- Let’s look at the changes in your baby during these two weeks. By now, your baby weighs around 2.2 Kg. Not only has he grown in size, but his capabilities and abilities have advanced too. You may sometimes feel sudden jumps inside. Don’t worry, this is normal. This is usually because your baby just hiccupped!
- During this period your doctor and midwife will pay special attention to the position of your baby inside your womb. They may have already informed you that most babies are born head-first. However on occasion babies are born buttocks-first as well.
- In most babies who will be born head-first, by this time their head is positioned downwards, close to your cervical canal; waiting until it’s time to enter the cervical canal.
- Even if your baby is not positioned head-first at this time, do not worry. It could be that it will turn in the next few days and position itself head-first, as there is still time until the birth.
- The most important thing to be aware of during this period is your baby’s growth. During this time, at each clinic session, your doctor or mid wife will measure your growing tummy to see how much it has expanded and at what rate your baby is growing, as it is important to be especially mindful of this during this period leading up to birth. From week 24 onwards at every clinic, they will also check your baby’s heart rate, as this is important to determine how healthy your baby is.
- Your stretch marks may become more visible as your skin becomes increasingly stretched.
- After week 32, you must may extra attention to your baby’s movements inside you. This is because if there is a decrease in activity or a change in your baby’s movement pattern, this could be because of some danger or threat to the baby’s health inside your womb.
- Scientific tests prove that healthy babies move on average, 10 times during a 12 hour period, and at very least, once every 4 hours.Keep count of your baby’s movements and note the time lapsed between movements. This is not to say you should stay awake at night to keep count as well. During the 12 daytime hours that you are awake, make note and count how many times you felt your baby’s movements. Although your baby sleeps a lot inside your womb, no baby sleeps for more than 4 hours at a stretch, so it should definitely move at least once every 4 hours. If there is no movement for more than 4 hours, seek medical attention immediately.
- Now let’s look at what happens during weeks 34-35. The important thing to remember is that if by chance you go into labor before your due date, chances are quite high you will still deliver a perfectly normal and healthy baby.
- By now your baby’s lungs are fully formed and can work alone. Therefore your baby now has the ability to breathe air and survive outside your body if it is born. During this time, you should be aware that you could go into labor anytime, so you should be prepared. Avoid long-distance travel during this critical period.
- You may like to return to your own mother’s home when the time for delivery is near. This is a common practice in Sri Lanka. However if your mother lives far away from you or in a different district, consider the distance you will have to travel to get there. Also look at the medical facilities in your home district and evaluate where your baby and you can get the best medical attention during delivery. Also consider the conditions the roads and the available means of transport in your home area, before moving back there for the birth. If the roads are in bad condition or if there are no proper means of transport available from your parental home to the nearest hospital, you will face difficulties getting there when it’s time to deliver.
- If you haven’t already put thought into it, this is a good time to inform yourself well about caring for your newborn. You can find a lot of useful information on our website. Your doctor and midwife will also give you a lot of useful pamphlets, leaflets and small books. Read these well, and make yourself well aware, especially on topics such as preparing for labor and birth, breast feeding etc. If you haven’t already received this information, request it from your midwife.
- Now you are in your 36th week, or 9th month of pregnancy. It’s been a long journey, but the happy end is very near. By now, your baby will be in the position that it will be born in, there is no more time left for your baby to turn as it waits impatiently for birth. Now your doctor or midwife will be able to tell you definitively if your baby is going to be born head-first or bottom-first (buttocks or feet first). If your baby is going to be born bottom-first, your doctor will discuss with you the special preparations and plans for delivery and birth. The majority of babies who are still in bottom-first position by week 36 are delivered by caesarian section. Normal delivery is also possible, depending on the mother’s and baby’s health. There are some risks associated with normal delivery for bottom-first babies. Your doctor will discuss these risks with you when you make your decision.
- If you have high blood pressure, diabetes of any other special health condition, you should take extra care during this time. Also ensure you follow all advice given by your doctor and midwife and take any precautions they prescribe. You are now in the last stages of your pregnancy, and you have come so far, you want to make sure you and your baby are in optimal health during delivery and birth.
- Your baby’s growth will be monitored closely during this time. Your doctor will monitor this on a weekly basis, and if there is a drop in your baby’s growth rate, special attention must be paid to this. Your doctor will advise what to do if you experience this.
- We already talked to you about the importance of monitoring your baby’s movements during the last weeks of pregnancy. Now you must pay extra attention to how many times your baby moves, and seek medical attention if you don’t feel any movements for more than 4 hours.
- You must have already decided where you want to give birth by now, and selected a hospital. You must have also planned how to get to hospital when you go into labor, and who will come with you and stay with you during the birth. Make sure you have a small bag packed with the essentials you will need when you are in hospital during labor and birth. Don’t forget to include the items your new born will need during its first hours at hospital. You can find out more about what to pack at this link. You can also ask your midwife for advice.
- You may have read in books that after 36 weeks your baby’s head should enter the cervical canal. However this doesn’t always happen, especially if this is your first baby. Sometimes the baby’s head only begins to enter the cervical canal during labor. Therefore don’t worry too much if you find out from your doctor or midwife that your baby’s head has still not entered your cervical canal.
- During this period, your body starts producing a hormone to loosen your joints and make them supple in preparation for birth. As a result you may experience some body and joint aches. Because of a loosening of joints in your pelvic area, you may feel pain when you change position, stand, lie down, sit, or stand up from a seated position. This is normal during this period of your pregnancy.
- After 36 weeks, your doctor or midwife will examine you every week. They will always ask you about your baby’s movements, so make sure you have kept record.