One month left of having to carry around your big bump! This week your baby is just over 2.5kg and is approximately 50cm in length. Your baby’s blood circulation and immune system is advanced enough to face the outside world, however your baby’s digestive system has had no practice at consuming solids, only amniotic fluid, bile and mucus, and so it will be a few months after birth before your little one can move onto solid foods.
This week, your baby should be free of almost all lanugo (fine downy hairs grown for insulation before fat is deposited), apart from some that may reside on his or her back and shoulders until after birth. Your baby’s hearing is even sharper in these last few weeks, and some studies have shown that newborns favor the sound of their mother’s voices over any other, most likely due to the familiarity of the sound, especially if you have been making an effort to talk or sing to your baby whilst they are still inside you!
With only a month of pregnancy left, your uterus is a thousand times the volume it originally was! You have gained a lot of weight over the last eight months, although with only,a few weeks to go, weight gain will slow and for some women, stop all together. Do your best to rest whenever possible, and elevate your feet to increase circulation and prevent swelling, lying on your left side will also do this. It is very important that you drink plenty of water daily, to aid waste clearance through the kidneys, assist movement in your bowels and keep your blood volume up.
Only five percent of babies are actually born on their due date, and most women go into labor sometime between thirty seven and forty two weeks of pregnancy, so it is important to pack an overnight bag complete with a nursing bra, overnight clothes and a ‘going home’, outfit for you and your newborn! Braxton hicks contractions may be a far more frequent occurrence, as said before, these should not be painful and should only be felt as the tightening of stomach muscles in ‘practice contractions’, as your body prepares for the big event! You can ease these contractions by having a drink, getting into a warm bath or changing your position.
Do not feel embarrassed about your concerns, if you are unsure of anything unusual going on in your body or think you might be going into labor, ring or visit your doctor! Even if you have to go to the hospital just to find out that you were going through false labor, the worst that can happen is that you will be asked to go home and relax, it is far better to be safe than sorry.
If you have any symptoms that concern you it is important to consult your doctor as soon as you can.