Your baby is getting more and more ready to breathe outside air. Their skin begins to appear less wrinkled because fat is starting to deposit underneath it. For now, amniotic fluid completely fills their lungs and alveoli, and they do “practice breathing” of amniotic fluid. Your baby gets oxygen from you, via the umbilical cord, until they are born.
Do you sometimes feel a tightening in your back or a hardening of the belly? That may be Braxton Hicks contractions. Not to worry, it just means your uterus is practising a little for the birth. Braxton Hicks contractions can begin as early as the 20th week of pregnancy, but most often start between weeks 28 and 30. Braxton Hicks contractions usually disappear during exercise or activity and are more noticeable when you’re resting. True labour pains, when it’s time, will continue and increase when you move around. If you have any doubt about whether your are experiencing Braxton Hicks or true labour, consult your doctor or midwife.
You prepare your baby to taste earthly food with every meal you eat. Aromatic molecules in your food can be carried to the baby via the amniotic fluid. After their birth, they may remember these tastes – and if you keep eating a diverse diet after their birth and breastfeed, they will flavour your milk.
Some women begin to feel anxious about when their baby will arrive and whether they may be born early. Most babies are born at full-term – between 37 and 42 weeks of pregnancy. Speak with your doctor or midwife if you are feeling concerned about your risk of premature delivery.
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