentifiable
as a foot or head.
Waiting for the birth
The estimated due date is only accurate in 5% of births,
and a delivery two weeks either side of the due date is
normal. Try to be stoic about this as every day overdue
can feel like a month! Statistic show that 9 out of 10 babies
are born by 10 days past the due date, and your doctor will
be keeping a close eye on you to ensure that your placenta
is still able to support the baby. During this time your
important job is to monitor the baby’s movements (see normal baby movement) and really take things easy in
preparation for the birth.
to call the doctor?