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Pregnancy Milestones – Weeks 37 – birth

by | Jun 8, 2020

The final chapter of your pregnancy is here.  The long journey has been filled with so many wondrous events – from the discovery of being pregnant to the rollercoaster ride of growing a baby and finally getting ready to birth a child into this world. Let’s have a look at what’s happening with the new family-to-be.

Week 37

What’s happening to baby?

  • Baby is now the size of a pumpkin.
  • Baby’s fingers are becoming very dexterous now, and she grabs smaller objects like her nose and toes.
  • Baby practises inhaling and exhaling, sucking her thumb practising for feeding, and she’s blinking a lot.
  • Little sprog continues to move a lot even though space is a little tight. Stretching, rolling and wiggling are the order of the day.
  • Weight gain is still happening at roughly 200g per week.
  • Baby’s head circumference is the same as her chest circumference.
  • These next two weeks before baby is considered term, is an important time as it’s the final stretch for baby’s lungs and brain to mature fully.

 

What’s happening to mom?

  • Apart from probably feeling somewhat uncomfortable and wishing more often than not that babe would arrive soon, the mixture of excitement and anxiety are probably escalating.
  • Appointments with your caregiver will be weekly.
  • If you are experiencing water retention, don’t drop your intake of fluids. Keep well hydrated.
  • Braxton Hicks (practice contractions) may be quite intense and somewhat uncomfortable. Movement helps to lessen the discomfort.

 

What’s happening to dad?

  • As excitement in the house mounts, dad’s concern for mom’s comfort will probably increase too.
  • Thoughts of his role during labour may be one of the many things preoccupying his mind, so it will help both of you to have an open conversation about his role.
  • Now is the time to make sure he knows the plan for D-Day. Is everything packed? Does he know the best route to the hospital? Does he have the numbers on hand for your midwife or the maternity unit?

 

Week 39 – 41

What’s happening to baby?

  • Hopefully baby is already head down and has engaged into your pelvis in preparation for birth.
  • Vernix covering baby will be just about completely shed by now.
  • Baby’s skin has gone from pink to white, as pigmentation only occurs soon after birth.
  • The true waiting game begins as squidgy is now ready to make her grand appearance.

 

What’s happening to mom?

  • As Braxton Hicks contractions continue to increase, you may wonder if this is labour. Remember, false labour contractions are unpredictable, stop or slow down with movement, and usually only originate from your lower abdomen.
  • Four things need to happen in order for babe to be born normally. Your cervix needs to dilate; it needs to ripen, going from the consistency of the tip of your nose to the inside of your cheek; it needs to thin out; and finally change position from being towards the back of your pelvis and moving towards the front of your pelvis.
  • These changes can happen overnight or take up to two weeks.
  • Patience and plenty of rest is the key to these end stages.
  • As labour becomes imminent, you may experience the following tell-tale signs: nesting, a bloody show, baby ‘drops’, your joints feel looser, you have diarrhoea, and increased back pain.

 

What’s happening to dad?

  • Dad is probably beginning to feel just as anxious as mom, and possibly concerned and frustrated. That’s ok. It’s been a long wait, he’s witnessed you go through so much, and the anticipation of meeting his new little champ or cute princess can be just as overwhelming for him.

As the end of this chapter draws near and the new one is about to begin, think back on the miraculous journey that it’s been so far.  Your amazing body has grown an entire new human being. Allow the awe and wonder to carry you for these last weeks because soon they will be gone, and you will have your new bundle in your arms. Congratulations mom, you can do this!



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