You baby now weighs nearly 6.5lbs, not far off 3 kilos, and he’s getting ready to make his appearance. The amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby is lessening as he expands to fill the space available.
As the wall of your uterus is stretched and becomes thinner, more light from outside the womb can penetrate and your baby can develop activity cycles for day and night. Reflexes that will be present from birth are already developed, so not only is your baby breathing and swallowing, but he’s also able to make a strong grasp with his fingers.
If your baby is in breech position there are a couple of tricks you can try to get him to turn, the simplest of which is to try kneeling down with your head and chest resting on the floor and your bum in the air for fifteen minutes several times a day.
What’s happening with mum?
Now that you’re past your 36th week you’re no longer allowed to fly, not that you’ll feel like doing so anyway!
You’ll be seeing your midwife or doctor every week now, and among the checks they’ll make will be to check for effacement and dilation of the cervix. In order for your baby to pass through the birth canal your cervix has to change enormously, or ripen. The cervix becomes softer and thins and then begins to dilate, or open. When this happens the plug of mucus that has acted as a seal for our uterus might come loose and give you a show. While everyone needs a fully effaced and dilated cervix before they can give birth vaginally, the process could take weeks for some women or happen virtually overnight for others. So if you’re told that you are effacing and dilating it doesn’t necessarily mean that labour is imminent, and if the cervix is still unripe it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re still weeks away.
Whatever may happen it’s best to be prepared, so make sure you have a bag for the hospital packed and ready to go, just in case. This is also a good time to go over your birth plan with your partner/birthing partner and midwife so that everyone’s clear on your key concerns and wishes.
NB: All pregnancies are different and fetal growth rates vary, this is meant only as an approximate guide to development. If you have any concerns about your developing pregnancy then speak to your doctor.
What to expect in the last weeks of pregnancy - The waiting is nearly over but there are still many changes taking place and lots to get to grips with, find out more here.
Hospital checklist- If you're going to the hospital you'll need to take a long a well-packed bag.
The onset of labour? - If you're not sure how you'll know that labour has started then make sure you check our indications of labour and know how to respond when they appear.
Whiling away the days - In retrospect I wish I had spent more time reading and less time folding and re-folding babygros. But such is the nesting instinct... Laura tells us and there are plenty of other
birth stories on the site.
Don't forget to have a look at the pregnancy blogs this week to find out how the other mums-to-be are getting on. And why not update your own blog too?
Home birth? - A friend of mine recently gave birth at home, with an independent midwife, an experience she raves about. I love the idea, but am a bit concerned that doctors, drugs, surgery and equipment are more readily available at hospital. If you're having a home birth then join in the debate on the forum.
You can join in the discussions and share birth experiences and advice with other ThinkBaby members in the birth folder.
Buying a car seat - It's an essential item that you won't be able to leave the hospital without if you're travelling by car but they're also rather expensive, so know what to look for before you invest in a car seat.
Breast or bottle? - If you haven't yet decided how you're going to feed your baby then here's some food for thought on the advantages and disadvantages of both methods.
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