How my baby’s growing
The baby doesn’t have much room to maneuver now that she’s over 18 inches long and tips the scales at 5 1/4 pounds (about the size of a honeydew melon). Because it’s so snug in your womb, she isn’t likely to be doing somersaults anymore, but the number of times she kicks should remain about the same. Her kidneys are fully developed now, and her liver can process some waste products. Most of her basic physical development is now complete. She’ll spend the next few weeks putting on weight.
How Mommy’s life’s changing
Your uterus – which was entirely tucked away inside your pelvis when you conceived – now reaches up under your rib cage. If you could peek inside your womb, you’d see that there’s more baby than amniotic fluid in there now. Your ballooning uterus is crowding your other internal organs, too, which is why you probably have to pee more often and may be dealing with heartburn and other gastrointestinal distress. If you’re not grappling with these annoyances, you’re one of the lucky few.
From here on out, you’ll start seeing your doctor or midwife every week. Sometime between now and 37 weeks, she’ll do a vaginal and rectal culture to check for bacterium called group B streptococcum (GBS). (Don’t worry – the swab is the size of a regular cotton swab, and it won’t hurt.) GBS is usually harmless in adults, but if you have it and pass it on to your baby during birth, it can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia, meningitis, or a blood infection. Because 10 to 30 percent of pregnant women have the bacteria and don’t know it, it’s vital to be screened. (The bacteria come and go on their own – that’s why you weren’t screened earlier in pregnancy.) If you’re a GBS carrier, you’ll get IV antibiotics during labor, which will greatly reduce your baby’s risk of infection.
This is also a good time to create a birth plan. Using our form will help you focus on specifics – like who’ll be present, what pain management techniques you want to try, and where you want your baby to stay after you deliver. It will give you a starting point to discuss your preferences with your medical team. Childbirth is unpredictable, and chances are you won’t follow your plan to the letter, but thinking about your choices ahead of time – and sharing your preferences with your doctor or midwife – should take some of the anxiety out of the process.
Learn about: Arriving at the hospital
How can I prepare for my arrival at the hospital?
Long before you go into labor, you and your partner should map out the most direct route to the hospital or birth center. Find out where to park, keeping in mind that you’ll be leaving your car for at least 24 hours. Ask the hospital staff where you should enter if you arrive after-hours. Most hospitals offer tours of the obstetrical floor at designated times. Taking advantage of these tours will give you a chance to do a dry run before the big day.
This week, my baby’s 4Moms Breeze Play yard in Grey arrived at Target. I had giftcards from my shower and Sunday was Run Target day with 10% off, coupled with my 15% off completion coupon, I ordered the play yard so that I could maximize the discounts on the $300 large ticket item. I ended up getting $90 off ! I also ordered a Milk Snob carseat cover to match the baby’s Kate Spade baby bag.