When you’re 9 months pregnant, your fetus’s eyes and pupils are more developed, and it has more body fat.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (33-34) Weeks Pregnant?
Now that you are in your thirty-third week, you have begun your eighth month of pregnancy. You should be seeing your OB/GYN every week by now, hearing your sweet baby’s heartbeat on the Doppler each time.
You have probably gained nearly 30 pounds by now. And you’re wondering what else is in store for you this week.
This week, baby tips the scales at around 4 pounds (about the weight of a pineapple) and is a little bit longer than 17 inches from head to heel.
Baby’s skeleton is hardening, although the bones in its skull are not yet fused together, which allows the pieces to overlap so baby’s skull can fit more easily through the birth canal.
You will be very grateful for this fact in just a few weeks! The skull bones will fuse in early adulthood after the brain and other tissues have reached their final size. Baby is so big at this point that the level of amniotic fluid has reached its highest point.
This means that baby’s acrobatics and attempts to “bend it like Beckham” can be felt much more intensely, as there is less fluid to cushion the blows.
This week, antibodies are being passed from you to baby to beef up baby’s immune system in preparation for his exit into the germy world that we call home.
This week heartburn and shortness of breath are still going strong. You are almost at the finish line. Hang on…you are nearly there! Don´t take antacids especially Tums.
Heartburn is a symptom that indicates poor digestion and the presence of acid reflux – taking the tablets only makes it worse.
Taking antacids will reduce stomach acid. And low stomach acid can lead to a leaky gut which causes other major issues.
Eating fermented foods, lifestyle changes eating 5 or 6 small meals a day, avoiding spicy or greasy food, and not lying down for 1 hour after eating will remedy the problem. Also eating yogurt and drinking milk.
Some women have the misfortune to have a recurrence of morning sickness during the third trimester; this will be less intense than in the first trimester, but still unpleasant.
Follow the guidelines that helped you get through the early weeks, such as eating small meals more frequently, sucking on ginger candy, and upping your water intake to avoid dehydration.
Now that you are thirty-four weeks pregnant, you are in full-fledged waddling mode. You are probably thoroughly sick of your tried-and-true maternity wear, and wondering if you will ever be back to your normal self.
Fear not! In just about six short weeks, you will forget all of these cares as you gaze into your perfect newborn’s beautiful eyes for the first time. What is in store for your baby and your body this week?
Baby now weighs a few ounces under five pounds (think of the weight of a bag of flour), and measures a good 18 inches from head to heel. Fat layers are smoothing out your baby’s skin, which will aid in temperature regulation outside the womb.
Baby’s central nervous system and lungs are maturing, and the vernix (the cheesy coating that protects baby’s skin from his surrounding watery environment) is at its thickest.
Fingernails are fully formed, and will probably be ready to trim after the baby is delivered. Babies born between now and thirty-seven weeks have just as much of a chance to survive and thrive as those born at full term (thirty-nine weeks).
If born now, the baby might require a short stay in the neonatal unit, but most probably will not suffer any long-term disadvantages due to prematurity.
Your back hurts, your stretch marks are itchy, and people have probably begun asking you when that baby will ever be born. These last few weeks can be incredibly taxing for a pregnant woman, especially a first-timer when fears about labor and delivery cluster at the forefront of the mind.
If you have not yet signed up for a class at your birthing center, doing so may help ease some of your anxieties as you learn the stages of labor, and what to expect the day you arrive at the hospital.
Educating yourself through reading may help, as may speaking with people in your life who have already given birth.
Hold fast to the knowledge that women have been having babies for millennia, and in far worse conditions than you will find yourself when the big day finally arrives. Believe in your own strength and the strength of your body to deliver your baby safely.
This late in your pregnancy, you will most likely be seeing your practitioner once a week. Your weight gain should be holding steady at about a pound a week (more than half of that will go directly to the baby). Your uterus will be measured during these appointments, and should be felt five to six inches above the navel.
It is perfectly common to be measure somewhat higher or lower; if the discrepancy is exceptional, a third-trimester ultrasound may be scheduled in order to more closely gauge the baby’s due date.
This week, in preparation for your baby’s arrival, make sure you have a car seat and know how to install it. Your local police or fire station can install it for you the first time, so you know the proper method.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (35-36) Weeks Pregnant?
At thirty-five weeks pregnant, you are on the very last week before your last month of pregnancy. The baby could arrive at any time now.
Many women choose to begin their maternity leave this week, in order to prepare for imminent labor without the stress that working full-time can add. What is in store for your baby and your body this week?
There is not much room left in your womb now. As at this point, there is more baby than amniotic fluid. Baby is over 18 inches long from head to heels and weighs in at a little over five pounds.
Baby’s movements will change from rolling and somersaulting to kicks and punches at this point. As there is no longer enough space for acrobatics.
