The final weeks are here, the nursery is ready, the layette is prepared, & the expecting parents are filled with joy & anticipation. What is going on inside mom’s body & the latest development of the baby? Let’s take a peek.
Remember that shortness of breath from a couple weeks earlier? It’s likely much worse now. Baby is taking up a lot of room and mom’s organs have been moved & squished to make space. Be sure to take breaks as needed when walking, working or exercising. You may also notice another unpleasant side effect called “baby brain.” This is real. Suddenly forgetting the pin on your debit card & other pertinent routine tasks. The mind is a little occupied while the body is stressed. This will resolve itself a few weeks after the birth. As for baby, the size & lack of space in the womb mean less tumbles & spinning movements, but you will still feel those little kicks. The baby is now the size of a pineapple.
The baby is now around five pounds & has formed digits and growing fingernails & toenails. The baby is sleeping with their eyes closed practicing for the sleep cycle outside of the womb. Deeper REM sleep cycles continue. Your baby bump continues to grow with mom’s hair & nails may be in their best condition yet, however you may suddenly find yourself squinting to read fine print or you eyes feel drier. A little dry eye is normal in this stage, but if it persists or becomes severe, visit with your doctor as this could be a sign of preeclampsia, a sudden onset of high blood pressure driven by the pregnancy. Preeclampsia is treatable, but don’t delay in bringing this up with your medical care team.
The baby is dropping this week or around this time. What does this mean? The little one continues to move down into the pelvis for the birth. Whew! That takes the pressure off your lungs so that you can breathe easier again, but now they are sitting on your bladder! Don’t use this as an excuse to not hydrate. You need plenty of water. But make sure a bathroom is close by; you will need it more often. Baby is fully formed now & looks like a small child. The skin is smooth with many of the features being obviously apparent. For the final few weeks baby will focus on gaining weight.
This week ushers in the final month of pregnancy. The rapid weight gain of the baby continues, putting pressure on your back. Now, more than ever, is the time for comfortable shoes & sitting down whenever necessary. The increased weight & consistently expanding tummy can be uncomfortable, especially at night. Try a body pillow to support that growing belly to help you get the sleep you need. Baby’s hearing improves rapidly at this point as well. Try singing to your little one or reading them a story.
HealthBanks is Here for the Journey
There are plenty of resources to help prepare expectant parents for the journey ahead, but when it comes to the child’s long-term health, you can trust HealthBanks to protect your newborn’s precious cells. With our affordable cord blood & tissue banking services, parents can help their child recover from 80+ serious diseases including some cancers, if needed. When the child’s own cells are used for therapy, this minimizes chance of rejection and improves the odds of success. A child who has their own cells banked increases the ability for prompt treatment and not having to wait for a matching donor. An added benefit is that these cells may be used for a first- or second- degree relative. Enroll today for your child’s healthiest future. Visit our website to know more.
Reviewed by Paul V. Holland, MD