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Supporting you through pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood
The Stages Of Your Pregnancy
Week by Week
1st Trimester
2nd Trimester
3rd Trimester
Pain Relief During Pregnancy
3rd Trimester
Your baby
Congratulations, you are in the third and final trimester; it's the countdown to the day that your baby will be born! By week 30 your baby looks very much like he will when he is born, though he will continue to put on weight. He is in proportion now and in most cases will be lying with his head down in your pelvis. He can now open his eyes and, some studies have shown that he will turn towards a bright light. By about week 33 your baby may start getting the hiccups, you will feel small jerky movements that are evenly spaced. His movements will start to change as his space becomes more restricted and rather than somersaults his turns will be slower and more deliberate. By week 36 soft nails have grown to the end of his fingers and toes and his hair could be up to 5cm long. If you are having a boy his testes should have descended by now and if this is your first baby his head will usually descend in to your pelvis at this stage. Over the next 4 weeks your baby will gain about 1oz every day.
Full Term - Your baby is ready to be born, the vernix has almost disappeared there are only remnants left in the folds of skin, at his neck, armpits and groin. Most of the languo is gone and his head is almost certainly engaged in your pelvis.
Though the busiest time for your unborn baby has passed, he can simply concentrate on putting on weight now; your busy time may just be starting. It's time to start preparing for the arrival of your baby, pack a bag for the hospital, prepare the nursery, buy the essential items that you will need to look after a newborn and, if you are anything like me, start scrubbing the house from top to bottom! I think I was about 35 weeks when the nesting instinct kicked in, and despite the fact that we had recently redecorated the house I still proceeded to pull it apart to make sure that every nook and cranny had been scrubbed with bleach. It's not easy to reach the back of the kitchen cupboards with a 45 inch waist line you know, but it just had to be done!
You might find that it's time to start running to the loo again as your uterus expands and puts the pressure back on your bladder. You might also suffer from pain in you ribcage and your lower back as your baby is nearing full term.
You will probably now be enjoying the endless advice that's being handed out by anyone and everyone you meet, from your friends who don't have kids to the woman behind the checkout in the supermarket. I have to say that my favourite words of wisdom at the later stages had to be "Make sure you get plenty of sleep while you still can!" Ha! Sleep. I wanted to shout "You try sleeping with a watermelon strapped to your belly!" As you may guess I found getting a full night sleep comparable to mission impossible. Between the discomfort of having a huge bump, my future world class footballer turning night into day and my bladder demanding to be emptied on the hour every hour, sleep was not something I got plenty of.
You may start to experience Braxton Hicks contractions now, or you may have been getting them for sometime. It's not always easy to tell the difference, until you've experienced the real thing of course but it is said that 'true' contractions are more regular. If you are in any doubt call your midwife for advice.
Any problems you have been experiencing with your breathing and eating should ease as the baby moves down in to your pelvis however this may make walking more uncomfortable if the baby's head rests on your pelvic floor, this is when the waddling begins!
It's perfectly normal to be anxious about the birth as the big day draws nearer. Try to discuss any fears you may have with someone, your midwife if possible as she is the most qualified to put your mind at rest. It might be a good idea to write a birth plan - think about what you would like to happen, do you want a natural labour, if possible? Or are you all in favour of an epidural? Would you like to try the birthing pool or would you prefer to use a birthing ball in the labour room? Write down your thoughts and put them in your hospital bag but don't forget to discuss them with your midwife and your partner as it may be up to them to remind you what you wanted to happen.
Week by week
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
1st Trimester
Your baby
2nd Trimester
Your baby
• 3rd Trimester
Your baby
Try to discuss any fears
you may have with
someone, your midwife
if possible
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