This is a good thing, as hopefully baby is in the head-down position at this point. And is likely to remain so in preparation for birth. Kidneys are fully developed, lungs are nearly mature, and baby’s liver is able to process waste products.
The next few weeks will see mostly the addition of fat stores, as your baby is nearly developmentally complete.
Expect vision changes this week, as hormones released during pregnancy can cause dry eyes, and even change the shape of your eye lens, rendering you temporarily near- or far-sighted.
No need to be alarmed; these changes will disappear after the birth of your baby, which is looming closer and closer.
Sometime between now and thirty-seven weeks, a Group B Strep test will be performed at your weekly doctor’s appointment. This simple test checks for the presence of Group B Streptococcus bacteria, which colonize the rectum and vaginal canal of some women.
Though not harmful to a pregnant woman, a baby passing through a birth canal where these bacteria are present may experience complications such as pneumonia.
If bacteria are found, an intravenous antibiotic will be administered to you during the birth of your baby, to ensure that he or she remains bacteria-free.
This week, in preparation for labor, you might ask your partner to begin perineal massage on you. This simple technique prepares the body for labor and may help prevent painful tears and lacerations during the birthing process. To perform a perineal massage, have your partner thoroughly wash his hands.
Then, have him warm a little olive oil or lubricant in his hands, and gently massage your perineum by placing his thumbs about an inch inside your vagina, pressing downward and to the sides at the same time.
Have him continue this gentle stretching for about two minutes. Performed twice a day for the last few weeks of pregnancy, this massage technique has been proven to increase perineal flexibility and reduce the need for an episiotomy.
Now that you are in your thirty-sixth week of pregnancy, you are officially in your final month. At the end of this week, you will be technically full-term, as “full-term” is a time frame that ranges from thirty-seven to forty-two weeks. Your baby may arrive at any time during that window.
A baby born at thirty-six weeks would have absolutely no long-term troubles and only a small chance of being admitted to the NICU for a short time. What can you expect from your baby and your body this week?
Baby is still rapidly gaining weight at the rate of about an ounce a day. He or she now tips the scales at around six pounds and is more than 18.5 inches from head to heel. The downy covering of hair is being shed this week, as is most of the vernix caseosa.
Both of these, as well as other secretions, are swallowed by your baby along with amniotic fluid and will re-appear as meconium, your baby’s first bowel movement.
Your baby should already be in a head-down position in preparation for birth, but if he or she is being stubborn about it, your practitioner may suggest scheduling an “external cephalic version,” which is a form of manipulating the baby’s position externally, in hopes of turning the baby around.
Since the baby is so large at this point, your internal organs, including your stomach, have been pushed aside to accommodate your uterus. This means that you may find it difficult to eat a normal-sized meal. During this time, smaller meals should be the rule-of-thumb for you.
This week, the baby may start to descend into your pelvis, or “drop.” This is great news, as heartburn may significantly decrease and feelings of breathlessness may subside now that baby is situated lower.
The bad news is, once baby drops, you will probably feel increased pressure in your lower abdomen. This meaning that you will need to urinate more frequently and have to waddle around. As increased vaginal pressure makes you feel as if you are carrying a bowling ball between your legs.
This late in your pregnancy, it is inadvisable (not to mention extremely uncomfortable) to venture farther than your home-town. Most airlines will not let a woman fly when she is in her final month, for fear of an in-flight “spectacle” that is entirely unplanned, so stick close to home and prepare for your little one’s imminent arrival.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (37-38) Weeks Pregnant?
Since the baby is now considered full-term, its lungs will, in all probability, be mature enough to adjust to life outside your womb. Some babies may not be quite ready, so if you are scheduling a C-section, it should not be for another two weeks unless medically necessary.
This week, the baby weighs in at a little over six pounds and measures a little over 19 inches. Baby now has a full head of hair, anywhere from half an inch to 1.5 inches long.
At this week’s appointment, and all the rest of your appointments from now until the big day, your practitioner will be looking for signs of labor. He or she will take note of your baby’s position in relation to the pelvis, known as engagement, and whether effacement, or thinning, of your cervix, has begun.
The practitioner may perform a fingertip check to see whether your cervix is dilated at all. Each of these factors is assigned a value, and together, they give your practitioner a relatively good idea of when labor will begin.
There are no guarantees, however. Baby has his or her own special timing, and you may be stuck at a certain stage of dilation or effacement for hours, days, or weeks.
You should review the signs of labor with your practitioner, and have an overnight bag ready for your hospital stay from this point on. One sign that labor is nearing is the loss of your mucous plug.
This slimy pink tissue has served as a physical barrier protecting the womb from bacteria and other threats. Once the cervix starts thinning and opening, it may fall out.
