How do you feel now? Take a deep breath and relax! You must be overjoyed on knowing that in barely a month you will get to see your little one. You need to start packing your hospital bag and also stocking up your home for all the essentials that you will be needing post-delivery.
Common symptoms this week:
- Hot flashes
- Back pain
- Braxton-Hicks contractions
- Shortness of breath
- Sleep issues
- Frequent urination
- Leaky breasts
- Itchy red bumps on belly
Development of the baby
By the end of this month, the baby weighs 2750 grams and measures around 18 1/2 inches from crown to rump (CRL; the size of a melon). Your baby will be in a head-down position in the womb. If not, your doctor will apply pressure to your abdomen and manipulate your baby into going into a head-down position (external cephalic version). The deposited fat now makes up 15% of the baby’s total body weight. Your baby now has proper blood circulation and a fully mature immune system, ready to fight infections and diseases once he enters the world. In the 36th week of gestation, the little one remembers the mother’s voice and can recognize it after birth as well.
From week 36 you will have doctor visit once every week so that doctor can check for the baby’s readiness for delivery. As in earlier visits doctor will
- Review test reports
- Ask about your specific concerns
- Ask about baby’s movements, symptoms like headaches and swelling, and also about contractions if you had any.
- Record your body weight and blood pressure
- Check baby’s heartbeat
- Physically examine your abdomen
- Internal examination to check for softening and dilation of the cervix
You may have an ultrasound scan, test for diabetes, and urine test in this month’s visits.
So, what should you do this month?
- Wear loose cotton clothes – it helps to keep you cool during those hot flashes.
- Keep a track of your contractions and any lower back pain. These are indicative of preterm labor. Your baby, if born in the 33rd week, has a 98% chance of survival. So, fret not.
- Continue taking calcium supplements as your baby’s bones keep forming, your body calcium resources get utilized. Also, take folic acid and iron supplements as recommended.
- Be sure that you prepare for post-delivery as well. You need to provide adequate nourishment to your body as well and get it back to your pre-pregnancy state. Consult your doctor and stock up on all that you will require after the birth of your baby.
- You may feel fatigued a lot more. Not to mention itchy! The growing bump along with the itchiness make you feel uncomfortable and reduce your sleep. So, try calming yourself and getting some in between napping.
- If you are considering a C-section or a Cesarean, now is the time to talk it out with your doctor. Choosing between a natural birth and a C-section is a personal choice. Some women who can’t handle pain and have a medical ailment choose the former. If you choose a Cesarean, do find out more about it.
- While getting up quickly after sitting or lying down for a long time, blood may pool in your feet and legs and a temporary drop blood pressure may make you feel dizzy. To avoid that, take time and gently get up or change positions.
- You by now must have decided the hospital that you will be delivering your baby in. Your spouse/partner also must be equally anxious with you. Just a month more to go. Planning on how you will reach the hospital should be a must. Booking a hospital bed in the maternity ward, closer to the delivery date, also can be thought of.
- Remain upright and lean forward whenever possible. This reduces the pressure and also allows your baby’s head to bear down on your cervix.
- So far if you have had an uncomplicated pregnancy, avoid traveling as you can go into labor anytime.
Bear in mind to consult your doctor if
- You notice/feel a decrease in your baby’s activity,
- Think you’re leaking amniotic fluid,
- Have vaginal bleeding or fever,
- Have a severe/persistent headache,
- Constant abdominal pain or have vision changes.
All these could have serious implications, so better be on the safe side and continue monitoring any slight changes in your body.
What should you eat this month?
Baby’s weight is increasing rapidly in this month and what you need is a balanced, nutritious diet. Try to include foods rich in iron, calcium, fiber, folic acid, vitamin C, and vitamin A. Have whole grain foods, vegetables, soybeans, green leafy vegetables, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, legumes like beans and chick peas, carrots, sweet potato, and cantaloupe.