Your baby is now ready to face the outside world.
- Your baby tends to keep their head down, arms crossed, and legs folded up on their chest as there’s not much room to move around. They will be very glad to get out and stretch! Still, they will continue to kick, elbow or move their head to show they’re still there.
- Your baby’s respiratory system is getting ready to work on its own – it’s been borrowing yours up till now – though their lungs will continue to develop after the birth.
- Your baby looks plumper and its organs are now fully mature, ready to function independently. It has a firm grasp and reflexes to help it adapt in the world outside.
- Are you wondering what colour your baby’s eyes will be? You may not be able to tell right away. If your baby is born with brown eyes, they will most likely stay brown. However, if your baby is born with lighter eyes, they may gain more pigment over the next few months and keep changing their colour.
Your body during these last couple weeks
- With your baby bump now so prominent that it’s hard to bend down to do up your shoes, you might want to wear shoes you can slip in and out of easily. Don’t be afraid to ask your partner for help in getting dressed.
- Will you know when labour has started? Let us reassure you – you will know! You might feel a bit nauseous just before the birth or have a headache, and feel a heavy tiredness. Often some blood or mucus appears. This is a sign that the cervix has opened. If the contractions have started, then labour has begun. The difference between Braxton-Hicks contractions and real, first-stage contractions? With Braxton-Hicks, the belly tightens for a short time then relaxes, and they are irregular. “Real” contractions, on the other hand, get stronger and come at regular intervals that get shorter and shorter. If they are less than 10 minutes apart, then it’s time to contact the hospital – might be ready to go in! Learn more about identifying labour signs now.
Tips for the finish line:
- A bit of extra rest will do you good around now. Even easy tasks are quite tiring when carrying a large belly, and they can hurt your back. Maybe parents or friends can help a bit with the housework, doing the shopping or even cooking once in a while. See our tips to help rally your support team now.
- Try to stay as relaxed as you can. Keep doing your regular relaxation and breathing exercises. If you feel a wave of contractions, look calmly at your watch, lie down and relax, breathing deeply and regularly. The contractions will subside. When they come back, look at your watch again. If they are spaced more than 20 minutes apart, you’re not going into labour for now (in general, if the contractions are spaced 5 to 10 minutes apart, or if your water breaks, then it's time to go to the hospital).
- You have been eating so well for the past nine months to support you and your baby’s health. These are great habits to have started, and definitely worth keeping. Now also might be a good time to prepare for the busy time after the baby is born. Consider preparing some meals and putting them in the freezer. That way you don’t need to worry about going out to the grocery store preparing meals - just reheat and ready to go!
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