When you are thirty-eight weeks pregnant, time seems to stand still. Two weeks feels like a lifetime away as you nervously await the onset of labor. What else can you expect this week?
At nearly seven pounds and 19.5 inches from head to heel. The baby is close to his or her final weight and length. Baby now has the ability to grasp at objects. Meaning that he or she will be able to clutch your finger immediately after birth. Making your heart swell with motherly pride.
All of baby’s systems are up and running, waiting for the signal to launch, which could come any day now. Final touches are still taking place during the final weeks of gestation. Such as shedding of the lanugo and vernix, fine-tuning the nervous system in preparation for the coming influx of outside stimuli, producing more surfactant in the lungs in preparation for the first breath, and gaining yet more fat.
For all intents and purposes, your baby is fully “cooked,” and waiting for the hormonal signal that will send it on its way.
You are exhausted, sick and tired of waddling around like a penguin, and you just may have to stab the next person who tells you that you look ready to pop. Welcome to the end of your pregnancy! The fear of impending labor may render you sleepless with anxiety. So now is the time to practice your calming and centering.
Whenever you feel the panic begin to set in, remind yourself that you are strong, your doctors are capable, and your body knows what it is doing. Women have been birthing babies since the beginning of time, and you WILL be fine.
Keep your bag packed and ready for your hospital trip. As it could come at any time. And the last thing you will want to do between contractions is spent time locating your lucky socks.
What is Going On with You and Your Baby from (39-40) Weeks Pregnant?
Now that you are thirty-nine weeks pregnant, your due date is fast approaching. You are in the home stretch now, and probably wondering if this pregnancy is EVER going to end.
Remember, only 15% of pregnant women actually deliver on their due dates. This could mean that your baby is content to be inside you and will stay until an eviction notice is posted in the form of an induction. What can you expect this week?
Not much is happening this week. As the baby is fully formed, functional, and simply waiting for the hormonal cues necessary to make its grand appearance. The layer of fat beneath baby’s skin will continue to develop, aiding in temperature control outside the womb.
Although the baby may add a fraction of an inch to his overall length. Most infants at this point already weigh a little over seven pounds. And measure around 20 inches (the size of a small watermelon). Boys may be slightly heavier than girls.
The outer layers of baby’s skin are sloughing off now. A process that will continue after birth, manifesting itself as dry, flaky skin. No special lotions or creams are needed, as a new layer of skin is already in the process of forming. It will be only a matter of time before baby’s skin is as smooth as…well…a baby’s bottom!
At this point in development, even babies of a darker skin heritage will appear whitish. As their pigment has not yet fully developed. Baby’s brain is continuing to grow in size and will do so until about the third year of life.
At your weekly appointment, your practitioner will perform an internal exam. To determine whether any progress has been made in terms of dilation and effacement. Even if you are somewhat dilated, it is too early to uncork the champagne just yet. As it is entirely possible to walk around for weeks at the same dilation and effacement levels.
On the other hand, it is also possible to have your first contraction. Shortly after your appointment, as labor could begin at literally any time now.
Now that you are forty weeks pregnant, the end is literally days away. If you have uneventfully passed your due date this week, chances are you are headed for an induction. Either way, your baby is coming VERY soon now, so enjoy what could be the final week of your pregnancy. What can you expect this week?
Babies vary in size depending upon their heritage. But the average newborn weighs around 7.5 pounds and measures about 20 inches long from head to heel. At this point, baby’s skull bones are not yet fused. Which enables the plates to semi-overlap as he or she exits the narrow birth canal.
This may give your baby a charming “cone-headed” look when it is first born; this is entirely normal and temporary. This week, the placenta is providing baby with antibodies to stave off infections. A job that will be taken over by your breast milk once the baby has entered the world.
Baby has fattened up and is officially ready to make his or her long-awaited debut into your loving arms.
When thinking about delivering a baby. Many women wonder how something so big, can possibly emerge from such a small opening. In reality, this condition, called cephalopelvic disproportion, should not be a concern for the majority of women for several reasons.
First of all, the pelvis is not a fixed structure. During the course of your pregnancy, the hormone relaxin has been hard at work loosening the ligaments that support the pelvic girdle. Making it possible to accommodate your baby’s head. Second of all, baby’s skull is not yet fused, so the diameter of the head is also somewhat flexible. Thirdly, the position in which a woman delivers can make a huge difference in the ease of delivery.
For instance, a squatting position can open the pelvic girdle up to 30% more than the typically employed semi-recline position. Finally, when it comes to genetics, most newborns are fairly well matched to the size of their mothers.
Your weight gain will have slowed, stopped, or even reversed by this week, as your pregnancy draws to a close. You may experience diarrhea this week as your body prepares for baby’s arrival by making the room anyway it can. Some women also find themselves vomiting as labor begins.
The best of luck to you and your beautiful baby!
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