Your baby is now around 48 centimetres long and weighs nearly 6lbs, or two and three-quarter kilos. Her lungs are continuing to mature in preparation for her first drawing of breath, and her kidneys are already beginning to process waste products. She's still busy acquiring more baby fat; that will give her those little dimples and creases you'll soon be finding so adorable.
If she hasn't already then your baby may drop or 'engage' this week, dropping her head into the pelvic cavity and pressing on your cervix. In first pregnancies this usually happens 2-4 weeks before birth. If this isn't your first baby though, she probably won't engage until shortly before labour.
What’s happening with Mum?
In one way this new position will be a relief for you, as your baby moves downwards the pressure on your stomach and lungs will lessen and you should be able to breathe more easily. On the other hand the new position will mean more pressure on your bladder, so you’ll be hopping to the bathroom more often (not literally!) and are more likely to have stress incontinence. Remember those pelvic floor exercises... The new shift in weight distribution might throw your balance off too, so don’t be surprised if you’re more clumsy that usual.
Over the last few weeks you’ll probably have noticed your Braxton Hicks contractions as they become stronger. If the contractions become regular and painful then you may be in early labour, so call your doctor or midwife for advice. From here on in you’ll be seen by your doctor or midwife each week to check on progress.
You might well find yourself possessed with an urge to clean the house from top to bottom, this is the nesting instinct kicking in, there’s no reason not to indulge yourself, but don’t overdo it.
You’re nearly there now, baby is almost ready and so, most likely, are you! You can find out lots more about these final weeks of labour in our special article.
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.
Taking it easy - I have just stopped working and gone onto maternity leave. It feels very strange. I am a huge blob with tiny arms and legs just waiting to pop...I go for slow, puffy walks and dip in and out of mindnumbing daytime television. Lucy writes in her online diary.
And there are plenty of other late pregnancy experiences in the pregnancy blogs.
Sleepless - I can't get comfy in bed... I then stew about not getting enough sleep, and the worry makes me sleep even less! I've come round to the idea that these last few weeks just aren't very easy, physically speaking.Says Shelley on the forum.
You can join in the discussions and share birth experiences and advice with other ThinkBaby members in the birth folder.
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.
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.
The great nappy debate - We look at how each type of nappy performs in several areas to see which is best. If you haven't thought you had much choice here then it's time to think again.
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.
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