Pregnancy Week 3915 Comments
Your Baby's Development This Week
The baby is now 7-8 pounds usually, and between 19 and 21 inches in length. The skin is less pink and whiter now that fat layer has developed and those blood vessels are less close to the skin surface. Even babies of a darker skin tone are white now, as the pigment has not developed yet. However, it will soon after birth. The baby is developing a layer of fat called brown fat. This is an important feature, as it helps baby regulate temperature and keep warm. The baby now forms new skin cells to replace old ones. Lanugo, the fuzzy hair on baby has mostly disappeared, but some bits may be found at birth on the shoulders, arms, legs and in creases. Baby has practiced many skills that will be used later include crying, however no tears will be present until a month or so after birth as the tear ducts aren't functional until then.
Pregnancy Symptoms You May Feel During Week 39
Your weight gain has probably stalled, and you might even drop a pound or two as labor nears. Your Braxton Hicks contractions are increasing, and as labor is so much on your mind it can be difficult to tell whether your contractions are the real thing or not. If the contractions change depending on your activity, it's false labor. If you were lying still and having contractions and then started moving around and they stopped, it's not true labor. Conversely, if you are moving around being active and feeling contractions, but when you rest, they stop, it's false or practice contractions. True labor will be consistent, get harder and closer together although the time frame varies by each labor. You might have labor that slowly builds over a couple days or just hours. True labor is felt in abdomen and/or lower back, and might be accompanied by cramping, diarrhea, or an upset stomach. It will intensify and become more frequent. Not all labors however have a perfectly consistent pattern, but pay attention to the intensity. That's true labor!
Visit With the Obstetrician
Now is the time to firm up that birth plan and go over it with your doctor. It's important to do it now, because while in the middle of hard contractions you aren't going to feel up to negotiations. Also, labor will go more smoothly if you aren't worried over what is going to happen. Knowing what to expect will alleviate many fears and apprehensions. You should have toured the hospital already, probably during childbirth classes, but if you haven't, do so now. The trip at the end to the nursery will give you a boost in mood thinking how soon you'll be holding your new little one. Discuss what the check in process will be.
- Will you be taken to your room and then given a gown, have blood taken, give a urine sample, fill out some papers?
- Will you be monitored?
- Will you get an IV or just have the heparin lock in place for if you need something given intravenously later?
- Can you walk down the halls with your monitor in place?
- Is there a rocking chair?
- Can you bring in music to listen to?
- Can you bring in drinks or will there be popsicles to suck on?
- Knowing all these things will help you feel more comfortable and ready for the big day.
Preparing for Baby
A birth doula is a labor helper, someone who guides you, comforts you through the process of childbirth. But today many families are opting to use the services of a postpartum doula. A postpartum doula helps the entire family transition into a new life with baby, offering feeding/breastfeeding support, infant care help, light housekeeping, running errands, and so on. Some offer night hours for those tough first nights with a newborn. Their services range from to or more an hour, but depending on the number of hours contracted for there may be a discount. Some people use their doulas only a couple days a week, others 5 days a week. There is a wide range of possibilities in how to use a postpartum doula. It would make an excellent shower gift too!
You may think at this point that somehow your baby is the one baby in the world that just won't be born. It's taking forever, the minutes are dragging by and all you can do is spend the day wondering, 'Is this the day my baby is going to be born?' Take advantage of these last few days by relaxing! Go to a movie. Read something for pleasure, not just about childbirth or parenting. Order take out and watch a movie at home. Go walk around the mall. Indulge in your lazy past times now, while you can. Relish these last few quiet, carefree days while you can. All those things will seem like outrageous luxuries in a few weeks!
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