As your baby’s birth draws ever closer, these coming weeks may trigger a variety of mixed emotions. Now fully into your third trimester, you may have only 6 to 8 weeks left before your baby’s arrival. As your pregnancy hormone surge many women experience a variety of symptoms including anxiety, fear the unknown and mild mood swings. While some ups and downs are normal, make sure to let your doctor know if you are suffering extreme symptoms which could be indicative of depression.
Many women begin to feel anxious about the birth itself and start to seek out answers from others. One great resource is in childbirth classes that will probably be offered either through your OB/GYN’s office, or the hospital or birthing center where you will be delivering. Many women worry about making it to the hospital on time, how to know they are in labor, and understanding what could happen during the delivery. Remember that all of these fears and questions are normal, and they are people ready and willing to help you find the answers.
Right now, your baby weighs around 3 pounds and measures between 14 and 17 inches from head to heel. He or she has a clearly defined sleep cycle and you should be able to notice periods of time when your baby is much more active. Right now, your baby is actively practicing many of its bodily functions and movements that will be necessary for life outside the womb. As baby grows larger, the amount of amniotic fluid surrounding your baby will decrease as will the strength of those little kick should have felt for the last several months. With less room to move, you will feel pressure, rolling, and stretching that can sometimes be uncomfortable, but those big movements will soon be restricted by your baby’s size.
The baby’s brain is developing rapidly as it controls baby’s day-to-day activities. Able to fully open his or her eyes, baby’s vision continues to develop and will be about 20/400 at birth—making it easy to see caregivers at a close distance, but little else.
Changes With Your Body
These last several weeks may leave you feeling fatigued, and wishing you could take a nap. Priceless nights make it even more difficult to sleep deeply and all that tossing and turning generally be pretty worn out during the day. If necessary, you may have to try sleeping with several pillows, were sitting up in the recliner. If possible, try to squeeze in a short nap during the day.
A growing belly means a change in your center of gravity. This shift could increase your chances of falls, so make sure to keep both feet planted firmly on the ground. If you need assistance lifting, climbing or carrying things let someone else help user to do not enter yourself or your baby. For some women, the shifting gravity changes the structure of the feet causing them to widen, which is why some women claim their feet grew during their pregnancy.
As pregnancy hormones begin to loosen the supporting structures of the pelvic bones, you will begin to develop a signature pregnancy waddle. If you have not already started swaying from side to side and holding your lower back, those days may be close ahead.
What to Expect
As baby’s size and your uterus press against your lungs, you will notice that you seem to run out of breath more easily than ever before. While it may seem uncomfortable now, there will be a bit of relief when baby descends into the lower portion of the pelvis a few weeks before birth, which will allow your lungs to expand more fully.
Doctor’s appointments should still be twice monthly and your physician will continue to monitor your vital signs and urine output for any signs of complications. Unless your physician suspects an issue, there probably will not be any more ultrasounds unless your baby is a breach or transverse presentation if this is the case, your physician may check regularly for signs that your baby is turning to a head down position for birth.
As usual, make sure to report any signs or symptoms of preterm labor or blood pressure complications to your doctor as soon as possible. Leaking fluid, abdominal pain, bleeding, headaches, nosebleeds, and chest pain should all be reported.
Try to make a list of everything that has to be done. While your instinct in S2 may not be fully engaged, and you are still waiting on a baby shower or two, do your best to plan what things you can. If there are large items such as cribs, baby swings or other furniture that you intend to purchase for yourself this baby a good time to get those items out of the way.